Jacquetta, daughter of the Count of Luxembourg and kinswoman to half the royalty of Europe, was married to the great Englishman John, Duke of Bedford, uncle to Henry VI. Widowed at the age of 19, she took the extraordinary risk of marrying a gentleman of her household for love, and then carved out a new life for herself.
Dubbed the Queen of British Historical Fiction, Philippa Gregory has penned a number of well-known works- her most popular being The Other Boleyn Girl (2001) which has also been adapted into two films. Gregory has a knack for breathing life into often overlooked historical figures and giving readers a passionate and intimate experience of British History.
Despite being published in a different order, Gregory has established a new “reading order” so readers can begin based on the real-world chronology – setting The Lady of the Rivers as the first book in The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels. Narrated by Jacquetta of Luxembourg, who is often known in history as the mother of Elizabeth Woodville (Queen Consort of England and Spouse of King Edward IV), Gregory gives readers more than a dash of romance and a personal account of her life as not merely a wife and mother but as a player in the never ending Royal game of power. This includes the marriage/eventual downfall of Henry VI and Margaret of Anjou and the beginnings of the Wars of the Roses.
Regardless of the many historians that dispute Gregory’s claim of historical accuracy, her works are undoubtedly remarkable. Filling her heroines with untouched power in a time where women’s rights hardly went beyond marriage and birthing, they either create their own downfall or act as pillars of strength working behind the scenes. This novel is a must read for fans of historical novels!