Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory

Lady of the Rivers (original 2011; edition 2012)

by Philippa Gregory

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,147637,123 (3.78)42
Title:Lady of the Rivers
Authors:Philippa Gregory
Info:Simon & Schuster Ome (2012), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, history

Work details

The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory (2011)


Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 42 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 63 (next | show all)
I was so excited for this book but then so very underwhelmed.

You want to know why?


Well I shall tell you anyways.

This book is set at the time of the War of the Roses in the mid 1400s England and France but mainly England. The book is about Jacquetta or so it claims. Which brings us right into my biggest complaint about his book. Jacquetta, Lady Rivers, feels like a secondary character throughout most of the book. She just happens to associate and be friends with people that are doing exciting things and is able to hear about them, sometimes see them even *le gasp*, and tell us about them. I'm sorry there is one part near the end of the book where she is apparently the best person to negotiate because London adores her due to her being beautiful. Yup, that's right. Jacquetta is adored because she is gorgeous. We are lead to believe she is also very smart. I could see this but it was really never developed. This led Jacquetta to be a beautiful breeding mule throughout the majority of the book. I'm serious. It follows a formula. The love of her life goes to a battle, she stays with the queen and finds stuff out second hand while being pregnant, she has the baby, love of life comes home, and repeat. 14 times this happens. That's right. That poor woman popped out 14 kids in a time with no pain killers. Yet, she still somehow managed to feel like a secondary character throughout her entire book.

Another pet peeve with this book is the titles and the constant changing of them. Note to all potential writers of historical fiction, pick if you want to use a characters title or their name and stick with it. There are way too many similar names and titles as it is during this time. It makes it that much harder to keep track of them when one moment the person is Edmund Beaufort and next referred to as the Duke of Somerset. I know I should be able to keep track of who is who but with so many people it is difficult when it flip flops.

All that said it is still worth a read for lovers of historical fiction. Anyone who has read Phillipa Gregory knows she is not called the Queen of royal fiction for nothing. She truly can give you a great image of what the world was like at the time. The battle scene descriptions were epic in this book. This leads me to believe that the lack of development for Jacquetta was mainly due to a lack of research material about her. Needless to say the battles would have a better amount of recorded history then a woman of the time no matter how impressive she was. It should also be noted some of the other characters were really well developed and kept the story moving. One major one being Queen Margaret who goes from wide eyed little girl to revenge seeking Queen of death. I feel like Phillipa Gregory might have had better luck writing from Queen Margaret's point of view.

All in all I would give this book 2 out of 5 stars. I don't regret reading it but I didn't adore it either. If you aren't a lover of history I would probably skip this one but if you do love history I'd pick it up. It is a quick read and an interesting look into the beginning of the War of the Roses. ( )
  Alexis_D. | Sep 22, 2016 |
Philippa Gregory brings history to life. I thoroughly enjoyed this book about the life of Jacquetta Woodville, mother of the future queen of England and grandmother to the princes in the tower. I feel pleasantly knowledgeable about The Wars of the Roses after reading this - I frequently fact-checked while reading and looked for more information on points that particularly interested me. I am now interested in finding time to read the other books in the Cousins’ War series.

Full disclosure: I was getting a bit impatient with all the repetitious battles and running around in the last quarter of the book, but that is what really happened. Maybe the author could have summarized a bit?
( )
  memccauley6 | May 3, 2016 |
It's been a long time since I read Philippa Gregory. Another similar author wrote a non fiction on women that frankly distressed me enough that I had to put it down (Rosalinda Miles -- Who Cooked the Last Supper). I think I'll pick it up again. I mention that because that book is completely framing how I'm reading these books. It's fascinating to me how she is taking women in this turbulent time of history and telling the story from their own POV, a different one for each book, so that I am understanding it all on so many different levels. She's adding an element of fantasy but totally built around the historic events and accusations. You can read it as just fun fiction, or as a very powerful case on how women were so subject to their men and the times, or as a good book to study how to present historical fiction. I'm impressed.

About Lady Rivers, what a woman. After a bumpy start, She did her own thing and kept her head and kept from being burned at the stake. What a fascinating life. This book also demonstrates the horror that faced Margaret of Anjou and perhaps at least explains how she grew into the roll Fate, Warwick, and London assigned Her. Pardon me while I go rush to read the next one. ( )
  sydsavvy | Apr 8, 2016 |
I have been looking forward to this book ever since I heard she was writing it. Jacquetta is an interesting person to say the least. And you can say that when this book end, then book 1 actually begins, The White Queen. Since it is up to that point we hear her story.

Jacquetta married the Duke of Bedford, something that his former brother in law did not like. And they lost the support of Burgundy. In this book Gregory has the duke marrying Jacquetta because of her legacy, she is a descendant of Melusina. While in truth, who knows, he was old., she was young and pretty. That is reason enough. There she also meets Richard Woodville whom she later married without the kings blessing, and they pay for it. But when you are in love you are and I do admire Jacquetta for going against everything and everyone at a time like that.

And the story, yes we get to see England fight for France. Jacquetta get children, a lot, poor woman, she was always pregnant. Well at least they liked each other ;) And of course the fall of the Lancaster King. The king falling into his sleep, Queen Margaret trying to keep the country together and then the start of the war of the roses. I also got thinking and I do like to think that Margaret got her child by a lover. Who can tell. And of course a book like this always has me picking a side. By now I have reached the conclusion that I will always start of as a Lancastrian but when Edward comes along I am Yorkist all the way. I also find it funny that I never like Warwick, no way. I haven't liked him in any book I have read so far about this time.

Some do not like the magic in these books. But I look at it another way. I let Jacquetta think she can see the future, because back then superstition ruled. So if she thinks the saw the future it's because she thought it so. Therefore I do not mind it at all. It does not take anything from the novel. It should also be there since the talk was that she was a witch, just like many other women of power, or who was strange, alone, old, anything really.

What we got in the end is an interesting tale about a woman who risked it all and who lived through dangerous times and got to see her daughter become queen (even if we do not see it here). I am glad Gregory wrote a book about Jacquetta and I am certainly glad to have read it. It was just what I wanted and I will not get tired of The cousin's war.

A great book that I recommend to all fans of historical fiction, and to everyone because you can't go wrong with history. And it may be long, but it is good. She does make history come alive. In the end we have this fascinating tale about a strong woman in a rich setting and it is worth exploring.

Recommended ( )
  blodeuedd | Mar 2, 2016 |
I love history and historical novels, so the story of Jacquetta and her life as a member of the court of King Henry (don't ask me which number) and Queen Margaret fascinated me. I have to confess, my knowledge of the real history is so poor, I had to keep turning to the family tree printed (thankfully!) at the front of the book to try to keep the various dukes and duchesses and other assorted royalty straight in my head, and even then I didn't quite succeed.

I also had some difficulty reading a fictionalized account of a terribly bloody period of time because I was afraid to turn the page and find out who was beheaded, or killed in battle, or imprisoned in the tower. Somehow knowing that the characters were based on real people kept me feeling a little queasy. Ms. Gregory is a skillful story-teller, though, and I couldn't put the book down until I'd finished.

All in all, I enjoyed the story, and can only count myself as blessed that I live in this time, and in this country. ( )
  LeahDee | Jan 24, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 63 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Philippa Gregoryprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Amato, BiancaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Jacquetta had the gift of second sight which she learned at an early age to keep secret. As a child she had met Joan of Arc, who had the same gift, but had met a horrific death when she was accused of witchcraft.   Jacquetta's 'talent' took her into close proximity to the English royal family, which resulted in her becoming mother of the White Queen, Elizabeth Woodville.
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

When the death of Joan of Arc shows her the dangers faced by strong women, Jacquetta, a psychic descendant of a river goddess, studies alchemy and becomes the secret wife of Richard Woodville before returning to the court of Henry VI.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
28 avail.
255 wanted
3 pay13 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.78)
1 2
2 16
2.5 7
3 67
3.5 21
4 120
4.5 7
5 56


5 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 109,790,980 books! | Top bar: Always visible