The Lady of the Rivers.

By Philippa Gregory

Printed: 2011

Publisher: Simon & Schuster. London

Dimensions 17 × 24 × 5 cm

Language: English

Size (cminches): 17 x 24 x 5

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In the original dustsheet. Navy cloth binding with silver title on the spine.

  • F.B.A. provides an in-depth photographic presentation of this item to stimulate your feeling and touch. More traditional book descriptions are immediately available.

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 nineteen she took the extraordinary risk of marrying a gentleman of her household for love, and then carved out a life for herself as Queen Margaret of Anjou’s close friend and a Lancaster supporter – until the day that her daughter Elizabeth Woodville fell in love and married the rival king Edward IV. Of all the little-known but important women of the period, her dramatic story is the most neglected. With her links to Melusina, and to the founder of the house of Luxembourg, together with her reputation for making magic, she is the most haunting of heroines.


  • I loved reading about Jacquetta Rivers. As nobility in her own right, she bears herself with dignity throughout the book, as she seems to have done in reality. Her loyalty to the feckless, and maybe even mad, French Queen, is attested to. Having read The White Queen some time ago, I was keen to read about the captivating Duchess, her Lady Mother. The book stands alone, but enriches the material in the first of the series, The White Queen. I lost count of how many children she bore. Astonishing fertility. It is easy to forget that that was the function and fate of most women. That she survived all those births and was able to adore her children, is a remarkable testament to her physical and emotional strength. And as with her daughter, The White Queen, I am seriously in awe of doing all that childbearing and then having the energy to plot and scheme and play the Royal game, and fulfill her duty as a lady at court. But wet-nurses, an army of nannies etc., are factors beyond our modern imagination. There was some sort of liberation in that.mShe was indeed a fitting ancestor of Gloriana…fearless, brilliant, and powerfully protective of her own. Yet she married, the second time, for love and was devoted to her husband throughout. A love match amongst nobility seems to have been an unusual thing….at least amongst the York and Lancaster families. Gregory depicts the relationship tenderly. The scenes dealing with the supernatural were woven deftly into the plot. The atavistic abilities shared with her daughter Elizabeth were given enough balance to allow the reader to sense that the ‘magic’ engaged in was really a deep attunement and sensitivity to the currents of life.. supported by a focussed intent. Divination by these means is shown as a fairly innocuous use of focus; and the suggested wether magic is a thread which leaves us wondering throughout the series. When the weather adversely affects the military campaigns of her enemies, they accuse the Rivers women of witchcraft. But that was common enough in those times, it seems. Fear and distrust of clever, powerful, beautiful women runs throughout history. The paranoia around the occult which arose at that time could have done with more background description, I felt. I was confused about the duration of the period, early in the book, when alchemy and astrology etc were acceptable in learned circles, and when that learning suddenly seemed to be taboo. Another book, perhaps… In all, a fascinating read with an engaging plot, weaving scant historical evidence with the usual deft novelistic touch, bringing the characters and the period alive.

  • Our author here is justly famous for her knowledge, research and writing of the Tudor era and dynasty. She writes very persuasively and with passion about her subject. This novel, mostly conjecture based on fact, is a little earlier in time, covering the reign and disasters of Henry 6th and ,in particular, the women behind the known scenes, who were obviously influential and, in the case of Henry’s queen, Margaret, destructively ambitious. The central figure is nevertheless Jacquetta, married first to the first Lord of the land, the Duke of Bedford, brother of the mighty Henry 5th and in effect ruler of much of France on behalf of the English king. Jacquetta is a very attractive Princess of the house of Luxemburg and so is a very elevated lady. When Bedford dies she marries, ostensibly beneath her, Richard Woodville, here portrayed as a fine commander of soldiers, a just and honest man, and a lusty producer of a large brood of children. The eldest is a daughter, Elisabeth Woodville, a famous beauty who will herself produce many children when she is widowed and meets and marries Edward, son of the great Duke of York. All through this narrative there is constant war and battles between the houses of Lancaster and York, some like Towton, the most bloody and destructive in centuries. Gregory handles all this superbly and excitingly as we read to find out how the story will twist and turn so that we end up at the end of the book with Elisabeth, already with children, being courted by a victorious Edward York, soon to be Edward 4th and Elisabeth to be queen. This is a fine, fast moving and exciting story of the most turbulent period in English history.


The Author, Philippa Gregory was an established historian and writer when she discovered her interest in the Tudor period and wrote the internationally bestselling novel The Other Boleyn Girl. Her Cousin’s War novels, reaching their dramatic conclusion with The King’s Curse, were the basis for the highly successful BBC series, The White Queen. Philippa’s other great interest is the charity that she founded over twenty years ago: Gardens for the Gambia. She has raised funds and paid for over 200 wells in the primary schools of this poor African country. Philippa is a former student of Sussex University and a PhD and Alumna of the Year 2009 of Edinburgh University. In 2016, she was presented with the Outstanding Contribution to Historical Fiction Award by the Historical Writers’ Association. Her love for history and commitment to historical accuracy are the hallmarks of her writing. Philippa lives with her family on a small farm in Yorkshire and welcomes visitors to her site

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