Making the Renaissance in Europe
Sisterhood of Sovereigns: Reseeing the Reigns of Mary Tudor, Elizabeth Tudor, Mary, Queen of Scots, and Catherine de’ Medici
My book, When Women Ruled the World: Making the Renaissance in Europe, was published last fall. Because there is so much more that I wanted to show about the rule of the four queens upon whom I focus in the book, I decided to provide a site on which I hope to add more detail about their sisterly attempts to make peace among their kingdoms, while men continued to counsel war. But perhaps most of all l hope I can display for my readers the exquisite colors of the artworks I discuss as evidence of the queens’ attempts to collaborate with each other. The black and white images of the artworks in the book while quite explanatory, cannot reveal the scintillating detail of the paintings and tapestries. These artworks celebrate in ways we have not always appreciated the Queens’ mutually supporting and collective efforts to preserve their inherited powers as sovereign monarchs.
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Where is Grandma?
Catherine de’ Medici appears in 7 of the 8 Valois Tapestries, sometimes in the center of the design, sometimes at the edge, or up in a corner, or barely to be seen in the deep background. The various placements of her portraits suggest a question: what is the purpose of her ubiquitously dispersed presence in…
After 40 Years of Waiting: My daughter’s gift to me, the inspiration to write When Women Ruled the World
I had signed a contract to write a book titled When Women Ruled the World: The Glorious Sixteenth Century in 1984. I had, in fact, not written one word of that book (though I had written a number of others), until one summer day in 2012 I found myself rummaging around under my recently married daughter’s childhood bed,…
Defending the Regiment of Women, Pierre de Ronsard and Catherine de’ Medici
In 1565, Catherine de’ Medici asked Pierre de Ronsard to put together a book of poems that could be sent to Queen Elizabeth I of England to celebrate the treaty she and the English queen had recently signed together. This was the Treaty of Troyes which ended the “First” war of religion between the Huguenots…
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