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  • Published: 15 November 2022
  • ISBN: 9781784742973
  • Imprint: Chatto & Windus
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 496
  • RRP: $40.00
Categories:

Henrietta Maria

Conspirator, Warrior, Phoenix Queen




An important and entertaining revisionist biography of Henrietta Maria (1609-1699) by one of our most respected historians

A myth-busting biography of Henrietta Maria, wife of Charles I, which retells the dramatic story of the civil war from her perspective

Henrietta Maria, Charles I's queen, is the most reviled consort to have worn the crown of Britain's three kingdoms. Condemned as that 'Popish brat of France', a 'notorious whore' and traitor, she remains in popular memory the wife who wore the breeches and turned her husband Catholic - so causing a civil war - and a cruel and bigoted mother.

Leanda de Lisle's White King was hailed as 'the definitive modern biography about Charles I' (Observer). Here she considers Henrietta Maria's point of view, unpicking the myths to reveal a very different queen. We meet a new bride who enjoyed annoying her uptight husband, a leader of fashion in clothes and cultural matters, an innovative builder and gardener and an advocate of the female voice in public affairs. No bigot, her closest friends included 'Puritans' as well as Catholics, and she led the anti-Spanish faction at court linked to the Protestant cause in the Thirty Years' War. When civil war came, the strategic planning and fundraising of his 'She Generalissimo' proved crucial to Charles's campaign.

The story takes us to courts across Europe, and looks at the fate of Henrietta Maria's mother and sisters, who also faced civil wars. Her estrangement from her son Henry is explained, and the image of the Restoration queen as an irrelevant crone is replaced with Henrietta Maria as an influential 'phoenix queen', presiding over a court with 'more mirth' even than that of the Merry Monarch, Charles II.

It is time to look again at this despised queen and judge if she is not in fact one of our most remarkable.

'this is revisionist history at its absolute best' ANDREW ROBERTS

'beautifully written and endlessly fascinating' ALEXANDER LARMAN

'popular history of the finest kind' RONALD HUTTON

  • Published: 15 November 2022
  • ISBN: 9781784742973
  • Imprint: Chatto & Windus
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 496
  • RRP: $40.00
Categories:

About the author

Leanda de Lisle

Leanda de Lisle is the highly acclaimed author of three books on the Tudors and Stuarts, including the bestselling The Sisters Who Would Be Queen and Tudor: The Family Story. She regularly writes and speaks on historical matters for TV, radio and a number of publications including The Times, the Spectator and Daily Express. She lives in Leicestershire.

Also by Leanda de Lisle

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Praise for Henrietta Maria

Leanda de Lisle's beautifully written and endlessly fascinating new biography of Henrietta Maria brings one of the 17th century's most misunderstood women to glorious life. For far too long, Henrietta Maria has been patronised and belittled by historians as little more than an adjunct to her husband. This salutary and important book restores her to her rightful place as one of the most fascinating and important figures of her time

ALEXANDER LARMAN, author of The Crown in Crisis

Leanda de Lisle's beautifully written and endlessly fascinating new biography of Henrietta Maria brings one of the 17th century's most misunderstood women to glorious life. For far too long, Henrietta Maria has been patronised and belittled by historians as little more than an adjunct to her husband. This salutary and important book restores her to her rightful place as one of the most fascinating and important figures of her time

ALEXANDER LARMAN, author of The Crown in Crisis

Leanda de Lisle has brilliantly overturned nearly four centuries of misogynistic, religiously bigoted and politically motivated myths about Henrietta Maria, who now emerges as a fascinating, fearless, but ill-fated woman, wife and mother. This is revisionist history at its absolute best

ANDREW ROBERTS, author of George III: The Life of Britain's Most Misunderstood Monarch

Leanda de Lisle has brilliantly overturned nearly four centuries of misogynistic, religiously bigoted and politically motivated myths about Henrietta Maria, who now emerges as a fascinating, fearless, but ill-fated woman, wife and mother. This is revisionist history at its absolute best

ANDREW ROBERTS, author of George III: The Life of Britain's Most Misunderstood Monarch

This is popular history of the finest kind, vivid, immediate, well researched and telling a compelling story. It is also serves the first duty of biography, by making its subject more wholly understandable than before.

RONALD HUTTON, author of The Witch

This is popular history of the finest kind, vivid, immediate, well researched and telling a compelling story. It is also serves the first duty of biography, by making its subject more wholly understandable than before.

RONALD HUTTON, author of The Witch

Leanda de Lisle's beautifully written and endlessly fascinating new biography of Henrietta Maria brings one of the 17th century's most misunderstood women to glorious life . . . This salutary and important book restores her to her rightful place as one of the most important figures of her time

ALEXANDER LARMAN, author of The Crown in Crisis

Leanda de Lisle's beautifully written and endlessly fascinating new biography of Henrietta Maria brings one of the 17th century's most misunderstood women to glorious life . . . This salutary and important book restores her to her rightful place as one of the most important figures of her time

ALEXANDER LARMAN, author of The Crown in Crisis

If the Stuarts are having their time in the sun at last, then Leanda de Lisle is one of the reasons they are. Masterful and pleasurable about a transformative century and a neglected, underestimated woman's role in it -- what more can one want from history?

SARAH FRASER, author of The Prince Who Would Be King: The Life and Death of Henry Stuart

If the Stuarts are having their time in the sun at last, then Leanda de Lisle is one of the reasons they are. Masterful and pleasurable about a transformative century and a neglected, underestimated woman's role in it -- what more can one want from history?

SARAH FRASER, author of The Prince Who Would Be King: The Life and Death of Henry Stuart

Like the proverbial phoenix, Henrietta Maria is a glorious resurrection of one of the most misrepresented queens of England. A reviled figure in her day, and little better than a caricature ever after, Henrietta Maria can be compared to Marie Antoinette - except for the fact that she managed to survive her husband's execution and live to see one of her sons crowned King Charles II. She deserves a seat in the pantheon of extraordinary women. And finally, thanks to Leanda de Lisle's meticulous research, she has a biography worthy of her fascinating life.

AMANDA FOREMAN, author of A World on Fire

Like the proverbial phoenix, Henrietta Maria is a glorious resurrection of one of the most misrepresented queens of England. A reviled figure in her day, and little better than a caricature ever after, Henrietta Maria can be compared to Marie Antoinette - except for the fact that she managed to survive her husband's execution and live to see one of her sons crowned King Charles II. She deserves a seat in the pantheon of extraordinary women. And finally, thanks to Leanda de Lisle's meticulous research, she has a biography worthy of her fascinating life.

AMANDA FOREMAN, author of A World on Fire

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