Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Four Queens: The Provencal Sisters Who Ruled Europe by Nancy Gladstone

Four Queens: The Provencal Sisters Who Ruled Europe was a riveting non-fiction book set in thirteenth century Europe. It tells the story of four beautiful, provocative daughters of the count and countess of Provence (Raymond Berenger V and Beatrice of Savoy) and their successful marriages and rise to power. Marguerite, the eldest daughter, married King Louis the IX of France, which set the stage for successful marriages for the rest of the girls. Eleanor married King Henry III of France, Sanchia married Richard of Cornwall who eventually became King of the Romans (Germans), and Beatrice married Charles of France who eventually became the King of Sicily. Thus the four sisters eventually became four queens.

This book was a very interesting and relatively easy to read. I found the entire history of the period to be very fascinating. I know basically nothing about thirteenth century Europe. I was intrigued by the stories of the the crusades, English Civil War (I only knew about the one in the 17th century!), and the affect that one family and it's relationship had on the history of the European region.

If you are looking for an interesting book of history or just for something different that will broaden your horizons - I highly recommend this book!

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