Monday, 25 January 2010

Queens Consort - Lisa Hilton

Although up until now The Lunchtime Book Review has mainly stuck to fiction, I do read a lot of non-fiction and one of my favourite subjects is history.  So I used my Christmas book tokens to buy some interesting-looking history books.
One of them was Queens Consort by Lisa Hilton, a book in which she goes through all the Queens of England in the medieaval period from Matilda of Flanders, who was the wife of William the Conquerore, through to Anne Neville, the wife of Richard III.
It is a fascinating insight into how the role of Queen Consort developed in England, what kind of power, influence and duties these women had, and the different characters and temperaments of the various Queens.
Many of these Queen Consorts were foreign princesses who were sent to marry a stranger in a foreign land, often at a very young age.  How much of their culture were they able to bring to the English Court?  How difficult was it for these young princesses to adapt to their new way of life and new position?
Queens Consort is a fascinating read and one that you can do in bite-sized chunks as  there is a separate section for each Queen.  It will sharpen up your knowledge of medieval English history, and I found that sometimes I needed to go and do some further background research if one of the events written about particularly interested me and I previously didn't know too much about it!
One for a packet of digestive biscuits and a large mug of strong tea!  More non-fiction will be coming your way - you have been warned!

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