Joanna, Margaret, Mary and Elizabeth, were the daughters of Edward I, who reigned from 1239 to1307. The traditional view of medieval royal princesses is of quiet young ladies, tending to their needlework, participating in royal pageantry dressed in beautiful silks and velvets, fading into the background and not really doing very much except producing children (preferably males). Not these young ladies. They were well educated and strong willed. They did, of course, make dynastic marriages, endowed religious houses, participated in the pomp and circumstance, but they also were able to influence a husband, and even occasionally defy the king. The survival of the Wardrobe Book for the children’s household allowed a wonderful look into the life of the royal nursery. Many other records still exist, including bills that were paid for jewels, silks and other finery, food that was ordered, horses and carts, builders of castles. All of these records gave the author the ability to recreate the lives of the royals in great detail, to bring these women to life. The illustrations that precede each chapter are a wonderful bonus. This was a lively and interesting book, and I enjoyed it very much.
eGalley review Publication date 10.1.19