Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Red Rose, White Rose” as Want to Read:
Red Rose, White Rose
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Red Rose, White Rose

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  614 ratings  ·  69 reviews
The powerful story of Cecily Neville, torn between both sides in the War of the Roses. Perfect for fans of Philippa Gregory.

Richard, the thirteen-year-old Duke of York, England’s richest heir.
Told through the eyes of Cicely and her half-brother Cuthbert, Red Rose, White Rose is the story of one of the most powerful women in England during one of its most turbulent periods.
Paperback, 400 pages
Published December 4th 2014 by Harper
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 Red Rose, White Rose, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Red Rose, White Rose

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  614 ratings  ·  69 reviews

More filters
Sort order
I enjoyed the beginning but lost interest about halfway through the book. I guess the different viewpoints weren’t that different and I would lose track of who was narrating.
Deborah Pickstone
I hesitate to acknowledge this as biographical fiction, which it is meant to be, as it is largely fantasy and far-fetched fantasy at that. However, the period of Edward VI reign isn't so much covered in HF (until a recent crop of novels as yet to be read by moi) so it was worth a look. Ms Hickson is a good writer and tells a very readable story but it is not recognizable as the history except as to dates and sequence of action. I would not recommend this to anyone who reads HF as a history buff ...more
Lucy (TheBookBelle)
Rating: 3 Stars

Red Rose, White Rose is a historical fiction story based on Cecily Neville, the wife of Richard Plantagenet of York and mother of Edward IV and Richard III. Plantagenet history is a topic that I'm hugely passionate about, and any books, movies or TV shows about this period I'm sure to love.

Some of my favourite books about the Plantagenets are written by Philippa Gregory - namely The Cousins War series. Where Gregory excels is in bringing the Plantagenet era to life - her writing
Oct 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing

I was disappointed to find out this is a standalone novel, which I think says a lot how much the book engaged me, as I wanted to see Hickson continue on with her take on the life of Cecily Neville.

There’s a lot of info dump in the opening chapters as we get three centuries worth of family trees, which is a bit much… but I suddenly Got It as to why people cared so about family lines. As the man said, ‘It’s the economy, stupid.’

It wasn’t about bragging rights or having the prettiest prancing pony
3.5 stars. Another very good histfic read from Joanna Hickson. She has a very engaging and present writing style without making the subject matter anachronistic. This book felt a little long though, and I didn't enjoy it as much as I did The Agincourt Bride, but maybe that's because "Proud Cis'" character was, by nature, a bit cold. I did however really enjoy the other POV character, Cecily's illegitimate half-brother Cuthburt, and was surprised to read at the end that he was a complete fabricat ...more
Gill's Great Book Escapes
A beautifully written historical novel about the War of the Roses. Joanna Hickson presents this novel crammed packed full of historical facts, from events, people and places. I always think that reading historical novels, written accurately is the most enjoyable way of learning. Maybe high schools should encourage pupils to read this way and then discuss what they have learnt in class?

The book is both interesting and entertaining, showing the strength and politic mannerisms of historical figures
Rita Backe
Apr 09, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: baddies
Did not like this book. Too much whining, too boring to be even remotely interesting, prattling main character, just the last two pages had a whiff of emotional flair. "Oooh, I'm so faithful and so loyal and beautiful, but in secret I always think of the man who kidnapped me, and took my virginity as well, and I think my husband is a bore most of the time, while my kids die off as infants most of the time". *Yawn* This book became more a duty to read through, than a joy.
Louise Fry
It was an interesting book one that was enjoyable however - it wasn't my favourite on the subject. It was interesting to learn more about Cecily as not much is known about her however - I was dismayed at the end to find out that 'Cuthbert' had died young - hilda was fake and that also her romance with John Neville was faked - even though it is a fictionous story I would rather it have a little more truth than not.
A very good read , with some interesting characters. I liked seeing how the young Margaret wanted to be queen & was the queen mother later in life to Henry VII and grandmother to Henry VIII. Such wonderful ambition.
Kiesha ~ 1Cheekylass
I must admit, I enjoyed this read. I've always been interested in Cecily Neville and though this is fiction, it's nice to read a story where she's the main character. I also loved her half brother, Cuddy! What a man. This is a great book for those of us who can't get enough of Wars of the Roses material.

Jul 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: war-of-the-roses
Oh did I struggle with this one. I finished it because there are few novels about Cecily/Cicely Neville, and I was eager to read one. But there were too many circumstances in this novel that I found improbable or irritating. Since it was an arranged match, I can see Cicely not being completely in love with Richard. But to have her pining away over a period of 20 years over her nephew (even if he is older) who kidnapped her and then wanted to use her for ransom does not seem like a likely reactio ...more
Marilyn Rondeau
Jun 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was actually quite an interesting read. Due to the fact that I really find great enjoyment in history I enjoy it even more when it is mixed with a little fiction. What Ms. Hickson has done here is to bring to life a very powerful (and to me little known character) from the War of the Roses – Cecily Neville. Cecily was a young nine year old girl betrothed to her fathers ward, thirteen year old Richard. And even before the marriage took place, her waywardness got her into quite a fix, which a ...more
Jo Barton
Dec 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
During the troublesome fifteenth century, the Neville’s were one of the most prestigious families in England, and when Cecily Neville, the youngest daughter of Ralph Neville, Earl of Westmorland, makes an advantageous marriage with Richard, Duke of York, it combines two of the most powerful families in the land. However, being married to one of the richest men in the country is not without danger, and Cecily Neville discovers that life so close to English royalty is fraught with both treachery a ...more
Danielle Marchant
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“The sound of the key turning evoked vivid memories of my detention in Brancepeth Castle and the grim realization that I had been imprisoned three times in my life and each time it had been at the hands of a member of my own family.”
And you thought your family was crazy.
Fortunately for us, Joanna Hickson’s novel is a reminder that things could be so much worse, especially if you are Duchess Cecily. “Red Rose, White Rose” focusses on what seems like the endless war between the Red Roses of Lancas
While nice to see a different take on Cicely Neville than is normally seen, I didn't feel as if it did much beyond detail HOW the Yorks came to feeling they deserved the crown over all others.

There were several oddities in the timeline and references to children that could be explained by the spotty documentation of the time period and the unfortunate tradition that girl children were not as "mentionable" in record as boy children. I would have liked it to continue enough to see the "fictionaliz
Amy Clayton
May 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
I had to DNF at 70%, I just couldn't bring myself to finish this. I found the Cuthbert chapters hard work and Cicely a bit cold. While it was interesting to read from Ciecly of York's pov at first, a figure normally ignored in historical fiction, it started to lose my attention for pages at a time. There's a lot of info dumping and I lost track of who was who only a few pages in.
Entertaining retelling of the Wars of the Roses from the perspective of Cecily Neville, Duchess of York (mother of Edward IV), and her illegitimate brother, Sir Cuthbert. War, romance and politics (domestic and national) vie for dominance.

Jun 13, 2014 rated it liked it
A workman like look at Cecily Neville, wife of the Duke of York and mother of Edward IV and Richard III. I can't really say much more because this was pretty much a two and a half star book.
Jan 03, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read-2015
Entertaining enough, but fairly sweeping and bloodless. I didn't really feel any sense of Cicely as a person.
Oct 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
An interesting look at the mother of two of England's kings and the webs of family and allegiances that wound around her and her family.

Joanna Hickson brings Cecily Neville (called Cicely in the novel), the mother of Edward IV and Richard III of England, to life in this novel covering the lady's married life up to her widowhood and her eldest son's rise to the throne. A relatively interesting interpretation of the scurrilous rumor about Cecily having an extramarital affair, though this version d
*Thea 'Wookiee'sMama' Wilson*
The Plot Of The Story:
This is story about Cicely Neville, mother of Edward IV who famously married the widowed Elizabeth Woodville. Cicely is figure that is often kind of glossed over in books about the Wars Of The Roses and gets treated like a secondary character more often than not so this book is brilliant in that it gives a glimpse into what her life could have been like and how her family started it's quest for England's throne, eventually won by her son Edward.

The book starts with Cicely
Nov 21, 2017 rated it liked it
FYI: this book was actually 531 pages for me, including the Epilogue and Author's Note.

This book was pretty middle of the road for me. First of all, I applaud Joanna Hickson for writing about someone as formidable and complicated as Cicely Neville. She's a woman that I've been fascinated with for some time, and I was glad of the opportunity to read about her.

Some pros were the interesting characters and plot. The historical detail added another dimension to the story and made it easier to imag
Louise Douglas
Jun 26, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books
I’m torn with my opinion on this book, I really am. For huge parts of the book the plot was fast paced and kept me engrossed, but then there were times when it felt like a huge slog to keep turning the pages, and in the end it took me over a month to finish reading because I just didn’t feel that ‘urge’ to pick the book up and keep reading.

I’ve not read much historical fiction like this, so I’m not sure if it’s the genre I don’t get on with or just this book, so don’t take my 3 star review too s
Jul 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very good book, well researched and written and I enjoyed it. My only problem was that I could not get "into it" for a long time due to the quite blatant fictional aspects of the book. Yes, I understand it was a novel. Let's go right to the point,though, and say she did not have an adult brother named Cuthbert, and that it is extremely doubtful that Cecily Neville had an illicit physical affair with a fairly close relative.

So what would have been a 5 star book for me sort of melted do
Sherry Sharpnack
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was about Cecily Neville, the youngest of twenty-one Neville children who influenced and starred in decades worth of English history. Cecily was married to Richard, Duke of York, and became the Mother of Edward IV and Richard III, and thus the great-grandmother of Henry VIII. The author makes up a brother who is a co-narrator of the story, which I occasionally found confusing. The author also
Made up an incestuous love affair for Cecily which made me roll my eyes, as no noblewoman of th

Couldn't bring myself to finish this book, I found it really dull! I was excited about the prospect of reading about Cicely?Cecily? - the mother of Edward IV and Richard III but there was so much info-dumping in this book I didn't even know what was happening half the time! There seemed to be no real story, it was more of a history lesson. I didn't care for any of the characters or what happened to them. Plus my copy was horrendously edited - lots of repeated words, missing words - even a
Christine Cazeneuve
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I so loved this book and the author that I ordered 5 more books of hers! Great story of the Duchess of York (Cicely) - mother of King Edward IV and Richard III of England. Story told in her words and her half brother Cuthbert (who is a fictional character). Great insight to this woman. Another definite recommend to those that enjoy this genre.
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting tale of a strong English woman

I enjoyed the book, but disappointed to learn it was more fiction than historical fiction. I was trying to figure out where the characters fit in with the ones from others books on England during the war of the roses, but they didn't seem to match up.
Jul 11, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: hickson-joanna
Just couldn't get into it, vast number of characters, too complicated...
Nov 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Thank you to HarperFiction for providing me with this copy to review.

Because I wasn't really aware of the actual history of The War of the Roses, I didn't really know what was going on outside of the narration - which probably meant I missed out on a quite a lot of the story. Even so, I did enjoy most of this book, despite not being completely aware of consequences not witnessed by the narrators.

Cicely Neville is the youngest daughter of the Ralph Neville, and has been betrothed to Richard, Duke
« previous 1 3 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Feb 13, 2015 09:13AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Forbidden Queen
  • A Triple Knot
  • The Virgin's Daughter (Tudor Legacy #1)
  • The Boleyn Bride
  • Venus in Winter
  • The Court of the Midnight King
  • Succession
  • Roses Have Thorns: A Novel of Elizabeth I (Ladies in Waiting, #3)
  • Winter Pilgrims (Kingmaker, #1)
  • Blood Royal
  • The Rose of York: Fall from Grace (The Rose of York Trilogy, #3)
  • The Forgotten Queen (Tudor Court #4)
  • Daughters of the Grail
  • Harlot Queen
  • Amenable Women
  • The Constant Queen (Queens of Conquest #2)
  • The Painted Lady
  • Cor Rotto: A Novel of Catherine Carey
See similar books…
Joanna Hickson became fascinated with history when she studied Shakespeare's history plays at school. However, having taken a degree in Politics and English she took up a career in broadcast journalism with the BBC, presenting and producing news, current affairs and arts programmes on both television and radio. Now she writes full time and has a contract with Harper Collins for three historical no ...more
“faded and ragged but continued to give a festive air to the cavalcade. Tom Neville’s” 0 likes
More quotes…