Queens and Power in Medieval and Early Modern England

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Queens and Power is a collection of academic essays dealing with a variety of queens consort and queens regnant, mostly from the early modern period: the Empress Matilda, Catherine of Aragon, Mary I, Elisabeth de Valois, Catherine de Medici, Henrietta Maria, Anne, and, above all, Elizabeth I, the subject of several of these essays and even of two modern poems that appear here. There are also pieces on Shakespeare’s depiction of Cleopatra and on early modern representations of the biblical Queen Esther. In addition to contributions by the editors, the collection includes articles by Charles Beem, Timothy Elston, Sarah Duncan, John Watkins, Linda Shenk, Elaine Kruse, Michele Osherow, Anna Riehl, Richardine Woodall, Michelle White, and Marjorie Swann, and poems by Amber Leichner.

There’s a little bit for everyone here, especially for those interested in Elizabeth I, whose acts of mercy, travels, international relations, and representations in various guises all are covered, among other topics. I found Robert Bucholz’s essay on the way in which Queen Anne has been neglected by historians — and the role that her obesity might play in that neglect — to be particularly thought-provoking. Those interested in any of the queens here will find this a rewarding read.

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