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Elizabeth Woodville: Mother of the Princes in the Tower
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Elizabeth Woodville: Mother of the Princes in the Tower

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  247 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
This is the first new account of Elizabeth's life for over fifty years and David Baldwin sets out to reveal the true story of this complex and intriguing woman. Hers was certainly a dramatic life with dizzying reversals of fortune; from poverty in 1461 to queenship in 1464, followed by deposition, restoration, and conflicts with Richard III and Henry VII before spending he ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published August 1st 2002 by The History Press
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Dec 23, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
**3 1/2 stars** A thoughtful, sympathetic biography of the unfairly maligned England's Queen Elizabeth, Consort to King Edward IV from 1464 until his death in 1483. This was the famed time in English history known as the War of the Roses. Elizabeth, the White Queen of York, was wife to the first king of the Yorkist supporters. Baldwin does his best to sort through the old evidence, attempting to paint one of the most accurate portraits of the Queen to date. For most of his endeavor, I think he s ...more
Nov 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this biography. It was a swift read, and covered most everything I already knew about Elizabeth. However, the rich finds (for me) came in the appendices. Baldwin includes some interesting material about Elizabeth Woodville (not all of it verified, he acknowledges), but excellent for historiographical purposes.

Baldwin takes a pretty hard line against Richard III (as biographers of Elizabeth Woodville tend to do, I've found) but I appreciate that he acknowledges that other players also
Marie Z. Johansen
Sep 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
I just got David Baldwin's "Elizabeth Woodville" from the library through inter-library loan. I am thoroughly enjoying it! Lots of great genealogy information that helps to sort out some of the complicated inter-related family lines. Mr. Baldwin also introduces lots of direct quotes from relevant documents that are, generally speaking, easier to read then I had thought they would be. Interesting to see how the language has morphed since then. Excellent book for anyone interested in the realities ...more
Jun 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: history
Not for the casual historian.
This book is chocked full of information which was well researched. It's perfect for any serious history student. I'd give the informational content five stars. But it's not at all easy to read.
The writing style is very "professional", meaning it reads like a university professor would sound. There are many quotes from 15th century manuscripts and letters (which is great), but the original phonetic spelling was kept, making deciphering the text tedious (unless you
Apr 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I respect and admire this lady so much, and this book really helped me to know her better. Elizabeth lived an extraordinary (and tragic) life. I just wish history had remembered her more kindly.
Jul 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Elizabeth Woodville is someone who has received much attention throughout the last five hundred and more years since her death, a woman 'vilified and championed by her contemporaries' as the author puts it. Like certain other people in history, such as Anne Boleyn, Richard III, Henry VIII, Oliver Cromwell, Charles I- to name just a few- Elizabeth Woodville divides opinions from people. Often, she is seen as a proud and haughty woman, scheming to get ahead in the difficult power struggles during ...more
Jun 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
After reading this book, I feel I know only slightly more about Elizabeth Woodville than I did when I started. The book is chock-full of facts about events and people around Elizabeth, but precious little information about her. It's not an easy read, either, thanks to the author's insistence upon using medieval spelling and grammar and not clearly identifying various dukes and earls. I am by no means an academic or an expert on this period of history so it could very well be that this book is si ...more
Dec 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: history, strong-women
An enjoyable book by an author new to me. The highest praise I can give is that, having finished this, I went searching my shelves to see if I had another by David Baldwin; I don't, but this will soon be rectified.

Women's stories are hard to find, particularly those who lived from the 16th century backwards in time. However, David Baldwin has scoured the annals of the 15th century to collect and collate what could be found on Elizabeth's life, and to discover what can be inferred from the storie
Michael Cayley
May 05, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: history, biography
An attempt at a sympathetic biography of Edward IV's queen. It is inevitably hamstrung - as are biographies of most medieval women - by limitations in the sources and information available, and the book is filled out with a certain amount of surmise and supposition. Parts of it are descriptions of key events of the time, with little or no mention of Elizabeth Woodville herself. David Baldwin seeks to defend Elizabeth from the usual charge that she favoured a clan of grasping relatives. As in his ...more
Kelly Dowling
Jan 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
There is just not very muchb contemporary source material on poor Elizabeth, but David Baldwin makes some well researched guesses and it's a far more sympathetic treatment then she usually receives from biographers. Believe it or not, it seems like Shakespeare's version of the lady, plucky, intelligent, forced to make horrible decisions in a series of dangerous circumstances, may be fairly accurate. At least the populace of England seemed to like her, which is more than you can say for poor Marg ...more
May 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! Not only was Baldwin thorough, but I felt that he put a lot of effort into producing the most factual account of Woodville's life and circumstances. He was comfortable to plainly state when the information just wasn't available as well as pointing out the flaws and discrepancies of other accounts. It gives me confidence in the quality and legitimacy of his work. This was a very enjoyable book to read!
Debra Cook
Jul 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
I really didn't like this book all that much because I wanted to learn more about Elizabeth Woodville and what I got was info on the times and her husband's fight to keep the throne. No word on if she know or thought what had happened to her sons or how she survived periods of time I already knew about from the Historical fiction book THE WHITE QUEEN. Why do authors say its on a subject but it really isn't.
Jun 05, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, history
Despite liking one of David Baldwin's other books, I actually found this one really really tedious. It's just a procession of facts with precious little interpretation, and nothing I hadn't gleaned from mere chapters in books like Queens Consort (Lisa Hilton). Not really recommended unless you need a painstakingly in depth study of Elizabeth Woodville.
Stephanie Miller
I read this book hoping to get a clearer picture of Elizabeth Woodville, but i still found myself lost as to who she was. I was more caught up in the political history of the late 15th century and drowning in a list of names and found myself very confused as to who was who. I understand reliable information is scant on this topic, but i was really hoping for better.
Dec 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Despite being a non-fiction it's easy to read and get into the topic. Though some of the statements have been discussed by later publications on the Woodville family the author makes valid points that are essential for a round observation of the subject. This is probably the most balanced view on Elizabeth and one of my favorite biographies. I came to admire her even more than I did.
Mandy Moody
Nov 21, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Very interesting, though not the easiest to read. I don't love non-fiction, but after reading a few books with conflicting accounts of Elizabeth, I really wanted a factual basis for her personality and actions.
Baldwin does a great job of giving historical evidence of Elizabeth's personality and her actions. To me, it seems like she's been unfairly maligned by many novelists.
Feb 04, 2011 rated it liked it
Would have been more enjoyable as a recreational read had it not been written as an academic/scholarly history. The author's insistence on quoting his medieval sources verbatim, without translating the Old English for contemporary readers, was pretty tiresome.
Russell Hall
May 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
A good and brief account of this ancestress of the royal family. So many novels drag her through the mud, and this clears it up a bit, though as so often with history so distant, so many questions remain. Not too much conjecture either.
Jan 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, biography
Naturally a biography of this period, 15th century, suffers from the lack of reliable sources and has to make do with guesswork and legends. Nevertheless, an interesting book with a clear intention not to be "another book about the War of the Roses".
Shawn Thrasher
Oct 25, 2013 rated it did not like it
A great cover - and a boring book.
Jan 09, 2009 rated it liked it
Very historically grounded. Interesting portrayal of the families involved in the Wars of the Roses. Richard III was really EVIL!
Jul 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Probably the most through and only exisiting biography of Elizabeth Woodville. A must for any collector of English royal history.
Sep 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
An interesting read and pretty impartial for a change. Shame there is not more evidence around to explain some of the mysteries about this compex woman of her time though.
Samuel Barringer
I think the book is very well written. I wish the pictures were in color.
Jun 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Excellent biography that I felt I must read after I had finished reading Philippa Gregory's the White Queen.
Barbara Lynn Johnson
Aug 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Excellent book about Elizabeth Woodville. I recommend this book.
rated it it was ok
Oct 23, 2007
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Jun 19, 2014
Donna Waggott
rated it liked it
May 16, 2017
rated it really liked it
May 23, 2014
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