Henrietta Maria: The Warrior Queen Who Divided a Nation

Henrietta Maria: The Warrior Queen Who Divided a Nation

by Leanda de Lisle
Henrietta Maria: The Warrior Queen Who Divided a Nation

Henrietta Maria: The Warrior Queen Who Divided a Nation

by Leanda de Lisle



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Dispelling the myths around this legendary queen, this biography of Henrietta Maria, queen consort of King Charles I, retells the dramatic story of the English Civil War from the perspective of this dynamic woman.

Henrietta Maria is British history’s most reviled queen consort. Condemned in her lifetime as the "Popish brat of France,” an adulteress, and a traitor, she remains in popular memory the wife who wore the breeches in her marriage, the woman who turned her husband Catholic (and so caused the English Civil War), and a cruel and bigoted mother.

This clear-eyed biography unpicks the myths and considers the story from Henrietta Maria's point of view. A portrait emerges of a woman whose closest friends included Puritans as well as Catholics, who crossed swords with Cardinal Richelieu, and led the anti-Spanish faction at the English court. A witty conversationalist, Henrietta Maria was a patron of the arts and a champion of the female voice, as well as a mediatrix for her persecuted fellow Catholics.

During the civil war, the queen's enemies agreed that Charles would never have survived as long as he did without the "She Generalissimo." Seeing events through her gaze reveals the truth behind the claims that she caused the war, explains her estrangement from her son Henry, and diminishes the image of the Restoration queen as an irrelevant crone. In fact, Henrietta Maria rose from the ashes of her husband's failures—a "phoenix queen”—presiding over a court judged to have had "more mirth” even than that of the Merry Monarch, Charles II.

It is time to look again at this often-criticized queen and determine if she is not, in fact, one of British history's most remarkable women.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781639362813
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication date: 09/06/2022
Format: eBook
Pages: 432
File size: 27 MB
Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

About the Author

Leanda de Lisle is the New York Times bestselling author of Tudor: Passion, Manipulation, and Murder, as well as The White KingThe Sisters Who Would Be Queen, and After Elizabeth. She has been a columnist on the Spectator, the Guardian, the Sunday Telegraph, and the Daily Express, and she writes for the Daily Mail, the New Statesman, and the Sunday Telegraph. She lives in Leicestershire, England.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations xi

Map xiv

Family Tree xvi

Preface xxi

Part 1 The Society of Princes

1 A Carpenter's Workshop 3

2 The Wrong Religion 10

3 The Witch's Spell 20

4 A Prince Errant 31

Part 2 To Love a King

5 'The game and play of favourites' 47

6 'What she will think, and say, or do' 61

7 Rows 72

8 Winning the King 86

9 Becoming a Leader 99

Part 3 A Good Catholic and a Good Queen

10 Foreign Affairs 113

11 The Road to Rome 125

12 The Golden Rose 139

13 Last of the Halcyon Days 152

14 The Bishops' War 162

Part 4 Transformation

15 To Rebel Without Fear 177

16 The Army Plots 189

17 The Struggle for London 204

18 Saving the King 218

19 To Kill a Queen 230

Part 5 The Generalissima

20 Her Popish Army 247

21 Oxford 258

22 'A distressed wandering princess' 267

23 "The violence of destiny' 280

24 "The last act of this tragedy 294

Part 6 Phoenix Queen

25 'No other rainbow' 309

26 'The phoenix of our times' 322

27 The Last Conspiracy 332

28 The Lessons of Failure 343

Postscript 350

Acknowledgements 357

Notes 359

Index 431

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