Book News July 2021




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The Imperial Women of Rome: Power, Gender, Context

Hardcover – 1 June 2021 (US) & 22 July 2021 (UK)

The Imperial Women of Rome explores the constraints and activities of the women who were part of Rome’s imperial families from 35 BCE to 235 CE, the Roman principate. Boatwright uses coins, inscriptions, papyri, material culture, and archaeology, as well as the more familiar but biased ancient authors, to depict change and continuity in imperial women’s pursuits and representations over time. Focused vignettes open each thematic chapter, emphasizing imperial women as individuals and their central yet marginalized position in the principate.

Pirate Queen: The Life of Grace O’Malley 

Paperback – 6 July 2021 (US) & 6 May 2021 (UK)

In a life stranger than any fiction, Grace O’Malley, daughter of a clan chief in the far west of Ireland, went from marriage at fifteen to piracy on the high seas. She soon had a fleet of galleys under her command, but her three decades of plundering, kidnapping, murder and mayhem came to a close in 1586, when she was captured and sentenced to hang.

Saved from the scaffold by none other than Queen Elizabeth herself – another powerful woman in a man’s world – Grace’s life took another extraordinary turn when it was rumored she had become intelligence for the queen’s spymaster, Sir Francis Walsingham. Was this the price of her freedom?

Judith Cook explores this and other questions about the life and times of this remarkable woman in a fascinating, thrilling and impeccably researched book.

Royal Witches: Witchcraft and the Nobility in Fifteenth-Century England

Paperback – 13 July 2021 (US & UK)

In Royal Witches, Gemma Hollman explores the lives and the cases of these so-called witches, placing them in the historical context of fifteenth-century England, a setting rife with political upheaval and war. In a time when the line between science and magic was blurred, these trials offer a tantalizing insight into how malicious magic would be used and would later cause such mass hysteria in centuries to come.

Zenobia (WOMEN IN ANTIQUITY) 

Paperback – 30 July 2021 (US & UK)

Hailing from the Syrian city of Palmyra, a woman named Zenobia (also Bathzabbai) governed territory in the eastern Roman empire from 268 to 272. She thus became the most famous Palmyrene who ever lived. But sources for her life and career are scarce. This book situates Zenobia in the social,
economic, cultural, and material context of her Palmyra. By doing so, it aims to shed greater light on the experiences of Zenobia and Palmyrene women like her at various stages of their lives. Not limiting itself to the political aspects of her governance, it contemplates what inscriptions and
material culture at Palmyra enable us to know about women and the practice of gender there, and thus the world that Zenobia navigated.

The Women of the Medici

Paperback – 8 July 2021 (US) & 1 July 2021 (UK)

When this book was first published in 1927 there was a dearth of material written in English about the leading women of Florence at the time of the Renaissance. This volume, based primarily on their own letters, filled that gap. As well as discussing the characters and domestic life of these influential women, the book includes many of their most significant letters.

Daughters of Edward I 

Hardcover – 30 July 2021 (UK) & 30 September 2021 (US)

In 1254 the teenage heir to the English throne married a Spanish bride, the sister of the king of Castile, in Burgos, and their marriage of 36 years proved to be one of the great royal romances of the Middle Ages. Edward I of England and Leonor of Castile had at least fourteen children together, though only six survived into adulthood, five of them daughters. Daughters of Edward I traces the lives of these five capable, independent women, including Joan of Acre, born in the Holy Land, who defied her father by marrying a second husband of her own choice, and Mary, who did not let her forced veiling as a nun stand in the way of the life she really wanted to live. The women’s stories span the decades from the 1260s to the 1330s, through the long reign of their father, the turbulent reign of their brother Edward II, and into the reign of their nephew, the child-king Edward III.

The Mistresses of George I and II: A Maypole and a Peevish Beast 

Hardcover – 8 July 2021 (UK) & 30 September 2021 (US)

When George I arrived in England he found a kingdom in turmoil. Mistrustful of the new monarch from Hanover, his subjects met his coronation with riots. At George’s side was his mistress, Melusine von der Schulenberg, whilst his ex-wife languished in prison. Known as the Maypole, thanks to her eye-catching figure, Melusine was the king’s confidante for decades. She was a mother to his children and a queen without a crown. George II never forgave his father for tearing him from his mother’s arms and he was determined to marry for love, not duty. Though his wife, Caroline of Ansbach, proved to be a politically gifted queen, George II turned to another for affection. She was Henrietta Howard, the impoverished Countess of Suffolk, and she was desperate to escape her brutish husband. As the years passed, the royal affair became a powerplay between king and queen and the woman who was mistress to one and servant to another. Melusine and Henrietta’s privileged position made them the envy of every courtier. It also made them a target of jealousy, plotting and ambition. In the tumultuous Georgian court, the bedroom and the throne room weren’t so far apart.

French Royal Women during the Restoration and July Monarchy: Redefining Women and Power (Queenship and Power)

Hardcover – 12 July 2021 (US & UK)

This book examines public discussions around France’s four most prominent royal women during the first and second Restoration and July Monarchy: the duchesse d’Angoulême, the duchesse de Berry, Queen of the French Marie-Amélie, and Adélaïde d’Orléans. These were the most powerful women of the last decades of the French monarchy, but the new roles women were assigned in post-revolutionary France did not permit them to openly exercise political influence. This book explores continuities and variations in narratives of royal legitimacy, and how historians, authors, and politicians used national history – particularly medieval and early modern history – to either legitimize or undermine the French monarchy, and to define women’s social and political roles.






About Moniek Bloks 2064 Articles
My name is Moniek and I am from the Netherlands. I began this website in 2013 because I wanted to share these women's amazing stories.

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