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The Lady Queen

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  1,017 Ratings  ·  137 Reviews
On March 15, 1348, Joanna I, the queen of Naples, stood trial for her life before the Pope and his court in Avignon. She was 20, and accused of murdering her cousin and husband, Hungarian prince Andrew. That she won her acquittal--arguing her own case in Latin--was remarkable in its own right; that she would go on to rule over one of Europe's most glittering courts for mor ...more
ebook, 384 pages
Published November 3rd 2009 by Walker Books Ltd (first published October 26th 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Lauren Albert
The Lady Queen reads like a historical novel. Anyone who thinks politics and diplomacy is complicated now should read about the 14th Century! Throw a whole bunch of city states, the Papacy, the rest of the church hierarchy, and a whole bunch of ruling families (who are interrelated with the Papacy and church hierarchy, of course) into a mix and see who comes out on top. That is the 14th Century. Joanna, Queen of Naples, Jerusalem and Sicily (that title alone should tell you a lot), amazingly man ...more
Nick
Apr 26, 2015 Nick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nancy Goldstone has written a series of books on prominent women of the late Medieval period. In this one she takes on the Joanna, who succeeded to the throne of Naples (she only rarely held power in Sicily and never saw Jerusalem). This is a different Europe than the one we know: successive Popes shuttled between Avignon and Rome, one of her relatives held the entirely fictitious title of Empress of Byzantium on the basis of a toehold in Southern Greece, and Hungary was a wealthy and aggrieved ...more
Oldroses
Apr 15, 2010 Oldroses rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I came of age in the 1970s at the height of the Women’s Movement. It was a heady time full of marches and protests and petitions. Women’s Studies departments were formed at colleges and universities. The study of history, full of dead white men, was expanded to include herstory, bringing to light the lives and achievements of women in the past.

Women have come a long way since then, now full partners at home, in the workplace and in the history books. But I still find myself, when confronted wit
...more
Jeanette
Aug 23, 2015 Jeanette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing that this woman kept her title and her authority over the geographic states/ vast entities that she did for as long as she did. This was an era of the short brutal reign, and no more true than in Italy. Most history buffs know the minutia of the 100 Years War and various other continental European benchmarks and reigns. But rarely, rarely have I read this from Italian (today's Italy location)city-state entity "eyes". If there is such a thing then by any definition. With the consistent an ...more
Melisende d'Outremer
Highly engaging biography of a much maligned queen.
Orsolya
Royal history is filled with queens who have held roles of intrigue, mystery, murder, warrior, martyr, and virgin. Whether loved or hated; these dramatic women are quite fetching to our imaginations. One such lady, sadly not as well-known as some of her contemporaries, is Queen Joanna I. Nancy Goldstone chronicles her life in, “The Lady Queen: The Notorious Reign of Joanna I, Queen of Naples, Jerusalem, and Sicily”.

Goldstone opens “The Lady Queen” with several genealogical charts and maps; intr
...more
Louise
Aug 17, 2012 Louise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, italy
As a general reader I've found/read little covering this place and period, so the unfamiliar names and settings made it difficult for me to get started in this book. Some of it I had to read twice. The introduction, "The Trial", didn't help set the pace or sequence. Once I got more attuned, it came together.

The word in the title "notorious" does not or should not apply to the reign described in the book. It appears that Joanna I did a decent job in an impossible position. She inherited her kingd
...more
Tia
Jul 17, 2012 Tia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about as interesting as non-fictional histories can get! It flows easily for a history, and the author has taken the time to connect things for the reader. I also really enjoyed that Ms. Goldstone included the economics of the time and related events to where the money was flowing. She does some brilliant analysis of historical occurences and not only considers who was making money (and who was not) but also offers information on the relationships of the people involved. Detailed bu ...more
Chris
Oct 29, 2011 Chris rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, history-italy
So Joanna was a queen, but her husbands were really bad. This is a somewhat interesting, and somewhat tedious book about Joanna I who was accused of killing her husband.

(I'm annoyed that the Kindle edition didn't have pics).

Goldstone does a good job of being fair and saving Joanna's reputation. Like Elizabeth I, she had to deal with men who didn't think she could do the job. And then her family was really the family from hell. ANd don't get me started on her in-laws.

I just wish I got a better s
...more
Sarah
May 28, 2017 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Engagingly written tale of drama and intrigue-- keep your finger in the family tree at the front of the book to help keep everyone straight (since they all have the same name).
Ne
Jan 02, 2012 Ne rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Joana I, rainha de Nápoles, teve uma vida perfeita para um romance histórico. Desde o drama, às traições, aos segredos, às pressões, aos amores, etc. Em modo de exemplos conto que ela teve quatro maridos, muitos abortos, muitas quezílias. Por isso, posso concluir que Nancy Goldstone soube escolher bem a personagem principal, mas.... não aproveitou nada!
Esta obra é semelhante a um trabalho de história sobre a rainha, mas não tem nada a ver com um romance histórico. Aliás, ainda mal me tinha repos
...more
Luke Devenish
Jesu! The 14th Century was SHOCKING. And down Napoli way they turned the shocks up to eleven. No one gave a pretty blonde teen queen an even break. From the moment she perched on her golden throne all the other buggers had the knives out. What a family. That she reined so long considering is a miracle. And survived SO MANY calamities what's more. I guess it was always going to end the way it did. It was either that or the bubos. No one else got out lightly, apart from a couple of those dodgy pop ...more
Cheryl
This meticulously researched book brings to life one of history's most remarkable, but forgotten women. Joanna I, Queen of Naples, Jerusalem, and Sicily ruled one of Europe's most prestigious courts for more than 30 years. She was a benevolent ruler who was dedicated to the welfare of her subjects. At the age of 24, she successfully defended herself against charges that she had murdered her husband. But the taint of this accusation always haunted her, and she was ultimately murdered herself. Nan ...more
Beverly Diehl
This is a very "fat" book full of details and many historical personages. It starts with a bang - a powerful young queen appearing before the Pope to defend herself of charges that she arranged her husband's death. But that is something of a teaser, and it quickly reverts to giving important by dry backstory about Joanna's grandfather and the various claims to the throne.

There was so much going on - rival Popes, four husbands, intriguing heirs... but I found it a bit hard to follow though I love
...more
Bridget
Well written and really interesting story. Well paced with the right amount of detail.
Sabrina
I hate when I don't create a review right after I've read a book . . . I forget specifics and my thoughts are all over the place. I will try to coherently critique . . .

I was baffled in the beginning by all of the names and thought going into some of the players backgrounds a little too much and unnecessary. Nevertheless, once I got past the first couple of chapters, I found this book an easy to follow read.

Joanna's life was chaotic and very unstable. I sympathized with her, because no matter w
...more
Siria
If you didn't know that it was all true, the life story of Joanna I, Queen of Naples, would read like something from a terrible daytime soap: heir to the throne of Naples, she inherits the throne from her grandfather at the age of 17. She marries first her younger cousin, Andrew, who lacked both intelligence and charm; Andrew was murdered by some of her partisans, and accusations that Joanna had been involved led to Andrew's family taking away Joanna's toddler son by Andrew, who died shortly aft ...more
Carol
Oct 02, 2011 Carol rated it really liked it
A challenging and informative read. I have not read much about European historical aristocracy since Tudor England is my favorite so this was a challenge. Also, it is just prior to the Renaissance, mid 1300s, another period of history I am unfamiliar with. Once I got the rhythm of the history going it picked up its pace and details flowed more smoothly. I was astounded how much influence the early Catholic Church had on the world stage and how little control monarchs actually had and could under ...more
Nancy
Another Goodreads first reads giveaway! Am delighted and can't wait to receive it!

And I thought waterboarding was bad! This historical book set in the Dark Ages reveals brutal and indescribable practices carried out on captives of warfare, and warfare was constant. Joanna was a queen who managed to hold on to her realm as Queen of Naples for over 30 years. She married four times, but only her last husband, Otto, Duke of Brunswick was loyal to her—the others fought against her to capture her real
...more
Lisa
If you like medieval history, you'll enjoy this book. I read it because Joanna and I share a couple of common ancestors and I did find some genealogical info. I also learned a lot about the period of history this book covers--Joanna's life during the 1300s. The interactions of the Kingdom of Naples with Hungary, the papacy (in Avignon and Rome at different times, woth several different popes), France, England, the "free companies," and Sicily makes for interesting history. The ups and downs of J ...more
Jodi
Feb 10, 2010 Jodi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Couldn't believe the extensive detail covering Queen Joanna's youth and early years as Queen of Naples--then read the bibliographic notes at the end and cleared up the mystery. Evidently the Germans destroyed most of the historic materials during WWII that covered the time period of Joanna's reign. Luckily, someone wrote a dissertation on her early life using a lot of those documents--thus it was preserved. The later years were covered by Goldsstone via Vatican and other government records.
Well-
...more
Robert Intriago
Very good for a non fiction historical book. The writing flows wonderfully and the documenattion, including assumptions, are well supported. The book gives you insights into the papacy, 100 year war and the obsession of rulers of the time to obtain titles for title sake. In addition it gives a great look into the power and corruption of the church in the period. I wanted to give it a 5 star but I felt that the book requires some previous knowledge of the 100 year war and that having access to a ...more
1CheekyLass
I've tried this book 3 times but just can't connect to it. I found myself zoning out, rewinding sections multiple times. Made it to the 3 hr mark and gave up. Joanna was mentioned some but the story mostly centered on the politics. I think I'll finally leave this one alone.
Andreia Silva
Mar 13, 2016 Andreia Silva rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nao vale a pena iludir ninguém . Quem não gostar de coisas históricas não consegue ler. Quem consegue , vai adorar este !
Laura
May 04, 2017 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I started reading this book, I was not planning on growing 110% emotionally bonded to a Neapolitan queen who died (UNJUSTLY) over 600 years ago. That being said, I am now 110% emotionally bonded to Joanna. I am ready to march myself over to Naples, find the Santa Chiara and force them to commemorate this glorious, resilient queen. I was not always a fan of Nancy's very casual style, but it did add a bit of wry humor that made some of the utterly devastating and frustrating events of Joanna' ...more
Celia Kaltenbach-crotteau
I knew absolutely nothing about the reign of this fourteenth century monarch so appreciated the knowledge I gleaned from reading this book, even though it was heavier on historical statistics than details of Joanna's life.

What I found intriguing and disturbing was the power the papacy exercised over the fates of all of Europe, and not necessarily for the good; popes and their underlings dabbled in and directed politics and made the church a force to be reckoned with, again, not necessarily for
...more
Ruth
Jan 05, 2017 Ruth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
c2010: Modernised translations of old documents raised this from a dry, factual book into a page turning read. What a marvellous TV series could be made from this. Full of really interesting historical facts, well turned phrases and a really stand-out 'heroine'. A fascinating time in history and opened my eyes to happenings that I had not previously been aware of. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and have no hesitation recommending this to the history buffs amongst the normal crew. "He had a funct ...more
Jennifer
Jun 17, 2017 Jennifer rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
This was a good,solid historical read. Popular histories, in English, overwhelmingly focus on British, American or Renaissance history so it was refreshing to read a book centered in medieval Naples.

The book provides just enough insight into Joanna to really make you mourn the loss of so many primary sources during WWII.
K Rae
Oct 05, 2011 K Rae rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this biography by Nancy Goldstone! I had never heard of Queen Joanna, so obscure is she in history, but she was quite a remarkable woman. Living in the 1300's, Joanna was the granddaughter of Robert the Wise, King of Naples and was the first woman to govern a realm in her own name. Even though married four times, Joanna masterfully guarded her rule while dealing with complex political issues, constant war, economic "recessions," jealous and manipulative cousins, and even the b ...more
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
Oct 26, 2009 Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Snail in Danger (Sid) by: Goodreads giveaway
It was a pleasant surprise to receive a hardcover copy of this book, rather than a paperback ARC as for Meltdown Iceland. As the years go by, I buy fewer hardcover books. Even authors I like have a tendency to recycle themes (or worse, plots), acquire protection from editors, or explore other types of stories which are less interesting to me. (Sometimes, I even outgrow them.) This year, I bought exactly two hardcover books when they were new to the shelves. It just doesn't make sense to buy a ha ...more
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