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The Queens Regnant of Navarre. Succession, Politics, and Partnership, 1274-1512

Elena Woodacre

Elena Woodacre : The Queens Regnant of Navarre. Succession, Politics, and Partnership, 1274-1512, Palgrave Macmillan, September 2013
ISBN : 978-1-137-33914-0, ISBN10 : 1-137-33914-4,
5.500 x 8.500 inches, 292 pages, 2 maps, 5 charts,

The five reigning queens of Navarre comprise the largest set of female sovereigns in a single European realm during the Middle Ages. However, the lives and careers of these women are largely unknown beyond the region and have never been investigated as a group or in the context of female rule. This survey of Navarre’s queens finally fills this scholarly lacuna by focusing on issues of female succession, matrimonial politics, agency, patronage, and the power-sharing dynamic between the queens and their male consorts. It also highlights the importance of Navarre to major political events of the era and traces these queens’ connections to other female European rulers, including Isabel of Castile and Giovanna II of Naples.

’This longitudinal study of regnant queens in a single realm is an excellent approach that has not been done before to the field. The overall quality of the research is very high, with both extensive study of archival and chronicle sources. As the first book to look exclusively at five Navarrese queens regnant, just narrating the story of their lives and reigns makes this book a significant contribution to the field. The thesis is compelling, the evidence convincing, and the overall quality and tone of the writing excellent. Woodacre’s book is an important and most welcome addition to the historiography of medieval queens.’ - Theresa Earenfight, Professor of History, Seattle University, USA

’The five medieval queens-regnant of Navarre : Juana I, Juana II, Blanca I, Leonor and Catalina I receive new attention in this careful study of queenship, gender, and geopolitics. Elena Woodacre demonstrates how these women were not mere place-holders or figureheads, but actively ruled Navarre as diplomats, administrators, and patrons, despite Navarre’s precarious situation between the powerhouses of Castile, Aragon, and France, and despite the perceived disabilities of youth and gender. This book is a welcome contribution to the study of queenship in medieval Europe.’ - Miriam Shadis, Ohio University, USA

’This is a most informative, well-researched, and enjoyable book that brings to life five queens of Navarre who reigned in their own right, as genuine sovereigns, between 1274 and 1512.’ - Nuria Silleras-Fernandez, University of Colorado at Boulder, USA