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Queen Emma and Queen Edithby Pauline Stafford
Synopses & Reviews
This is the first full-scale biography of two early English queens: Emma, queen first to Aethelread and then to Cnut, and Edith, queen to Edward the Confessor. Through detailed study of these women the author demonstrates the integral place of royal queens in the rule of the English kingdom and in the process of unification by which England was made.
The careers of Emma and Edith span the troubled decades of eleventh-century English history, and the book reassesses their role in the story of foreign conquests, succession dispute and political murder. Their biography is illuminated by a detailed study of the structures of tenth- and eleventh-century English Queenship - motherhood, marriage, inheritance and succession, the royal household and patronage, consecrated and holy Queenship. It moves from the partial stories told of them by others, and the unique narrative worlds they themselves commissioned, to a new and detailed biography in which Emma especially emerges as one of the most significant political actors of her day and in which both women are shown as both imprisoned by but contesting the inexorable female lifecycle.
The book is an important contribution to our understanding of eleventh- and twelfth-century rule but also of medieval England in general, and, crucially, the role of women within that world.
Through detailed study of these women the author demonstrates the integral place of royal queens in the rule of the English kingdom and in the process of unification by which England was made.
About the Author
Pauline Stafford was born and educated in Leeds and received her first degree and doctorate from Oxford University. She now holds a personal Chair at the University of Huddersfield. She is author of numerous articles on early English history, and on the history of early medieval women. Her previous books include Queens, Concubines and Dowagers (1983) and Unification and Conquest: A Political and Social History of England in the Tenth and Eleventh Centuries (1989). She was consultant editor of The Biographical Dictionary of British Women (1996) and is a member of the editorial Collective of Gender & History. She is married with three children.
Table of Contents
List of Figures.
Part I: The Stories. .
1. Emma and Edith in the Narratives of the Eleventh Century.
2. Emma's and Edith's Narratives.
Part II: The Structures. .
3. The Faces of the Queen.
4. Family: Structures and Ideals.
5. Household, Land and Patronage.
6. Queen and Queenship.
7. The Fluctuating Power of the Queen: Witnessing and Identities.
Part III: The Lives. .
Appendix I The Lands and Revenues of Edith in Domesday Book.
Appendix II Emma's and Edith's Household Followers.
Appendix III Genealogical Tables.
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