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Joanna: The Notorious Queen Of Naples, Jerusalem And Sicily

Joanna: The Notorious Queen Of Naples, Jerusalem And Sicily [Kindle Edition]

Nancy Goldstone
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Product Description


"the remarkable story of her life" (WATERSTONES BOOKS QUARTERLY - October 2010 )

Book Description

The exceptionally dramatic and previously unchronicled life of the medieval queen Joanna I.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1774 KB
  • Print Length: 378 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: B004AYDB44
  • Publisher: Orion (11 Nov 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #153,618 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
As a fan of history, have you ever been led by an author into a period in which you never thought you would have an interest? Yet because you enjoy the author's work, you'll follow him or her anywhere? That exact circumstance is behind my picking up and reading Nancy Goldstone's The Lady Queen: The Notorious Reign of Joanna I. I've read a lot of medieval European history books but for some reason never really bothered with the Italian peninsula. Joanna was the queen of the kingdom of Naples, as well as Jerusalem and Sicily at some points in her life, and Goldstone paints her life with fascinating swatches of color. She was the first European queen - in this period, anyway - to rule outright and not as an extension of her husband. She guarded this status vehemently, too.

Goldstone gives a short history of the kingdoms of Naples and Sicily, setting the scene for Joanna's eventual rise to the throne, followed by Joanna's family history - including her father's desire to take over Sicily and add it to his domain. Joanna was betrothed at the age of seven to her cousin Andrew of Hungary, a political marriage that would make Joanna's life even more difficult. They even grew up in the same palace together. Joanna dominated that marriage, though Andrew eventually tried to assert himself politically. When Joanna's father, Robert, died, Joanna was elevated to the throne, the first European queen in centuries.

The first chapter of The Lady Queen actually begins shortly after Andrew is murdered, as Joanna is brought before the Pope to answer for the alleged crime of ordering Andrew's assassination.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rattling good read 11 Mar 2012
Nancy Goldstone has done a masterly job of turning the political complexities of fourteenth century Naples into a highly readable, fast-paced account that had me turning the pages eagerly, with real enjoyment. And whilst the subject matter might sound like some obscure byway of long-gone European history, the panorama of human greed and frailty that is laid out has amazing parallels with our world today - down to the fall of the super-merchant bankers who over-extended credit to Edward III of England, surely a sub-prime borrrower if ever there was one. What emerges is a perennial lesson of history: whilst those in power can live more comfortably off the backs of those who graft to provide them with goods and taxes, they are constantly constrained to jockey for position on the shifting sands of pledges, allegiances and betrayals that force their hand, with deadly diseases like plague and pestilence acting as the joker in the pack. The effort required of the popes, the royals and their courtiers to maintain their precarious footing in a cut-throat world is utterly relentless, with death and anarchy a short distance away. Royal court or boardroom, what's the difference? This is a really colourful book that does full justice to its subject matter, and presents the fruits of scholarship in a way that both educates and entertains.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great queen 18 Feb 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I consider this is rthe best biography I have ever read,not only is it so well written and researched it reads like a thriller.
Joanna (1326-82) married at age 7 to Andrew Of Hungary and widowed before aged 20 when Andrew was assassinated.Her kingdom was attacked by King of Hungary to avenge Andrews death she was then tried for murder but was exhonorated by Pope Clement who became her mantor. She eventually recovered her kingdom sucessfully for 30 years but on the way 3 children and 3 further husbands died. She was assassinated in 1382.( Assassinations seemed to be the sport of the 14th centuary)
The book would have had my private 10 star rating if it had a)a list of characters and b) a chronology of Joannas life .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History 25 April 2013
By Ross
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The author really portrays the story of a woman who had to fight her way in a mans world. She brings together all the threads of mediveal intrigue, murder and indulgence that was the back drop for Joanna's world of southern Italy and how she was equipped to play off one party against another not alway successfully against scheming Monarchs and the Papacy who were waiting to trip her at every turn.

Nancy Goldstone brings the era to life and on the strength of this book I read the Four Queens by the same author.
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