Subject Guides Books Reading Lists Women Who Rule

Are you on the waiting list for Cleopatra: a life by Stacy Schiff? Try one of our other books about ruling women while you wait.

Compiled by Jennifer Adams. Summaries from ContentCafe. January 2011

  • High Society: the life of Grace Kelly
    by Donald Spoto
    Documents the life and whirlwind career of the iconic Hollywood actress-turned-European princess, drawing on previously unpublished interviews to cover such topics as her conservative education, Oscar-winning film achievements and role as a mother to royal children.
  • The Diana Chronicles
    by Tina Brown
    A portrait of the late Princess Diana examines her relationships with the various women in her life, including her sexually charged mother, scheming grandmother, hated stepmother, competitive sisters, and the "other woman," Camilla Parker Bowles.
  • Catherine the Great: love, sex and power
    by Virginia Rounding
    A portrait of the late eighteenth-century Russian ruler discusses how she seized and kept the throne in spite of her illegitimate claim and a series of wars, rebellions, and plagues, tracing how she rendered Russia a major European power.
  • Hatchepsut: the female pharaoh
    by Joyce Tyldesley
    A biography drawing on archaeological and historical evidence tells of the brilliant female pharaoh who ruled Egypt for more than twenty years, but whose name and image were viciously attacked after her reign came to an end.
  • Anne Boleyn: fatal attractions
    by G.W. Bernard
    G.W. Bernard offers a fresh portrait of one of England's most captivating queens. He depicts Anne Boleyn as a captivating, intelligent and highly sexual woman whose attractions Henry resisted for years until marriage could ensure legitimacy for their offspring.
  • The Last Empress : Madame Chiang Kai-Shek and the birth of modern China
    by Hannah Pakula
    With the powerful Madame Chiang Kai-Shek at the center of one of the great dramas of the 20th century, the story of the founding of modern China ranges from the revolution that swept away the monarchy to the eventual loss to the communists and exile in Taiwan.
  • Elizabeth & Leicester: power, passion, and politics
    by Sarah Gristwood
    An analysis of the working partnership and intimate bond between Elizabeth I and Robert Dudley discusses the scandal and speculation that surrounded their early romance, the earl's servitude to the queen as her counselor and army commander, and her contrary treatment of him regarding her suitors and his second marriage.
  • Leap of Faith: memoirs of an unexpected life
    by Queen Noor
    Sharing a personal perspective on the past three decades of world history, Queen Noor talks frankly of the many challenges of her life as wife and partner to the monarch, providing both an intimate portrait of the late King Hussein and a moving account of their public role.
  • The Secret History of the Mongol Queens : how the daughters of Genghis Khan rescued his empire
    by Jack Weatherford
    A history of the ruling women of the Mongol Empire, this work reveals their struggle to preserve a nation that shaped the world.
  • Becoming Queen Victoria: the tragic death of Princess Charlotte and the unexpected rise of Britain's greatest monarch
    by Kate Williams
    Documents the early years of the British monarch, focusing on the factors shaping her ascension, from her passionate youth and bitter struggles with her mother to the influence of her cousin, who was originally destined for the throne.
  • Cleopatra : last queen of Egypt
    by Joyce Tyldesley
    An Egyptologist strips away preconceptions about Cleopatra in a biography of the Egyptian queen, detailing her intelligence and linguistic expertise, her liaisons with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, and her ruthless political maneuverings in pursuit of power.
  • Marie Antoinette: the journey
    by Antonia Fraser
    Describes the life of Marie Antionette from her betrothal as a fourteen-year-old girl to the future King Louis XVI, through her life in the French court, to her courage in the face of revolutionaries who sent her to the guillotine.
  • Queen Isabella: treachery, adultery, and murder in medieval England
    by Alison Weir
    A portrait of Queen Isabella describes her marriage to Edward II, the king's homosexual affairs, her flight back to France, and her alliance with her husband's arch-enemy, Roger Mortimer, with whom she launched a revolution.
  • Monarchy: the royal family at work
    BBC Series (2 DVDs)
    A compelling and unique insight into the work of the queen through a full year. Features exceptional access to members of the royal family, including Prince Charles, William, and Harry, uncovering their lives away from the glare of the public eye.

Category: Reading Lists, Biography and Memoir

 
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