Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Margaret Pole: Countess of Salisbury, 1473-1541

2003, 2009 University of Wales Press edition
Hazel Pierce
Margaret Pole: Countess of Salisbury, 1473-1541
Bought newish for unkown
Slightly worn paperback

This has some of the faults of other biographies of royal women, the main one being the complex one of never resolving the contradictions in personality and values of the subject, or really making her come alive to the modern reader.  It's a shame, because here's a woman who was not only the Countess of Salisbury in her own right, but niece to Edward IV and Richard III, godmother and governess to Mary I, and a very posthumously declared martyr of the Catholic Church.  Yet, Pierce crams the first three decades of Pole's life, up to her widowhood, into one chapter.  And she spends too much time on the lives of people who were only peripherally connected to Pole.  Still, there are enough nuggets worth digging out, such as Margaret's liking for black clothes and hiring of women estate officers, and her son Geoffrey's fondness of puns, that I can recommend this particularly to those with an interest in the sixteenth century.

This book finishes off a shelf, although as always, that's subject to future shifting.

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