Wives of the Kings of England, Normans to Stuarts

(2 customer reviews)

£17.99

  • Author Name: Mark Hichens
  • Publication Date: 30/10/2008
  • Format: Hardback

In stock (can be backordered)

ISBN: 9781846243004

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The twenty-three Norman and Stuart kings could count thirty-four queens between them, each with their part to play in this turbulent period of English history, be it heroic or tragic. Mark Hichens’ meticulously researched book tells of their shifting fortunes, at times enthroned in splendour, at times hunted fugitives.

Few queens sought to be ‘the power behind the throne’, while others unintentionally changed the course of history. Catherine of Aragon, by the stand she took, had a role in paving the way for the Reformation. Queen Mary II, uniquely a queen regnant and a queen consort, equally influenced a new political era by her actions, while Eleanor of Aquitaine will always be remembered for being the wife of a king of France and then of a king of England.

Lasting happiness came to few English queens, many of whom married at the behest of their parents, often despite a huge difference in age. They were expected to be prolific bearers of children (Eleanor of Castile bore Edward I at least fourteen offspring) and a constant support to their often quirky and libidinous husbands, whether mighty warriors or ineffective weaklings. In an age of bloodshed and dark deeds their influence was nearly always benign and forbearing.

2 reviews for Wives of the Kings of England, Normans to Stuarts

  1. Book Guild

    (From Amazon): I was really looking forward to reading this book. My passion at the moment is reading about Queen Consorts, Particularly from Queen Alexandra onwards and especially Queen Mary. I found the book was Ok, however I felt that it focused a bit to much on the lives of the Kings who they were married to! If you just want a brief history of each of the Queens then this is the book for you!! If however you are interested in knowing more about a particular Queen, then read their own Biography! It was good to have an understanding however of the Hanoverians, which ths book does very well!!

  2. Book Guild

    (From Amazon): As an American, I was only given a cursory glance at British History in Public School (which isn’t much). As a lover of History (especially British) I’ve noticed so many studies have been about the various ruling Monarchs and very little (if anything) is mentioned about the wives. Mark Hichens has done a wonderful job of giving his research a tone that is in no way boring.

    The book covers the wives from George the First through George the Sixth. While I had heard of both Queen Elizabeth (wife to George the Sixth) and the infamous Wallis Simpson, I knew only what I had seen on television. It was very interesting learning more about both of these women and shed a whole new light on them for me.

    The other seven Consorts, Sophia Dorthea of Celle (wife of George I), Caroline of Anspach (wife of George II), Charlotte of Mechlenburg-Strelitz (wife of George III), Caroline of Brunswick (wife of George IV), Adelaide of Saxe-Coburg Meiningen (wife of William IV), Alexandra of Denmark, (Wife of Edward VII) and Mary of Teck (wife of George V).

    With the exception of Caroline of Brunswick, all of these women were devoted & faithful to their husbands (despite that most, of these husbands were either unfaithful or idiosyncratic or both, with them). While they enjoyed the trappings of “royal life”, I wonder how much of their true-self they gave up for that. Mary of Teck & Elizabeth of Galmis seemed to enjoy a true love & faithfulness with their respective husbands. But most of the others existed at the whim of their husbands fancy. And in some cases the wives were more intelligent and/or had more common sense than their husbands.

    While I certainly don’t feel sorry for any of them or the circumstances of their lives, this book gave me a different view on the Consorts I had heard of and educated me in the ones I didn’t know.

    The book is an enjoyable read and is one that I intend to keep. If you are looking to find out more about these women or are looking for a reference book for studies, these is an excellent book to have on hand.

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