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Cecily Neville: Mother of Kings

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  39 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Known to be proud, regal and beautiful, Cecily Neville's life spanned most of the fifteenth century. Born in the year of the great English victory at Agincourt, she lived long enough to witness the arrival of the future Henry VIII. Her marriage to Richard, Duke of York, was successful, even happy, and she travelled with him wherever his career dictated, bearing his childre ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published April 28th 2014 by Amberley Publishing
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The Wars of the Roses by Dan JonesEveryday Life in Medieval London by Toni MountBlood Royal by Eric JagerIsabella by Kirstin DowneyCecily Neville by Amy Licence
History Books 2014
5th out of 182 books — 89 voters
The Wars of the Roses by Alison WeirThe Princes in the Tower by Alison WeirRichard the Third by Paul Murray KendallWinter King by Thomas PennThe Plantagenets by Dan Jones
People of the Wars of the Roses (Non-fiction)
42nd out of 70 books — 40 voters

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Wow, oh wow. Another stunner from Amy Licence.

Cecily Neville certainly led a life which had more ups and downs than a rollercoaster, however she kept her dignity and regal bearing, which was necessary bearing in mind the turmoil which was to come!

I was very lucky to receive an ARC, and I will treasure this. For a woman who is a direct ancestor of our current Queen, this book brings the world of the Cousins War to a level that even I can understand, and leaves the reader wanting to know more.

David Santiuste
A readable, sympathetic portrayal of a medieval woman and her world. Amy Licence provides an engaging narrative of Cecily's life and times, incorporating a wealth of fascinating detail.
Overall this was a well-written history of Cecily Neville. An influential woman at a time of influential women—Margaret Beaufort, Elizabeth Woodville, Anne Neville, Margaret of Anjou to name a few—Licence has pieced together the life story of Cecily with few constant document sources.

By including several alternatives or shall we say, interpretations, of events, Licence provided the reader with the opportunity to weigh issues his/herself before making judgment. One thing I did not care for was a
Athena Ninlil
Queen by right, Proud Cis, were just some of the many names she was known by. In history Cecily has often been overlooked in favor of her more popular descendants but she deserves a story of her own and Amy Licence retells that story sparing no punches. Putting forward the reasons for Cecily's decisions and her abscence from some of the royal ceremonies, and her flaws. This is a scholarly biography that explores the life of a high born woman through Cecily's eyes, presenting us her world through ...more
Bogged down by every conceivable piece of research unearthed that doesn't add materially to story and adds innumerable names of questionable value or interest. Lengthy passages describing people and places that Cecily MIGHT have gone to or known and things she MAY have done feel like filler to lengthen the book. While I respect the clear notations that these were surmises and interpretations, it felt like a clumsy device to provide historical context. I ultimately felt that I knew enough of Ceci ...more
Source: Free copy from Amberley Books in exchange for a review. All reviews are expressed from my own opinion.
Cecily Neville was born in May of 1415, at Raby Castle in northeast England. In October of 1415, England and Wales battled the French in the Battle of Agincourt on French soil. Cecily's parents were Ralph Neville, 1st Earl of Westmorland, and Joan Beaufort. Cecily had ten half brothers and sisters," and "nine surviving full siblings."Joan Beaufort's parents were John of Gaunt, an
Anne Marie
Cecily Neville Mother of Kings delves deeply into the life of one of histories little heard of women. The woman behind a family that changed the face of England, and shaped the lives of two Kings. Amy Licence has once again brought history to life the way no one else can. We meet Cecily Neville, Duchess of York from her early years; the life of a child of the nobility, with the expectations and responsibilities her rank entails; her marriage to the Duke of York with the love, commitment, respons ...more
Lisa Shields
Great biography detailing the dynamic life of Cecily Neville. The dynastic power she wielded is evidenced by her many descendants who sat upon the thrones of Europe's monarchies. She was the mother of both Edward IV and Richard III of England. Grandmother to Elizabeth of York, who bore Prince Arthur and the future King Henry VIII, Margaret Tudor who became Queen of Scotland, and Mary Tudor who became queen of France. The introduction of York and Tudor bloodlines into the Scottish royal family cr ...more
Quinby6696 Frank
I was excited to see that a biography of Cecily Neville was coming out. She's one of my favorite medieval female characters, thanks to Sharon Kay Penman's novel, The Sunne in Splendour. I found the first part of this book a real slog. The research was impressive - too impressive. It totally overshadowed the story and the details killed any thread of narrative. It was a bit like reading a 200-page encyclopedia article. Nonfiction doesn't need to be dry and boring. Witness Doris Kearns Goodwin, Ri ...more
Sylwia Zupanec
This book deserves five stars because it brings Cecily Neville back to life in a spectacular manner. Cecily was a mother of two kings and referred to herself as 'queen by right' although she was never crowned. Her husband died before he could claim the throne, but his son, the formidable Edward IV, succeeded in becoming king. By piecing together information about family members in reference to Cecily and detailing her childbirth history and whereabouts, Amy Licence gave us a portrait of a mediev ...more
Jacqueline Baird
Amy once again brings long ago times to life in a readable manner. I came to love Cecily in this book, as seen through Amy's eyes. And I learned a lot about a forgotten great Queen and Mother
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Writing about medieval and Tudor history, with a particular interest in women's lives and experiences. I'm the author of seven books and have also written for The Guardian, BBC History website, The New Statesman, The Huffington Post, The English Review and The London Magazine. I appeared in a BBC2 documentary "The Real White Queen and her Rivals" and have been interviewed numerous times live on ra ...more
More about Amy Licence...
In Bed with the Tudors: the Sex Lives of a Dynasty from Elizabeth of York to Elizabeth I Anne Neville: Richard III's Tragic Queen Elizabeth of York: The Forgotten Tudor Queen Richard III: The Road to Leicester The Six Wives & Many Mistresses of Henry VIII: The Womens' Stories

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