King Edward I of England, who ruled from 1272 until 1307, went on to father many children with two wives. His first wife, Eleanor of Castile, bore the majority of his children, fourteen or perhaps even as much as sixteen. Of these five daughters and one son, the future King Edward II, survived to adulthood. He had a further two sons with his second wife, Margaret of France.
The daughters of Edward I by Kathryn Warner focuses on the daughters of his first marriage. These are Eleanor, later Countess of Bar, Joan, later Countess of Hertford and Countess of Gloucester, Margaret, later Duchess of Brabant, Mary, who became a nun, and Elizabeth, later Countess of Holland and Countess of Hereford.
The trouble with writing about women during this time is that, quite often, the information simply does not exist. Often birthdays weren’t recorded, nor were the dates of death. This makes piecing their lives together very difficult. Kathryn Warner still manages to do this nicely for Edward’s daughters, with the limited information available. I enjoyed reading the bit about how serious thought was given to female succession, as many of Edward and Eleonor’s sons did not survive to adulthood. It did become a little confusing later in the book when grandchildren through his daughters came into play, and you have to keep focussed on keeping them all apart.
Overall, I’d say this book is a wonderful addition to any royal library as it fills in a gap in history.