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European Royal Women


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Book categories: Queens, Medieval, Early Modern, European Royalty, English Queens, World Royal Women

Female Rulers

Queens, Empresses, Grand Duchesses and Regents: Women Rulers of Europe, A.D. 1328-1989 by Olga S. Opfell. The lives of 39 women rulers, including Elizabeth I, Giovanna I of Naples, Maria da Gloria of Portugal, Christina of Sweden, and Maria Theresa of Austria.

The Rise of Female Kings in Europe, 1300-1800 by William Monter. How Europe's 30 female monarchs achieved sovereign authority, wielded it, and (more often than men) abandoned it.

Birth of the Chess Queen: A History by Marilyn Yalom. The game of chess existed for 500 years without its most dominant piece, the queen. This book draws parallels between the rise of the chess queen and the ascent of female sovereigns in Europe, presenting a history of medieval courts and struggles for power.

The Man Behind the Queen: Male Consorts in History edited by Charles Beem and Miles Taylor. In this collection of essays, historians analyze how male consorts wielded power, how gender affected their role, and how they contributed to royal families over the centuries.

Medieval Queens

Queens and Queenship in Medieval Europe edited by Anne Duggan. Papers on Emma of England, Margaret of Scotland, coronation and burial ritual, Byzantine empresses and Scandinavian queens, among others.

Medieval Queenship edited by John Carmi Parsons presents 10 essays about medieval European queens.

Four Queens: The Provençal Sisters Who Ruled Europe by Nancy Goldstone. Tells the true story of the four beautiful daughters of Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Provence: Marguerite, wife of King Louis IX of France; Eleanor, who married England's King Henry III and provoked his kingdom to civil war; Sanchia, neglected wife of richest man in Europe, who bought himself a crown; and Beatrice, who risked her life to become queen of Sicily.

Early Modern Queens

Game of Queens: The Women Who Made Sixteenth-Century Europe by Sarah Gristwood. A group biography of some of the most beloved (and reviled) queens in history, including Isabella of Castile, Catherine de Medici, Margaret of Austria, Mary Queen of Scots, and Elizabeth I.

The Monstrous Regiment of Women: Female Rulers in Early Modern Europe by Sharon L. Jansen. Explores the relationships among women who ruled.

The Rule of Women in Early Modern Europe edited by Anne J. Cruz and Mihoko Suzuki. Essays about Isabel of Castile, Elizabeth I, Isabeau of Bavaria, Jeanne d'Albret, Isabel Clara Eugenia, Juana of Portugal, Catherine of Brandenburg, and other topics.

Queens Consort, Cultural Transfer and European Politics, c.1500-1800 by Helen Watanabe-O'Kelly and Adam Morton. Essays examining the roles played by queens consort during the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries.

Colonization, Piracy, and Trade in Early Modern Europe: The Roles of Powerful Women and Queens edited by Estelle Paranque, Nate Probasco, and Claire Jowitt. Essays examining the international influence of female rulers from 1450 through 1700, including Queen Elizabeth I and Catherine de Medici.

Queenship in the Mediterranean: Negotiating the Role of the Queen in the Medieval and Early Modern Eras edited by Elena Woodacre. Explores the key roles queens played as wives, mothers, and political actors.

The Emblematic Queen: Extra-Literary Representations of Early Modern Queenship edited by Debra Barrett-Graves. Essays about Caterina Cornaro, Queen of Cyprus (1454-1510), Queen Elizabeth I of England (1533-1603), Mary Stuart Queen of Scots (1542-1587), Anne of Denmark (1574-1619), and Spain's María Luisa de Orleáns (1662-1689).

Fairy Tale Queens: Representations of Early Modern Queenship by Jo Eldridge Carney. The queen is omnipresent in European fairy tales due to the profound influence of powerful queens in the real world. This book argues for the historical relevance of fairy tales and explores the intersection between fictional and actual queens.

Other Topics

Virtuous or Villainess? edited by Carey Fleiner and Elena Woodacre. The image of the royal mother from the early medieval to the early modern era.

Queenship, Gender, and Reputation in the Medieval and Early Modern West, 1060-1600 edited by Zita Eva Rohr and Lisa Benz. A collection of essays that question the propaganda, gossip, and rumor that still characterizes some queens in modern histories.

The Body of the Queen: Gender and Rule in the Courtly World From the 15th to the 20th Century edited by Regina Schulte. The queen was a sacred figure in the medieval and early modern periods, an ideal bourgeois wife during the late 18th and 19th centuries. Twentieth-century media has produced celebrity queens personified by the mysterious Elizabeth (Sisi) of Austria and Princess Grace of Monaco.

In Triumph's Wake: Royal Mothers, Tragic Daughters, and the Price They Paid for Glory by Julia P. Gelardi. Tells the stories of Isabella of Castile and her daughter Catherine of Aragon; Maria Theresa of Austria and her daughter Marie Antoinette; and Queen Victoria and her daughter Vicky, who became empress of Germany.

Born to Rule: Five Reigning Consorts, Granddaughters of Queen Victoria by Julia P. Gelardi. Weaves together the stories of Russia's tragic last empress, Alexandra; Romania's flamboyant and eccentric Queen Marie; Spain's very English queen Victoria Eugenie; Norway's reluctant Queen Maud; and Kaiser Wilhelm II's much maligned sister Sophie.

Scholars and Poets Talk About Queens edited by Carole Levin and Christine Stewart-Nuñez. This collection of essays shows how queens were represented in Europe during the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

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