In Queens and Power in Medieval and Early Modern England, Carole Levin and Robert Bucholz provide a forum for the underexamined, anomalous reigns of queens in history. These regimes, primarily regarded as interruptions to the “normal” male monarchy, have been examined largely as isolated cases. This interdisciplinary study of queens throughout history examines their connections to one another, their constituents’ perceptions of them, and the fallacies of their historical reputations.
The contributors consider historical queens as well as fictional, mythic, and biblical queens and how they were represented in medieval and early modern England. They also give modern readers a glimpse into the early modern worldview, particularly regarding order, hierarchy, rulership, property, biology, and the relationship between the sexes. Considering topics as diverse as how Queen Elizabeth’s unmarried status affected the perception of her as a just and merciful queen to a reevaluation of “good Queen Anne” as more than just an obese, conventional monarch, this volume encourages readers to reexamine previously held assumptions about the role of female monarchs in early modern history.