Eleanor of Castile: Queen And Society In Thirteenth-century France by John Carmi ParsonsEleanor of Castile: Queen And Society In Thirteenth-century France by John Carmi Parsons

Eleanor of Castile: Queen And Society In Thirteenth-century France

byJohn Carmi Parsons

Paperback | January 11, 1998

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Medievalist feminist studies' early concentration on the lives of prominent women has more recently given way to an interest in their less exalted sisters. Historians have seemingly avoided the careers of medieval queens, creatures of romance and legend, women who enjoyed rank and wealth merely as a consequence of birth or marriage. A renewed interest in such women has, however, followed the opening of new avenues to the study of women and power in the Middle Ages. That the lives of these women will reward reconsideration has been amply proven in the works of such historians as Pauline Stafford and Janet Nelson. Eleanor of Castile studies the wife of Edward I of England, a woman eulogized since the sixteenth century as a model of virtuous womanhood and queenly excellence, who overcame the impediment of her foreign birth to win all English hearts. This book shows that Eleanor's contemporaries in fact had a disquietingly different opinion of her, and develops as a central theme the formation of that opinion as her behaviour was observed by her subjects. The book thus becomes a study in the construction of one woman's imagery of power and her society's perception of that imagery. The evolution of the queen's posthumous legend is considered as well, as her reputation was fashioned and refashioned in response to changing opinions on women and power and about the medieval period itself.
JOHN C. PARSONS is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Toronto.
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Title:Eleanor of Castile: Queen And Society In Thirteenth-century FranceFormat:PaperbackDimensions:364 pages, 8.5 × 5.51 × 0.86 inPublished:January 11, 1998Publisher:Palgrave Macmillan

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0312172974

ISBN - 13:9780312172978

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Table of Contents

Themes and Contexts - Prerogatives, Resources, and Administration - Outcry and Gossip - Rumour and Scandal - Legend and Reality - Index

From Our Editors

For too long many historians have avoided the careers of medieval queens, dismissing them as creatures of romance and legend, as women who enjoyed rank and wealth merely as a consequence of birth or marriage. A renewed interest in such women has, however, been created by new approaches to the understanding of women and power in the Middle Ages. Eleanor of Castile looks at the wife of Edward I of England, a woman eulogized since the sixteenth century as a model of virtuous womanhood and queenly excellence who overcame the impediment of her foreign birth to win all English hearts. By exploring Eleanor's behavior and the ways in which it was interpreted by her subjects, John Carmi Parsons overturns this view and shows that Eleanor's contemporaries actually had quite a different opinion of their queen. Eleanor of Castile thus becomes a study in the construction of the imagery of one woman's power and her society's perception of that imagery. Parsons also considers the evolution of the queen's posthumous legend as her reputation was fashioned and refashioned in respons