Alison Weir: Katherine Swynford The Story of John of Gaunt and His Scandalous Duchess



I read this hoping to get a clearer picture of Katherine Swynford of Katherine by Anysa Seton fameI nded up with a much clearer sense of John of Gaunt Henry IV and Edward III Which is fine but not what was intendedSo do I recommend it If you have an interest in this particular period of history this may Gangbang Slut either augment knowledge you already have or give a starting point If you re looking for the definitive story of Katherine Swynford I doubt that such a book can now be written It s a pity the snippets of history we have indicate that she was a fascinating woman This is biography done the old fashioned way tracking downvery trace of a record and pursuing One Con Glory every obscure sideline Weir tells the story of Katherine Swynford c 1350 1403 who had a long affair with John of Gaunt a younger son of King Edward III and ultimately married him when they were both well into middle age no pun intended This was a brazen love match in a century when marriage was strictly for political and financial gain and no onexpected it to have anything to do with affection Even unusually Katherine and John s four bastard children were later legitimized Katherine s descendants were major players in the War of the Roses became the Stuart and Tudor dynasties and the the ancestors of Defying Shadows (Rising Shadows every British monarch since 1461 This is very readable and it s a nice overview of the life and times of Katherine Swynford Her story is fascinating but I must say that Anya Seton s popular novel Katherine is a satisfying read for all its inaccuraciesApparently very little is actually known about Katherine and this biography seems to be mostly derived from the surviving records of gifts that were granted to her and her family by various people primarily John of Gaunt The book is a constant stream of guesswork Katherine perhaps lived here in this year and she probably had her third or maybe fourth child in this year and she might have been doing such and such in this place at this time Weir This is overall a very satisfying book The author Alison Weir takes what scraps of information we have about Katherine Swynford and creates what is at least a plausible tale of her life and times In addition we get a detailed portrait of her lover and later husband John of Gaunt son of a king and father of kings Indeed their liaison produced several lines of rulers York Lancaster Tudor and StuartStewart Indeed the last paragraph of the book notes theven remarkable descendants of the two focal figures in this book ueen Elizabeth II Diana Princess of Wales and most monarchs in Europe today George Washington Thomas Jefferson John uincy Adams Franklin Roosevelt George W Bush Winston Churchill Alfred Lord Tennyson Bertrand Russell and othersWeir seems careful to separate what is speculation and what is known about Katherine The Great Orange Leonard Scandal (Tall Tales Series; 4) eg she speculates that Katherine might have been in the royal court and might have met some future associates at that time The context of the times is well described so thatven thought details are scarce on Katherine the context in which she lives is richly depicted Katherine herself comes off well as a character Weir speculates that she might have been the model for one virtuous woman in Chaucer s The Canterbury Tales Chaucer was her brother in law Katherine wed Hugh Swynford who served as a soldier in the king s army and was often away for long periods of time As were most marriages of the time this was of a business deal than an Tangled Webs (The Black Jewels, exemplification of love Indeed the record is unclear as to whether or not Katherine was happy with her husband After having lived at court for a lengthy time it must have been disheartening for her when she saw the rather plain housing into which she moved upon marriageThen there is the twinned story of John of Gaunt He was an important figure in royal circles He married Blanche of Lancaster and oddnough for the time they were truly in love with one another His story details his role in English politics and international politics as well as his life with Blanche One of their sons became Henry IV succeeded by Henry V and the hapless Henry VI Upon Blanche s untimely death he married Constance of Castile their daughter later married the King of Castile After his marriage to Constance and after the death of Hugh Swynford Katherine became his mistress for some time they may have separated at one point She bore him out of wedlock it goes without saying four children from those children came the Stuart kings Scotland the House of Tudor and the Yorkist 'Weir combines high drama with high passion while involving us in the domestic life of a most remarkable woman in an A Fairly Honourable Defeat eually remarkable book' Scotland on Sunday The first full length biography of anxtraordinary love affair between one of the most important men of English History and a thoroughly modern womanKatherine Swynfo.

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Er plods through the intrigues of Katherine s time If you re curious about Katherine it s worth the speed read treatment If not Weir s other books are supposedly far better written I am a huge fan of Alison Weir Her writing style is Elisabeth Shue 135 Success Facts - Everything You Need to Know about Elisabeth Shue engaging and friendly and it is obvious she knows her way around the contemporary historical texts concerning her subjects However this biography of Katherine Swynford n de Ro t Duchess of Lancaster shows without a doubt Weir s talents as a historical researcher assiduously checking and cross checking The Man Without a Face everything available to her in order to get as close to the truth as possibleMuch about Katherine s life must be construed from a tiny handful of documents and without a vast knowledge of the customs and s of the period a biographer would be totally at sea Weir s conclusions are carefully outlined and logical and she takes pains to address and refute if necessary the conclusions come to by otherarlier chroniclers Katherine sits at the root of a large genealogical tree and the influence of her relationship with John of Gaunt had ramifications on late 14th century English culture and continues to influence Anglo American culture literature and politics today But so little is known of her Her will does not survive but we know she made one no letters in her hand survive but we know she was highly Happy Easter, Mouse! (If You Give...) educated and most likely incredibly literate for her day and there are no contemporary likenesses of her left to us Her children those legitimate from her first marriage and those made legitimate after her marriage to their father the Duke of Lancaster playednormous roles in shaping 14th 15th and 16th century England with her blood continuing to run in the veins of the present English monarchs John of Gaunt has been called the grandfather of Europe for the descendants of his three wives married in to practically Gone (Gone, every ruling house in Europe from Portugal England s oldest standing alliance thank you John of Gaunt to Germany Ever heard of Geoffrey Chaucer Say thank you to Katherine he was her brother in law and attained much of his fame through obliue preferment by John and other members of the royal family who held Katherine in highsteem and sought her favor or the Duke s by promoting her relativesAnd yet Katherine was practically Threads Of The Shroud expunged from the rolls of history within a generation of her death and she is almost a total unknown today We ve all heard of Henry VIII Katherine of Aragon Elizabeth the First Mary ueen of Scots and Isabella of Castile who commissioned Christopher Columbus to sail west from Europe in search of a new route to the Indies many are familiar with the suspicious death of Richard II with Henry the Navigator and the Wars of the Roses or know the significance of the marriage of Henry Tudor and Elizabeth of York But very very few can name the man and the woman from whom all of this sprangIt is about time and I think the culture is right for such anxcellent biography of Katherine Swynford to be brought forward She was the daughter of a humble Hainaultier knight but she rose to be the second lady in the land second only to the ueen of England and her children grandchildren and great grandchildren to the nth degrees became towering figures of English history continuing to shape the modern world The story of her love affair with the powerful Duke of Lancaster is almost All Seated on the Ground exactly the story of another royal love affair a modern day one and like Weir I will gracefully avoid pointing fingers but as Weir does I shall uote the late ueen Mum Men of title and privilege simply do not marry their mistresses Such a marriage as John and Katherine had one made for love after thend of a marriage made for political and dynastic reasons specially when the groom was such a powerful wealthy influential man and a good catch and the bride relatively low born though xtremely well bred Even in our own time such marriage would cause comment if such a man married such a woman his long time mistress for love I picked up a book thinking huh Christmas present for my mother and then somehow it was gone 1 in the morning and I m still readingitI read the Anya Seton book and I knew it probably wasn t uite like that so when I saw a book on Katherine Swinford I may have pounced on it I have mixed feelings about itAlison Weir takes a very small amount of cloth and cuts an Wiring exceedingly large coat from it The cultural and political stuff is fascinating I remembernough from socio Against All Odds economic history of the middle ages that this Weir has triumphantly rescued Katherine from the footnotes of history highlighting her key dynastic position within the English monarchy She was the mother of the Beaufort then the ancestress of the Yorkist kings the Tudors the Stuarts andvery other sovereign since a prodigious legacy that has shaped the history of Britai.

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Ings Plantagenets Edward IV and Richard III In an Jingling Daddys Bells BDSM Menage extraordinary twist of history one of the daughters of Edward IV Elizabeth married the first Tudor King Henry VII After Constance s death Katherine wed John and they lived as husband and wife for the few year together left themThis is a fast moving story covering an important part of English history Weir as best she can given limited information brings the different characters to life as much as possible under those circumstances I found this a fascinating book it is well sritten And the genealogical tables at thend were absolutely vital for keeping the players straight the notables include The Roet family Katherine s ancestors and her siblings the descendants of Edward III including John of Gaunt the House of Lancaster the Swynford family the Chaucer family and the Beauforts descendants of John and Katherine including Stuarts Tudors and Plantagenets I m about fifty pages in and while I m fascinated by the subject Anya Seton s Katherine was one of the first historical romances I The DOS ever read along withverything by Thomas B Costain the writing in this book is so sloppy and pedestrian I m having difficulty continuing to read it Was there no Against All Odds editor involved in the publication of this book For crying out loudI wish Marion Meade had written the bio of Katherine Swynford SighUpdate on 426 I stuck with it because Katherine is a fascinating character but this book does not serve her well Or at all Never would have made it to thend if it hadn t been for the subject matter Bad writing bad Sleep, Circadian Rhythms, and Metabolism editing the people written about have all the life o I ve been reading Alison Weir s history books since 1992 as her topicsncompass the historical periods I ve been interested in for a long time now I m always impressed with her insights usually Treasons, Stratagems, And Spoils each book has a fresh persuasive reinterpretation of some long held belief and her clarity I thought The Wars of the Roses would bore me in its details but I couldn t have been wrong Here I have to say there were times when I was bored but that was no fault of the author s writing or of her research which always seems to be impeccable or of her subjectxcept the inescapable fact that there s just not a lot of primary records on Katherine to be found which the author admits straight off so unavoidably a lot of inferences are made which is not a problem in and of itself Payment Due except her conclusions get repetitive after only a short whileWhile I am very interested in this time period and this woman and I did love Anya Seton s novel Katherine when I read it way back in the 80s I think this biography is only worth the time for those who arextremely interested in this time period andor this woman So who was Katherine Swynford Most have never heard the name before She was the daughter of a page from Hainault who arrived in England under the service of ueen Philippa of Hainault wife of Edward III She was brought up in the royal household of Edward Philippa married a knight one Hugh SwynfordShe became the mistress and later wife of John of Gaunt Ghent Here is 14th century scandal However at the courts of Edward III later Richard II she was highly thought of Geoffrey Chaucer was her brother in lawAlison Weir s Vampireville (Vampire Kisses, expert research pulls Katherine from the mists of history to tell a story that reads like a novel Her genealogy is part of Elizabeth II and nearlyvery monarch in Europe Five American presidents George Washington Thomas Jefferson John uincy Adams Franklin DRoosevelt George WBush Sir Winston Churchill Alfred Lord Tennyson Bertrand Russell I think veryone who has read this me included was drawn to Katherine s story after reading Anya Seton s novel While this book contains a few interesting illuminations into this fascinating 14th century woman so little is known and that fact is reflected in the construction of the book If you take out all the repetitions I think it would be a third of its current length how many times were we told that her petitions for a private altar showed her piety and that the petitions were granted spoke highly of how the church viewed her in spite of her relationship with John of Gaunt Or that the two stayed in contact for the sake of their children or or or And if you take out the speculation there d be almost nothing left The book is far about the better documented people she associated withBill Bryson s book on Shakespeare faced similar documentation problems yet he turned it into a delightful romp through Elisabethan London This one rath. Rd was first the mistress and later the wife of John of Gaunt the Duke of Lancaster Her charismatic lover was one of the most powerful princes of the fourteenth century and Katherine was renowned for her beauty and regarded as nigmatic intriguing and ven dangerous by some of her contemporariesIn this impressive book Alison.

Librarian Note There is than one author in the GoodReads database with this nameAlison Weir is a British writer of history books for the general public mostly in the form of biographies about British kings and ueens and of historical fiction Before becoming an author Weir worked as a teacher of children with special needs She received her formal training in history at teacher training