Birth of the Chess Queen: A History

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9780060090647: Birth of the Chess Queen: A History

Everyone knows that the queen is the most powerful piece in chess, but few people know that the game existed for five hundred years without her. In India, Persia, and the Arab lands, where the game was first played, a general, or vizier (chief counselor to the king), occupied the square where the queen now stands. Not until the year 1000, two hundred years after Arab conquerors brought chess to southern Europe, did a chess queen appear on the board. Initially she was the weakest piece, moving only one square at a time on the diagonal, yet by 1497, during the reign of Isabella of Castile, the chess queen had become the formidable force she is today.

How and why did this transformation take place? Birth of the Chess Queen examines the five-hundred-year period between the chess queen's timid emergence and her elevation into the game's mightiest piece. Marilyn Yalom, inspired by a handful of surviving medieval chess queens, traces their origin and spread from Spain, Italy, Germany, France, and England to Scandinavia and Russia. In a lively and engaging narrative, Yalom draws parallels between the birth of the chess queen and the ascent of female sovereigns in Europe, presenting a layered, fascinating history of medieval courts, with their intrigues and internal struggles for power. Further, she shows the connection between the chess queen, the cult of the Virgin Mary, and the cult of Romantic Love, all of which influenced European society for centuries to come.

Illustrated with beautiful art throughout, this book takes a fresh look at the politics and culture of medieval Europe, the institution of queenship, and the reflections of royal power in the figure of the chess queen.

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About the Author:

Marilyn Yalom is a senior scholar at the Institute for Women and Gender at Stanford University. She is the author of A History of the Wife; A History of the Breast; Blood Sisters: The French Revolution in Women's Memory; and Maternity, Mortality, and the Literature of Madness. She lives in Palo Alto, California, with her husband, psychiatrist and writer Irvin Yalom.

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Yalom, Marilyn
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ISBN 10: 0060090642 ISBN 13: 9780060090647
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Book Description Harper, 2004. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: Life imitates recreation in this account of how the chess queen's emergence and elevation to the game's mightiest piece mirrors the ascent of female rulers to positions of power. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0060090642

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Book Description Harpercollins, New York, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: Fine. 1st Edition. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. First edition first printing. Hardcover with DJ. Condition new, very tight and crisp book, very clean. DJ as new, clipped price, no edgewear. 8vo, XXIII + 276 pages, illustrated with color and b/w historic images. No markings of any kind, no names, underlinings or highlights, no bent pages. Not a reminder 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 008234

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Book Description HarperCollins, New York, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: new. First Edition/first printing. ISBN:0060090642. [4to] 272p. ill.(b/w_drawings & col._plates) notes. index. New in dj protected against wear and tear in Brodart Archival Mylar. Bookseller Inventory # 107214

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