Jennifer 's Reviews > Katherine Swynford: The Story of John of Gaunt and His Scandalous Duchess

Katherine Swynford by Alison Weir
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Mar 10, 09

bookshelves: nonfiction

This is biography done the old-fashioned way--tracking down every trace of a record and pursuing every obscure sideline. Weir tells the story of Katherine Swynford (c 1350-1403) who had a long affair with John of Gaunt, a younger son of King Edward III, and ultimately married him when they were both well into middle-age (no pun intended). This was a brazen love match in a century when marriage was strictly for political and financial gain and no one expected it to have anything to do with affection. Even more unusually, Katherine and John's four bastard children were later legitimized. Katherine's descendants were major players in the War of the Roses, became the Stuart and Tudor dynasties, and the the ancestors of every British monarch since 1461.
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