Henrietta Maria

Henrietta Maria

Conspirator, Warrior, and Phoenix Queen – the true story of Charles I’s wife


A myth-busting biography of Henrietta Maria, wife of Charles I, which retells the dramatic story of the civil war from her perspective



Henrietta Maria, Charles I's queen, is the most reviled consort in British history. Condemned as the 'Popish brat of France' and a 'notorious whore', she remains in popular memory the woman who turned the king Catholic - so causing a civil war - and a cruel and bigoted mother.

Leanda de Lisle unpicks these myths to reveal a very different queen. We meet a new bride who enjoyed annoying her uptight husband, who was a passionate advocate for the female voice in public affairs and who, when civil war came, proved crucial to Charles's campaign. The image of the Restoration queen as an irrelevant crone is replaced with Henrietta Maria as an influential 'phoenix queen'. It is time to look again at this despised queen and judge if she is not in fact one of our most remarkable.

'Brilliantly written, mesmerising, superb scholarship and totally immersive... A total game changer' KATE WILLIAMS, author of Rival Queens

'This is revisionist history at its absolute best' ANDREW ROBERTS author of Churchill

'Beautifully written and endlessly fascinating' ALEXANDER LARMAN author of The Crown in Crisis

'Popular history of the finest kind' RONALD HUTTON author of The Witch


  • A thrilling biography
    DANIEL BROOKS, The Daily Telegraph

About the author

Leanda de Lisle

Leanda de Lisle is the highly acclaimed author of several bestselling and prize-winning books on the Tudors and Stuarts including Tudor: The Family Story and White King: The Tragedy of Charles I. She writes and speaks on historical matters for TV, radio and publications including The Times, the Spectator and History Today.
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