- Additional information
A myth-busting biography of Henrietta Maria, wife of Charles I, which retells the dramatic story of the civil war from her perspective Henrietta Maria is Britain’s most reviled queen consort. Condemned in her lifetime as the ‘Popish brat of France’, an adulteress and traitor, she remains in popular memory the wife who wore the breeches, made her husband Catholic and so caused a civil war, and a cruel and bigoted mother.
This biography unpicks the myths and considers Henrietta Maria’s point of view. A woman emerges whose closest friends included Puritans as well as Catholics, who crossed swords with Cardinal Richelieu and led the anti-Spanish faction at court. A witty conversationalist, she was a patron of the arts and a champion of the female voice, as well as a mediatrix for her persecuted fellow Catholics.
During the civil war the queen’s enemies agreed that Charles would never have survived as long as he did without the She Generalissimo. Seeing events through her gaze reveals the truth behind the claims that she caused the war, explains her estrangement from her son Henry and undoes the image of the Restoration queen as an irrelevant crone. In fact, Henrietta Maria rose from the ashes of her husband’s failures — a ‘phoenix queen’ – presiding over a court judged to have ‘more mirth’ even than that of the Merry Monarch, Charles II.
It is time to look again at this despised woman and judge if she is not, in fact, one of history’s most remarkable. Leanda de Lisle is the highly acclaimed author of four books on the Tudors and Stuarts, including the bestselling The Sisters Who Would Be Queen, Tudor: The Family Story and The White King. She regularly writes and speaks on historical matters for TV, radio and a number of publications including The Times, the Spectator and Daily Express. She lives in Leicestershire. GB
|1 × 6 × 9 cm