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Really enjoyed this biography of one of England's lesser-known queens. Given the little material available Warner has done a great job of finding evidence of Philippa's life and personality:what comes through is a loving, dependable woman who enjoyed an unexpectedly close bond with her husband after their arranged marriage. I love the descriptions of her lavish spending and what must have been slightly embarrassing debts, her fortitude, accompanying her husband on his quest for the French crown, and the little details about her household and daily life that put some meat on the bones. I was also interested in the author's arguments about dates, siblings and critical analysis of other sources: I have to go away and amend my family tree of Philippa to remove the spurious William of Windsor.
My only criticism is that it is a little repetitive with the author not always trusting us to remember what she said a couple of pages earlier, and it would have been really helpful to have the dramatis personae in alphabetical order so I could find who I was looking for! Otherwise an excellent biography and I look forward to her treatment of Richard II.
Read this book in a matter of days. A very readable book on Philippa of Hainault, one of our longest reigning Queen Consorts. Despite this, very little is known about her early life which has led to much speculation. Kathryn Warner has as usual researched her subject meticulously and presents us with a much clearer portrait of Philippa. What stands out is the love and devotion of Philippa and Edward III's love for each other and their family. Also, how precarious life was in the 14th century, even for the royal family. The detailed research of Philippa's vast family makes for added interest.
I found this book rather uninteresting. It contained huge lists of relatives and was rather thin about the Queen herself. I persisted in reading it but will I read it again probably not. There was an article in the Economist which criticised academic historians and I think this is what they were referring to.
Having expected a great read, I found this book tedious in the extreme, and gave up reading it, after a couple of hundred pages. The author seems to think the general reader will be fascinated by all the facts she can muster, regardless of their relevance to the subject of the book, for whom there are apparently very few facts available! If you really want to read pages of lists of members of Philippa's extensive family who attended each occasion at which she herself was present, for instance, this is the book for you.