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That's What She Read

She-Wolves: The Women Who Ruled England Before Elizabeth

She-Wolves: The Women Who Ruled England Before Elizabeth - Helen Castor She-Wolves is for all of those who ever wondered why Edward's death threw the country into such turmoil. It showcases the world in which Mary I and Elizabeth I were raised and which prejudices they had to overcome to keep the country stable. In so doing, Ms. Castor is able to showcase four strong, amazing women who also overcame prejudices and gained power in their own ways.Split into sections devoted to each of the women, Ms. Castor takes the reader through the rise and fall of each woman. It allows the reader to put other, more well-known British kings into context, connecting the Tudor dynasty with that of the Plantagenet and the Lancaster dynasties. Unfortunately, some of the women portrayed are more compelling than the others, making those chapters much more enjoyable. The inconsistency between the chapters makes the reading jagged and uneven at times. Given how interesting they are and how engaging the strong chapters are, it is easier for the reader to notice the weaker ones, for which a reader cannot help but be disappointed.The histories of each woman are well-researched. Ms. Castor presents each woman's history along with background information on the social and political contexts each woman had to face. Well-written and carefully plotted, the weaknesses in certain chapters are more an issue of the subject matter and not any fault of the author. She executes all chapters in a straightforward, unbiased manner that definitely helps offset any shortcomings as much as possible.She-Wolves is a well-executed, thorough collection. The women all deserve their own chance to shine, and Ms. Castor gives them that opportunity. History buffs will appreciate this introduction to four extremely interesting precursors to Mary I and Elizabeth I, and Tudor fans will enjoy the chance to expand their knowledge on this infamous family.