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Nancy Goldstone is an American journalist, and the co-author (with her husband) of two works of European History: Out of the Flames and The Friar and the Cipher.
August 2011 Non-Fiction Book of the Month. Nancy Goldstone is the author of The Four Queens, and in keeping with this high standard, her meticulous research makes this new title a treat for those ready to move on from the better known kings and queens in history to read about a powerful queen from the 14th century, less known but just as intriguing. Packed with great detail about Joanna’s relationship with her wider family and political position, it still paints a strong picture of her personality, despite the 600 or so years since she lived and died. Said to have a court which rivaled Elizabeth I, Joanna, Queen of Naples is a historical character who comes to life again in a biographical book of high calibre. It opens dramatically with Joanna on trial for her life, at the age of 22, accused of murder ing her husband. The book then reverts to her birth and follows her tumultuous and colourful life through to her own murder in her 50s. Between her birth and death Joanna's life is laid before us with all the drama and terror of those times. I was left reeling with the fear that must have lain on her shoulders on almost a daily basis and yet she managed by guile and intelligence to pick her way through a 14th century minefield of intrigue. The book teems with facts and rich descriptions of court life and personalities. A fast pace surely makes this true story as good or better than any non-fiction read.
The story of four daughters in Provence, in the thirteenth century,who each went on to marry a king of Europe. What was it that got these women to such positions and how did they cope with the pressures of being married to such powerful men while not having any of the power themselves? (although influence can be a great thing). Accessible history and an interesting subject matter.
'What a compelling read! Nancy Goldstone has brought to life the four female Stuarts in all their tragic glory' Amanda Foreman Valentine's Day, 1613. Elizabeth Stuart, the sixteen-year-old granddaughter of Mary, Queen of Scots, marries Frederick V, a German count and ally of her father, James I of England. In just five years a terrible betrayal will ruin 'the Winter Queen', as Elizabeth will forever be known, imperil the lives of those she loves and launch a war that lasts thirty years. In a sweeping narrative encompassing political intrigue, illicit love affairs and even a murder mystery, Nancy Goldstone tells the riveting story of a queen in exile, and of her four defiant daughters.
The riveting history of a beautiful queen, a shocking murder, a papal trial -- and a reign as triumphant as any in the Middle Ages. On March 15, 1348, twenty-two-year-old Joanna I, Queen of Naples, stood trial for the murder of her husband before the Pope and his court in Avignon. Determined to defend herself, Joanna won her acquittal against overwhelming odds. Victorious, she returned to Naples and ruled over one of Europe's most prestigious courts for the next three decades -- until she herself was killed.Courageous and determined, Joanna was the only female monarch in her time to rule in her own name. She was widely admired: dedicated to the welfare of her subjects, she reduced crime, built hospitals and churches, and encouraged the licensing of female physicians. A procession of the most important artists and writers of the time frequented her glittering court. But she never quite escaped the stain of her husband's death, and the turmoil of the times surrounded her -- war, plague, and treachery would ultimately be her undoing.With skill, passion, and impeccable research and detail, Nancy Goldstone brings to life one of history's most remarkable women. The Lady Queen is a captivating portrait of medieval royalty in all its incandescent complexity.
'A gripping tale of royal feuds and divided kingdoms' - AMANDA FOREMAN Paris, 1572. Catherine de' Medici, the infamous queen mother of France, is a consummate pragmatist and powerbroker who has dominated the throne for thirty years. Her youngest daughter, Marguerite, the glamorous 'Queen Margot', is a passionate free spirit, the only adversary whom her mother can neither intimidate nor fully control. When Catherine forces the Catholic Marguerite to marry the Protestant Henry of Navarre, she creates not only savage conflict within France but also a potent rival within her own family. Treacherous court politics, poisonings, international espionage and adultery form the background to a extraordinary story about two formidable queens, featuring a fascinating array of characters including such celebrated figures as Elizabeth I, Mary, Queen of Scots and Nostradamus.
The riveting true story of mother-and-daughter queens Catherine de' Medici and Marguerite de Valois, whose wildly divergent personalities and turbulent relationship changed the shape of their tempestuous and dangerous century.Set in magnificent Renaissance France, this is the story of two remarkable women, a mother and daughter driven into opposition by a terrible betrayal that threatened to destroy the realm.Catherine de' Medici was a ruthless pragmatist and powerbroker who dominated the throne for thirty years. Her youngest daughter Marguerite, the glamorous "e;Queen Margot,"e; was a passionate free spirit, the only adversary whom her mother could neither intimidate nor control.When Catherine forces the Catholic Marguerite to marry her Protestant cousin Henry of Navarre against her will, and then uses her opulent Parisian wedding as a means of luring his followers to their deaths, she creates not only savage conflict within France but also a potent rival within her own family.Rich in detail and vivid prose, Goldstone's narrative unfolds as a thrilling historical epic. Treacherous court politics, poisonings, inter-national espionage, and adultery form the background to a story that includes such celebrated figures as Elizabeth I, Mary, Queen of Scots, and Nostradamus. The Rival Queens is a dangerous tale of love, betrayal, ambition, and the true nature of courage, the echoes of which still resonate.
An exceptionally dramatic life of Joan of Arc and her previously unchronicled mentor, Yolande of Aragon. How did an illiterate seventeen-year-old peasant girl manage to become one of histories most salient females? It is almost 600 years since Joan of Arc heard the voices of angels that would change her life for ever: in a breathtaking story her quest saved France from English domination and restored France's hereditary monarchy. Just thirteen when her life was turned upside down, Joan's holy guidance led her on an arduous eleven-day journey into the unknown, restoring the Dauphin back to his original birthright in an official coronation, allowing him to resume his rule as France's legitimate king. Joan summoned and led an impressive army of French loyalists against the English; the siege at Orleans was an exhilarating English defeat that liberated the city. The following year witnessed Joan's capture by the enemy. After a series of heroic endeavours to escape cruel adversaries, she was subjected to trial by inquisition and then in Rouen, the heart of France, Joan's courageous journey came to a heartbreaking conclusion. This is the story at the core of centuries of myth-making. But what if we no longer accept this tale? What if we question whether the Heavens and their angels were truly Joan's only source of strength and power? What if we demand a different narrative? This revisionist biography unearths the secular and verifiable basis for Joan's heroic exploits: Yolande of Aragon, a forgotten mentor. This is a story of not one life, but two; two lives that together were intertwined in the restoration of France's greatness.
Politically astute, ambitious, and beautiful, Yolande of Aragon, queen of Sicily, was one of the most powerful women of the Middle Ages. Caught in the complex dynastic battle of the Hundred Years War, Yolande championed the dauphins cause against the forces of England and Burgundy, drawing on her savvy, her statecraft, and her intimate network of spies. Even when the dauphins own mother betrayed him, Yolande fought to save her son-in-law and his claim to the throne. But the enemy seemed invincible. Just as French hopes dimmed, an astonishingly courageous young woman named Joan of Arc arrived from the farthest recesses of the kingdom, claiming that she carried a divine message a message that would change the course of history and ultimately lead to the coronation of Charles VII and the triumph of France. Now, on the six hundredth anniversary of the birth of Joan of Arc, this beautifully written book explores the relationship between these two remarkable women. With irresistibly rich historic detail and stunning accounts of political intrigue, The Maid and the Queen deepens our understanding of this dramatic period in history. How did an illiterate peasant girl gain access to the future king of France, earn his trust, and eventually lead his forces into battle? Was it only the hand of God that moved Joan of Arc or was it also Yolande of Aragon?