Philippa Gregory does it again with another gripping and wonderful story about a strong woman in history. I've thoroughly enjoyed "The Cousins' War" series and absolutely loved "The White Queen." When reading it, I too couldn't help wonder about the mother of the white queen, Jacquetta. I'm happy that Philippa was inspired to write her story in "The Lady of the Rivers." It starts when Jacquetta was a young lady and befriended Joan of Arc and learns from Joan's tragic end that women who were powerful could be silenced by men who didn't understand their special powers. Jacquetta's first marriage was to a much older man, Duke of Bedford, but lucky for her he wanted her for her special powers of sight and not her body. This is where Jacquetta meets Richard Woodville, a faithful squire to the Duke. Richard is always by Jacquetta's side and when the Duke dies they finally profess their love to each other. It is a wondrous love story about marrying someone for love and not for the advancement in your status. It's quite evident that Jacquetta and Richard are truly and deeply in love by all the children they produce. The secrets Jacquetta keep are huge as she stands by her queen while others turn against the sickly King of England. Phillipa in the Author's Note speaks about Jacquetta : "Why she has not been studied is a mystery to me. But she belongs to that large population of women whose lives have been ignored by historians in favor of the lives of prominent men." That is one of the things I love best about Philippa Gregory’s stories is she explores the lives of strong women that otherwise we would know little about.
Read more about the series at Philippa Gregory's website: