• Henrietta Maria

  • The Warrior Queen Who Divided a Nation
  • By: Leanda de Lisle
  • Narrated by: Daphne Kouma
  • Length: 12 hrs and 44 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)

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Henrietta Maria  By  cover art

Henrietta Maria

By: Leanda de Lisle
Narrated by: Daphne Kouma
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Publisher's Summary

Henrietta Maria is British history's most reviled queen consort. Condemned in her lifetime as the "Popish brat of France,” an adulteress, and a traitor, she remains in popular memory the wife who wore the breeches in her marriage, the woman who turned her husband Catholic (and so caused the English Civil War), and a cruel and bigoted mother.

This clear-eyed biography unpicks the myths and considers the story from Henrietta Maria's point of view. A portrait emerges of a woman whose closest friends included Puritans as well as Catholics, who crossed swords with Cardinal Richelieu, and led the anti-Spanish faction at the English court. A witty conversationalist, Henrietta Maria was a patron of the arts and a champion of the female voice, as well as a mediatrix for her persecuted fellow Catholics.

During the civil war, the queen's enemies agreed that Charles would never have survived as long as he did without the "She Generalissimo." Seeing events through her gaze reveals the truth behind the claims that she caused the war, explains her estrangement from her son Henry, and diminishes the image of the Restoration queen as an irrelevant crone. In fact, Henrietta Maria rose from the ashes of her husband's failures—a "phoenix queen"—presiding over a court judged to have had "more mirth" even than that of the Merry Monarch, Charles II.

©2022 Leanda de Lisle (P)2022 Tantor

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Entertaining as well as Informative

I know very little about the English Civil War except that it was essentially a religious conflict. This book tells the Catholic perspective through Henrietta Marie’s life. She was a strong and likable character who remained true to her own beliefs. She lived by the rules of her upbringing and did her very best for Charles and their children. I hadn’t realized Charles loosing the war and his head was only the close of the second act of his queen’s life. She continued to be a force in England and France until her own death. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the distaff side of history.