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In the end, Rohr includes over one thousand endnotes that span sixty-nine pages, with in-depth commentaries and clarifications scattered throughout. She has thus provided in this book an expertly contextualized narrative upon which a solid theoretical argument could potentially be based in the future.

She emphasizes strongly that Yolande operated in both the Aragonese and French cultural spheres because her mother, Violant de Bar, was the granddaughter of Jean II of France. This makes navigation through the book easy for those using it for reference, but it also organizes the narrative well and breaks it up into a logical, readable manner.

Yolande of Aragon (1381-1442) Family and Power

Although Yolande is always present in the text, she is rarely the main character, often being sidelined by events that surround her and, to be fair, probably involve her intimately, but in which contemporaries and modern historians have generally neglected to include her. Rohr clearly has difficulty determining precisely how Yolande was involved in these events because none of her sources provide enough evidence. This is a problem with studying gender history as a whole, but it does present a paradox throughout her work since Yolande is quite often entirely absent from the narrative.

It is in chapter two that Yolande herself really shines. While he was away, Yolande became involved in the Papal Schism and suppressed a noble revolt in Provence, all before a backdrop of the Armagnacs and Burgundians fighting for control of Paris in the face of an English invasion under Henry V. It is a lot to handle but by compartmentalizing the topics in subsections, Rohr addresses each crisis well.

In chapter three, Rohr discusses the rise of Yolande as a stateswoman. She follows her as she handles the Aragonese succession crisis in , the death of Louis II in , the marriage of Marie to Charles in , and her role in the nomination of Arthur de Richemont as constable of France in This is the longest chapter in the book and the most technical in that many of the contemporary legal sources come into play here, slowing the narrative to make room for legal technicalities. Yolande dies rather suddenly at the end of chapter five after an absence of three years in the author's narrative, seemingly lost in the intricate plot threads that Rohr has entwined to reconstruct her story.

Proving that, however, may be an unachievable goal — there simply is not enough evidence to decisively confirm that Yolande was responsible for many of the things that the author claims.


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But Rohr is careful to never explicitly state more than she can prove and nothing she implies seems especially unlikely. Ultimately, Yolande of Aragon proves to be less a biography of a single powerful medieval matriarch and more a well-written and researched insight into the activities of the house of Valois-Anjou from to , a house and historical period which have desperately needed more focused analyses such as this.

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By Zita E Rohr. Marie of Anjou, Queen of France. By Susan Abernethy. By Kristine Johanson.

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  7. About this product Product Information Yolande of Aragon is one of the most intriguing of late medieval queens who contrived to be everywhere and nowhere, operating seamlessly from backstage and center stage. She is acknowledged as having been shrewd and intelligent - an minence grise whose political and diplomatic agency secured the throne of France for her son-in-law, Charles VII.

    Additional Product Features Number of Volumes. A Case Study of Family and PowerGeneralThis book is a much-needed scholarly assessment of an incredibly influential figure of fifteenth-century French history whom most of the reading public will probably only know if they know her at all as the somewhat Machiavellian Faye Dunaway portrait in ''The Messenger: the story of Joan of Arc''.

    Yolande of Aragon was a woman absolutely of her time and cultural milieu, who acted as lieutenant for her husband and sons, in a queen-dowager role to her inexperienced son-in-law Charles VII, and as a courtly patron to many. ProjectThis book is rooted firmly within the growing body of queenship studies scholarship, and argues a convincing case that, over the last four or five years, is becoming more commonly accepted - that women''s utilisation of power has to be seen as it was operated in the later Middle Ages, within the interwoven ''tapestry of threads'' of their ties of kin and affinity.

    Conferences within monarchy studies over the last two or three years increasingly have stopped separating kingship from queenship, seeing them instead as co-dependent parts of the same monarchy. This book is an excellent example of this developing scholarship, and draws on a wide range of recent historiography to argue this point in the opening chapter. The author''s bibliography is extensive, drawing on the full range of sources and historiography of medieval Aragon, France and the Italian states.

    From the sample chapters offered, there are no obvious omissions and no re-working on which the overall success of the project is dependent.

    Yolande d'Aragon Queen, consort of Louis II, King of Naples -1442

    From preliminary reading, though, I have one or two small suggestions which I hope that the author may find useful. Chapter 1 perhaps is a little overwhelming in its coverage of complex family ties, back and forth across the generations.

    The inclusion of one or two good genealogical tables early on in the text would assist the reader greatly, especially those unfamiliar with the cognate dynasties of the French and Aragonese royal families. Of course, these may well exist as appendices or supplementary material in the complete manuscript - so apologies if I''m raising in ignorance of the content of the rest of the book an issue that doesn''t actually exist.

    I found Chapter 3 to be a concise and highly-readable examination of the years of internecine conflict in France in the years following the madness of Charles VI.