Nonfiction November Week 3: Be (and ask) the Expert

For Week 3 of Nonfiction November, the topic is as follows:

(Nov. 12 to 16) – Be The Expert/Ask the Expert/Become the Expert (hosted by Julie at JulzReads): Three ways to join in this week! You can either share three or more books on a single topic that you have read and can recommend (be the expert), you can put the call out for good nonfiction on a specific topic that you have been dying to read (ask the expert), or you can create your own list of books on a topic that you’d like to read (become the expert).

I haven’t really read enough non-fiction on any subject to be able to call myself an expert, but here are three books I have read about one of my favourite periods of history, the Wars of the Roses:

The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses and the Rise of the Tudors by Dan Jones

This is a sequel to Dan Jones’ previous book, The Plantagenets. The book covers the whole of the Wars of the Roses period, beginning with the marriage of Henry V and Catherine of Valois and ending with the reign of Henry VII. It’s both factual and entertaining, although I found it slightly biased towards the Lancastrian/Tudor side.

The Women of the Cousins’ War: The Duchess, the Queen and the King’s Mother by Philippa Gregory, David Baldwin and Michael Jones

A companion book to Philippa Gregory’s Cousins’ War series of novels. The book contains essays on three of the most important female historical figures of the period – one by Philippa Gregory on Jacquetta of Luxembourg, another by David Baldwin on Elizabeth Woodville and the final one by Michael Jones on Margaret Beaufort. It’s not necessary to have read the novels first.

Blood Sisters: The Women Behind the Wars of the Roses by Sarah Gristwood

Another non-fiction book that looks at the period from a female perspective. The seven women whose lives are covered in this book are: Margaret of Anjou, Cecily Neville, Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret of Burgundy, Anne Neville, Margaret Beaufort and Elizabeth of York.


Now I’m going to ‘Ask the Expert’…

Have you read any good nonfiction about the Wars of the Roses or any of the historical figures who lived during that time? I would love some recommendations!

26 thoughts on “Nonfiction November Week 3: Be (and ask) the Expert

  1. Carmen says:

    Wonderful post! 🙂 I’ll put all on my wishlist. I have the Plantagenets by Dan Jones on my TBR. I can’t say I have any book to recommend you on the topic. You’re clearly an expert. 😉

    • Helen says:

      I loved The Plantagenets, so I would be interested to know what you think of it. Dan Jones has written a few other books, on different historical subjects, which I would also like to read at some point.

  2. Margaret says:

    I haven’t read any nonfiction about the Wars of the Roses, so your post is very good for me! As you many remember I think Sharon Penman’s The Sunne in Splendour is excellent – and it made me want to read more about the period, so Dan Jones’ book looks just the right one for me.

    • Helen says:

      The Sunne in Splendour is one of my favourite historical fiction novels and I do remember that you enjoyed it too. If you want to try some nonfiction, I think the Dan Jones book would be a great one to start with.

  3. Brona says:

    No I don’t have any recommendations – I’ve been too caught up in the Tudors over the years to think about what came before! But I’ll share a site that Heather shared with me on my post about the French Revolution/Republic called
    It may or may not have stuff on this topic, but I’m already excited about the possibilities from my one quick foray so far.

    • Helen says:

      I enjoy reading about the Tudors, but I find the Plantagenets even more interesting, especially as they are not written about quite as often. Thanks for the link – that does look like an interesting site. I’ll have to explore when I have more time. 🙂

  4. Pam Thomas says:

    I haven’t read the Philippa Gregory book, but people I know who are experts on the period say she’s not particularly accurate.

    • Helen says:

      I’m sure she isn’t – although where Jacquetta of Luxembourg is concerned, I’ve never come across any other books about her to be able to compare. There are essays by two other historians in that book as well, though I don’t know what sort of reputation they have for accuracy either.

  5. The Paperback Princess says:

    My nonfiction reading comes in at the Tudors so I’m going to have to check these out! I’m currently making my way through The White Queen series based on Philippa Gregory’s books; watching a historical show like this always makes me want to read some nonfiction on the same.

  6. jessicabookworm says:

    I love the sound of all of these! The only non-fiction I’ve read about a figure from the War of the Roses is Elizabeth of York: The First Tudor Queen by Alison Weir, but I think you might have already read that.

  7. The Cozy Reading Nook says:

    I love this time period as well, but have never read anything about it that was nonfiction. I google things all the time while I’m reading to see if they really happened! But I should actually read a book about it- I’m going to take a look at these!

    • Helen says:

      I’m always googling as I read too, and am often surprised when things I’d assumed were fictional turn out to be real! I enjoyed reading all three of the books in my post, but I think the Dan Jones one would be a particularly good place to start.

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