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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Four Queens by Nancy Goldstone

Four Queens: The Provencal Sisters Who Ruled Europe The four beautiful, cultured and clever daughters of the Count and Countess of Provence where used at very young ages to advance their family. Marguerite accompanied her husband, King Louis IX of France, on his disastrous first crusade to the Holy Land, where straight from childbirth she ransomed him from the Mamluks. With her sister Eleanor, Queen of England, Marguerite engineered a sturdy peace between France and England.

Ambitious Eleanor walked a narrow line while she struggled to build her own power base without alienating her cowardly husband, Henry III. Beatrice's coronation as Queen of Sicily was the culmination of her long, hard-fought campaign to earn respect from her world-famous, mightily accomplished older siblings. Sanchia wed one of the richest men in Europe, but her reign as Queen of Germany, brought her only misery. This compelling work of history reminds us that women could have a great deal of power even in tumultuous times.
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