Cover Image: Daughters of Edward I

Daughters of Edward I

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Member Reviews

Fascinating, enlightening and entertaining. Such rich detail and a knowledgeable foundation to spur the reader on to find out even more if they wish to. A big tick from me!
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Edward I and his wife Leonor had many children, sadly a lot did not survive infancy. This book focuses on the daughters who did; Eleanor of Bar, Joan of Acre, Margaret of Brabant, Mary of Woodstock, and Elizabeth of Rhuddlan. The daughters of Edward I is a brilliant narrative of not only the lives of the daughters but also the events occurring in England at the time. The daughters lived different lives, from taking the veil to moving abroad to marry and Warner discusses events that impacted them and their children.
I loved the story of Mary, the daughter who became a nun but continued to live a pretty independent life, leaving the Abbey when she wished and visiting family. Joan of Acre was also independent and was not afraid to do as she wished and face the wrath of her father. The sisters clearly had a solid, close relationship all evidenced through Warner's meticulous research. 

As someone trying to branch out on my history this was invaluable. I found it extremely interesting to read about the affection Edward I showed his daughters, it is a shame the same could not be said on all accounts of Edward II to his sisters and their children. I would have loved to know the sisters thoughts on Hugh Despenser but unfortunately we don't know. 

There are many Edwards and Eleanor's in this book but it's not as confusing as may be expected as Warner does a great job of clarifying who's who. Warner notes that if Edward I son Alfonso had survived it would have become a popular name so we'd be reading about many Alfonso's today. 

If you are looking to learn about these women and their relationships then this book is perfect but I'd also recommend to those wishing to read more about Edward I and his son Edward II. 

Warner has a great easy to read writing style so whilst this is nonfiction it's not difficult to get stuck in to.
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I want to thank Netgalley and the author for gifting me the ebook! I loved this book! Such history! I was so excited to receive this book due to I just love everything about this time in history. I am trying to branch out and wanted to learn more about Edward I etc.
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*3.5 stars*

Detailed and interesting…

Every time I read more about the English monarchy it stills amazes me the complicated relationships and ties that bind them together. While this book focuses on the daughters of King Edward it doesn’t stop there. Where did they fit into the larger family? To answer that was to find out how their father, Edward, became king and how his wife Leonor fit into the politics of the age. Their brother Edward II was an integral part of the journey as well.

This book was full of names, dates, and points of history that painted a detailed picture of the time and the royalty that lived it. Each daughter had their spotlight, with much gleaned from the sometimes limited information available. Their marriages, their children, their personalities were relayed in a writing style that painted of a picture of who they were. And who they were showed them as real people in changing times and extraordinary family…

I admit to being on overload at times with the sheer amount of information being presented but, read over a number of sittings, I came away with a much clearer picture of the people they were.
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Kathryn Warner's overview of the daughters of Edward I of England and Leonor of Castile is a small masterpiece of research. 

The unfortunate reality is that very little about these women has survived the test of time, not to mention what few things were officially recorded during their actual lifetime. What I did appreciate, however, was Warner's ability to bring these women to life in very human ways that attested to their interpersonal relationships as well as their role in politics. Even noting what information has and hasn't survived was a learning experience. The past is never fully preserved, and I really appreciated how Warner brought that out by showing us how much we could distill from even small pieces of history.

Recommended to anyone who wants to brush up on a post-Prince John and Richard the Lionheart England, history enthusiasts, and people who would like to know more about the mysterious Middle Ages (which honestly deserve more attention).

Thank you to Netgalley and Pen & Sword for sending me a free eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you Netgalley and Pen & Sword for access to this arc. 

It was the cover that snagged my attention and made me realize that I didn’t know much (beyond Edward II’s disastrous reign) about the family of the “Hammer of the Scots.” After reading this book I can say I learned some things but upon reflection, not nearly what I’d hoped.

First we started off with Edward I’s marriage to his Spanish bride Leonor (or Eleanore or any number of medieval versions of her name, all of which we’ll be shown). In order to understand how significant it was, three or four pages of European royal lineages, marriage, intermarriage, etc. are covered. This should have been my warning as after two or three pages, my eyes were crossing. Soooooo many royals with the same first names from countries and duchies that no longer exist. I pity any clerk who had to try and keep track of it all or the Pope who was (often) called upon to hand out dispensations before marriages. It’s six degrees of separation, medieval style.

As I kept reading, it began to become clear that as these people lived 700+ years ago, when women weren’t considered very important anyway, there wasn’t a whole lot of information about them beyond birth, marriage, pregnancies, and death. The lists of children along with their birth – and all too often early – death dates showed the horrific infant mortality rates then, even for royalty.

Royal marriages were important chess moves of alliances and counter alliances. These were often contracted while the bride and groom in question were still infants. The various ones that Edward I was considering for his children were discussed complete with the family history of the proposed groom (which was most often the case as more of his daughters survived to marriageable age) along with the clauses of the marriage contracts. After slogging through a few of these, I realized that in many cases there was no need for me to try and remember these people or why this alliance might be important as in many cases it would then be revealed that said potential bride or groom (or in some cases both of them) died as infants, toddlers, or children. With macabre humor I began to wonder out loud, “Will this one survive to the altar?”

Once Edward’s children actually did exchange vows, for the daughters it became one pregnancy after another with the exception of the daughter (Margaret) and her husband who apparently disliked each other enough that only one child was born and no other pregnancies were recorded. She’s also the one who survived longest. Trying to keep up with all the babies was hopeless as many were named after parents and grandparents with the result that they all began to blur in my memory.

Yet there were a few instances when the personalities of Edward’s and Leonor’s daughters came through. Mainly this was Joan as she seemed to be a firecracker of a woman, unafraid to stand up to her father’s temper. There were also signs of how much Edward genuinely appeared to love his daughters as well as that he thought highly of their abilities. Before one marriage (actually Joan’s first one) the groom was required to swear an oath that basically meant that should Edward not be survived by any sons, his daughters were – in order of birth – to inherit the kingdom (something that was by no means a done deal then) and this powerful son-in-law would support this. Edward I had a younger brother who had sons. Edward could have said, “Nope, Edmund’s gonna get the crown” but he didn’t.

I so wished that there was more detail known about these women than has been recorded or survived. They sound as if they were intelligent, strong, determined people who didn’t always cave to authority. Joan was definitely a “pedal to the floor and damn the brakes” woman. It is, however, what it is. The book is obviously well researched but at times fairly dry and after a while, reading essentially the same things over and over, along with some pointless inclusions of information about people who then played no lasting role in these women’s lives, got tiring. C
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While The Daughters of Edward I focuses the lives of Edward I daughters, the book gives a look at the royal family from the marriage of the future Edward I and  Eleanor of Castile to the early reign of Edward III. Even though they were daughters of one king and sister to another not as much is known about the sisters as there is about their father and brother. Warner did a wonderful job of researching the material. It is a little dry in places, but still an interesting read. 

I was kindly provided an e-copy of this book by the publisher and/or author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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It starts off and has continued information of Edward and wife but does have a good chunk of the book about his daughters. Good it is a collective book about them and not about an individual daughter.
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Kathryn Warner did her usual meticulous research to write Daughters of Edward I.    This book is jam packed with information, and brings to life the lives of women who are typically overlooked once they were married.  An excellent resource.
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I have been reading this alongside Elizabeth Chadwick’s ‘A Marriage of Lions’.  A very useful and informative history of these women.  Probably not the sort of book to keep on the bedside table.  Can be quite heavy going in places as it is stuffed full of knowledge.  Thanks to NetGalley.
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A VERY scholarly, well researched book. But, too much for my casual history interest. I had to quit/surrender and didn't finish it. Recommended for serious collections and readers.
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Really enjoyed this! No matter how many books I read about English history, there are always new fascinating stories to unearth. This book humanized the characters and provided glimpses into daily life in medieval Europe. A reexamination of the daughters of Edward I is both timely and appreciated. I'll be recommending this one!
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I appreciate the author's purpose here, to shed more light on women of the middle ages who deserve the spotlight every bit as much as their fathers, sons, brothers, uncles, and nephews. I have many of her other titles on my TBR and plan to read them in due time.

Even so, something about this one did not work as well for me as I hoped it would. Still, it's not a terrible book at all. It is a decent addition to the plethora of work we currently have on the period.

I do know quite a bit about their parents, Edward I and his beloved wife Leonor of Castile. Their story is one that is not all that common in the middle ages - a marriage that truly seemed to be one of love and partnership. Altogether the couple had fourteen children, possibly fifteen even, but only six survived childhood. Five of those six were daughters...and then there's Edward II.

Side note - I feel bad for Edward II. He wasn't really cut out to be king. He was much more content hanging out with regular people, doing regular non-royal things. And how can one possibly expect to live up to the legacy of their father, when said father is Edward I, if they're not ready of the job anyway? It helped him in no way with the attention he gave his favorites, but I really wish he had just been allowed to go on his merry way and not be king; his rumored violent death was unnecessary.

Now, onto the stars of the show.

There's Eleanor of Bar, Joan of Acre, Margaret of Brabant, Mary of Woodstock, and Elizabeth of Rhuddlan.

Each woman shines on her own as we meet these five independent and sometimes headstrong women who at times defied expectations and made decisions for themselves. Not always, and we are not talking about some secret feminist manifesto here, but at various times in their lives each showed she was more than capable of taking her life in her own hands to decide what she wanted.

I'm personally partial to Mary, who was forced into a nunnery, but often left because she wanted to. While it was practical for large families with many daughters to send a few to nunneries, Mary was not always so keen on the idea. She did her duty as a daughter of a king, but she also managed to be true to herself as she travelled around the country.

I'm also keen on Joan, who defied her father by choosing her second husband for herself and even marrying him in secret. The secret was necessary due to the fact that he was no where near her social equal - a squire in Edward I's household. Edward was busy arranging her second marriage, no idea that she was already married. She knew she was in big trouble, so naturally she sent her children to visit him, in order to soften him up before she broke the news. It didn't work and instead landed her second husband in prison. Over time Edward relented for a couple reasons. Firstly because Joan was pregnant and there was no going back. Secondly, and more importantly to me, was Joan's statement on love and marriage...

"It is not considered ignominious, nor disgraceful, for a great earl to take a poor and mean woman to wife; neither, on the other hand, is it worthy of blame, or too difficult a thing for a countess to promote to honor a gallant youth."

The book is incredibly thorough and well-researched. The main issue for me was that is sometimes got repetitive. Someone already introduced would be introduced again later. On the other hand, for those who are less familiar with people of the period, this might have been useful in order to keep track of everyone.

That leads to my second issue - everyone under the sun was included, even more distant relatives who were not necessary in the telling of the lives of these women, seeing as how they're the ones the book is supposed to be about. And it is, don't get me wrong. I personally could have done without the extras.

I did enjoy seeing the daughters "grow" so to speak, and how their lives changed throughout not only their father's reign, but that of their brother's and then their nephew's. Seeing how they stayed connected, or didn't, was fascinating. All the while we are also given glimpses of the marriage and lives of Edward and Leonor, which I loved as well.

There is a lot of information here, especially given the period's penchant for husbands dying young, so multiple marriages abound - thus, so do many, many children. The author includes a sort of who's who at the end of the text, including who married who and when, which would be useful in a hardcopy so as to flip back and forth as needed.

Overall this is a valuable contribution, even if at times a bit bogged down by the monotony of birth, marriage, death; wash, rinse, repeat. Even so, the author brings the women to life and we are given another glimpse of a world long gone.

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The future King of England married a Spanish princess to create an alliance between the two countries through their children. This may sound like the marriage of Henry VIII and his brother’s widow Katherine of Aragon. However, this story is much older and the happy couple was Edward I and Leonor of Castile. Unlike the Tudor match, Edward and Leonor have numerous children, including Edward’s heir who would one day become Edward II, whose story has been told in various ways. The stories that Kathryn Warner has chosen to focus upon in her latest book, “Daughters of Edward I”, are the princesses who tend to be hidden behind their brother’s legacy. 

I would like to thank Pen and Sword Books and NetGalley for sending me a copy of this book. I have read a few books by Kathryn Warner in the past and I have enjoyed them in the past for their complex nature. I enjoy a challenge and when I heard about this book, I knew I wanted to give it a shot. I, unfortunately, was not familiar with these princesses before partaking in this new adventure, so I was excited to hear their stories for the first time.

Edward I and Leonor of Castile had around fourteen children, but only six lived into adulthood; their heir Edward II and his five sisters. The names of the sisters were Eleanor of Windsor, Joan of Acre, Margaret of Brabant, Mary of Woodstock, and Elizabeth of Rhuddlan. Their marriages and children, except for Mary of Woodstock who would become a reluctant nun, would connect the Plantagenet bloodline to some of the most important families in England and beyond. When it comes to the marriages of the sisters, they tend to follow the counsel of the crown, except for Joan of Acre who chose to follow her heart and marry a man who she loved for her second marriage.

Warner’s specialty is unraveling the convoluted nature of certain family trees to uncover members who tend to slip into the shadows of the past. She explores the sisters’ relationships with their father Edward I, their brother Edward II, their nephew who would become Edward III, as well as the families that were essential to understanding England during the 13th century. I will admit that I did find myself using the lists in the back that gave brief descriptions of the daughters and their children as I was getting a tad confused on who was who and their relationship to others. However, I am really glad that Warner included that resource as it added something to this book. 

Warner has taken on the difficult task of trying to uncover the stories of the daughters of Edward I and Leonor of Castile and has given readers a resource that can prove valuable in understanding this complex family dynamic. There were parts where the writing was a touch dry for my taste, but overall I found it a stimulating reading and that is because of the laborious research that Warner partook to tell their tales and the tales of their descendants. If you want a  meticulously researched resource that tells the stories of women who knew Edward I, Edward II, and Edward III well, “Daughters of Edward I” by Kathryn Warner is the perfect book for you to add to your collection.
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This was a well-researched book, and I enjoyed reading about the details of medieval life. Although some of Edward 1's daughters led interesting lives, such as Mary, the reluctant nun, and Joan of Acre, who defied her father with a secret marriage, the others were a bit dull. Little was known about them, although they were close to their parents, and brother.

I thought that the parents of the girls, Edward 1 and Eleanor, who shared a great love story, were much more interesting! I also found the book had a lot of characters, and it all got a bit confusing, and dry at times. However, this book certainly made me more interested in Eleanor of Castile, so I may read about her next!

I received this free ebook from NetGalley in return for an honest review.

EDITION	Hardcover
ISBN	9781526750273
PRICE	£25.00 (GBP)
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This book is packed full of information, starting with a practically unheard of happy marriage between Edward I and his wife, Leonor. It was interesting to learn about their children, particularly the daughters in such detail as their influence was relatively unheard of at the time. 
I found myself having to re-read paragraphs a few times to get my head around names, dates etc. however the family trees at the opening were incredibly useful to me.
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Thoroughly enjoyed this fascinating family history.  As Warner says early on in her book, the chronicles are often silent on the lives of medieval women. Even female royalty are passed over in scant references to their dates of marriage, offspring and death. This book wonderfully fills in the blanks in the map, in giving the reader a portrait of each of the daughters of Edward I.
Following her tremendous biography of Edward II, Warner turns her attention to his sisters, and the result is a frequently moving and revelatory family chronicle. Edward I and his Queen Leonor seem to have had a very close relationship with their daughters, and I was often surprised by their remarkably permissive interactions - such as the King paying off his daughter's gambling debts! 
Highly recommend this book for those interested in medieval history, these women deserve to be remembered not only as the ancestors of Henry V, Richard III and Margaret of Anjou, but as vital and varied characters living in a time of cultural upheaval.
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This book is about more than just the daughters of Edward I. With the information presented, you can dive into the web of the royal family - the who's who of the time. 

Kathryn Warner did a great job of bringing as much information as she could about the five daughters of Edward I, and their ups and downs throughout life.

I enjoyed reading through this book!
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A history book that is centered around the children of Edward I, while describing an intricate web of royal families and the nobility of the 13th and 14th centuries. An informative and well-researched read, split into easy-to-digest chapters. Whenever the author is discussing a person, she gives context and interpretation, which allows you to see the big picture of who is related to whom throughout Europe.
Despite being hopeless at history myself, I truly enjoyed this.
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I don't know about this one.There just wasn't a lot of narrative more birth,marriage and death dates than anything else.It was pretty confusing but thankfully there was a glossary at the back detailing who was who.There were lots of discussions about extended relatives as well.Not sure why the author chose to add everyone these daughters could have possibly been related to.I was more focused on who they were and their stories but sadly there wasn't much of that in here.Still good for reference though which I would do.
Much thanks to Netgalley for sending me a copy in exchange for my honest review.
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