Whether they chose the role or not, whether loved or not, steely or flighty, clever or destructive these fascinating women made history just by ascending the throne. What they did when they got there, well that’s the story. These wonderful biographies bring each woman to life in a spectacular way.
An heiress in her own right and a force to be reckoned with, she was the wife of two kings and the mother of two kings and two queens. Her stormy marriage to Henry II was the basis for the wonderful play and Oscar-winning film "Lion in Winter" starring a superb Peter O'Toole and Katherine Hepburn.
The uniter of Spain, sponsor of Columbus, expeller of Moors, instigator of the Inquisition, Isabella ruled Spain with an iron fist and was a fascinating woman. This biography looks at her reign with a fresh eye and brings depth and intimacy to the story of this Warrior Queen.
Poisoner, despot, necromancer — the dark legend of Catherine de Medici is centuries old. In this critically hailed biography, Leonie Frieda reclaims the story of this unjustly maligned queen to reveal a skilled ruler battling extraordinary political and personal odds.
She was the first woman to inherit the throne of England, a key player in one of Britain’s stormiest eras, and a leader whose unwavering faith and swift retribution earned her the nickname “Bloody Mary.” Now, in this impassioned and absorbing debut, historian Anna Whitelock offers a modern perspective on Mary Tudor and sets the record straight once and for all on one of history’s most compelling and maligned rulers.
Elizabeth Rex. A towering figure and perhaps the most influential sovereign England has known. An incredibly cagey and private person she kept her own council and shared secrets with no one. Allison Weir is the biographer extraordinaire who illuminates her life and her court as only she can.
She was the quintessential queen: statuesque, regal, dazzlingly beautiful. Her royal birth gave her claim to the thrones of two nations; her marriage to the young French dauphin promised to place a third glorious crown on her noble head. Instead, Mary Stuart became the victim of her own impulsive heart and, betrayed by those she most trusted, she would be lured into a deadly game of power, only to lose to her envious and unforgiving cousin, Elizabeth I.
The extraordinary story of an obscure young German princess who traveled to Russia at fourteen and through sheer determination transformed herself into Empress of Russia and became one of the most remarkable, powerful, and captivating women in history.
She didn't want to be Queen and was ill-prepared for the job, even though her mother had raised her to be one from birth. Lost in the French court she was unhappy and appeared frivolous, almost forgettable except for her place in history. Carolly Erickson's biography is psychologically acute, richly detailed, and deeply moving and you come away with a completely new understanding and sympathy for this much maligned Queen.
When Queen Victoria died in 1901, she had ruled for nearly sixty-four years. She was a mother of nine and grandmother of forty-two and the matriarch of royal Europe through the marriages she made for her children. There have been many biographies of this mysterious, passionate, expressive, humorous and unconventional women. This is one of the best.
Considered at one time to be the most beautiful woman in the world, Empress Elisabeth of Austria was married to Emperor Franz Josef, the most eligible bachelor in Europe, when she was 16. On the surface, it was a fairytale marriage but this book reveals the torment and heartbreak "Sisi" suffered and the magnificent biography details not just her life but the waning of the Habsburg Empire.