The Tudor Queens of England

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Overview

"The majority of the fourteen queens considered here, from Catherine de Valois and Elizabeth Woodville to Elizabeth of York, Jane Seymour and Catherine Parr, were consorts, the wives of kings. Their first duty was to bear children and their chastity within marriage had to be above reproach. Any suspicion of sexual misconduct would cast doubt on the legitimacy of their offspring. Three of these women - Margaret of Anjou, Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard - were accused of such conduct, and two were tried and executed." "A queen had to contribute to ...
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Overview

"The majority of the fourteen queens considered here, from Catherine de Valois and Elizabeth Woodville to Elizabeth of York, Jane Seymour and Catherine Parr, were consorts, the wives of kings. Their first duty was to bear children and their chastity within marriage had to be above reproach. Any suspicion of sexual misconduct would cast doubt on the legitimacy of their offspring. Three of these women - Margaret of Anjou, Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard - were accused of such conduct, and two were tried and executed." "A queen had to contribute to her husband's royal image. This could be through works of piety or through humble intercession. It could also be through her fecundity because the fathering of many children was a sign of virility and of divine blessing. A queen might also make a tangible contribution to her husband's power with her marriage as the symbol of an international diplomatic agreement." A ruling queen was very different, especially if she was married, insofar as she had to fill the roles of both king and queen. No woman could be both martial and virile, and at the same time submissive and supportive. Mary I solved this problem in a constitutional sense but never at the personal level. Elizabeth I sacrificed motherhood by not marrying. She chose to be mysterious and unattainable - la belle dame sans merci. In later life she used her virginity to symbolize the integrity of her realm and her subjects remained fascinated by her unorthodoxy.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Leading Tudor historian Loades (Honorary Research Professor, Univ. of Sheffield; Mary Tudor: A Life) examines the daily lives of Tudor queens, including both ruling queens and queen consorts, from the 15th through the early 17th centuries. Chapters are arranged thematically about a particular woman, e.g., "The Queen as Lover," "The Queen as Foreign Ally," and "the Unmarried Sovereign." Loades also includes a section titled "The Queens Who Never Were," which examines the lives of Jane Grey and Mary Stuart. Given that traditionally several of the queens examined would not be considered Tudor queens, including Catherine de Valois and Margaret of Anjou, the addition of family charts would have been useful. Although this is a thoroughly researched book, the emphasis on the queens' sexual habits-which relies heavily on speculation-could have been omitted. For interested readers.
—Carrie Benbow

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781606710029
  • Publisher: MJF Books
  • Publication date: 2/20/2010
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

David Loades is one of the leading historians of the Tudor monarchy. He is the author of the definitive biography of Elizabeth's half-sister, Mary Tudor: A Life (1989), and of The Tudor Court (second edition, 2003). He is Honorary Research Professor at the University of Sheffield and Director of the British Academy John Foxe Project.

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Table of Contents

1. The queen as trophy: Catherine de Valois
2. The queen as dominatrix: Margaret of Anjou
3. The queen as lover: Elizabeth Woodville
4. The queen as helpmate: Elizabeth of York
5. The queen as foreign ally: Catherine of Aragon and Anne of Cleves
6.The domestic queens: Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour and Catherine Parr
7. The queen as whore: Catherine Howard
8. The queens who never were: Jane Grey and Mary Stuart
9. The married sovereign: Mary I
10. The unmarried sovereign: Elizabeth I Epilogue: Queens since 1603

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 14, 2011

    Not what I expected

    Though admittedly well researched, this book was not at all what I expected. Rather than making the argument for the classifications of the various queens (i.e. The Domestic Queens), Loades simply provides the reader with a brief biography of each woman. Much of his material is based on speculation rather than fact, a point that seriously detracts from the credibility of the book. However, Loades does indicate when his narrative is based on conjecture, winning back some credibility. His narrative is also easily accesible, though some parts could be better explained. Good for those interested in the subject with little background in the era.

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