Sovereign Ladies: Sex, Sacrifice, and Power--The Six Reigning Queens of England

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Macmillan, Nov 25, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 554 pages
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Maureen Waller has written a fascinating narrative history---a brilliant combination of drama and biographical insight on the British monarchy---of the six women who have ruled England in their own names.

In the last millennium there have been only six English female sovereigns: Mary I and Elizabeth I, Mary II and Anne, Victoria and Elizabeth II. With the exception of Mary I, they are among England's most successful monarchs. Without Mary II and Anne, the Glorious Revolution of 1688 might not have taken place. Elizabeth I and Victoria each gave their name to an age, presiding over long periods when Britain made significant progress in the growth of empire, prestige, and power. All of them have far-reaching legacies. Each faced personal sacrifices and emotional dilemmas in her pursuit of political power. How to overcome the problem of being a female ruler when the sex was considered inferior? Does a queen take a husband and, if so, how does she reconcile the reversal of the natural order, according to which the man should be the master? A queen's first royal duty is to provide an heir to the throne, but at what cost?

In this richly compelling narrative of royalty, Maureen Waller delves into the intimate lives of England's queens regnant in delicious detail, assessing their achievements from a female perspective.

 

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Contents

Introduction I
1
Princess
15
Bastard
26
Rebel
40
Mary the Queen
57
The Spanish Marriage
67
Exit Jane
78
The Burnings
100
Unnatural Daughter
263
Sovereign and Consort
272
ANNE b 1665 r 17021714
293
The Conspirator
300
Good Queen Anne
313
House of Hanover VICTORIA b 1819 r 18371901
329
Kensington Girl
331
Victoria Regina
346

The Legacy
106
The Little Bastard
121
The Affair
133
The Suspect
145
Queen
159
For a Woman to Bear Rule
175
One Mistress and No Master
183
Two Queens in One Isle
198
The Image of the Queen
214
Eliza Triumphans
224
The Setting Sun
232
House of Stuart MARY II
247
Princess of Orange
249
Wife Mother and Queen
363
The Dual Monarchy
381
The Widow
396
The Great White Empress
419
Matriarch
434
Lilibet
449
Elizabeth Our Queen
464
After Diana
483
Epilogue
489
Notes
495
Bibliography
521
Index
535
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Maureen Waller was educated at University College London, where she read medieval and modern history. She took a master's degree at Queen Mary College, London, in British and European history 1660-1714. After a brief spell at the National Portrait Gallery, she went into publishing. She has worked at many prestigious publishing houses.

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