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The Two Isabellas of King John (Hardback)

British History Medieval History P&S History Medieval

By Kristen McQuinn
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 224
Illustrations: 20 black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781526761644
Published: 31st August 2021

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RRP £25.00

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King John of England was married to two women: Isabella of Gloucester and Isabelle of Angoulême. The two women were central to shaping John and his reign, each in her own way molding the king and each other over their lives. Little is known about Isabella of Gloucester and she has largely become an historical footnote; Isabelle of Angoulême has a reputation as a witch and poisoner. However, both were products of their time, victims and pawns of the powerful men whose voices overwrote the experiences of women. By examining these two very different women through a modern feminist lens, The Two Isabellas offers new insight into one of England’s lesser-known queens and a different interpretation of one of its least popular kings.

In The Two Isabellas of King John, Kristen McQuinn offers new and intriguing insights into two of England’s important yet little understood queen-consorts, the wives of King John. Taking a feminist light, McQuinn brightly shines it on both England’s least well-known consort, Isabella of Gloucester, his first wife, and one of its least popular, Isabelle of Angoulême, his child bride.

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About Kristen McQuinn

Kristen McQuinn holds a BA and an MA from Arizona State University in English literature with a concentration on medieval holy women’s writing. She has published work ranging from the writings of holy women to tea in literature to Star Trek. Kristen currently contributes to the Historical Novel Review and Discovering Diamonds.

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Eleanor of Provence was born in the province of her name in 1223. She has come to England at the age of twelve to marry the king, Henry III. He’s sixteen years older, but was a boy when he ascended the throne. He’s a kind, sensitive sort whose only personal attachments to women so far have been to his three sisters. The youngest of them is called Eleanor too. She was only nine when, for political reasons, her first marriage took place, but she’s already a chaste twenty-year old widow when the new queen arrives in 1236. In a short time, this Eleanor will marry the rising star of her brother’s…

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