She-wolves

She-wolves

The Women Who Ruled England Before Elizabeth

Book - 2011
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When Edward VI died in 1553, the extraordinary fact was that there was no one left to claim the title of king of England. For the first time, England would have a reigning queen, but the question was which one: Katherine of Aragon's daughter, Mary; Anne Boleyn's daughter, Elizabeth; or one of their cousins, Lady Jane Grey or Mary, Queen of Scots. But female rule in England also had a past. Four hundred years before Edward's death, Matilda, daughter of Henry I and granddaughter of William the Conqueror, came tantalizingly close to securing the crown for herself. And between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries three more exceptional women -- Eleanor of Aquitaine, Isabella of France, and Margaret of Anjou -- discovered how much was possible if presumptions of male rule were not confronted so explicitly, and just how quickly they might be vilified as "she-wolves" for their pains. The stories of these women, told here in all their vivid detail, expose the paradox that female heirs to the Tudor throne had no choice but to negotiate. Man was the head of woman, and the king was the head of all. How, then, could royal power lie in female hands?-- From publisher description.
Publisher: New York : HarperCollins, c2011
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780061430770
0061430773
Branch Call Number: History 942.009 CAS

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IndyPL_AhliahB Feb 18, 2019

Fascinating book about the women who ruled England before Queen Elizabeth I's reign. This book was researched with such care, and despite (or perhaps because of) its wealth of knowledge, it remained narrative and exciting in structure. I highly recommend this read for fans of narrative nonfiction, English history (particularly pre-Tudor), and research nerds.

t
templestoweyoga
Jan 28, 2015

Really interesting book if you are interested in pre-Elisabethean history. Specifically, why and how heireditary royalty came about. Helen Castor writing is a mixture of story telling and historic information. It's a pity someone decided they took exception to one comment in her book and defaced the sentence. I will be looking to read more of her histories.

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