Sixteenth-century Europe saw an explosion of female rule — whether they were on the throne or behind the scenes, women held unprecedented power for more than a hundred years. Isabella of Castile, armor-clad, followed her soldiers onto the battlefield. Margaret of Austria and Louise of Savoy, two queen regents, put an end to years of war with their "Ladies' Peace." Anne Boleyn was raised in Margaret of Austria's court, surrounded by powerful women; her daughter, Elizabeth Tudor, grew up to be one of the most famous queens in history. Across boundaries and generations, these royal women were mothers and daughters, mentors and protegees, allies and enemies. For the first time, Europe saw a sisterhood of women who exercised their authority in uniquely feminine ways and would not be equaled until modern times.
At once a fascinating group biography and a thrilling political epic, Game of Queens explores the lives of some of the most beloved (and reviled) queens in history. From the rise of this age of queens to its eventual collapse, one thing was certain: Europe would never be the same.
"The stories of some of the greatest (and hated) queens are told here (in an amusing author's note, Gristwood points out that in a story with sixteen protagonists, eight of them are named either Mary or Margaret and she absolves herself of responsibility for any confusion that may result). Against a backdrop of religious reformations and the innovations of the new age, Gristwood deftly shows how the explosion of female rule came about, the machinations and power plays behind the thrones, and how the Age of Queens ultimately played out; unsurprisingly, fidelity and fertility were used to create scandals that threatened to topple each Queen. From Isabella of Castile and her granddaughter Mary Tudor, to Catherine de Medici, Anne Boleyn, and Elizabeth Tudor, what could be a dry examination of policy and power becomes, in Gristwood's hands, a lively, accessible, occasionally hilarious, absorbing account of an astonishing era." — Vannessa Cronin, The Amazon Book Review
|Publication Date||Nov 29, 2016|