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Her Highness, the Traitor

Further Reading for The Traitor's Wife
and Hugh and Bess

 


 

 

In writing The Traitor's Wife and Hugh and Bess, I consulted a number of sources. These are some of the ones I found most helpful and accessible:

 

Michael Altschul, A Baronial Family in Medieval England: The Clares. A detailed study of the Clare family,
including Eleanor de Clare's father and brother.

 

Caroline Bingham, Edward II. Part of a series on English monarchs under the general editorship of
Antonia Fraser, this is an elegantly written, sympathetic look at the reign of Edward II.
Beautifully illustrated.

 

Pierre Chaplais, Piers Gaveston: Edward II's Adoptive Brother. A useful study of the relationship between
Edward II and his first favorite, with emphasis on the theory that the men were adoptive brothers
rather than lovers.

 

Wendy Childs, ed., Vita Edwardi Secvndi: The Life of Edward the Second. A new edition of an account of Edward II's
reign written by a contemporary of his. The Latin text is presented side-by-side with an English translation,
and Childs provides a handy introduction.

 

Peter Coss, The Knight in Medieval England and The Lady in Medieval England. Handsomely illustrated companion volumes about the daily lives of knights and their ladies.

 

Gwilym Dodd and Anthony Musson, eds., The Reign of Edward II: New Perspectives. A collection of conference
papers about Edward II's reign, with contributions by the editors as well as by J. S. Hamilton, W. M. Ormrod,
Ian Mortimer, Michael Prestwich, Alistair Tebbit, W. R. Childs, Paul Dryburgh, Anthony Musson, Alison Marshall, Martyn Lawrence, and J. R. S. Phillips. I especially liked the sections by Hamilton about Edward II's letters as prince, by Prestwich about Edward II's household, by Lawrence about Hugh le Despenser the elder,
and by Phillips about "The Place of the Reign of Edward II."

 

Paul Doherty, Isabella and the Strange Death of Edward II. A very readable account of the queen's relationships
with the king and his favorites and with her lover, Roger Mortimer.

 

Mary Anne Everett Green, Lives of the Princesses of England. This six-volume Victorian study, heavily based on original records, includes chapters on each of Edward II's sisters and daughters. There's a lively chapter about Eleanor de Clare's mother, Joan of Acre, and her scandalous secret marriage to Eleanor's stepfather, with much authorial moralizing.

 

Natalie Fryde, The Tyranny and Fall of Edward II. A study of the last years of Edward II, and particularly of the
nasty doings of Eleanor's husband, Hugh le Despenser the younger.

 

Roy Martin Haines, King Edward II. The only recent scholarly biography of Edward II, this is a must-have for those doing serious research, but it presupposes a knowledge of the period. It helps to know a little Latin too.

 

J. S. Hamilton, Piers Gaveston. A well-written, scholarly account of the life of Edward II's first ill-fated favorite.

 

Harold Hutchison, Edward II. A fair-minded account of Edward II's reign written for a popular audience.

 

Hilda Johnstone, Edward of Carnarvon. A fascinating study of Edward II's life before he became king. Long out of print, this book is hard to find. If it ever gets on eBay, I'll snipe it!

 

Richard K. Morris and Ron Shoesmith, Tewkesbury Abbey: History, Art, and Architecture. A handsomely illustrated collection of essays on the abbey by specialists in their fields, including sections on the great families associated with the abbey, the abbey's stained-glass windows, and the tombs of Eleanor's husbands and descendants.

 

Ian Mortimer, The Greatest Traitor. A look at the life of Roger Mortimer, Queen Isabella's ambitious lover.
The author details his theory that Mortimer secretly kept Edward II alive.

 

Ian Mortimer, The Perfect King. A compelling new biography of Edward III.

 

W. Mark Ormrod, Edward III. Probably the definitive biography of Edward III, published in 2011.

 

Michael Packe, King Edward III. Published posthumously from the author's unfinished manuscript and notes,
this biography admirably fulfills its stated purpose of showing us the man behind the ruler.

 

Seymour Phillips, Edward II. A magisterial biography of Edward II (sadly, published after I wrote my novel).

 

Michael Prestwich, Edward I. A thorough, readable academic biography of Edward II's mighty father.

 

Michael Prestwich, Plantagenet England: 1225–1360. An excellent one-volume history that can be dipped into or read straight through.

 

Mary Saaler, Edward II. This should be used with caution, but the author does pull together information from a wide range of sources.

 

Frances Underhill, For Her Good Estate. Based on household records, this is a fascinating study of the life of Elizabeth de Burgh, Eleanor de Clare's youngest sister, a very wealthy, very charitable, and very tough noblewoman who tangled with Hugh le Despenser and who spent most of her long life as a widow administering her own estates.

 

Jennifer Ward, English Noblewomen in the Later Middle Ages. An essential book for those interested in the title subject, packed with useful information.

 

Alison Weir, Queen Isabella: Treachery, Adultery and Murder in Medieval England. (Published in the UK as Isabella: The She-Wolf of France, Queen of England.) A sympathetic look at Edward II's queen.

 

C. M. Woolgar, The Great Household in Late Medieval England. Based on records from several noble households, this is a treasure trove for anyone writing or reading about the period.

 

 


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