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Young Queens

Young Queens by Leah Redmond Chang

As seen:

  • Women's Prize for Non-Fiction Longlist

By Leah Redmond Chang

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Sixteenth-century Europe: Renaissance masters paint the ceilings of Florentine churches, kings battle for control of the Continent, and the Reformation forever changes the religious organisation of society. Amidst it all, three young women come of age and into power in an era of empires and revolutions.
Catherine deβ€˜ Medici, Elisabeth de Valois and Mary Queen of Scots lived at the French court together for many years before scattering to different kingdoms. Together, they witnessed and endured the sea-changes that rocked sixteenth-century Europe.

To rule as a queen, they would learn, was to wage a constant war against the deeply entrenched misogyny of their time. Despite their royal crowns – or indeed because of them – their bodies remained subject to the ambition of powerful men. For women, power always came with a price.

Drawing on new archival research, Young Queens masterfully weaves the personal stories and entangled bonds amongst Catherine, Elisabeth, and Mary. Redmond Chang brings to vivid life a world in which a woman could wield power at the highest level yet remain at the mercy of the state, her body destined to serve as the currency of empire and dynasty.

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