Review: Four Queens

Set against the backdrop of the turbulent thirteenth century—a time of chivalry and crusades, poetry, knights, and monarchs—comes the story of the four beautiful daughters of the count of Provence, whose brilliant marriages made them the queens of France, England, Germany, and Sicily. From a cultured childhood in Provence, each sister was propelled into a world marked by shifting alliances, intrigue, and subterfuge. Marguerite, the eldest, whose resolution and spirit would be tested by the cold splendor of the Palais du Roi in Paris; Eleanor, whose soaring political aspirations would provoke her kingdom to civil war; Sanchia, the neglected wife of the richest man in England who bought himself the crown of Germany; and Beatrice, whose desire for sovereignty was so acute that she risked her life to earn her place at the royal table.
A compulsively readable narrative, Four Queens shatters the myth that women were helpless pawns in a society that celebrated physical prowess and masculine intellect.
Author: Nancy Goldstone

Four Queens: The Provencal Sisters Who Ruled Europe is about the 4 daughters of the Count and Countess of Provence who all became Queens.

They are Marguerite (married to Louis, King of France), Eleanor (married to Henry, King of England, Sanchia (married to Richard of Cornwell, later King of Germany) and Beatrice (married to King Louis’ brother Charles of Anjou, later King of Sicily).
I was worried that since this was non-fiction it would be dry and boring – a hard read, but I was pleasantly surprised. I really enjoyed the writing and layout of the book (the chapters alternate between the sisters) and the sisters gave the author plenty to write about. There are still letters written by the sisters and the author quotes them through the book, as well as, quoting a few chroniclers of the time. The drama within the family is more than adequate for a good read, but through in some wars and crusades and it becomes very interesting! Sibling rivalry at its best!
I highly recommend Four Queens and look forward to learning more about these wonderfully strong, courageous and intelligent sisters!

Interview with Nancy Goldstone on Four Queens:
Overall: 5/5


  1. I have this book but I haven't read it yet. I'm glad to know it doesn't read like a dry non-fiction book!

  2. That it does not do! It's a really awesome book.

    BTW - I really like your blog!


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