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Blanche of Castile, Queen of France (Hardcover) (Lindy Grant)

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This is the first modern scholarly biography of Blanche of Castile, whose identity has until now been subsumed in that of her son, the saintly Louis IX. A central figure in the politics of medieval Europe, Blanche was a sophisticated and prolific patron of religion and culture. From her marriage as an Angevin princess to the future Louis VIII of France, she was at the center of French diplomacy. Twice, she ruled France as regent. Lindy Grant’s account is based on a close analysis of Blanche’s household accounts and of the social and religious networks on which her power and agency, as ruler and patron, depended. Blanche is revealed as a vibrant and intellectually-questioning personality, the granddaughter of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine as much as the mother of Saint Louis; and as an effective, wide-ranging and innovative ruler with an acute sense of the authority open to a woman at the highest reaches of medieval society—a woman whom the English monk, Matthew Paris, recognized as “the greatest of all the ladies on the earth.”

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