Robin's Reviews > She-Wolves: The Women Who Ruled England Before Elizabeth

She-Wolves by Helen Castor
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Oct 15, 11

bookshelves: history, medieval, kindle, royalty, england
Read from October 07 to 15, 2011

This book mainly covers four queens of England who proceeded Elizabeth I: Matilda, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Isabella of France, and Margaret of Anjou. Three out of four of these women differ from Elizabeth I in that they were queen consorts, not regnants. And the fourth, Matilda, unfortunately was never actually crowned and her struggle for the throne was only briefly won before it slipped through her fingers. Nevertheless, these four women played important roles in the history of England and Helen Castor does their stories justice. Her writing style is scholarly but not dry and while the biographies are naturally not full-length (to fit four in one book obviously means condensing them slightly), they still managed to be very comprehensive.

The introduction briefly covers Edward VI and the contenders (all female) for the throne after his death, which sets the basis of the coverage for the women who came before them. The conclusion also goes into more detail on Jane Grey and Mary I and the build up to the ascension of Elizabeth I.

An excellent introduction to women's history of the middle ages.
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