Did you spot the obvious typos in this? My apologies to Annie Garthwaite for getting her name wrong… Must have been the emotion of remembering her terrific story.


Before reading this book I was already aware that Cecily Neville – granddaughter of John of Gaunt and Katherine Swynford, the mistress who subsequently became his wife – was feisty enough to face down her enemies at the gates of Ludlow Castle, with her small children at her side. But I knew little else, except that she was wife to Richard, Duke of York, and mother to three famous (or infamous) sons: Edward IV, George Duke of Clarence, and Richard III.

Annie Garthwaite’s stunning new historical novel,CECILY, admirably fills the gaps, providing a vividly female perspective on the Wars of the Roses and showing how a determined woman could operate in a man’s world. Medieval women, we learn from Annie, especially those of the aristocracy, could be responsible for huge households and vast estates – “enterprises similar in complexity and size to mid-sized FTSE companies”. As if that weren’t…

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