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Queenship in Medieval France 1300-1500, Palgrave MacMillan, 2016

de Murielle Gaude-Ferragu

About this book

This book examines the power held by the French medieval queens during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries and their larger roles within the kingdom at a time when women were excluded from succession to the throne. Well before Catherine and Marie de’ Medici, the last medieval French queens played an essential role in the monarchy, not only because they bore the weight of their dynasty’s destiny but also because they embodied royal majesty alongside their husbands. Since women were excluded from the French crown in 1316, they were only deemed as “queen consorts.” Far from being confined solely to the private sphere, however, these queens participated in the communication of power and contributed to the proper functioning of “court society.” From Isabeau of Bavaria and her political influence during her husband’s intermittent absences to Anne of Brittany’s reign, this book sheds light on the meaning and complexity of the office of queen and ultimately the female history of power.

About the authors

Murielle Gaude-Ferragu is University Professor of History at the Université Paris-13, Sorbonne-Paris-Cité, France.

Angela Krieger, PhD, is a translator and editor based in Paris, France.


“This translation of Murielle Gaude-Ferragu’s book on the queen of France in the Middle Ages will be welcomed by specialists and general readers alike. Awarded the prestigious Prix de la dame à la Licorne given by the Friends of the Musée de Cluny, the book has garnered praise as a work of innovative historiography which, eschewing simple biography, demonstrates the political consequences of  the development of the office and function of the queen as Virgin Mary-like mediator.”  (Elisabeth A.R. Brown, Professor of History, The City University of New York, USA)

“The theme of this book is not only of great historical significance but also full of human interest. It is hard to think of anyone so well equipped to do it justice as Murielle Gaude-Ferragu.” (David d’Avray, Professor of History, University College London, UK)

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