The Lioness Roared: The Problems of Female Rule in English History

Paperback | June 10, 2008

byCharles Beem

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How were English ruling queens able to assert and maintain their authority over male dominant, patriarchal political cultures? This study combines the methodologies of gender studies and political and constitutional history to provide a sweeping historical explanation for how these women pulled off such a feat. While ruling queens occupied the office of king, they still had to conform to contemporary expectations of womanhood that served as social and political roadblocks to the full exercise of regal power. Charles Beem has identified a specific yet panoramic set of problems facing female rulers throughout British history, from the twelfth century empress Matilda's imaginative efforts to become England's first regnant queen, to Queen Victoria's remarkable exercise of political power during the Bedchamber Crisis of 1839.

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How were English ruling queens able to assert and maintain their authority over male dominant, patriarchal political cultures? This study combines the methodologies of gender studies and political and constitutional history to provide a sweeping historical explanation for how these women pulled off such a feat. While ruling queens occu...

Charles Beem is an Associate Professor of History at the University of North Carolina, Pembroke.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:280 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.63 inPublished:June 10, 2008Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230606342

ISBN - 13:9780230606340

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"Highly readable, engaging, and enlightening. One might even consider reading this book purely for pleasure."--The American Historical Review "This study helpfully puts the spotlight on queenship over the longue durée, providing welcome new avenues for research by transcending the boundaries of individual reigns."--Journal of British Studies "There is much to admire about this book. Beem successfully combines traditional political history with gender analysis . . . This is a worthy study of the art of kingly queenship."--Canadian Journal of History "Charles Beem has written a stimulating series of case-studies on female regnal power . . . his conceptual clarity and well-crafted review of four historiographies sheds useful light on issues of gender and power."--Clarissa Campbell Orr, Archives: The Journal of the British Records Association "Thoughtful and thorough . . . Beem admirably situtates his study both within the fields of women's studies and political history, exploring these women's reigns for what they contribute to our understanding of women's positions and the political situation of the time."--Medieval Feminist Forum "The Lioness Roared is a novel and important study of the meaning of 'kingship,' adding as much to our appreciation of the social and political constructs of gender as to our understanding of the problems specific to female rule. Other scholars have investigated individual instances of women on the throne, but none as comprehensively as Charles Beem’s treatment of the rule of British queens from Matilda to Victoria."--Howard Nenner, Smith College "Charles Beem examines the queens of England and demonstrates that Elizabeth I was not the only strong and fascinating woman to rule as consort or regnant. With many examples from the medieval period onward, this thoroughly researched and beautifully written study should find a wide and enthusiastic readership."--Carole Levin, Willa Cather Professor of History, University of Nebraska-Lincoln