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The Lady of the Rivers

(The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels #1)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  69,359 ratings  ·  3,867 reviews
#1 New York Times bestselling author and “queen of royal fiction” (USA TODAY) Philippa Gregory brings to life the story of Jacquetta, Duchess of Bedford, a woman of passion and of legend who navigated a treacherous path through the battle lines in the War of the Roses to bring her family unimaginable power.

When the young and beautiful Jacquetta is married to the older Duke
Hardcover, 443 pages
Published October 18th 2011 by Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
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Nikki Philippa Gregory herself recommends reading them in chronological order.
Here is the link to the order:…more
Philippa Gregory herself recommends reading them in chronological order.
Here is the link to the order:
Frana Laca The lady of the rivers is the mother of the white queen, and it is recommendable to be read first.
And in my opinion it is one of her best books, beca…more
The lady of the rivers is the mother of the white queen, and it is recommendable to be read first.
And in my opinion it is one of her best books, because of the great love between Jacquetta and her second husband.(less)

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Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Any woman who dares to make her own destiny will always put herself in danger.”

This was my first Philippa Gregory novel, and my first historical novel this year. (Although I tried to read Outlander. But I put it aside after 200 pages because it was sexist.) I fully enjoyed this book and am super intrigued to continue this series. The British Royals and their history always sparked an interest in me and while this novel satisfied me 100%, it also made my hunger even bigger. Since my knowledge o
I have been fascinated by the Tudors and Plantagenets most of my life. I knew the various kings and queens, as well as how they ascended to the throne. But to focus on all the women behind the scenes and then in front of the scenes was a fantastic approach. Definitely will continue this series.

The setting and the descriptions are magical. You feel transported to the time frame. You are half in a bit of shock and a bit of concern, all knowing some of this actually happened. Of course, some of it
I have a problem with authors thinking that they have to reach a larger mass audience once they are popular. It is comparable to a musician who “sells out”. The Lady of the Rivers certainly portrayed a dummied down storyline which started with the immediate opener. Perhaps Gregory is so popular now, that she took away much of the magic so evident in some of her earlier works to reach a wider audience.

The theme of my complaints against The Lady of the Rivers is the lack of depth. Admittedly, thi
Sean Barrs
I’ve always had a love hate relationship with Philippa Gregory. Sometimes she does what she does extraordinarily well, and sometimes she writes crap like this.

I really struggled with this one. I just found Jacquetta’s story SO uninteresting. When I was reading it I couldn’t help but wonder how better this series would have been if Margaret of Anjou had her own novel. This way another perspective of the wars would have been covered. Moreover, this isn’t even chronological with the previous t
**This review may be considered slightly spoilerish so enter at your own risk**

Lady of the Rivers is the third book in Gregory's Cousins' War series, and focuses on Jacquetta of Luxembourg. While staying in France with her uncle, Jacquetta *meets* imprisoned Joan of Arc and the two share some BFF time together with the tarot cards and the wheel of fortune. After Joan meets her unhappy end, the beauteous Jacquetta catches the eye of the powerful Duke of Bedford, uncle to young king Henry VI. Jacq
B the BookAddict
May 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Historical fiction, Tudor history lovers
Recommended to B the BookAddict by: Goodreads
Shelves: hist-fiction
I really did enjoy reading this Cousins War installment featuring Jacquetta, The Lady Rivers, even though each time I had to key the name of the book into Goodreads, I typed “The Lady of Shallott” :) I'm a sucker for that poem!

My only grizzle is that being numbered Cousins War #3, you would think that it would be following in a chronological sense after The White Queen and The Red Queen but this is not so.

Currently, the chronological order that these books should be read in is: (as shown on ht
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Lady of the Rivers (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #1; Cousins War #3), Philippa Gregory
The Lady of the Rivers is a 2011 historical novel by Philippa Gregory, part of her series The Cousins' War. The story is narrated by Jacquetta of Luxembourg, mother of Elizabeth Woodville, and covers the reign of the Lancastrian King Henry VI. The novel serves as a prequel to Gregory's The White Queen (2009), the story of Elizabeth's reign as Queen consort of England.
Fourteen-year-old Jacquetta, whose
Dec 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Where I got the book: review galley from NetGalley.

Philippa Gregory takes a step back farther in time with The Lady of the Rivers; after exploring the lives of the various Tudor women in a succession of novels, she now dives into the rich and complicated history of the Wars of the Roses. This was a period in the 1400s in which two branches of the Plantagenet royal family struggled for power over England (and various bits of France).

The protagonist in The Lady of the Rivers is Jacquetta of Luxem
Hands down, Philippa Gregory is my favorite English historical novelist. She brings the era she is exploring to life and always tells the story from such a personal point of view that you feel you are, or at least know, the main character. I also love that she takes historical women who have been literally overlooked by historians and brings their stories, their stuggles, into the light.

The Lady of the Rivers is Jacquetta Woodville, lady-in-waiting to Margaret of Anjou, who becomes the Queen of
I was really looking forward to reading this and was tragically disappointed.

This was my first Philippa Gregory novel. She's written so many that I'm keen to read, as I'm fascinated by this era of history, and this was recommended as the best one to start with, so that I can read the series' chronologically. I think maybe that was a mistake.

I feel like this is more of a supplementary novel, more entertaining for those who know what comes later. This story dragged so much for me, and I just wasn'
Sep 05, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
In The Lady of the Rivers, Philippa Gregory continues her Wars of the Roses saga (I balk at calling it the Cousins’ War) with the story of Jacquetta, Duchess of Bedford, mother to Edward IV’s queen, Elizabeth Woodville. Like her daughter Elizabeth, Jacquetta is possessed of supernatural powers.

First, I did strongly appreciate one aspect of this novel: the sympathetic portrayal of Jacquetta and the Woodville family. Most novels about the Wars of the Roses portray the Woodvilles negatively, to the
The Lady of the Rivers was an okay kind of book. After watching the TV shows The White Queen and The White Princess I have been kind of dying to read this series. However, this book was just an okay kind of beginning to it.

Jacquetta of Luxembourg was a pretty interesting character to read about. Well, after so many chapters because the first half of this book was completely boring. Which is why I rated it what I did. It did start to pick up a little bit better after the half way point.. but ther
Mar 02, 2013 rated it liked it
Philippa Gregory is another of those historical fiction writers that I believe must have time traveled. Page by page, I was swept back into the world of Lancaster and York. Although The Red Queen and The Kingmaker's Daughter are both tied for first as the faves of this series, I loved the unexplored territory of the life of Jaquetta. ...more
3.5 stars

Full review is here:

Overall I did enjoy this book.
Aug 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoying reading Philippa Gregory books,enjoyed Jacquetta and her relationship with the queen.fantastic read looking forward to reading her next book.

Reread notes from January 2021: I loved every second of this reread!! I could talk for a long time about the women in Philippa Gregory's stories. The first time I read this book, I learned a lot about Jacquetta of Luxembourg and her marriage-for-love to Richard Woodville, after losing her first husband John, Duke of Bedford. This time, I was able to focus more on her role at Queen Margaret's court and the swiftly-moving politics of that time. This story takes place just before and at the be
Oct 20, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Two and a half stars

The Lady of the Rivers follows the story of Jacquetta, the mother of Elizabeth Woodville, (who becomes Queen of England), from a privileged child of the family Luxemburg in France, a family descended from the goddess Melusina; through her encounter with Joan of Arc; an early marriage to the Duke of Bedford, regent of France, uncle to King Henry of Lancaster, who exposes her to alchemy and secret books of forbidden knowledge, and subsequently, accusations of witchcraft. Upon t
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
Read This Review & More Like It On My Blog!

Though not nearly as hair-pullingly irritating as its predecessor The Red Queen, (which irritated me so much I didn't even review it. Who wants to read four+ paragraphs of "UGH" and "WHY DOES SHE DO THIS!" and "Shouldn't Margaret of Anjou be the Red Queen NOT Margaret Beaufort?") The Lady of the Rivers has its fair share of problems. This time the story follows Jacquetta of Luxembourg, Dowager Duchess of Bedford, historically remembered most as the moth
Mar 04, 2011 rated it it was ok
Where to begin...It had been a while since I'd read a Philippa Gregory book (and I'd liked her books in the past--The Other Boleyn Girl being my favorite), so I was looking forward to reading The Lady of the Rivers after I won it through First-Reads. After starting it, I quickly realized PG's writing has become a shadow of its former self. Devoting an entire book to Jacquetta was questionable to begin with; for all the royal goings-on that she was privy to, her life really wasn't all that exciti ...more
Sep 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The novels begin with Jacquetta of Luxembourg's friendship with Joan of Arc, in her final days of imprisonment before being burned at the stake, and Jacquetta's powers as a seeress.

Jacquetta is at 17 given as a bride to the Duke of Bedford, whos'e interest in her is purely for her psychic abilities and how she can be of indispensable help to him in the world of alchemy and divination.
After his death, Jacquetta marries Richard Woodville, a true love match, and becomes the friend of confidante of
Having caught up with Philippa Gregory’s novels to date earlier this year (bar her pre-TOBG works) and being well aware of the forthcoming publication of her latest books – The Lady of the Rivers – I decided to give this a go when I saw an early published version of the novel in duty free at the airport. Whilst there were parts of The Lady of the Rivers that I definitely enjoyed, such as some of the imagery and descriptions, I kept running into certain issues. I had initially intended to address ...more
Kelly | xoxo, Kelly Nina
"I put the charm bracelet away in the purse and return it to my jewel case. I don't need a spell to foresee the future; I am going to make it happen."
--Philippa Gregory, The Lady of the Rivers

The third book in Philippa Gregory's The Cousins' War series is The Lady of the Rivers which chronicles Jaquetta of Luxembourg. While this is the third book in the series I hesitated reading this because I wasn't sure if this particular woman in history would interest me. I read The White Queen, the first b
May 26, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I think I was probably harder on this book than I needed to be, but I really felt this book was choppily written for being a PG book. In her last few books, I have found her going down the path of James Patterson~lower quality books because the market for her works is already set. That is how I felt with this book. Not only did I feel it was choppily written, but very superficial to boot. I was just really, really disappointed. I have seen this occurring in a very slow progression with her books ...more
Dec 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
- This review was first published in the November 2011 edition of The Historical Novels Review -

Philippa Gregory’s third entry in her Cousins’ Wars series features an unusual character: Jacquetta Woodville, mother of Elizabeth, who in turn gave birth to the princes who disappeared mysteriously in the Tower. In THE LADY OF THE RIVERS, Ms Gregory travels further back in time, bringing us a glimpse of the seeds of the epic conflict that will be known as the War of the Roses. French-born Jacquetta
2 stars - Meh. Just ok.

This series is not placed in chronological order as is the case with her Tudor series. Unfortunately, this led to a feeling of repetitiveness as this story takes place before the 1st in the series. Therefore many things are repeated or have already been covered which made for a ho-hum read. I never felt particularly moved or impressed by the writing, and the historical figures simply did not come to life as they typically do in Gregory's books. Hopefully this one was just
This remains my favorite of The Plantagenet and Tudor series. I LOVE the supernatural elements woven into this character. It's honestly the most historically accurrate aspect of this novel. Modern views on mysticism and witchcraft don't apply in this time. The people alive very much believed and ordered their major life events around what we now label superstitious nonsense. It was very real to them and I always appreciate when that aspect is included in narratives of this kind. ...more
Great insight into the complicated lives and politics which seemed to dominate the lives of the British aristocracy of that period in time. The author depicts a life of intrigue, politics, and struggles for survival. She portrays the role of women as just pawns to men’s power and wealth and how women struggled to maintain a semblance of dignity and to keep meaning to their lives. The author makes history come alive through the very realistic presentation of the characters which she has chosen fo ...more
Ocean Weeks
Apr 12, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical-ya
I just couldn't seem to get into this book, but I will reread it before the year is through so that it actually counts towards my reading goal.


But, I think I'm just not in the mood for this specific writing style.
Shirley Revill
Apr 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books, history
Absolutely loved this book. I have never been disappointed with a Phillipa Gregory book yet. Recommended.
Kathryn Bashaar
Oct 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel opens with the burning of Joan of Arc. Jacquetta of Luxembourg befriended Joan while the future saint was in the custody of Jacquetta's family, awaiting her ultimate betrayal by the French and execution by the English. From the horror of watching her friend's gruesome death, Jacquetta learns early in life that women who make full use of their powers will be punished.

Jacquetta goes on to obediently marry the powerful English Duke of Bedford, a powerful ally of her family's. Jacquetta i
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Philippa Gregory is one of the world’s foremost historical novelists. She wrote her first ever novel, Wideacre, when she was completing her PhD in eighteenth-century literature and it sold worldwide, heralding a new era for historical fiction.

Her flair for blending history and imagination developed into a signature style and Philippa went on to write many bestselling novels, including The Other Bo

Other books in the series

The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • The White Queen (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels #2)
  • The Red Queen (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #3; Cousins War #2)
  • The Kingmaker's Daughter (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels #4; The Cousins' War #4)
  • The White Princess (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #5; Cousins War #5)
  • The Constant Princess (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #6)
  • The King's Curse (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #7; Cousins War #6)
  • Three Sisters, Three Queens (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #8)
  • The Other Boleyn Girl (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #9)
  • The Boleyn Inheritance (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #10)
  • The Taming of the Queen (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #11)

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