England’s history is full of strong kings who kept their power by the might of their swords, but there were also women who tried to rule as well. This book covers four of the Queens who helped rule England: Matilda, Eleanor, Isabella and Margaret. Some where more successful then others at grabbing power, but they were all strong women who fought for what they had. They were the precursors to the time of Mary and Elizabeth when England had no choice but to embrace a Queen instead of a King.
It took me a while to get through this book, not because it wasn’t interesting but because it was a very dense read. Helen Castor really did her research and she included a lot of details about the history, people and events related to these women. I have to admit that at times I had problems keeping everyone straight. All the dukes and earls seemed to blend together and it was hard to remember whose side each person was on. The main thing I came away with from this book was that everyone was out for themselves. They all wanted power and wealth and were not afraid to fight for it. It seems the history of England (and France) is a bloody one with people changing sides and territories moving from one monarch to another.