When Women Ruled the World: Making the Renaissance in Europe

When Women Ruled the World: Making the Renaissance in Europe

by Maureen Quilligan


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“[An] extraordinary narrative that sweeps away centuries of historical bias. . . . Anyone with an interest in Renaissance culture will want to read this revelatory book, not least for its relevance to the present.”
—Margreta de Grazia

When Women Ruled the World is more than just biography, it’s a survival guide for the modern woman. Once you realize what these queens went through to stay in power, you’ll never again doubt that women can achieve anything. Behind every great woman, as Maureen Quilligan shows . . . is her own sheer persistence.”
—Amanda Foreman, author of The Duchess

When Women Ruled the World is a rare delight, offering a vivid and intimate account—a page-turner!—revealing the lives, loves, betrayals, and murders that linked Mary Tudor; Mary, Queen of Scots; Elizabeth I; and Catherine de’ Medici. . . . Drawing upon a wealth of royal archives, Maureen Quilligan tells a story more fascinating than fiction.”
—Elaine Pagels, author of Beyond Belief

“An imaginative retelling of the lives of the queens who in the later sixteenth century ruled France, England, and Scotland. Through their gifts of embroidery, jewels, and poetry, Maureen Quilligan brings to life the gestures of sisterhood between women too often assumed simply to be rivals.”
—Catherine Fletcher, author of The Black Prince of Florence and The Divorce of Henry VIII

“Maureen Quilligan carefully documents—and beautifully illustrates—the fascinating careers of four sixteenth-century European queens. She highlights their strategic gift-giving and professions of mutual affection, as well as their suspicions and rivalries, competition and collaboration.”
—Nannerl O. Keohane, former president of Wellesley College and Duke University

“In this lively and engaging book, Maureen Quilligan invites us to reflect upon four sixteenth-century women rulers. . . . This ambitious study takes a deeply creative turn by focusing on the gifts exchanged between these women—objects that knit them together through gestures of generosity and affection. While copious illustrations permit us to see the precious books, embroideries, and jewels in question, Quilligan’s vivid analyses enable us to read them. We grasp how effectively the gifting of royal ‘things’ could foster important—and even improbable—Renaissance alliances.”
—Nancy Vickers, former president of Bryn Mawr College

When Women Ruled the World makes us see power-brokering in sixteenth-century Europe entirely anew. Written with wit and verve, this book . . . forces us to confront our willingness to accept cartoonish and simplistic accounts of female power, a problem that remains with us today.”
—Wendy Wall, author of Staging Domesticity

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781631497964
Publisher: Liveright Publishing Corporation
Publication date: 10/12/2021
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 38,718
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Maureen Quilligan is R. Florence Brinkley Professor of English Emerita at Duke University. The author of books about medieval and Renaissance literature, she was also coeditor of the groundbreaking essay collection Rewriting the Renaissance: The Discourses of Sexual Difference in Early Modern Europe. To learn more about Quilligan’s work, visit: https://whenwomenruled.blog/

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