19 December 2021

Book Review: Philippa of Hainault: Mother of the English Nation, by Kathryn Warner


Available from Amazon UK and Amazon US

This is the first full-length biography of Philippa of Hainault since 1910, and explains how fourteen-year-old Philippa who successfully turned an arranged marriage to her fifteen-year-old second cousin Edward III in 1326 into a successful partnership which changed the course of British History.

Philippa was pregnant with her first child, Edward of Woodstock, (later known as 'The Black Prince') when she was crowned at Westminster in 1330, and it seems she was never far from the side of the king, and took an active interest in the politics of the time.  

I particularly like the little details, such as how Philippa's accounts show the cost of repairing a bedspread which had been chewed by her dogs, and that she owned four crowns, studded with jewels.

Philippa acted as regent of England during the king's absence  in 1346, and sent an army against an attempted invasion by the Scots at the Battle of Neville's Cross, rallying the troops on horseback.

Philippa and Edward III had thirteen children, including five sons who survived into adulthood, although three of their children died of the Black Death in 1348. 

Kathryn Warner's insightful research and thought-provoking analysis brings the world of Philippa to life, and this is a book i'm happy to recommend.

Tony Riches

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About the Author

Kathryn Warner grew up in the Lake District in the north-west of England, and gained a BA and an MA with Distinction in medieval history and literature from the University of Manchester. She is a specialist in the history of the fourteenth century and has been researching and writing about Edward II's reign since 2004, and have run a blog about him since December 2005.  Find out more at Kathryn's blog and find her on Twitter @RoyneAlianore

See Also:

Blood Roses: The Houses of Lancaster and York before the Wars of the Roses, by Kathryn Warner

Richard II: A True King's Fall, by Kathryn Warner  

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