Publication Date: 29/02/2024 ISBN: 9781526613431 Category:

Young Queens

Leah Redmond Chang

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publication Date: 29/02/2024 ISBN: 9781526613431 Category:
Paperback / Softback


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The boldly original, dramatic intertwined story of Catherine de’ Medici, Elisabeth de Valois and Mary, Queen of Scots – three queens exercising power in a world dominated by men.

‘Alluring, gripping, real: an astonishing insight into the lives of three queens’ ALICE ROBERTS
‘Takes us into the hearts and minds of three extraordinary women’ AMANDA FOREMAN
‘Conveys the vitality of the past as few books do. An enviable tour de force’ SUZANNAH LIPSCOMB

Catherine de’ Medici, Elisabeth de Valois and Mary, Queen of Scots lived together at the French court for many years – years that bound them to one another through blood and marriage, alliance and friendship, love and filial piety. When they scattered to different kingdoms, they would learn that to rule was to wage a constant war against the deeply entrenched misogyny of the sixteenth century. A crown could exalt a young woman. Equally, it could destroy her.

Young Queens masterfully weaves the personal stories of these three queens into one, revealing their hopes, dreams, desires and regrets at a time when even the most powerful women lived at the mercy of the state.

Publisher Review

Redmond Chang expertly chronicles the lives and reigns of these three lives. Vivid and immersive, this book reveals the ways in which these women had to navigate the tumultuous European politics that entangled the French, Scottish and Spanish courts ... [Young Queens] is well written and grounded in archival research. It shows with gripping detail that these queens truly marked history in their own right -- Estelle Paranque * The Times * An intriguing approach to 16th-century queenship ... Chang delivers a murderously climactic final act, telling the story of Mary, Darnley and Bothwell with aplomb. She equally delivers quieter, moving moments ... For all that this is a history book, however, it has present-day resonance too * History Today * An exquisitely written biography of these three queens, tracing their stories from Renaissance Italy through Reformation France to war-torn Scotland and beyond ... Chang tells a vivid, visual and compelling story, furnished with stirring details from the countless letters penned by and about these women. Not everyone can make such sources sing as this author does ... This is a masterful, compelling and significant book * BBC History Magazine * A fascinating look at rulers who faced the same sort of criticism women in power still face today -- Dan Snow Young Queens takes us into the hearts and minds of three extraordinary women. Leah Redmond Chang's meticulous research and engaging prose gives each of them their due, providing a rich and nuanced perspective on the challenges they faced and the remarkable legacies they left behind -- Amanda Foreman Alluring, gripping, real: an astonishing insight into the lives of three queens, stepping out from the shadows of the patriarchy - we meet them on their own terms -- Alice Roberts This exceptionally brilliant book, deft of phrase and vividly realised, conveys the vitality of the past as few books do. It's an enviable tour de force and marks the arrival of a wonderful new voice in narrative history -- Suzannah Lipscomb Amidst the turbulence of the 16th century, the lives of a Queen Mother, a Queen Consort and a Queen Regnant became irrevocably entangled as they restitched the tapestry of Europe with the thread of five great houses. Both an evocative re-imagination of political history and a meditation on the nature of queenship, Young Queens is a tour de force of storytelling -- Nadine Akkerman This exceptionally researched narrative successfully weaves together the stories of three of the most intriguing queens in sixteenth-century Europe, revealing them to be integral parts both of one another's lives and the complex worlds in which they lived. Leah Redmond Chang expertly navigates the tumultuous waters of the French, Spanish, and Scottish courts, and in so doing brings these fascinating queens to brilliant and vivid life -- Nicola Tallis Young Queens binds intense and innovative scholarship to vivid writing. Leah Redmond Chang breathes life into three fascinating queens - of France, Spain and Scotland, and shows us the women behind these icons of royal power. She reveals how their lives, hearts, families and fates were interlinked and what joys and unbearable pressures this placed upon them. A rare and delightful book and a hugely rewarding read -- Lucy Jago To be a queen in Renaissance Europe was a tricky thing: to have the power to shape the world, but also to be at the mercy of many forces--and to have to fight, even to survive. Young Queens is an ambitious book about three fascinating women, meticulously researched and vividly told -- Louisa Thomas [Young Queens] vividly illuminates their ambitions, motivations and fears, as well as the overwhelming odds and difficult choices faced by female rulers in an era of male power and shifting allegiances * History Revealed *

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