Cecily Bonville-Grey - Marchioness of Dorset
The life and times of Cecily Bonville-Grey - Marchioness of Dorset.
Cecily Bonville-Grey was one of the richest women of her time, inheriting the Harington and Bonville fortunes as a young child. In 1474, at the age of fifteen, she married Thomas Grey, the eldest son of Elizabeth Woodville from her first marriage to Sir John Grey. When Thomas was created Marquis of Dorset a year later, Cecily became the Marchioness of Dorset alongside him. During her lifetime she was connected to many of the fifteenth and sixteenth century personalities that we read about today. Her stepfather was William, Lord Hastings, her mother-in-law Elizabeth Woodville, the White Queen. Her mother was a daughter of the great Neville family and her uncle was the Earl of Warwick, also known as the ‘kingmaker’ having assisted his cousin, Edward IV, in his path to the throne. Her second husband was a son of the ancient Stafford family and Lady Jane Grey was a direct descendant of hers. During the Wars of the Roses and the emergence of the new Tudor dynasty, Cecily was witness to many of the events that unfolded and her own story is intertwined with many of these events. Yet she remains relatively unknown. This is Cecily’s story.
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Book: Cecily Bonville-Grey-Marchioness of Dorset: From Riches to Royalty Author: Sarah J. Hodder Rating: 4 Out of 5 Stars I would like to thank the publisher, Chronos Books, for providing me with a finished copy of the book. I have read another book by this author and really enjoyed it. This author is very much interested in women during the time of the War of the Roses and the early Tudor period. I really like that she picks women who may not have otherwise gotten to have their voices heard-if you get what I’m getting out. Here will follow Cecily Bonville, who I had never heard of until I picked up this book. We follow her as she witnesses some of the most important and interesting events in British. While the book itself isn’t a detailed biography of Cecily’s life, we do get to learn a lot about the events that took place during the course of her life. When you finish this book, you will walk away with seeing just how much can happen during the course of one person’s lifetime. It’s just amazing how much and will happen during a lifetime. I just walked away and started thinking about that. What I really liked about this book was the fact that the author was willing to write about a woman who we really don’t know that much about. We know about her family, but the woman herself, there just isn’t a lot out there. By writing her story and giving her own book, it’s almost like Cecily finally gets to be heard. When you read the book, you will see that she is often overshadowed by family members and almost cast to the side by the men in her life. Here, it’s almost like she finally gets to be heard and gets to be the star of her own story. It’s like she is finally getting to have her voice spoken aloud for the first time. Now, granted, this book does go a lot into the events during her life and those around. Again, I think this has to due with the fact that so much of her life is just unknown to us. Still, by having this book, we do get to see just how much she witnessed and went through during the course of her life-instead of just being someone hovering in the background. The writing is very easy to get into. Many times we will pick up a nonfiction and expect it to have this almost textbook feeling. This isn’t the case here. This book uses simple, everyday words that everyone should be able to follow along with without worry. If you are worried about not knowing anything about Cecily and this time period, I think you will be okay. The author does a great job at giving you enough background information that you should be able to understand the book and the information without any issue. Since it is written in a way that everyone should be able to understand, I think you should be able to get through this one very quickly. I know it has taken me a few days to get my review posted, but a lot of that has to do with my blog schedule, not the fact that it took me a while to get through the book. Anyway, if you are looking for a quick, nonfiction read set during the Rose of the Wars and the early Tudor period, then I highly encourage you to give this one a go. This book is out now. Youtube: https://youtu.be/VvT-rXh5R4c Blog: https://serenastone.livejournal.com/273595.html ~ Serena Stone, https://serenastone.livejournal.com/273595.html ; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvT-rXh5R4c&feature=youtu.be
A fascinating, informative, and entertaining biography by Sarah J. Hodder, "Cecily Bonville-Grey - Marchioness of Dorset: From Riches to Royalty" is recommended for community, college, and university library Royal British Biography collections and Women in History supplemental curriculum studies lists...... ~ James Cox, Midwest Book Review
There is an old Chinese proverb: 'May you live in interesting times'. Cecily Bonville-Grey certainly lived in interesting times. She lived through several different reigns, including the contentious one of Richard III, and she moved in court circles, because her uncle was the Kingmaker, the Earl of Warwick, and her stepfather was Lord Hastings. She married the son of Queen Elizabeth Woodville from her first marriage, Thomas Grey. Cecily was also lucky enough to have her own inheritance, which was quite large. Much of Cecily's life was difficult, unfortunately. Her father died when she was very young, and Richard III suddenly had her stepfather executed in a seemingly strange fit of temper. Cecily was fond of him so that would have upset her terribly. Her first husband was a philanderer, according to reports at the time, and her second marriage to a much younger man seems to have not worked out. It is hard to tell what Cecily was like because there are few details about her personality, but we can tell that she was pious, kind to her tenants and loving towards her family. She was incredibly artistic, as well, designing a magnificent north aisle for the Church of Ottery St Mary in Devon. Sarah Hodder makes the period come to life with vivid and colourful details about ceremonies, pageants and the medieval way of life. I enjoyed learning about Cecily, and reading more about her relatives. I look forward to reading more of Sarah Hodder's books. ~ Book Addiction, https://bookaddiction.blogspot.com/2022/03/cecily-bonville-grey-marchioness-of.html
Having read the first two of Hodder’s books, The Queen’s Sister’s and York Princesses I was really interested in reading her account of a much lesser known woman. Before reading this I was aware Cecily married Thomas Grey, the son of Elizabeth Woodville but that was all I knew about her. She lived during one of the most turbulent times in England, the Wars of the Roses and faced the loss of family members as well as financial implications when her family came under suspicion. Thankfully, Cecily had her own fortune to rely upon, although this was later strained by her own children’s actions. Although there are some direct records relating to Cecily, most of the evidence has to be interpreted from the men who were part of her life. Hodder has pieced this evidence together to give us insight into Cecily’s life, where she lived, how she used her fortune and of course her Will when she passed away. From this it is apparent Cecily cared deeply for her family especially her children but also took care of her tenants even granting a home to an elderly tenant for no rent. Cecily certainly had some very influential family members including the Kingmaker and William Hastings but also left a legacy through her children including Lady Jane Grey. It is unfortunate Cecily’s tomb was damaged and Thomas Greys destroyed as I’m sure it would have been beautiful. For someone lesser known Hodder has managed to bring Cecily out of the shadows and I found her to be a fascinating lady. I’ve certainly enjoyed this book and learnt alot not just about Cecily but also her family as Hodder also includes a brief overview of what happened to her children. A select bibliography provides material for those wishing to read more about the era and the family. For anyone wishing to know about Cecily or the era from a female point of view this is ideal. ~ Amy McElroy, Amy McElroy blog
The book itself is interesting, it's a good point of view of the Tudor era that is a bit different from what we usually get. Sarah J. Hodder gives as much information about Cecily as she can, but the problem is that there is very little available. This is a common issue for all the lesser known people in history. The author does her best to go around this by providing a lot of background information. More than a book about Cecily, it is about all the people close to her and how they fit in history. It is very well researched and written. I learned a lot from it. A family tree would have been useful. Definitely recommended if you are interested in the time period. It's a short and accessible read. ~ Camille Brown - Goodreads reviewer, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/60261127-cecily-bonville-grey---marchioness-of-dorset?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=Jdiu3GfutF&rank=2
In history, the stories of women closest to those who sat on the throne tend to shine a bit brighter than others. Their tales give us great insight into how their respective countries were run and how dangerous it could be to marry someone with royal blood in their veins. However, some of the tales get lost in the annals of the past, only to be discovered much later. One of those tales is the story of Cecily Bonville- Grey, the wife of Thomas Grey Marquis of Dorset. In her own right, an extremely wealthy woman, her marriage into the Grey family would help define the succession issue during the late Tudor dynasty. Her story is finally told in Sarah J. Hodder’s latest book, “Cecily Bonville-Grey- Marchioness of Dorset: From Riches to Royalty.” I want to thank Chronos Books for sending me a copy of this book. I have previously read and enjoyed Hodder’s other books, The Queen’s Sisters and The York Princesses, so I knew I wanted to read it when I heard about this title. I will be honest, I have only heard about Cecily Bonville-Grey from another book about the Grey family, but it was a brief mention, so I was looking forward to reading more about her life. Cecily Bonville- Grey was the only child of William Bonville and his wife Katherine, the daughter of Richard Neville. Cecily’s uncle was none other than Richard Duke of York. The Bonville men were loyal to King Henry VI, but when the king fell ill, the Bonvilles decided to switch their loyalty during the Wars of the Roses to the Yorkist cause. It was a risky move that would cost William Bonville his life, but in the end, Katherine and Cecily both survived the turmoil of the time. Katherine would marry William Hastings, and Cecily would marry Thomas Grey Marquis of Dorset. Cecily and Thomas had a large family, and their connection with Richard III and Henry VII would be both rewarding as well as dangerous. With the threats from men like Perkin Warbeck, who wanted to steal the throne from Henry VII, men like Thomas Grey Marquis of Dorset would prove invaluable to refute their claim. Yet it was a double-edged sword as Thomas was often considered a threat to Henry VII. Thomas would die in 1501, leaving Cecily a wealthy widow in need of a second husband, and the man she chose was Lord Henry Stafford. This second marriage allowed the Grey family to flourish and become genuine contenders for the throne, even though that was not Cecily’s intent. The story of Cecily Bonville- Grey is a delightful read. Sarah J. Hodder shone a light on a woman whose family tends to outshine her. I found Cecily’s story fascinating and gives readers a better understanding of how the transition from the Plantagenets to the Tudors affected those families closest to the throne. Suppose you want another fabulous book about a forgotten woman who lived in the 15th and 16th centuries. In that case, you should check out “Cecily Bonville-Grey- Marchioness of Dorset: From Riches to Royalty” by Sarah J. Hodder. ~ Heidi Malagisi, Adventures of a Tudor Nerd