ROYAL WITCHES: From Joan of Navarre to Elizabeth Woodville

ROYAL WITCHES: From Joan of Navarre to Elizabeth Woodville

GEMMA HOLLMAN     Book Number: 92947    Product format: Paperback

England in the 15th century was dominated by the Wars of the Roses in which descendants of King Edward III struggled for power. Edward's son John of Gaunt had numerous children by two wives, and they all divided into the factions of Yorkists and Lancastrians in the next two generations. Out of this melee emerged a series of strong women who wielded great power, including the "she-wolf" Margaret of Anjou. The author of this book focuses on four women who were all accused of witchcraft as a way of reducing their power, or that of their husbands. Joan of Navarre was the second wife on the Lancastrian Henry IV, a widow who wrote encouragingly to the new king shortly after he had seized the crown from the Yorkist Richard II and lost no time in marrying him. When Henry died and his son Henry V defeated the French at Agincourt, Joan was in a difficult position as her daughter's husband had fought with the French and was killed. Henry V now plundered his stepmother Joan's vast wealth and finally brought a charge of witchcraft against her and Friar Randolph, leading to her arrest and detainment. When Henry died his son Henry VI was only an infant, and Humphrey Duke of Gloucester became Protector. Humphrey's wife, Elanor Cobham, had been his mistress until his first marriage was annulled, and her precarious position at court was strengthened by Joan of Navarre's favour, but when Humphrey lost influence over Henry VI to his great rival Cardinal Beaufort, Eleanor was tried for witchcraft and imprisoned, with Humphrey also being disgraced and possibly murdered. Jacquetta of Luxembourg, the sister-in-law of Lancastrian Henry V, became a Yorkist following her marriage to Richard Woodville and gave birth to Elizabeth Woodville, later the Queen of Yorkist Edward IV. Both woman were accused of witchcraft and exonerated. 320pp, softback, genealogical tables.
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Additional product information

ISBN 9780750989404
Browse these categories as well: Historical Biography, History, Feminism, STRONG WOMEN IN HISTORY

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