Eleanor of Castile: Queen and Society in Thirteenth-Century England by John Carmi Parsons

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Author
John Carmi Parsons
Publisher
St. Martin's Press
Date of release
Pages
364
ISBN
9780312086497
Binding
Hardcover
Illustrations
Format
PDF, EPUB, MOBI, TXT, DOC
Rating
5
31

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Eleanor of Castile: Queen and Society in Thirteenth-Century England

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Book review

Medievalist feminist studies' early concentration on the lives of prominent women has more recently given way to an interest in their less exalted sisters. Historians have seemingly avoided the careers of medieval queens, creatures of romance and legend, women who enjoyed rank and wealth merely as a consequence of birth or marriage. A renewed interest in such women has, however, followed the opening of new avenues to the study of women and power in the Middle Ages. That the lives of these women will reward reconsideration has been amply proven in the works of such historians as Pauline Stafford and Janet Nelson. "Eleanor of Castile" studies the wife of Edward I of England, a woman eulogized since the 16th-century as a model of virtuous womanhood and queenly excellence, who overcame the impediment of her foreign birth to win all English hearts. This book shows that Eleanor's contemporaries in fact had a disquietingly different opinion of her, and develops as a central theme the formation of that opinion as her behaviour was observed by her subjects. The book thus becomes a study in the construction of one woman's imagery of power and her society's perception of that imagery. The evo


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