The Lady Queen

The Notorious Reign of Joanna I, Queen of Naples, Jerusalem, and Sicily

By Nancy Goldstone
(Walker & Company, Hardcover, 9780802716705, 365pp.)

Publication Date: October 27, 2009

List Price: $27.00*
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the November 2009 Indie Notables
“Joanna, Queen of Naples, Jerusalem and Sicily was one of the first women to rule in her own right and she fought relatives, husbands and, popes to retain that right. The Lady Queen is history writing at its best. Fans of historical fiction will be riveted and history buffs will be amazed at the story of this largely forgotten queen.”
-- Ann Carlson, Harborwalk Books, Georgetown, SC


Description

The riveting history of a beautiful queen, a shocking murder, a papal trial--and a reign as triumphant as any in the Middle A ges.
On March 15, 1348, Joanna I, Queen of Naples, stood trial for her life before the Pope and his court in Avignon. She was twenty-two years old. Her cousin and husband, Prince Andrew of Hungary, had recently been murdered, and Joanna was the chief suspect. Determined to defend herself--Joanna won her acquittal against enormous odds. Returning to Naples, she ruled over one of Europe's most prestigious courts for more than thirty years--until she was herself murdered.

As courageous as Eleanor of Aquitaine, as astute and determined as Elizabeth I of England, Joanna was the only female monarch in her time to rule in her own name. She "was "notorious: The taint of her husband's death never quite left her. But she was also widely admired: Dedicated to the welfare of her subjects and realm, she reduced crime, built hospitals and churches, and encouraged the licensing of women physicians. While a procession of the most important artists and writers of her day found patronage at her glittering court, the turmoil of her times swirled around her: war, plague, intrigue, and the treachery that would, ultimately, bring her down.

As she did in her acclaimed "Four Queens," Nancy Goldstone takes us back to the turbulent and colorful Middle Ages, and with skill and passion brings fully to life one of history's most remarkable women. Her research is impeccable, her eye for detail unerring, and in "The Lady Queen "she paints a captivating portrait of medieval royalty in all its incandescent complexity.




About the Author
Nancy Goldstone is coauthor, with her husband, Lawrence, of five books, including "Out of the Flames", "The Friar and the Cipher", and "Warmly Inscribed".


Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  1. Do you think Joanna conspired to kill her husband Andrew?  If not, who do you think masterminded the crime?   How much do you think Elizabeth of Hungary’s refusal to accept the terms of the original agreement between Robert the Wise and Carobert contributed to her son’s death?  Why do you think she persisted in pursuing policies which she knew increased the danger around him?

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