Set against the backdrop of the turbulent 13th century, a time of chivalry and crusades, poetry, knights, and monarchs, comes the story of the four beautiful daughters of the count of Provence, whose brilliant marriages made them the queens of France, England, Germany, and Sicily. From a cultured childhood in Provence, each sister was propelled into a world marked by shifting alliances, intrigue, and subterfuge: Marguerite, the eldest, whose resolution and spirit would be tested by the cold splendor of the Palais du Roi in Paris; Eleanor, whose soaring political aspirations would provoke her kingdom to civil war; Sanchia, the neglected wife of the richest man in England, who bought himself the crown of Germany; and Beatrice, whose desire for sovereignty was so acute that she risked her life to earn her place at the royal table. Four Queens shatters the myth that women were helpless pawns in a society that celebrated physical prowess and masculine intellect. A riveting historical saga for fans of Alison Weir and Antonia Fraser.More
Historian Nancy Goldstone examines medieval Europe from the point of view of four Provençal sisters who played key roles in shaping history. Marguerite, Eleanor, Sanchia, and Beatrice were daughters of the count of Provence; through their marriages they became queens of France, England, Germany, and Sicily. This engaging story highlights the crucial role each sister played in shaping history. Narrator Josephine Bailey adds a note of refined elegance with her clear and clipped British accent while expertly pronouncing the often complicated and obscure names. Rather than attempting accents and voices, Bailey keeps a steady and impassive tone throughout, raising her voice only in moments of extreme emotion. This technique enhances the third-person objective perspective of the text.
"On Goldstone's...rich, beautifully woven tapestry, medieval Europe springs to vivid life....This is a fresh, eminently enjoyable history." (Publishers Weekly)
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