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Starred Review. The four beautiful, cultured and clever daughters of the Count and Countess of Provence made illustrious marriages and lived at the epicenter of political power and intrigue in 13th-century Europe. Marguerite accompanied her husband, King Louis IX of France, on his disastrous first crusade to the Holy Land, where straight from childbirth she ransomed him from the Mamluks. And with her sister Eleanor, queen of England, Marguerite engineered a sturdy peace between France and England. Ambitious Eleanor walked a narrow line while she struggled to build her own power base without alienating her cowardly husband, Henry III. Beatrice's coronation as queen of Sicily was the culmination of her long, hard-fought campaign to earn respect from her world-famous, mightily accomplished older siblings. Sanchia wed one of the richest men in Europe, but her reign as queen of Germany, brought her only misery. On Goldstone's (coauthor of The Friar and the Cipher) rich, beautifully woven tapestry, medieval Europe springs to vivid life, from the lavish menus of the royal banquets and the sweet songs of the troubadours to the complex machinations of the pope against the Holy Roman Emperor. This is a fresh, eminently enjoyable history that gives women their due as movers and shakers in tumultuous times. Illus., 4 maps. (Apr. 23)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Historian Goldstone tracks the historically and politically significant lives of four thirteenth-century sisters born into the minor nobility of medieval Provence. Although their origins were not as lofty as many others, Marguerite married Louis IX of France, Eleanor was wed to England's Henry III, Sanchia was married to Richard of Cornwall, who eventually was crowned king of Germany, and Beatrice assisted her husband, Charles of Anjou, in seizing the Sicilian throne. Goldstone deftly analyzes what separated these women from their peers--beauty, ambition, familial connections, political aspirations, and timing--in compulsively readable detail. This fascinating collective biography will appeal to students of the period and should generate some crossover appeal for fans of intelligent historical fiction featuring strong female protagonists a la Philippa Gregory. Margaret Flanagan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I liked the interaction between time line and characters. Easy to follow and read.Published 13 days ago by Maria Isabel
Two generations after Eleanor of Aquitaine, Eleanor of Provence marries King Henry, the first Eleanor’s grandson. Read morePublished 22 days ago by Joe Da Rold
Wonderfully written. It's often hard to find a medieval history that clearly delineates all the same-named people and still is engaging. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Tiffany Rhoades
Goldstone has masterfully presented an entire era in European politics even as she keeps a compelling focus on four sisters from Provence who all became queens. Read morePublished 7 months ago by PMcC-DC
I don't want dry as dust history and I don't want fiction. It follows that some lively writing would not be rejected. Read morePublished 9 months ago by eledavf Vivian
As the third book of my recent bookstore jaunt, this book proved to be an interesting one to read. It serves as a comparative biography of four sisters, looking at European women’s... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Nathan Albright
Fascinating from the perspective of Western European history, women's power and the misplaced honor of the sainthood of Louis IX. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Amy Koblenzer
I am halfway thru it and am enjoying it. The facts of the events are presented interestingly and makes the book an enjoyable read.Published 12 months ago by reader and movie watcher