London, 1483. From the aged Duchess of York, who is 99 years old and will never sit on the throne, to the young Lady Anne who will marry Richard III in order to reign, Chaurette traces the shifting passions and ambitions of six women drawn from Shakespeare’s theatre and portray them here in the timelessness of their quest. As Ernst Kantorowicz has said so clearly in The King’s Two Bodies, all royal personae exist in two worlds: the private world of their needs and desires; and the public world where they become the emblematic icon of the realm. It is on the ritualized ground between these two worlds where the human drama is seen most clearly in all of its comic and tragic, visceral and political, temporal and metaphysical astonishments. Yet this traditionally male ground has rarely been explored with women characters, and has even less frequently been presented in the context of the primal mystery it ultimately isthe vision of public majesty in the instant before the death of the private body.
The Queens, first published in an English translation by Coach House Press in 1992, is presented here in a new edition, containing the latest revisions by the author and the translator.
Cast of six women.