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The University of Southampton
Lifelong Learning

The White Queen: Fact or Fiction? The Life and Times of Elizabeth Woodville

The Wars of the Roses, witchcraft and women are the subject of this course.

Portrait of Elizabeth Woodville
Portrait of Elizabeth Woodville

A number of novels have appeared recently on the subject of Elizabeth Woodville and her relationship with Edward IV and his family; most recently ‘The Cousins’ War’ trilogy, which has also been serialised on TV. This course will examine the reality behind these stories and place them into the context of the fifteenth century.

Over the twelve weeks, we will look at the origins of the Woodville family and their rise to prominence. Through the rise of this family, we will be able to explore social mobility and medieval views on marriage and witchcraft. As well as looking at the life of Elizabeth and her mother Jacquetta, we will also examine their contemporaries, for example Margaret Beaufort, George, duke of Clarence, Richard, duke of Gloucester and Richard, earl of Warwick. We will explore who amongst these individuals were considered friends or enemies of the Woodville family, and how the use of propaganda has coloured our perception of this renowned family.


Date: Thursday evenings, starting 6 February 2014
Time: 7 - 9 pm
Duration: 12 meetings


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