The Lady Queen: Book summary and reviews of The Lady Queen by Nancy Goldstone

The Lady Queen

The Notorious Reign of Joanna I, Queen of Naples, Jerusalem, and Sicily

by Nancy Goldstone

The Lady Queen by Nancy Goldstone X
The Lady Queen by Nancy Goldstone

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Book Summary

On March 15, 1348, Joanna I , Queen of Naples, stood trial for her life before the Pope and his court in Avignon. She was twenty-two years old. Her cousin and husband, Prince Andrew of Hungary, had recently been murdered, and Joanna was the chief suspect. Determined to defend herself—Joanna won her acquittal against enormous odds. Returning to Naples, she ruled over one of Europe's most prestigious courts for more than thirty years—until she was herself murdered.

As courageous as Eleanor of Aquitaine, as astute and determined as Elizabeth I of England, Joanna was the only female monarch in her time to rule in her own name. She was notorious: The taint of her husband's death never quite left her. But she was also widely admired: Dedicated to the welfare of her subjects and realm, she reduced crime, built hospitals and churches, and encouraged the licensing of women physicians. While a procession of the most important artists and writers of her day found patronage at her glittering court, the turmoil of her times swirled around her: war, plague, intrigue, and the treachery that would, ultimately, bring her down.

As she did in her acclaimed Four Queens, Nancy Goldstone takes us back to the turbulent and colorful Middle Ages, and with skill and passion brings fully to life one of history's most remarkable women. Her research is impeccable, her eye for detail unerring, and in The Lady Queen she paints a captivating portrait of medieval royalty in all its incandescent complexity.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Packed with action and effortless to read, Goldstone's account will satisfy scholars and entertain book clubs with a heroine who had persistence and unbounded dedication to her realm." - Publishers Weekly

"Insufficiently critical but useful; for history lovers." - Library Journal

"A thoroughly intriguing portrait of a neglected historical figure." - Kirkus Reviews

"Joanna I, queen of Sicily, Naples, and Jerusalem, is the subject of this highly interesting biography." - A Girl Walks Into a Bookstore blog

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Author Information

Nancy Goldstone

Nancy Goldstone is the author of Four Queens: The Provençal Sisters Who Ruled Europe and coauthor (with her husband Lawrence Goldstone) of five books, including Out of the Flames, The Friar and the Cipher, and Warmly Inscribed. She lives in Westport, Connecticut.

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