Birth of the Chess Queen: A History by Marilyn Yalom, NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble
Birth of the Chess Queen

Birth of the Chess Queen

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by Marilyn Yalom
     
 

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Everyone knows that the queen is the most dominant piece in chess, but few people know that the game existed for five hundred years without her. It wasn't until chess became a popular pastime for European royals during the Middle Ages that the queen was born and was gradually empowered to become the king's fierce warrior and protector.

Birth of the Chess

Overview

Everyone knows that the queen is the most dominant piece in chess, but few people know that the game existed for five hundred years without her. It wasn't until chess became a popular pastime for European royals during the Middle Ages that the queen was born and was gradually empowered to become the king's fierce warrior and protector.

Birth of the Chess Queen examines the five centuries between the chess queen's timid emergence in the early days of the Holy Roman Empire to her elevation during the reign of Isabel of Castile. Marilyn Yalom, inspired by a handful of surviving medieval chess queens, traces their origin and spread from Spain, Italy, and Germany to France, England, Scandinavia, and Russia. In a lively and engaging historical investigation, Yalom draws parallels between the rise of the chess queen and the ascent of female sovereigns in Europe, presenting a layered, fascinating history of medieval courts and internal struggles for power.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061913426
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
05/19/2009
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
1,064,074
File size:
458 KB

Meet the Author

Marilyn Yalom is a senior scholar at the Institute for Women and Gender at Stanford University. She is the author of A History of the Wife; A History of the Breast; Blood Sisters: The French Revolution in Women's Memory; and Maternity, Mortality, and the Literature of Madness. She lives in Palo Alto, California, with her husband, psychiatrist and writer Irvin Yalom.

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Birth of the Chess Queen: A History 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fudge suckle junior! This is great, please continue!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Scattered throughout with intriguing tales of chess¿ early days, this book, as implied by its title, follows the enigmatic chess queen from her humble beginnings as the weakest piece on the board to her present-day domination. As the queen was initially absent from the game, the author describes some of the powerful queens that may have inspired her entrance to the game. Powerful and majestic, these queens make for good reading. The author also takes great pains to describe the ancient chess pieces that were the inspiration for the book, and includes many wonderful pictures. This book was an eye-opener chess has not always been the tame pastime that it is now, but a hazardous diversion in years past. Matches were often heated, and occasionally resulted in murder. Condemned by various churches several times, it nevertheless flourished. It was seen as a courting ritual, a metaphor for love. ¿Imagine putting [a chess scene] on a Valentine today instead of hearts or cupids!¿ Chess queens were also compared to the Virgin Mary. Meant to honor the Holy Mother, this comparison opened wider the door for our chess queen and her real-life counterparts. ¿If the Holy Virgin could rein over the heavens, why shouldn¿t queens rein on earth? It was an analogy female sovereigns used to shore up their authority.¿ I found this book fascinating. It was a good book to branch out with. It was a little slow at some parts, but for the most part the author did a wonderful job combining interesting tales with historical facts. I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys history even a little, and definitely anyone interested in chess.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is rather interesting from the prospective of a woman who feels that Woman's liberation and chess have something in common! From a historical perspective every woman should own a copy of this book. From a chess prospective (I am a woman who likes chess) the author is not much a player but a historian with an attitude! A bit fun! Woman rule is the tone!