Alison Weir

Queens of the Age of Chivalry
  • Queens of the Age of Chivalry

  • Medieval queens were seen as mere dynastic trophies, yet many of the Plantagenet queens of the high middle ages dramatically broke away from the restrictions imposed on their sex.

    Marguerite of France, married at twenty to the formidable sixty-year-old Edward I, became politically active and sought to topple Edward II's favourite, Piers Gaveston. Edward II's queen, Isabella of France, ended his disastrous reign by invading England and deposing him. Her rule with her lover Roger Mortimer was in turn overthrown by her son Edward III as soon as he came of age. Edward III's long, happy and fruitful marriage to Philippa of Hainault came closest to the medieval ideal, and truly exemplified the Age of Chivalry. Anne of Bohemia was one of the most sophisticated and cosmopolitan queens ever to grace the English throne and Richard II loved her to distraction, but she may have dabbled in heresy and she died young. Afterwards Richard took a child bride, Isabella of Valois, who, despite her youth, remained fiercely loyal to him as he grew ever more tyrannical, and was active in the conflicts that led to his deposition.

    The turbulent, brutal Age of Chivalry witnessed the Black Death, the Peasants' Revolt, the Hundred Years' War against France and savage baronial wars against the monarchy in which these queens were passionately involved. Using personal letters and wonderfully vivid sources, Alison Weir evokes the lives of five remarkable queens and brilliantly recreates this truly dramatic period of history.

Alison Weir is one of Britain’s top-selling historians. She is the author of numerous works of history and historical fiction, specialising in the medieval and Tudor periods. Her bestselling history books include The Six Wives of Henry VIII, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Elizabeth of York and The Lost Tudor Princess. Her novels include Innocent Traitor, Katherine of Aragon: The True Queen and Anne Boleyn: A King's Obsession. She is an Honorary Life Patron of Historic Royal Palaces and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. She lives and works in Surrey.

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