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Epitaph for Three Women

(Plantagenet Saga #12)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  354 ratings  ·  20 reviews
On the death of Henry the fifth, a nine-month-old baby is made King of England. Ambitious men surround the baby king, including his two uncles, the Dukes of Bedford and Gloucester. Shrewd and clever, Bedford seeks to uphold all his late brother had won and preserve it for young Henry the sixth. Gloucester, a man of poor judgment, greedy for wealth and power, has other idea ...more
Hardcover, 333 pages
Published December 31st 1983 by Putnam Publishing Group (first published 1981)
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3.87  · 
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 ·  354 ratings  ·  20 reviews

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2.5 stars

Epitaph for Three Women
turned out to be far less about these three women than I was led to believe by the book's description. Broken into three parts titled Katherine of Valois, Joan of Arc, and Eleanor of Gloucester, only Joan, or Jeannette rather, has an actual story that follows her path in life. The other two are background players to the politics going on at the time, especially those concerning the Dukes of Bedford and Gloucester and England's fight for France. Whenever Katherine
This book nicely fills in the historical period covered by the first Henry VI play; the time from the death of Henry V to the death of Gloucester and the marriage of Henry VI. It does this by telling the story of three women: Katherine of Valois, Joan of Arc, and Eleanor of Gloucester. It was an engaging and interesting historical fiction covering a time, before the Wars of the Roses, that I didn't know much about.
Lady Jane Grey
Dec 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I always wanted to read Jean Plaidy's Plantagenet Saga and this year I realized I had all the books in the series (finally!) and what was I waiting for?! Some I've liked more than others and I was feeling like I needed to be more strict with my rating system so I thought I would give the books an average of 4 stars. I'm weird and go through phases of being very generous with stars and then being very stingy with them. When I'm stingy, I think I want to look like a more knowledgeable reader.

Christine Cazeneuve
Jun 23, 2018 rated it liked it
I liked the book but didn't love it like I have the majority of her books. I may be a bit biased as I am definitely not a fan of Joan of Arc. The book focuses on Katherine of Valois, Joan of Arc and Eleanor of Gloucester. Eleanor was my favorite character as I guess my evil side (lol) loves to see people crash and burn. The book is broken up into three sections, focusing one section on each of the three women. Took me longer to read than most of her books because I just had a hard time getting i ...more
Phil Syphe
I feel the author should’ve written a separate book for Joan of Arc. The inclusion of her story here in the middle of the book feels utterly misplaced and it messes up the narrative flow. It doesn’t help that – after Part 1 – Part 2 starts by going back in time, repeating events that have already been documented.

But then repeating information is an annoying Plaidy’s trait. Once we reach Part 3, there’s repeated references of Henry VI harking back to when he saw Joan imprisoned, to mention just
Sue Law
As in "The Battle of the Queens", Plaidy struggles to find a coherent thread to take her through the years of Henry VI's minority. The book is divided into 3 parts, the first and last covering the story of Queen Katherine (Henry V's widow) and Eleanor, 2nd wife of Humphrey of Gloucester. The second part is totally disconnected, being the tale of Joan of Arc. Not one of her best.
An Odd1
Mar 25, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"Epitaph for Three Women" by Jean Plaidy are prophecies of doom fulfilled, villains betray and triumph over good amid constant conspiracies for power centered around the babe Henry VI b 1421, new King. Sad fates are facts of history, not spoilers. Katherine de Valoise, widowed from England's Henry V at age 21, feels like an outsider, lighter of heart after talking with his Welsh squire Owen Tudor. Part II, peasant Jeanette d'Arc sees visions of virgin Saints and hears their voices calling her to ...more
Deborah Pickstone
Plaidy relied heavily on 'received' history in writing this and it detracts from the story. To be fair, this is her usual modus operandi so I shouldn't complain; somehow it falls flat and renders the characters very two dimensional. Also, digesting 3 main characters into one book has made sure that none of them are explored as they should have been: Katharine, for instance, was rumoured to be having an affair with Beaufort, who barely makes an entrance, and her marriage to Owen Tudor is handled ...more
May 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011
Catherine of Valois, Joan of Arc, and Eleanor Cobham - wildly diverse individuals, each pushing their personalities to the limit - it is 15th century England and Lancastrian France, peopled by such heroes as Henry V. a strong flame that at its extinction left so much turmoil. Jean Plaidy tells this story directly and well, covering twenty five or so years of vibrant history.
This was a fair Plaidy history. It was the only one in the Plantagenent Saga I hadn't read. It was good to learn a little more about Joan of Arc and Eleanor of Gloucester. I thought I knew the story of Katherine of Valois. It had a much sadder ending than I realized. This one is not necessary to be knowledgeable about the Plantagenets.
Sara W
Jul 18, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: jean-plaidy
Catherine of Valois (wife of Henry V, mother of Henry VI, later married Owen Tudor). Joan d' Arc. Eleanor of Gloucester (wife of Humphrey of Gloucester the "Lord Protector of the Realm" - brother of Henry V, uncle of Henry VI).
Oct 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Good and quick read about three women who were very different. Plots, ambitions, treason. It was interesting to find out about Joan of Arc and Catherine queen consort to king Henry V, and mother of Henry the VI, this book is a prelude to the war of roses.
Aug 01, 2012 added it
Very interesting as it is an exact parallel to the time of the Lady of the Rivers, by Penelope Gregory, which I greatly enjoyed. Stormy times! I'm looking forward to reading all the Shakespeare history plays now to get a Tudor take on the period........
Oct 14, 2009 marked it as to-read
12th in series
Roula Yasin
Dec 09, 2012 rated it liked it
joan of arc, eleanor cobham duchess of gloucester, katherine of valois
One of the more interesting books in this series. Told from the perspective of the three most important women of the time. A bit simple but still very interesting.
Angela Joyce
Jan 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
A wonderful trio of women-- one sweet and loving, one driven and devoted, another grasping and diabolical, all doomed. What a time to be alive and female in England and France!
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 12, 2015 10:08AM  

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Eleanor Alice Burford, Mrs. George Percival Hibbert was a British author of about 200 historical novels, most of them under the pen name Jean Plaidy which had sold 14 million copies by the time of her death. She chose to use various names because of the differences in subject matter between her books; the best-known, apart from Plaidy, are Victoria Holt (56 million) and Philippa Carr (3 million). ...more

Other books in the series

Plantagenet Saga (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • The Plantagenet Prelude (Plantagenet Saga, #1)
  • The Revolt of the Eaglets (Plantagenet Saga, #2)
  • The Heart of the Lion (Plantagenet Saga, #3)
  • The Prince of Darkness (Plantagenet Saga, #4)
  • The Battle of the Queens (Plantagenet Saga, #5)
  • The Queen from Provence (Plantagenet Saga, #6)
  • Hammer of the Scots (Plantagenet Saga, #7)
  • The Follies of the King (Plantagenet Saga, #8)
  • The Vow on the Heron (Plantagenet Saga, #9)
  • Passage to Pontefract (Plantagenet Saga, #10)