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Joanna I of Naples

Books Nancy Goldstone Joanna: An exceptionally dramatic and previously unchronicled life of the medieval queen Joanna I On 15 March , Joanna I, Queen of Naples, stood trial for her life before the pope and his court in Avignon. More books by Nancy Goldstone. Visit her website for more information: Find a book you'll love, get our newsletter name email.

YES I have read and consent to Hachette Australia using my personal information or data as set out in its Privacy Policy and I understand I have the right to withdraw my consent at any time. This website uses cookies. Using this website means you are okay with this but you can find out more and learn how to manage your cookie choices here. The Hungarians have a point, by birth order and bloodline at least, although none at all by the wishes of either King Robert or his father before him. That last fact though does not stop the agitation. Joanna, surrounded by plotters, is just seventeen and her step-grandmother Sancia is too caught up in the Church to provide much protection.

Incredibly the story gets worse. Detail and drama fill the pages but somehow the spotlight remains focused on Joanna — on her courage, her good works, and her diplomatic skills — all of which are taken to the brink by her proud, insatiable cousins. In the end, after years of success and disaster, Joanna is assassinated in I highly recommend The Lady Queen.

Joanna I of Naples - Wikipedia

It is an impelling, unmissable read peopled with more Durazzos and Tarantos than are easily digestible but well worth the effort particularly if you have a taste for high-stakes drama, and an interest in history, Naples, or the role of women in either. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Twitter account. It was a heady time full of marches and protests and petitions. The study of history, full of dead white men, was expanded to include herstory, bringing to light the lives and achievements of women in the past.

Women have come a long way since then, now full partners at home, in the workplace and in the history books. But I still find myself, when confronted with a choice of books, always reaching for the one by or about women. How did she come to rule? How was her rule different from the men who preceded her and then followed her? How did her subjects feel about being ruled by a woman? What, if any, changes did she make to Italian culture?

Sadly, only my first question was answered. This book was written for a popular audience, yet it is all the things that everyone hates about history. Just a dry recitation of dates and historical figures. Goldstone tries to excuse the paucity of material concerning the actual life and rule of Joanna on records that were lost during WWII.

What I found most frustrating were the tantalizing hints of her life. Her concern with and improvement of healthcare, the arts, and religious orders are mentioned again and again but never expanded upon. I kept hoping for more details on them which would, directly or indirectly, tell me more about Joanna as a person and as a queen.

A religious order, of whom she had been a benefactor, came up with a solution. I just wanted to scream. What had she done for them they were willing to put aside their religious convictions and provide her with a resting place?


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Alas, this book does not live up to its title. Aug 23, Jeanette rated it it was amazing. This was an era of the short brutal reign, and no more true than in Italy. Most history buffs know the minutia of the Years War and various other continental European benchmarks and reigns. But rarely, rarely have I read this from Italian today's Italy location city-state entity "eyes".

If there is such a thing then by any definition. With the consistent and continual invasion, district turnover, ownership loyalty- all forms of conflict and authority oath or debt- every avenue of flex or flux. Nothing solvent or secure for more than a few years running. Add to this the Black Death, religious schism and excommunication coupled with the horrific capital punishment and hostage habit across all nobility classes!

Well, Joanna did not have the leisure to harbor a more "normal" life's emotional anchors. For instance, with that double digit succession of Popes that she needed to persuade and induce. That she keep that authority singular as a woman in that age- is nearly beyond the believable. The personal- all the personal- is buried by the rock of her role. The role she inherited of singular authority. The woman- the personal woman-coming only after that and for mere moments. She did magnificently given the choices she did get to make and the bridges she did build to maintain some kind of "word" knowledge or arts beyond the most feral.

This is an extremely difficult read. It's a tome of the crucible that holds elements which both crushed and bloomed to become an eventual Renaissance. There are 's of characters, 10,'s of abridged or confirmed "loyalties". Everything of medieval serfdom thought and paradigm changing at the same time- medicine, base economics in both trade and travel, nationhood concepts, property rights in law etc.

This is not just a read about a life in Italy. And after it all- her end was tragic and her reputation buried in a well. Dec 11, Melisende d'Outremer rated it really liked it Shelves: Highly engaging biography of a much maligned queen.

Nov 16, Orsolya rated it liked it Shelves: Royal history is filled with queens who have held roles of intrigue, mystery, murder, warrior, martyr, and virgin. Whether loved or hated; these dramatic women are quite fetching to our imaginations. One such lady, sadly not as well-known as some of her contemporaries, is Queen Joanna I. Unfortunately, that is all that Goldstone does for approximately pages. In fact, several pages pass before she is mentioned which then repeats before she is mentioned again. Goldstone focuses on recapping the historical events with a focus on politics but does not really bring the reader closer to the woman that Joanna was.

Often times, more questions remain that are answered. On a positive side, Goldstone is a master at meshing together scholarly information with a flowery and entertaining tone resulting in a fast-paced narrative. Rather than sounding conceited and bigoted, the explanations make sense in an academic and scientific way. It almost seems as though each time Goldstone reached a dead end or lull in her research; she turned to background information.

This escalates the feeling of not really learning about Joanna but instead gaining a look at the big picture. Although rare, there are passages where Joanna finally jumps off the pages in the form of full quotes and letters. In this way, Goldstone allows Joanna to speak for herself and through her true personality. Not to mention, Goldstone includes documents never before translated into English which are obviously quite a treat.

Goldstone follows up with an epilogue, explanation of money in the 14th century, notes on sources, and a bibliography. However, Goldstone does successfully wet the appetite encouraging further research. Jul 17, Tia rated it really liked it. This book is about as interesting as non-fictional histories can get! It flows easily for a history, and the author has taken the time to connect things for the reader. I also really enjoyed that Ms. Goldstone included the economics of the time and related events to where the money was flowing.


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She does some brilliant analysis of historical occurences and not only considers who was making money and who was not but also offers information on the relationships of the people involved. Detailed bu This book is about as interesting as non-fictional histories can get! Detailed but not so detailed as to get boring. All that aside, Joanna I's life is a rollicking good story. Treachery, murder, poison, invasion, plague, a trial before the pope, dispossession, intrigue, marriage, imprisonment You can't make stuff this interesting up if you wanted to.

So Joanna was a queen, but her husbands were really bad. This is a somewhat interesting, and somewhat tedious book about Joanna I who was accused of killing her husband. I'm annoyed that the Kindle edition didn't have pics. Goldstone does a good job of being fair and saving Joanna's reputation.

Joanna: The Notorious Queen of Naples, Jerusalem and Sicily by Nancy Goldstone – review

Like Elizabeth I, she had to deal with men who didn't think she could do the job. And then her family was really the family from hell. ANd don't get me started on her in-laws. I just wish I got a better s So Joanna was a queen, but her husbands were really bad. I just wish I got a better sense of who Joanna was, besides a queen. Reader okay- when she spoke for joanna she used a different voice which became with repetition an annoying accent.

The downside of audiobooks is the rarely come with maps, illustrations or table of contents. In this case if I had known it was there I would have listened to the epilogue first as it had information for example about money values that would have been helpful to know before reading. I had forgotten how involved in politics and scheming the pope and the church was.

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It was a very dominant force. Overall the constant litany of political intrigue, war and descriptions of torture as norms of behavior could have been cut back and I would have still gotten a sense of the time and her life. It was very tiresome and I found myself skipping ahead at times. Joanna may have been an ambitious and strong minded woman but she was still a creature of that time. Today we may have progressed somewhat as egregious behavior is more often reported and condemned if not stopped, whereas in Joanna's time it was normal behavior but all those elements are still part of human nature.

That was depressing to contemplate. View all 6 comments. May 28, Sarah rated it it was amazing. Engagingly written tale of drama and intrigue-- keep your finger in the family tree at the front of the book to help keep everyone straight since they all have the same name. Por isso, posso concluir que Nancy Goldstone soube escolher bem a personagem principal, mas View all 9 comments. Aug 02, Luke Devenish rated it liked it.

And down Napoli way they turned the shocks up to eleven. No one gave a pretty blonde teen queen an even break. From the moment she perched on her golden throne all the other buggers had the knives out. That she reined so long considering is a miracle. I guess it was always going to end the way it did. It was either that or the bubos. No one else got out lightly, apart from a couple of those dodgy pop Jesu! No one else got out lightly, apart from a couple of those dodgy popes.

This is Game of Thrones for real but you'd be hard pressed telling it from the fiction. The one give away is all the characters called Robert, Louis, Philip or Charles. A novelist would have shown a tad more imagination naming blokes. Nov 23, Cheryl rated it really liked it Shelves: This meticulously researched book brings to life one of history's most remarkable, but forgotten women. Joanna I, Queen of Naples, Jerusalem, and Sicily ruled one of Europe's most prestigious courts for more than 30 years. She was a benevolent ruler who was dedicated to the welfare of her subjects.

At the age of 24, she successfully defended herself against charges that she had murdered her husband. But the taint of this accusation always haunted her, and she was ultimately murdered herself. Nan This meticulously researched book brings to life one of history's most remarkable, but forgotten women. Nancy Goldstone presents a book rich in historical detail, and the reader learns about the intrigue, treachery, compromise, complex relationships, wars, and plagues that were prevalent during the Middle Ages.

This is a very "fat" book full of details and many historical personages. It starts with a bang - a powerful young queen appearing before the Pope to defend herself of charges that she arranged her husband's death.