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This book presents the lives and accomplishments of 39 women rulers--not "in-name-only," but wielders of real power. Celebrated queens like England's Elizabeth I share equal space here with lesser-known monarchs like Giovanna I of Naples and Maria da Gloria of Portugal. The flamboyant, such as Christina of Sweden, contrast with the moralistic, like Maria Theresa of Austria. Each is the heroine of an often dramatic story involving dynastic interplay and court politics. The complex forces that have impeded or sparked the royal performances are detailed.
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The late Olga S. Opfell was a former college teacher and newspaper reporter and the author of multiple books. She lived in Torrance, California.From Library Journal:
This is a collection of 39 vignettes of European women rulers by the author of Lady Laureates . It is arranged chronologically, from Juana II of Navarre, 1328-49, to Holland's Beatrix, 1980-. For those well-documented royal lives, e.g., Catherine the Great and Elizabeth I, this work merely presents abbreviated accounts in some cases, but for the more obscure rulers it gathers biographical histories together in a single source. The book successfully provides a feeling of the rulers' triumphs, tragedies, jealousies, and romances with an objectively written and often colorful, lively style that is aimed at both popular and serious readers. The focus is more on rulers' lives, their families, and how contemporaries viewed them than on the events that surrounded them. Useful for history and women's studies collections in public and academic libraries. A lengthy index; no footnotes, but an extensive selected bibliography.
- Stanley P. Hodge, Ball State Univ. Lib., Muncie, Ind.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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