First of all I would like to thank Rosie at Pen and Sword for being so kind and sending me a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Forgotten Royal Women by Erin Lawless was first published in 2019 and the book centres on (official blurb): “Great women are hidden behind great men, or so they say, and no man is greater than the king. For centuries, royal aunts, cousins, sisters and mothers have watched history unfold from the shadows, their battlefields the bedchamber or the birthing room, their often short lives remembered only through the lens of others. But for those who want to hear them, great stories are still there to be told: the medieval princess who was kidnapped by pirates; the duchess found guilty of procuring love potions; the queen who was imprisoned in a castle for decades. This collection of bite-sized biographies lifts thirty of these royal women out of the footnotes of their family histories and brings them centre-stage, out of the shadows. It tells fascinating, forgotten tales and shines some much needed light into the darkened corners of women’s history. With her trade mark humour and just a smidge of irreverence, Erin Lawless gives the bite-size biography a modern and accessible flavour.”
Forgotten Royal Women was a well-written, well-researched, thoroughly enjoyable read. This book offered such a great selection of lesser known but still utterly fascinating royal women who lived throughout some thrilling and fascinating historical times.
There was a number of royal women mentioned within this book that are some of my most favourite historical figures (Aethelflaed, Emma of Normandy, Joanna Plantagenet, Grace O’Malley and Arbella Stuart). So many historical royal women including the ones mentioned in this book did and achieved such amazing things during the time periods when women were seen as the lesser sex or not important and I’m so glad that they are brought back to life and a spotlight is finally being put on them for once.
One area in particular within this book that I found utterly fascinating appeared in the section about Joanna Plantagenet. It was about how her beloved brother Richard the Lionheart actually offered her hand in marriage to Saladin’s brother Al-Adil so that they could untie there families through marriage and thus instilled Joanna and Al-Adil as King and Queen of Jerusalem. Subsequently, Joanna and Al-Adil both declined this marriage proposal. However, this small little event within history that is largely forgotten today really does make the reader think about what could have happened if this marriage had taken place (maybe it could have helped to end issues and wars that were so prolific during this time period).
This book is pack full of kick-ass, intelligent and powerful women that completely deserve there place within history! I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn about some extremely important and sassy women within history.
(Photo is my own please do not take/copy without permission first.)