Book Review: Virtuous or Villainess? The Image of the Royal Mother from the Early Medieval to the Early Modern Era, eds. Carey Fleiner and Elena Woodacre

By Victoria Rasbridge Virtuous or Villainess? The Image of the Royal Mother from the Early Medieval to the Early Modern Era, edited by Carey Fleiner and Elena Woodacre, is the second of two volumes that explore the subject of royal motherhood in Palgrave Macmillan’s Queenship and Power series.

Book Review: Æthelflaed, The Lady of the Mercians by Tim Clarkson

By Catherine Capel The ever-growing field of queenship has brought to light many queens and noblewomen who have been largely ignored in historical scholarship or have been misunderstood, with their narratives shrouded in stereotypes of cruelty, disillusions of power, and sexual scandal. One such royal woman who has been garnering renewed attention is Æthelflaed, daughterContinue reading “Book Review: Æthelflaed, The Lady of the Mercians by Tim Clarkson”

Book Review: Blanche of Castile by Lindy Grant

By Gabby Storey The life and career of Blanche of Castile, queen of France, rivals that of her illustrious grandmother, Eleanor of Aquitaine: perhaps no surprise to Eleanor, who in 1200 selected Blanche to marry the heir to the French throne, Louis (later Louis VIII). Grant’s thorough and captivating biography of Blanche (2016) is longContinue reading “Book Review: Blanche of Castile by Lindy Grant”

Book Review: The Favourite, Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough by Ophelia Field

By Holly Marsden Ophelia Field’s 2002 (revised in 2018) biography of Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough is a fascinating insight into the eighteenth-century elite. The biography focuses on the intensity of the relationship between Sarah and Queen Anne, with the two having grown up together in and around the court of Charles II. Sarah was laterContinue reading “Book Review: The Favourite, Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough by Ophelia Field”

Book Review: The Monstrous Regiment of Women: Female Rulers in Early Modern Europe by Sharon L. Jansen

By Johanna Strong Sharon L. Jansen’s The Monstrous Regiment of Women: Female Rulers in Early Modern Europe is a foundational work in the field of queenship studies and stands in a long series of responses and allusions to John Knox’s infamous First Blast of the Trumpet against the Monstrous Regiment of Women (1558). Where KnoxContinue reading “Book Review: The Monstrous Regiment of Women: Female Rulers in Early Modern Europe by Sharon L. Jansen”

Book Review: The Lady of Misrule by Suzannah Dunn

By Johanna Strong “A good Catholic girl was what they’d said they needed” (page 5). So begins Suzannah Dunn’s The Lady of Misrule, a novel of Lady Jane Grey’s last days in the Tower of London before her execution in February 1554. As seen through the eyes of the “catch-all Catholic girl” (5) Elizabeth Tilney,Continue reading “Book Review: The Lady of Misrule by Suzannah Dunn”

Book Review: Uncrowned Queen. The Fateful Life of Margaret Beaufort, Tudor Matriarch by Nicola Tallis

By Gabby Storey The image of Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of King Henry VII, the first Tudor king of England, is often one of a somewhat dominant, stubborn, and determined royal mother who sought to ensure her son gained the throne and stayed there. Tallis’ biographical study of Margaret offers a compelling insight into thisContinue reading “Book Review: Uncrowned Queen. The Fateful Life of Margaret Beaufort, Tudor Matriarch by Nicola Tallis”

Book Review: Royal Women and Dynastic Loyalty by (eds.) Caroline Dunn and Elizabeth Carney

By Gabby Storey The growth in scholarly works on royal women has continued apace for the last four decades, with a particular speed owed undoubtedly in part to the machinations of the Kings and Queens conference series, organised by the Royal Studies Network, and the book series Queenship & Power, with this volume being aContinue reading “Book Review: Royal Women and Dynastic Loyalty by (eds.) Caroline Dunn and Elizabeth Carney”

Book Review: African Europeans: An Untold History by Olivette Otele

By Amy-Jane Humphries With African Europeans, Olivette Otele, Professor of the History of Slavery and Memory of Enslavement at the University of Bristol, deftly weaves from past to present to tell the untold stories of the people of Africa and Europe. By restoring these stories to their rightful place in the histories of these continents,Continue reading “Book Review: African Europeans: An Untold History by Olivette Otele”

Book Review: Les rois maudits by Maurice Druon

By Louise Gay A member of the French Academy, a veteran, and a resistance fighter against Nazi Germany, Maurice Druon (1918-2009) was one of the co-authors of the mythical Chant des partisans – the anthem of French Resistance. But among his many nationally acclaimed works, the Accursed Kings series of historical novels (Les Rois Maudits)Continue reading “Book Review: Les rois maudits by Maurice Druon”