The Lady of the Rivers

A Novel

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Jacquetta, daughter of the Count of Luxembourg and kinswoman to half the royalty of Europe, was married to the great Englishman John, Duke of Bedford, uncle to Henry VI. Widowed at the age of nineteen she took the extraordinary risk of marrying a gentleman of her household for love, and then carved out a life for herself as Queen Margaret of Anjou's close friend and a Lancaster supporter - until the day that her daughter Elizabeth Woodville fell in love and married the rival king Edward IV.

Of all the little-known but important women of the period, her dramatic story is the most neglected. With her links to Melusina, and to the founder of the house of Luxembourg, together with her reputation for making magic, she is the most haunting of heroines.
Book Details:
  • Simon & Schuster UK | 
  • 512 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781847374592 | 
  • October 2011
List Price $36.00

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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for The Lady of the Rivers includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Phillipa Gregory. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.

INTRODUCTION

The life of Jacquetta is extraordinary. She is born into the St Pol family, the rulers of the Duchy of Luxembourg, and witnesses the fate of Joan of Arc while still a girl. Married as a matter of policy to the great Duke of Bedford, it is only when she is a young widow that she can begin to shape her own destiny. Though she has the Sight, at once a blessing and a burden, she still has to navigate the waters of the English court and attempt to build a stable future for her growing family in a time of great change and increasing danger. Her longed-for marriage to Richard Woodville is a deep and abiding love match but comes at a great cost, and their rise in the world is followed by yet further twists in fortune. Yet Jacquetta Woodville, Lady Rivers, is a unique and powerful character and one who manages to place her family in a key position to survive the forthcoming wars.

TOPICS AND QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION

  1. Jacquetta’s first main influence is her great-aunt, Jehanne
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