Cover Image: Queens of the Age of Chivalry

Queens of the Age of Chivalry

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

'Queens of the Age of Chivalry' is clearly well-researched and well written by Weir. This book functions more as an educational deep dive as opposed to a focused biographical exploration of each Queen. That being said, I was expecting and hoping for more of a biographical focus. There was a lot of time spent talking about Kings and other noble men or court members. I understand that all of this provides context to each Queen's life and is expected in a more academic account of history. Simply, if you're looking to lean more about the Queens and only the Queens, just know this book is going to be a LOT more than that and might be overwhelming for you.
Was this review helpful?
I loved this book, learning about the powerful female leaders of such an interesting time in Europe's history. The writing was engaging and kept you reading.
Was this review helpful?
Alison Weir in her Queens of the Age of Chivalry tells the stories of the lives of five queen consorts. As always, Weir’s works are well written, meticulously researched and just a joy to read! If you love history, this book is for you! I voluntarily read and reviewed this complimentary copy of this important book.  Well done, Alison Weir!
Was this review helpful?
I enjoyed this audiobook. It contains more detail than the previous books in the series, presumably because more evidence exists for later queens. I especially appreciated the thorough exploration of the rift between Edward II and Queen Isabella. If you're interested in the medieval history of England, this book is a must-read. 

Thanks, NetGalley, for the ARC I received. This is my honest and voluntary review.
Was this review helpful?
Alison Weir has done it again! In the third tome detailing the lives of England’s Medieval Queens, no detail is left out. This is the story of the first five Plantagenet Queens: Elenor of Aquitaine, Berengaria of Navarre, Isabella of Angouleme, Alienor of Provence, and Eleanor of Castile. 

What is fascinating about Ms. Weir’s work is that she tells history through herstory. The Queens NEXT to the Kings, not behind. These were the times of the Black Plague and The Hundred Years War. All of these women came from royal families and were traded and wed to families that were often at odds with their own in an attempt to maintain peace. Imagine, your family sending you off to marry someone whom you had seen as your enemy, often at an early age (consent was 12 at the time), you have to learn another language and customs, and probably never see your family again, and your job is to maintain peace. And you are a woman who has no rights of her own, even as Queen. Yet these five women led amazing lives and helped shape England for the next few centuries. This is when the names from the Tudor age appear in court and are behind intrigues. 

Of the five, Isabella’s story is the longest and most interesting, perhaps because she lived the longest, or maybe because she replaced her husband as ruler. One thing is for certain, Ms. Weir brings the lives and history of these Queen’s to the forefront of history, never to be relegated to the shadows again. This work is hefty, which I love. I love the details, they bring everything to life. 

I recommend this to anyone interested in history, especially women’s history, English, or medieval. Don’t think you have to read the other volumes first, these are stand alone, and be warned, you will be drawn into Ms. Weir’s web and will be adding her other works to your TBR pile.

Thank you to NetGalley, the publishers, and the author. I received an ARC for a fair and honest review.
Was this review helpful?
As usual this book is a home run from Ms. Weir! I swear, she is incapable of writing a bad book. Everything is so meticulously researched, and yet written in a very easy to understand and accessible way. 

If we could get her books into high school history classes, and chuck the dry as dust “normal“ history books, then I bet we would have a whole lot more historians in this country (or at least kids who don’t hate going to history class 😉).

Thank you to NetGalley & Random House Publishing Group Ballantine for this advance reader copy. All opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
Once again I’m blown away by Weir’s work. She is my favorite historian. I recommend her books all of the time. So far this has been my favorite series because it began so early in the history of Britain and is slowly rolling on to the next historical era. The age of chivalry is where the majority of my knowledge base begins although because of Weir I can recite every monarch of England starting with Henry I. No lie! I have no idea about my country’s Presidents, but I can name that king. And there an awkward conversation starts. HA! Thank you so much Alison weir for being so prolific as well as so accurate. Thank you publishers and NG for the free copy for my unbiased review. Although it may be a tiny bit biased because I am in awe of Weir and all of her works
Was this review helpful?
I did send a note to the publisher that I wouldn't be giving feedback on this title since it was my error, but I can't stand that Netgalley doesn't remove it from my list unless I give feedback. So here is my feedback: I'm a moron and didn't realize I was requesting a nonfiction title. I LOVE ALISON WEIR - both her fiction and nonfiction. However, I know myself, and I will never get through a nonfiction unless it's about the Tudor era I love. I read a little bit to see if I could push through since Alison Weir is a goddess, but I just don't care about this time period so it's not holding me. I would happily read any piece of fiction of hers set in this time period though. 

So yes, learn from my mistakes and double check what you're requesting.
Was this review helpful?
I'm always impressed by just how much information Weir is able to gather about these medieval queens. This took me a bit longer to finish than the other two books in the series despite being roughly the same size. Every chapter is brimming with details about expenditures, gifts, clothing, and travel. Sometimes the numbers can feel daunting, but I thought that particularly in the sections about Isabella of France and Philippa of Hainault that Weir helped add broader context around how their interactions shaped both the court and the flow of history.

I would recommend this to anyone looking for more information about Marguerite & Isabella of France, Philippa of Hainault, Anne of Bohemia, and Isabella of Valois. This was my first time reading about most of these women and I felt this was a thorough introduction to who they were, how they lived, and how they navigated the many turbulent events of their times.
Was this review helpful?
In this book, Alison Weir examines the lives of five Queens of England (Marguerite of France, Isabella of France, Phillipa of Hainault, Anne of Bohemia, and Isabella of Valois), married to Kings Edward I, Edward II, Edward III, and Richard II. This book covers much of the 14th century.
This book took me a while to get into and partly that is because I didn't really get the chivalry connection. Chivalry is mentioned, but really it's just about the era in which these Queens were on the throne. 
My favorite stories were those of Isabella of France and Phillipa of Hainault. Not only were they interesting women in their own right, but they and their children also made a significant impact on the royal lineage of England and its history. 
I appreciate Ms. Weir's focus on women in English history since they do not get the same focus as men (as per usual). There are a lot of details in Weir's books, and they can at times be overwhelming, but she is a master of getting at the heart of the women whose roles are significant if not well-known. 
 If you are interested in medieval British Royal history, you will enjoy this book.
Thank you to NetGalley and Ballantine Books for the ARC.
Was this review helpful?
Absolutely fascinating. This author clearly knows her stuff and has  wonderful way to present the information. Thank you netgalley and publisher for this arc in exchange of an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
There is not a book that I don't love by Allison Weir. I just love the way that she narrates and the way that the characters come alive, regardless of what she's speaking about. All of her books make me love history even more than I already do. This title  is no exception. 
Queens of the Age of Chivalry speaks about the lives of five Queens who lived through England’s Age of Chivalry. Covering the years 1299-1409, we meet five remarkable women, whose stories have never been told in such great detail and with such passion. 
Reading this book makes me want to read more of England's Age of Chivalry.
Was this review helpful?
Queens of the Age of Chivalry is the third volume of Alison Weir’s Medieval Queens series, and it covers the period from the last part of Edward I’s reign through Richard II, telling the stories of five women who held the title of queen consort of England.

Marguerite of France, at 20, married the 60-year-old Edward I after the death of his first wife, Eleanor of Castile, and despite their age difference, the two forged a bond as close as his love match with Eleanor, to the extent that unlike many queens and great ladies, she never remarried after his death. Isabella of France, Marguerite’s niece, is the only queen to have led a successful rebellion against her own husband, placed her son on the throne, and ruled the kingdom for him with her lover Roger Mortimer, Earl of March. This story is so dramatic I can’t help but wonder why a movie or TV series hasn’t been made from it. Isabella’s son, Edward III, had another famously close marriage, and an unfortunately fertile one, since their sons’ descendants ended up fighting each other for the throne in the Wars of the Roses, and they probably came closest to the medieval ideal of a king and queen. Finally, Richard II, their grandson, was married twice, first to the sophisticated but sadly childless Anne of Bohemia, and then to the 6-year-old Isabella of Valois, who found herself a virgin widow at 10 when he was deposed and killed.

The unique personality of each of these five queens is portrayed well by Weir, despite an unfortunate paucity of material on even noble and royal women in medieval times, and I felt that she did a good job at treating them objectively, even Isabella of France, the most controversial. I have to admit that although she is a very good writer, and her books are enormously popular, I have not always gotten along well with Weir, and until recently I had finished few of her books. I’ve generally felt that her biases show too much, and although honesty compels me to admit that this wouldn’t bother me as much if they agreed with mine, they generally don’t. In Queens of the Age of Chivalry, I was pleased to find that I did not encounter this issue and enjoyed the book without reservation.

I received a copy of Queens of the Age of Chivalry from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
As always, Alison Weirs book about women in the British Monarchy is intriguing, full of wonderful facts, and enlightening to someone who has read lots of books on this topic. Though so many books about monarchs focus only on the men, this book helps you see into the lives of the women. Queens of the Age of Chivalry details the lives of 5 Medieval queens and all of the lovely intrigue that women in royal positions always have. When reading the book, which reads like fiction, I cannot stop thinking about these woman as the very real people that they were, and how difficult a role they must play. I think Anne of Bohemia is my favorite, as there is more to her story that we will never know. 
I give this book five stars and look forward to whatever Ms Weir writes next! Thank you NetGalley!
Was this review helpful?
I was provided a copy of this book from NetGalley and Ballantine Books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

I'm not sure when I discovered Alison Weir but not too long ago I looked through some books I've had for 25+ years and there were a few of hers on the Tudors. Last year I was given the opportunity to read an ARC of a novel of one of the Tudor queens, and I was thoroughly impressed. It seems whether it's fiction or nonfiction, Weir is a consummate writer.

I'm not gonna lie--this book is dense and took me weeks to finish. And while I found all the queens fascinating in their own way, there did come a point when I was hoping for it all to end so I could go on to lighter reading.  But I persevered. It's excellent writing and adeptly researched, but not a book you want to speed read through.  I think I would have liked it better if I read the book over a longer period of time and in sections according to a particular queen. 

I really do love Weir's writing and the fact that she shines the light on the women of British history. However, sometimes much is said about the kings and I'm guessing that's simply because there wasn't any information about a particular queen at a particular time. What was revealed about Marguerite, Isabella, Phillippa, Anne and   Isabella and how they navigated life as queen helps paint a broader picture of English history in general.

I highly recommend this book, as I do all of Weir's, to further understand women's roles in society throughout the ages.
Was this review helpful?
Alison Weir has earned a well-deserved reputation as a hard-working historian of medieval and early modern Britain. Her books are uniformly well-researched, and read like novels. I have read a number of her books and learned something from all of them.  N.B. There is another woman of the same name who is an insufferable bigot; they are two different people.

This book covers basically fourteenth-century England. The queens of this period are not retiring ladies who kept their opinions to themselves; they were basically tough-minded women who either supported or deposed their husbands. 

This was a most interesting book.  I was actually familiar with a lot of the history, so I was fascinated by Marguerite of France, the second wife of Edward I.  I did not know about her political machinations attempting to break up her stepson's romance with his male lover.  If someone had succeeded in curbing Edward II's indulgences of his boyfriends how differently the fourteenth century might have played out!  Highly recommended.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the ARC.
Was this review helpful?
This was, as most history books tend to be, fairly boring, but incredibly well-researched and thoughtful. I only rate it three stars because it's something I probably won't pick up again, but if you have any interest at all in the subject, it's a very good book to pick up.
Was this review helpful?
The author writes clearly and entertainingly about the rich history of the Plantagenet queens of England for an unfamiliar audience.
Was this review helpful?
It’s customary for the medieval history to be presented through the viewpoint of men, as it was a time of even noble and royal women being little but chattel, men’s property, and the wombs to propagate dynasties. They were who history happened to, not the makers of it. In Queens of the Age of Chivalry, however, Alison Weir tries to bring them from the shadows behind the throne into the spotlight, with varying success. 

Out of five queens — Marguerite of France (wife of Edward I), Isabella of France (wife of Edward II), Philippa of Hainault (wife of Edward III), Anne of Bohemia and Isabella of Valois (first and second wives of Richard II) — only Isabella of France really succeeded in leaving a strong mark on history as anything but a wife and mother but as a power in her own right. So no wonder that it is Isabella’s story (and the tumultuous years of history of that part of the world during her reign) that takes up the bulk of the book and its most interesting pages.

I admit I was also primed to like Isabella’s story even before this book, as once upon a time I used to be a preteen obsessed with Maurice Druon’s The Accursed Kings book series — the seven-book epic chronicling the events that lead to a 100-year conflicts between England and France, the end of the Capet dynasty and the riee of the Valois dynasty in France, the end of Edward II reign in England, supplanted by his unhappy wife Queen Isabella, and the start of Edward III reign. Isabella and both Edwards, the Despensers, Roger Mortimer — all those names to me already felt familiar and I was invested from the beginning. 

But as for the other four (well, maybe with the exception of Philippa of Hainault, Isabella’s daughter-in-law), I was a bit more lukewarm as their stories were just less interesting and impactful and they remained mostly relegated to the shadows of men throughout their lives. At least they seemed to have happy marriages, unlike Isabella, so at least there’s that.

This book took me a while to get through, being very long and quite dense — although still enjoyable. Weir does not skimp on details or historical background, and why the sheer amount of details/names/events binging on it was pretty much impossible as we saw one Plantagenet succeeded by another and another and another, and another. But Weir still manages to keep it interesting, avoiding dry and stuffy tone, and does something that I quite appreciated — giving equivalents to the 14th century sums of money in modern amounts of money, which certainly underscored the disgustingly lavish lifestyles of royalty. 

I feel much better versed in the English royalty of the 14th century now. Maybe I still have a chance at being erudite enough?

4 stars.


Thanks to NetGalley and Ballantine Books for providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I’ve previously read at least seven books from Alison Weir.  Weir writes about British royal history and she and Philippa Gregory are my two favorites sources writing both non-fiction and fiction books.  This book covers five queens from 1299 to 1399.  They were the wives of four kings.  Marguerite of France (wife of Edward I), Isabella of France (Edward II), Philippa of Hainault (Edward III), Anne of Bohemia (Richard II), and Isabella of Valois (second queen of Richard II).  Weir makes history readable and accessible.  I can always count on her books to be well researched with sources documented.  There is a lot of information to absorb from how money was spent on clothing and entertaining to alliances during turbulent times.  These are not familiar queens like Elizabeth I but they all played a part in shaping England.  This is the third in Weir's Medieval Queen series.  Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group, Ballantine Books for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?