EMPRESS MATILDA (1102-1167)
After her father, Henry I, died naming her his heir, Matilda’s cousin, Stephen, subsequently took the throne for himself. Matilda never stopped fighting for what was rightfully hers. Though she would never be named Queen of England in her own right, she was able to convince Stephen to name her son, the future Henry II, his successor over his own children.
Choose a book with a protagonist who stands their ground.
While it’s not exactly one of my favorite books, Nimue from Cursed by Thomas Wheeler and Frank Miller is definitely one such protagonist.
ELEANOR OF AQUITAINE (1122-1204)
Before she married Henry II and became Queen of England in 1152, Eleanor was Queen of France as the wife of Louis VII. She sought an annulment from her marriage to Louis, and he eventually agreed because 15 years of marriage had produced no sons, only for Eleanor to go on to have eight children with Henry—five of whom were sons. Ouch!
Choose a book or series in which the heroine has more than one romantic relationship.
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard and Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo.
ELEANOR OF CASTILE (1241-1290)
A keen patron of literature and a successful businesswoman in her own right, Eleanor was Edward I’s first wife. He was so heartbroken when she died that he erected the Eleanor Crosses, twelve stone crosses marking the places where her body rested overnight on its journey from Lincolnshire, where she died, to her burial place in London. Three of the crosses still survive today.
Choose a bittersweet book.
A Sky Beyond the Storm by Sabaa Tahir was a thoroughly satisfying, yet bittersweet ending to the series.
ISABELLA OF FRANCE (1295-1358)
Often known as the ‘She-Wolf of France’, Isabella was Edward II’s wife. Unfortunately for Edward, he wasn’t particularly good at being king, and Isabella soon grew tired of his (possibly homosexual) relationship with his favorite, Hugh Despenser. After she began an affair with English nobleman Roger Mortimer while on a diplomatic mission to France, the pair returned to England with an army and she deposed Edward and acted as regent until their son, the future Edward III, came of age.
Choose a book where the romance overtook the plot.
Much as I hate to admit it, A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas is the best example of this I have. This is one of my all time favorite books, but I agree that the romance was the focus in this installment.
PHILIPPA OF HAINAULT (1310/15-1369)
Queen of England as the wife of Edward III, Philippa was beloved by the English people for her compassion and kindness. The Queen’s College, Oxford, founded in 1341, is named in her honor.
Choose a book set at a university.
I don’t read a lot of contemporary novels, but my favorite one with a university setting is definitely Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.
JOAN OF NAVARRE (1368-1437)
Joan was Henry IV’s second wife. Six years after his death, Joan was accused of attempting to poison her stepson, Henry V, through witchcraft and was imprisoned for four years until he ordered her release, just six weeks before he suddenly died.
Choose a book about witche
A really good one I read recently is Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart.
Thanks for the tag! Feel free to do this tag if you’re interested and I look forward to reading your answers if you do!