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Publisher's Summary

In the tradition of Antonia Fraser, David Starkey, and Alison Weir, prize-winning historian Helen Castor delivers a compelling, eye-opening examination of women and power in England, witnessed through the lives of six women who exercised power against all odds - and one who never got the chance. 

Exploring the narratives of the Empress Matilda, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Isabella of France, Margaret of Anjou, and other "she-wolves," as well as that of the Nine Days' Queen, Lady Jane Grey, Castor invokes a magisterial discussion of how much - and how little - has changed through the centuries.

©2011 Helen Castor (P)2020 Tantor

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STORY TELLING IS ERRATIC

I didn’t like this book at all. The subject matter is very interesting, although done to death in the past. The problem here is that the author jumps from one time period to another and back again, making the book difficult to follow. One minute we are reading about Empress Matilda, then Elizabeth I, then Eleanor of Aquitaine, then back to Mathilda. The author doesn’t go in-depth enough on each ruler or the time period. She spends way too much time telling us about the MALES surrounding the queens. Like the first we hear about then Princess Elizabeth is after a long discourse on her half-brother King Edward VI. Same with Mathilda. While her her cousin and main contender to the throne of England is key to Matilda’s story, Stephen is given way too much “face time” in this book. All of this extra info adds nothing to the story, resulting in a lengthy and confusing 16 hours. I never got to Queen Victoria and glad of it. We all know that Vickies’s entire life revolved around her beloved husband Prince Albert. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is FIVE hours about him while his wife, sovereign and one of England’s longest reigning rulers only getting 2 hours.

After several restarts in an attempt to get some continuity and comprehension, I had to give up after 3 hours. LISTENING to this book is just to “labor-intensive”.

12 people found this helpful

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several ladies- from different centuries

I was pretty familiar with most of the women figures wrote about here, so there was some overlap for me. yet all these women are interesting enough, that I didn't mind hearing parts of known figure.but I can say there was something to be said/ heard still about all women laid out here, for ones lesser known and more familiar. I very much enjoyed the info of the few that normally we only hear about in a book about contemporary male figures. so it's totally worth a read, even if it looks like you might sit through some fact you already know.
also a good way to see if you get particularly excited about a certain figure or time on history, so you can have ideas for what you would like to read more on in detail.

3 people found this helpful

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A great telling of the storie of amazing Queens

I enjoyed this writer's work very much, it kept my attention easily. The narrator was good too.

3 people found this helpful