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Download Queens, Empresses, Grand Duchesses, and Regents: Women Rulers of Europe, A.D. 1328-1989 epub

by Olga S. Opfell

This book presents the lives and accomplishments of 39 women rulers-not "in-name-only," but wielders of real power. Celebrated queens like England's Elizabeth I share equal space here with lesser-known monarchs like Giovanna I of Naples and Maria da Gloria of Portugal. The flamboyant, such as Christina of Sweden, contrast with the moralistic, like Maria Theresa of Austria. Each is the heroine of an often dramatic story involving dynastic interplay and court politics. The complex forces that have impeded or sparked the royal performances are detailed.
Download Queens, Empresses, Grand Duchesses, and Regents: Women Rulers of Europe, A.D. 1328-1989 epub
ISBN: 0899503853
ISBN13: 978-0899503851
Category: Biographies
Subcategory: Specific Groups
Author: Olga S. Opfell
Language: English
Publisher: McFarland (April 1, 1989)
Pages: 296 pages
ePUB size: 1522 kb
FB2 size: 1573 kb
Rating: 4.8
Votes: 716
Other Formats: rtf mobi docx mbr

I looked forward to this historical research on women in power from the 1300's on. While the author certainly did her research, the short accounts are full of way too many FACTS and NAMES, while not really personalizing the woman ruler at all. I'm no dummy, but all the names, battles, various historical realms are so confusing, being given in short chapters, that I got no real picture of who this woman actually WAS! It would be good as a starting point in exploring more about the person online-which I've done. Wikipedia is much more useful to me than this book is in presenting the information more clearly. Sorry-I didn't like it.
One of the enduring effects of the agnatic ("men only") provisions of the Salic Law, on which most French and German law has been based since about the 8th century, is that female rulers have been very much the exception on the Continent. But there have been some, especially in Scandinavia and Spain, and Opfell has brought thirty-nine of them together in a popularly written but accurate collective narrative. Though the volume includes brief chapters on Elizabeth I & II of England, as well as Queens Mary and Anne, a great many other, more complete sources are available about them. However, many of her subjects will be little known to the majority of readers: Maria of Hungary, who was half-Italian; Catalina, niece of the king of France, who was the last ruler of an independent Navarre; Ulrika Eleonore, the anxious and insecure queen of Sweden; and the lazy and self-indulgent Elizabeth of Russia, who staged a coup d'état. The author segues between chapters wherever possible and her narrative style is generally clear and concise, though the relative brevity of the work often requires compression of events. I found it a little odd, though, that nowhere does the author appear to consider whether this group of monarchs and de facto rulers differs fundamentally because of their sex -- from a similar group of men, that is -- whether in personal style or in political and dynastic concerns. If that was not to be at least a partial theme, why write the book?
A courageous attempt on the part of the Author to write a book on
Female rulers of Europe. However, her work is too shallow and not
all rulers are included.