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Download The Lady Queen: The Notorious Reign of Joanna I, Queen of Naples, Jerusalem, and Sicily Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Lady Queen: The Notorious Reign of Joanna I, Queen of Naples, Jerusalem, and Sicily, by Nancy Goldstone Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (320 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Nancy Goldstone Narrator: Josephine Bailey Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Nancy Goldstone portrays the riveting history of a beautiful queen, a shocking murder, a papal trial, and a reign as triumphant as any in the Middle Ages.

On March 15, 1348, Joanna I, Queen of Naples, stood trial for her life before the pope and his court in Avignon. She was twenty-two years old. Her cousin and husband, Prince Andrew of Hungary, had recently been murdered, and Joanna was the chief suspect. Determined to defend herself, Joanna won her acquittal against enormous odds. Returning to Naples, she ruled over one of Europe’s most prestigious courts for more than thirty years—until she was herself murdered.

As courageous as Eleanor of Aquitaine, as astute and determined as Elizabeth I of England, Joanna was the only female monarch in her time to rule in her own name. She was notorious: the taint of her husband’s death never quite left her. But she was also widely admired: dedicated to the welfare of her subjects and realm, she reduced crime, built hospitals and churches, and encouraged the licensing of women physicians. While a procession of the most important artists and writers of her day found patronage at her glittering court, the turmoil of her times swirled around her: war, plague, intrigue, and the treachery that would ultimately bring her down.

As she did in her acclaimed Four Queens, Nancy Goldstone takes us back to the turbulent and colorful Middle Ages and with skill and passion brings fully to life one of history’s most remarkable women. Her research is impeccable, her eye for detail unerring, and in The Lady Queen she paints a captivating portrait of medieval royalty in all its incandescent complexity.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Veteran author Goldstone expertly describes bloodthirsty 14th century politics and the complex family entanglements that encouraged siblings and cousins to clash over kingdoms like toddlers brawling over toys.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “[Bailey] nimbly handles the pronunciation of foreign names, and her range of expression is admirably suited to portraying various characters as she reads excerpts from their writings.”


Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Caroline | 2/6/2014

    " Another great contribution to medieval popular history from Nancy Goldstone. The Lady Queen is chock-full of murdering, plotting, overthrowing, excommunicating, and ill-fated marrying (and that's just within one royal family), as Joanna I of Naples struggles with constant challenges to her reign. An interesting portrait of a little-known (by me, at least) female ruler in a fascinating era. I look forward to seeing what Goldstone tackles next. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Lynne | 2/2/2014

    " I had never heard of (or at least remembered)Joanna I and learned quite about the papacy in Avignon. I think Joanna would make a great character for historical fiction, but this was pretty dry. I gave it three stars mostly because I am not especially interested in royalty. That is hardly the book's fault! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Abigail | 1/3/2014

    " Very interesting life! I did not know much about Joanna I before I read this book, Goldstone does a very nice job of keeping what can be a dry read, considering the age of the source material, lively and informative. This queen was a very powerful medieval monarch and a fascinating woman. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Margaret Sankey | 12/30/2013

    " Revisionist and sympathetic reconstruction of the life and reign of Joanna I of Naples, who managed to hold a kingdom (Provence, Naples and a half-assed claim to Jerusalem) together for the 40 years that encompassed the 100 Years War and its wandering mercenaries, the Babylonian Captivity and the Dueling Popes, the original outbreak of the Black Death, the Castilian Civil War, Aragonese ambitions in the the Mediterranean, aggressive Hungarians, flailing Byzantines and packs of ungrateful greedy cousins, three of whom she married (one of whom she was accused of assassinating, but her trusty flunkies probably took care of that without letting her in on the plan--Andrew plainly needed killing). In medieval history, this kind of career makes you an evil slut and your murder by said Hungarians a reasonable outcome. "

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About the Author

Nancy Goldstone has written and coauthored several books, including Four Queens. She lives with her husband and coauthor Lawrence Goldstone in Westport, Connecticut.