She-Wolves by Helen Castor
The Women Who Ruled England Before Elizabeth

67%

12 Critic Reviews

The greatest shortcomings of the book lie in the author's failure to balance her arguments or cite evidence.
-Guardian

Synopsis

“Helen Castor has an exhilarating narrative gift. . . . Readers will love this book, finding it wholly absorbing and rewarding.” —Hilary Mantel, Booker Prize-winning author of Wolf Hall 

In the tradition of Antonia Fraser, David Starkey, and Alison Weir, prize-winning historian Helen Castor delivers a compelling, eye-opening examination of women and power in England, witnessed through the lives of six women who exercised power against all odds—and one who never got the chance. Exploring the narratives of the Empress Matilda, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Isabella of France, Margaret of Anjou, and other “she-wolves,” as well as that of the Nine Days' Queen, Lady Jane Grey, Castor invokes a magisterial discussion of how much—and how little—has changed through the centuries. 

 

About Helen Castor

See more books from this Author
Helen Castor is a historian of medieval England and a fellow of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. Her last book, Blood and Roses, a biography of the fifteenth-century Paston family, was long-listed for the Samuel Johnson Prize in 2005 and won the English Association's Beatrice White Prize in 2006. She lives in London with her husband and son.
 
Published February 22, 2011 by HarperCollins e-books. 507 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for She-Wolves
All: 12 | Positive: 8 | Negative: 4

Kirkus

Good

An insightful look at issues still relevant today, related by an accomplished historian and storyteller.

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NY Times

Below average
on Feb 25 2011

A she-wolf? Hardly. In this sense, all of Castor’s royal women deliver less than her title promises.

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Guardian

Below average
on Nov 06 2010

The greatest shortcomings of the book lie in the author's failure to balance her arguments or cite evidence.

Read Full Review of She-Wolves: The Women Who Rul... | See more reviews from Guardian

Blog Critics

Below average
on Dec 28 2010

Castor can't really allow us to know these women as individuals, as living breathing creatures, her sources - scant sometimes even on the basic details of their location for years at a time - don't allow that.

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Financial Times

Excellent
on Oct 08 2010

Through the tales of her heroines Castor traces the background to this indictment...She skilfully combines this analysis with driving narratives, using vivid details from contemporary chronicles to bring those distant days alive.

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The Telegraph

Excellent
on Oct 19 2010

She-Wolves is a superb history of the powerful women who have surrounded England’s throne, combining blood-drenched drama, politics, sex and swordplay with scholarly analysis, sympathy for the plight of women and elegant writing.

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The Telegraph

Good
on Oct 17 2010

...this is doubtless a work of scholarly rigour and popular appeal, and as a tale of feisty women juggling personal relationships and public roles – with a great deal at stake – it is a story for our times.

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Dallas News

Good
on Mar 11 2011

She-Wolves will appeal to many readers, not just history buffs, and not just women — a book that compresses 400 years of medieval history, with all its color and romance and pageantry, into a bloody and unending scramble for real estate.

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Open Letters Monthly

Above average
on Apr 10 2011

She-Wolves is not a lightweight book, and it asks a certain dedication of the reader...

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Historical Novel Society

Above average

...it was a good read and certainly emphasised their role in the scheme of things in an age when man was the dominant head of all things – be it the throne of England or a humble cottage in the country.

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The Army Rumour Service

Good

It is a well written, well researched book which investigates a vast historical period. The writing style is light and easy to read making it an absorbing topic for a historical literature devotee.

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History Book Club

Above average

In She-Wolves, Helen Castor allows the reader to relive that moment, and all that led up to it.

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Reader Rating for She-Wolves
82%

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