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Game of Queens: The Women Who Made Sixteenth-Century Europe Paperback – 1 November 2017
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- Publisher : Oneworld; 1st edition (1 November 2017)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 416 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1786071002
- ISBN-13 : 978-1786071002
- Dimensions : 12.95 x 2.92 x 19.81 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 344,203 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
‘Gristwood handles multiple narrative strands with tremendous finesse... Densely packed with fascinating material, this immensely ambitious undertaking succeeds triumphantly.’― Literary Review
‘A masterpiece that effortlessly and enthrallingly interweaves the amazing stories of women who ruled in Europe during the Renaissance period...and a pacy and illuminating good read.’― Alison Weir
‘Engaging and highly readable.’― BBC History Magazine, Books of the Year
‘Gristwood brings them all to life with her usual mix of character study and pacy narrative’.― History Revealed
‘Gristwood interweaves the drama of monarchy with its more domestic moments.’― Telegraph
‘A fast-paced chronological narrative bursting with intrigue.’― Publishers Weekly
‘Sarah Gristwood’s study of the brilliant, beleaguered and often bloody difficult women who kept Europe going in the sixteenth century is compelling, clear-eyed, beautifully rendered and never-more-timely.’-- Jessie Childs
‘A magnificent exploration of a most remarkable group…Gristwood gives us impeccable research, incisive attention to detail and exquisite writing as she investigates these truly fascinating women and their lives of courage, tribulation and determination. Absolutely unputdownable.’-- Kate Williams, author of The Storms of War
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Top review from Australia
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Interesting, at times, riveting, this is a fascinating glimpse into a world that is too often overshadowed by the achievements of kings rather than the women who surrounded and influenced them.
Top reviews from other countries
It is a fascinating discussion of the women who held power - either on the throne or behind it - their often conflicted loyalties to their homelands, or being forced to marry to secure alliances. It challenges the myth that women had no role in politics in the sixteenth century, at times being the ones to secure peace (Margaret of Austria and Louise of Savoy).
Sarah Gristwood has a marvellous way of effortlessly making the book seem less like a biography/timeline, and more like a discussion you are having with her. She effortlessly breezes between the entwined stories and lives of these remarkable women, with such ease and delicacy that the reader is not left behind scratching their heads (which could easily be the case). What is also special about this book is that you do not need a vast knowledge of the sixteenth century, this is as perfect an introduction to the period as many other books. In fact, probably more so here due style of the narrative, which does not fall into the trap of many other books that go off on tangents. Simply sticking to key facts surrounding the women during their time in power.
Many books have been written set in the sixteenth century, mainly Tudor England, that you often wonder if some have anything new to offer. This book however, offers a whole new focus to the period. Mainly due to the focus on the women outside of England, those in power in France, Spain, Netherlands, Navarre, Hungary etc. That you begin to understand a new side to the politics of sixteenth century women.
It must be said that the book does not glamorise the role of women in the sixteenth century world, making them out be early feminists - quite the contrary, instead it merely challenges some of the views people may have had about the role of some women in these times, that they were actually more than child bearers.
As bestselling historian Alison Weir says, this book is quite simply "A Masterpiece". I eagerly await Sarah Gristwood future work.
* At the back of the book, look out for further reading on these women, as well as the link to the 'Game of Queens' website.