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Her story not his, the English monarchy through the private and public lives of the queens of England. Nearly eighty women have sat on the throne of England, either as queen regnant or queen consort and the voices of all of them survive through their own writings and those of their contemporaries. The primary role of the queen over the ages was to provide an heir. Catherin Her story not his, the English monarchy through the private and public lives of the queens of England. Nearly eighty women have sat on the throne of England, either as queen regnant or queen consort and the voices of all of them survive through their own writings and those of their contemporaries. The primary role of the queen over the ages was to provide an heir. Catherine of Aragon found this to her cost, divorced by Henry VIII for failing to produce a healthy son. Anne Boleyn was executed shortly afterwards for the same reason. The birth of an heir was also a route to power for a queen and Eleanor of Aquitaine became the most powerful woman in Europe during the reigns of her sons. Emma of Normandy was so desperate to be queen mother that she manipulated her three sons in an attempt to ensure that one would be king. One was murdered when he attempted to reach his mother but her remaining two sons became kings in turn with their mother as a leading advisor. Strong relationships could also develop between the queens and their husbands. Richard II and Anne of Bohemia made an arranged marriage but quickly fell deeply in love and, on Anne's death at Sheen Palace, Richard's grief was so intense that he ordered the palace to be destroyed. Edward VIII even abandoned his throne when forced to choose between the crown and his lover, Wallis Simpson. Not all marriages were happy and queens such as Isabella of France and Catherine Howard took lovers to escape their marriages. The unhappy Sophia Dorothea of Celle was imprisoned for over thirty years by her husband George I when her affair was discovered. Her lover, Count von Konigsmarck was murdered. Most queens made arranged marriages and were used by their families to build alliances. Some queens were able to break away from this control. Queen Victoria spent her childhood secluded with her overprotective mother, even sharing the same bedroom until the day when she was proclaimed queen and finally freed herself from her mother's control. For the first time, the voice of each individual queen can be heard together, charting the course of English queenship through nearly two thousand years of history. Each queen played her own part in shaping what the role of queen would become and it developed through the lives and actions of each of the women in turn.


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Her story not his, the English monarchy through the private and public lives of the queens of England. Nearly eighty women have sat on the throne of England, either as queen regnant or queen consort and the voices of all of them survive through their own writings and those of their contemporaries. The primary role of the queen over the ages was to provide an heir. Catherin Her story not his, the English monarchy through the private and public lives of the queens of England. Nearly eighty women have sat on the throne of England, either as queen regnant or queen consort and the voices of all of them survive through their own writings and those of their contemporaries. The primary role of the queen over the ages was to provide an heir. Catherine of Aragon found this to her cost, divorced by Henry VIII for failing to produce a healthy son. Anne Boleyn was executed shortly afterwards for the same reason. The birth of an heir was also a route to power for a queen and Eleanor of Aquitaine became the most powerful woman in Europe during the reigns of her sons. Emma of Normandy was so desperate to be queen mother that she manipulated her three sons in an attempt to ensure that one would be king. One was murdered when he attempted to reach his mother but her remaining two sons became kings in turn with their mother as a leading advisor. Strong relationships could also develop between the queens and their husbands. Richard II and Anne of Bohemia made an arranged marriage but quickly fell deeply in love and, on Anne's death at Sheen Palace, Richard's grief was so intense that he ordered the palace to be destroyed. Edward VIII even abandoned his throne when forced to choose between the crown and his lover, Wallis Simpson. Not all marriages were happy and queens such as Isabella of France and Catherine Howard took lovers to escape their marriages. The unhappy Sophia Dorothea of Celle was imprisoned for over thirty years by her husband George I when her affair was discovered. Her lover, Count von Konigsmarck was murdered. Most queens made arranged marriages and were used by their families to build alliances. Some queens were able to break away from this control. Queen Victoria spent her childhood secluded with her overprotective mother, even sharing the same bedroom until the day when she was proclaimed queen and finally freed herself from her mother's control. For the first time, the voice of each individual queen can be heard together, charting the course of English queenship through nearly two thousand years of history. Each queen played her own part in shaping what the role of queen would become and it developed through the lives and actions of each of the women in turn.

30 review for England's Queens: The Biography

  1. 5 out of 5

    Krista D.

    A solid book for anyone interested in English queens. One of my favourite things about this book is that it's divided by dynasty, not by name itself. That way , it allows for more consistently and interconnection. Also, it allows the reader to pick out a time period and read about all of the queens during that period. So, for example, if your interest is Saxon and Georgian, those sections are neatly laid out for you. Honestly, if you're interested in even a couple of periods of English history, th A solid book for anyone interested in English queens. One of my favourite things about this book is that it's divided by dynasty, not by name itself. That way , it allows for more consistently and interconnection. Also, it allows the reader to pick out a time period and read about all of the queens during that period. So, for example, if your interest is Saxon and Georgian, those sections are neatly laid out for you. Honestly, if you're interested in even a couple of periods of English history, this book is worth it. If you're interested about how women held power in patriarchal times, this book is basically required reading.

  2. 4 out of 5

    James

    I brought this book for a family member at Christmas as i knew they where interested in History and wanted to learn more and having read snippets of the book i was sure it was the right one for them- they absolutely loved it and recommended me to read it as well. What's so great about this book is it covers every women known to ever have been Queen of England ( nearly eighty either as regnant or consort) from the mythical Guinevere to the controversial ones Emma of Normandy, Eleanor of Aquitaine, I brought this book for a family member at Christmas as i knew they where interested in History and wanted to learn more and having read snippets of the book i was sure it was the right one for them- they absolutely loved it and recommended me to read it as well. What's so great about this book is it covers every women known to ever have been Queen of England ( nearly eighty either as regnant or consort) from the mythical Guinevere to the controversial ones Emma of Normandy, Eleanor of Aquitaine, the 'warrior' ones Boadicea, Margaret of Anjou and the one who fought for her right to be crowned Queen the Empress Matilda, the one that changed the course of her country's history Anne Boleyn, the one who was branded a tyrant for ordering the burnings of hundreds of Protestants Mary I, the one that proved women could rule equally as well as men- the enigmatic Elizabeth 1, the one who lost her head after plotting to take her cousins throne Mary Queen of Scots, the one who took her fathers position after he fled the country during the Glorious Revolution Mary II our current longest reigning Monarch- Queen Victoria and of course our current Queen Elizabeth II. What's so great about this book is that it is not to heavy at all for anyone, even those that have just the slightest bit of interest in History, it will give you an insight into what each one went through and how they helped shape the role for female rulers- from those who where the power behind the throne and through one way or another helped shape their husbands rule good or bad- Emma of Normandy, Matilda of Flanders, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Isabella of France, Margaret of Anjou, Anne Boleyn, Caroline of Ansbach, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, to the those who's time ended in tragedy- Katherine Howard, Sophia Dorothea of Celle, and those whose marriages where true love-Eleanor of Provence and Henry III, Anne of Bohemia and Richard II, Mary II and William of Orange, Queen Anne and Prince George of Denmark, Queen Charlotte and George III, Queen Adelaide and William IV, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, George V and Mary of Teck, George VI and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon and our current queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. What's so fascinating is to see the role of Queen change as you go down the line and see how each one played some contribution no matter how small to shaping the position of female rule, every single Queen is covered in this book from Guinevere to Elizabeth II, each story will either fascinate, intrigue you, make you sympathise or admire them.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kitt Noir

    England’s Queens by Elizabeth Norton is a well written and concise history book on the subject of many fascinating royal women. The kindle edition combined both volumes starting with Boudica and ending with Elizabeth II. Its a brilliant look at nearly 80 women on or close to the throne of England. It tells the story of many intriguing & often inspirational women.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

    Of course I enjoyed this book but as will be seen from the ensuing dates, I read a lot of other books while plowing through this one. The beginning chapters were especially difficult because everybody's names read the same to me. Ethelwood and Ethealred and Ethealread and Woolfethel etc. - on and on through the years it went. Plus the edition I have had teeny tiny print and since it is all so very accurate and based only on real sources it often dragged. Ethelred signed six charters (all minutel Of course I enjoyed this book but as will be seen from the ensuing dates, I read a lot of other books while plowing through this one. The beginning chapters were especially difficult because everybody's names read the same to me. Ethelwood and Ethealred and Ethealread and Woolfethel etc. - on and on through the years it went. Plus the edition I have had teeny tiny print and since it is all so very accurate and based only on real sources it often dragged. Ethelred signed six charters (all minutely detailed as to date and other signatories) and Athelread ordered 4 chemises for the poor etc. Not really summer reading and when I was at Elizabeth's house keeping Amelia I kept falling asleep over it so during the 'work' day I began substituting other, lighter reading matter. So it took weeks to finish this one and in the meantime I read much crime and mystery.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Victoria Johnston

    A comprehensive look at all the Queens of England beginning in Anglo Saxon times and ending with the current Queen regnant. This is an excellent book - both for history fans and general readers alike. Each Queen is given her own section within a sub chapter and the detail is astounding. Even with the lesser known Queen's the author has included a good deal of information where possible rather than supposition. Well written and engaging throughout I highly recommend this book. A comprehensive look at all the Queens of England beginning in Anglo Saxon times and ending with the current Queen regnant. This is an excellent book - both for history fans and general readers alike. Each Queen is given her own section within a sub chapter and the detail is astounding. Even with the lesser known Queen's the author has included a good deal of information where possible rather than supposition. Well written and engaging throughout I highly recommend this book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jodi

    Wow, jammed packed with information. The early queens were very well-done where there is scantier information else where. With more 'modern' queens and queen consorts it is difficult to summarize information due to the larger amount of material available. Was in some disagreement on the handling of Queen Anne as Norton proclaims that she was a great queen but never felt there was true evidence of it. Regardless, great read and also a reference. Wow, jammed packed with information. The early queens were very well-done where there is scantier information else where. With more 'modern' queens and queen consorts it is difficult to summarize information due to the larger amount of material available. Was in some disagreement on the handling of Queen Anne as Norton proclaims that she was a great queen but never felt there was true evidence of it. Regardless, great read and also a reference.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Abbey

    If you want a great overview of the lives of all the queens consorts, regnant and the wives of the kings of england, then this is the book for you. Detailing every recorded queen that England and Great Britain have ever had, it isn't boring to read and has beautiful photos with images of the fascinating women that sat beside a king or were permitted to rule on their own. If you want a great overview of the lives of all the queens consorts, regnant and the wives of the kings of england, then this is the book for you. Detailing every recorded queen that England and Great Britain have ever had, it isn't boring to read and has beautiful photos with images of the fascinating women that sat beside a king or were permitted to rule on their own.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Pippa

    I found this a bit disappointing in the way it skimmed so quickly over so many queens. I think it was probably inevitable, given the size of the subject, but I lost courage somewhere in the middle. It could be a useful reference book though.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Holly

    A good, comprehensive book on the history of England's queens, both Queen Consorts and Queen Regnants going back to Boudica. A good, comprehensive book on the history of England's queens, both Queen Consorts and Queen Regnants going back to Boudica.

  10. 5 out of 5

    agata

    Very good in that it truly did cover all queens but I have to disagree with Nortons views on Anne Neville and Richard III - strongly coloured by Tudor propaganda.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Zuvich

    Very good book,

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lorelei Sherman

    A really informative read and a good overview of the women who wore the crown of England or who were married to the heirs to the throne, but never for various reason were crowned queen.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Joanne

    Thought this book offered a really good overview of all the Queen's of England. Thought this book offered a really good overview of all the Queen's of England.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Melisende

    Concise and informative biographies of the lives of England's Queens from the Roman period to the current incumbent. Concise and informative biographies of the lives of England's Queens from the Roman period to the current incumbent.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Norton

  16. 4 out of 5

    Brittany Farrell

  17. 4 out of 5

    Maranda

  18. 4 out of 5

    Nina

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

  20. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kanokporn Royalista

  22. 4 out of 5

    Louise Bell

  23. 5 out of 5

    Emma Goodfellow

  24. 4 out of 5

    Aaron Taylor

  25. 5 out of 5

    Morgan Borthwick

  26. 4 out of 5

    Corinna Farrow

  27. 5 out of 5

    G. Lawrence

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lara

  29. 4 out of 5

    Isabel

  30. 4 out of 5

    Beth

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