Katherine Swynford: The History of a Medieval Mistress
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Katherine Swynford: The History of a Medieval Mistress

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  132 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Katherine Swynford -- sexual temptress or powerful woman at the centre of the medieval court? This book unravels the many myths and legacies of this fascinating woman, to show her in a whole new life. Katherine was sister-in-law to Geoffrey Chaucer and governess to the daughters of Blanche of Lancaster and John of Gaunt. She also became John of Gaunt's mistress -- a role t...more
Published 2010 by Stroud: History (first published August 22nd 2006)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Katherine Swynford, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Katherine Swynford

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,024)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Lucraft's study of Katherine Swynford was an award-winning academic paper which ended up published. The author's purpose was to find the personality of Katherine in the barren contemporary sources. For me her approaches worked. Her reasoning is laid open in chapters that consider church chroniclers, social conventions, religious preferences, and what she calls "medieval spin" -- image presentation. I am left with the feeling of having read balanced good sense.
Wife to the son of a king, mother of numerous important people and the ancestress of many of the royal houses of Europe, Katherine Swynford is someone whose importance to history is not reflected in the documents and written record of the time she lived. No letters written by her survive and not even her testament has come down to us. Her grave seems to have been a relatively modest affair, even before it was partially destoyed in the seventeenth century.

I think Jeannette Lucraft is right to em...more
Rebecca Bugge
An excellent take on an intriguing woman. It's a bit odd, at first glance, with a book about a person where her (or his, but in this case her) life is dealt with on the first 16 pages of a biography about someone. In this case it isn't really odd - because there is precious little hard historical records about this woman, and what is known is here presented as a background for this study. In short, it is not a biography in the conventional sense, where the book starts with the birth and ends wit...more
Nicholas Whyte
http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/2149871.html[return][return]A fairly short book, with a bit of a sense of PhD thesis pushed into book form, looking at the life and historical treatment of Katherine Swynford, John of Gaunt's lover and later his wife in the late 14th century. The core facts are interesting enough - her father appears to have been a Flemish mercenary, but she moved comfortably in royal circles and her sister married Geoffrey Chaucer, and her love affair with Gaunt was publicly acknow...more
Realizing that there are not enough details for a full biography of Katherine Swynford, mistress and then wife of John of Gaunt in the fourteenth century, Lucraft instead investigates Katherine's history: not just the details of her life, but her place in her times. She looks at the depiction of Katherine by sources from her own time to the present, separating fact from conjecture, and discusses how Katherine may have chosen to present herself and her own image, notably through her association w...more
Not a bad book, but there's just so little really known about Katherine Swynford there's hardly enough to make a biography out of! I finished this feeling I had learned more about Margery Kempe than I had about Katherine Swynford. There were also several times when I found text repeated almost verbaitm from one section to another.
Not a bad book, just not very informative. I am not sure any non-fiction bio of Katherine Swynford can tell us very much, as she didn't leave a great deal of information behind her. We can imagine so much more, and to me historical fiction novels on this subject are so much more satisfying.
Valerie  V
Valerie V marked it as to-read
Sep 19, 2014
Debra marked it as to-read
Sep 18, 2014
Jojo marked it as to-read
Sep 16, 2014
Jean marked it as to-read
Sep 10, 2014
Amanda Lasky
Amanda Lasky marked it as to-read
Sep 10, 2014
Susan Kramer
Susan Kramer marked it as to-read
Sep 08, 2014
Heather Gallagher
Heather Gallagher marked it as to-read
Sep 08, 2014
June Gemmer
June Gemmer marked it as to-read
Sep 06, 2014
Kristi is currently reading it
Sep 06, 2014
Jessica Moschetto
Jessica Moschetto marked it as to-read
Sep 05, 2014
Wanda Pease
Wanda Pease marked it as to-read
Sep 05, 2014
Wendi B
Wendi B marked it as to-read
Sep 03, 2014
Bookworm Erica
Bookworm Erica marked it as to-read
Sep 03, 2014
Kathryn marked it as to-read
Sep 01, 2014
Meagan marked it as to-read
Aug 31, 2014
Ewa marked it as to-read
Aug 31, 2014
Sarah marked it as to-read
Aug 29, 2014
Justine marked it as to-read
Aug 28, 2014
Joanna Menda
Joanna Menda marked it as to-read
Aug 28, 2014
Nefertari marked it as to-read
Aug 27, 2014
Nicole Kapise-Perkins
Nicole Kapise-Perkins marked it as to-read
Aug 25, 2014
Meghan marked it as to-read
Aug 24, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 34 35 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Elizabeth Wydeville: The Slandered Queen
  • The Greatest Traitor: The Life of Sir Roger Mortimer, Ruler of England 1327-1330
  • Margaret Beaufort: Mother of the Tudor Dynasty
  • Queens Consort: England's Medieval Queens
  • A Great and Terrible King: Edward I and the Forging of Britain
  • Queen Emma: A History of Power, Love, and Greed in 11th-Century England
  • A Royal Passion: The Turbulent Marriage of King Charles I of England and Henrietta Maria of France
  • Medieval Women: A Social History of Women in England 450-1500
  • Henry II
  • Richard the Third
  • Royal Blood: Richard III and the Mystery of the Princes
  • In Triumph's Wake: Royal Mothers, Tragic Daughters, and the Price They Paid for Glory
  • The Wars of the Roses: Through the Lives of Five Men and Women of the Fifteenth Century
  • Elizabeth Woodville: Mother of the Princes in the Tower
  • Queen of the Conqueror: The Life of Matilda, Wife of William I
  • The Uncrowned Kings of England: The Black History of the Dudleys and the Tudor Throne
  • Edward VI: The Lost King of England
  • The Secret Wife of Louis XIV: Françoise d'Aubigné, Madame de Maintenon
Jeannette Lucraft is a graduate of the University of Huddersfield, where she was awarded a first class history degree. She lives in West Yorkshire.
More about Jeannette Lucraft...

Share This Book