Elizabeth Woodville (or Widville, as used by the author of this book) was Queen of England as the wife of King King Edward IV of England during turbulent times. As a slightly older widow with two sons already and a Lancastrian background, she was seen as an unsuitable match for the Yorkist King. Nevertheless, they married – despite him perhaps having already married someone else – and she was introduced to the court as the new King. Over the years, as Edward’s fortunes went up and down, Elizabeth gave birth to several children, including the Princes in the Tower and Elizabeth of York, whose marriage to Henry Tudor would eventually unite the warring houses.
Elizabeth Widville, Lady Grey: Edward IV’s Chief Mistress and the ‘Pink Queen’ by John Ashdown-Hill is the latest book on Elizabeth Woodville, and I could already tell from the title that it was going to be an interesting one. The use of the name ‘Widville’ and the use of the word ‘mistress’ in the title already suggested to me that the author did not particularly like the subject. The disdain for Elizabeth simply drips off the pages, and I often found myself rolling my eyes as the author referenced himself. Truth be told, there are more objective books out there.
John Ashdown-Hill has written 14 books, and this one would be his last. He passed away of motor neurone disease on 18 May 2018. He was heavily involved in finding the remains of King Richard III.