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The Outrageous Queens

By Marc Alexander

Outrageous means immoderate, extravagant, extraordinary, violent, furious, grossly cruel, immoral, offensive…

At least one of these words is descriptive of each of the dozen royal women whose lives are told in this book. All make fascinating psychological studies of women who wielded immense power in a world where liberty for women was an undreamed of concept. Yet they proved that when it came to intrigue – sometimes up to the point of assassination – they were equal to any male monarch of their times.

Some played the role of warrior queens; red-haired Boudicca whose vengeance cost over a hundred thousand lives; Eleanor of Aquitaine who took her “Amazons” on a crusade to the Holy Land; Henrietta Maria, the “generalissima” who led an army during the English Civil War.

Others were even fiercer during their reign; the infamous Queen Mary who earned her epithet of “Bloody” through the Smithfield burnings; the treacherous Elfrida who changed history when she brutally murdered King Edward at Corfe castle to make way for her son Ethelred to inherit the throne; or Isabella – the She Wolf of France – whose despised husband met one of the most horrific deaths in history.

Above all the theme of The Outrageous Queens is intrigue. Some of the women in this book ruled in their own right, others by manipulating their husbands – or lovers, but all have affected our history, and all of their extraordinary stories are told here.

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