Picturing Melisende, and other medieval queens, is not easy. As with the images in the gilding, the historian must get close to the texts, angle them this way and that, and seek out traces of their subjects. But as Katherine Pangonis makes clear in this vivid history, the effort is worthwhile, adding depth and unexpected detail to the understanding of the past.
Recent scholarship has transformed understanding of the role of women in the European Middle Ages. Now Kate Pangonis's careful yet lively and engaging study focuses light on the public, domestic and social place of noble and royal women in the unique political and dynastic circumstances of the multi-cultural crusader states of the Levant. In a refreshing shift of historical emphasis, these women, whether players or pawns, are brought to life on their own terms, their experiences and careers, even if shaped by men, viewed from a distinctive feminine perspective
In her debut book Queens of Jerusalem: The Women Who Dared to Rule, historian Katherine Pangonis brings to life the stories of the female rulers of the Outremer (also known as the Crusader States) who have thus far been dismissed by history...Pangonis does an excellent job of contextualising the circumstances that led these women to forge their own alliances and make shrewd political and military decisions to seize power, both successfully and unsuccessfully. It is an impressive feat, considering that the majority of them are barely mentioned in existing historical sources. This book is an enjoyable read that finally addresses the crucial role of royal women in crusader history
A colourful and engaging narrative...Queens of Jerusalem explores some truly fascinating stories about women that deserve to be retold
Beautifully constructed, highly intelligent, perceptive, humane and empathetic, this wonderful book turns the forgotten women rulers of Jerusalem from powerless broodmares into complex actors with agency, ingenuity and fascinating lives
Fascinating, intriguing, exciting and authoritative. Here are the female rulers of the crusader states as shrewd politicians, warrior queens and mothers and wives, holding their own against male crusader states and Islamic warlords in the ruthless arena of the Middle East. The female crusader potentates have long been neglected, so this is long overdue and it was worth waiting for
The subjects of this important and inspiring book have regularly been resigned to the footnotes of history. But the Queens of Jerusalem are history-makers, game-changers. Delight in their company in this seminal and scintillating debut