When women ruled the world Making the Renaissance in Europe

Maureen Quilligan, 1944-

Book - 2021

"A leading Renaissance scholar shows in this revisionist history how four powerful women redefined the culture of European monarchy in the glorious sixteenth century. Library Journal "Books and Authors to Know: Titles to Watch 2021" Sixteenth-century Europe was a time of destabilization of age-old norms and the waging of religious wars-yet it also witnessed the remarkable flowering of a pacific culture cultivated by a cohort of extraordinary women rulers who sat on Europe's t...hrones, most notably Mary Tudor; Elizabeth I; Mary, Queen of Scots; and Catherine de' Medici. Recasting the dramatic stories and complex political relationships among these four women rulers, Maureen Quilligan rewrites centuries of scholarship that sought to depict intense personal hatreds among them. Instead, showing how the queens engendered a culture of mutual respect, When Women Ruled the World focuses on the gift-giving by which they aimed to ensure female bonds of friendship and alliance. Detailing the artistic and political creativity that flourished in the pockets of peace created by these queens, Quilligan's lavishly illustrated work offers a new perspective on the glory of the Renaissance and the women who helped to create it"--

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New York : Liveright Publishing Corporation, a division of W.W. Norton & Company [2021]
First edition
Physical Description
xvii, 301 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages 257-288) and index.
Main Author
Maureen Quilligan, 1944- (author)
  • Introduction: Inalienable possessions and female power
  • The device for succession
  • The Mary Tudor pearl
  • Three queens, one poet, and the republican counselor
  • "Sister" queens, Mary Stuart and Elizabeth Tudor: the solid gold baptismal font
  • Regicide, republicanism, and the death of Darnley
  • Mary, Queen of Scots, eighteen more years in prison
  • A trap for two queens
  • Catherine de' Medici: tolerance and terror
  • Eight Valois tapestries: Catherine de' Medici's inalienable possession
  • Phillip II: the bridegroom returns
  • Epilogue: the gifts they gave.