Infamy, Infamy, they've all got it in for me!
July 5, 2018 3:27 AM   Subscribe

From the notorious to the half-forgotten, Queens of Infamy, a Longreads series by Anne Thériault, focuses on badass world-historical women of centuries past.

An ongoing series, funded by Longreads members.

Queens thus far:

1) Eleanor of Aquitaine: Life gets busy when you have empires to build and marriages to annul.
2) Anne Boleyn: In Tudor England’s big-sleeved game of thrones, winning and dying were not mutually exclusive.
3) Joanna of Naples: If you thought four (mostly) crappy husbands, vengeful Hungarian cousins, and the Black Death could cramp this queen’s style, think again.

(and if you are in the UK and want more Infamous Queens, Dr Helen Castor's She-Wolves: England's Early Queens is currently on iPlayer.)
posted by halcyonday (7 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
I follow Anne Thériault, who was responsible for this FPP about her live tweets regarding a horrible first date that was going down at a coffeeshop table near her. She is generally on point and very, very funny.
posted by orange swan at 8:19 AM on July 5, 2018

halcyonday: you have my complete respect for the PFF title reference to one of the better Carry On Film lines.
posted by Wordshore at 10:02 AM on July 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

Anne Boleyn may be the most exciting of Henry VIII’s queens, but Anne of Cleves, who always gets a bad rap for being slow, was the only one who came out ahead (and bonus: with a head) in that particular transaction. One does wonder how a marriage to Christina of Denmark, who makes Anne B look rather wishy-washy, might have gone.
posted by thomas j wise at 10:45 AM on July 5, 2018

Not only did Anne of Cleves keep her head, she got a divorce settlement of 3-4000 pounds a year, life interests in a bunch of fancy, fancy real estate, including a castle previously owned by the disgraced Boleyns, and the right to keep all the shiny things she'd acquired as queen. Eventually, Edward took back all of the real estate except for Hever Castle, but Anne survived him, and was given a fully royal burial at Westminster Abbey by Mary.
posted by joyceanmachine at 1:31 PM on July 5, 2018 [2 favorites]

This is great. I’m hoping she’ll follow Queen Joanna the Mad, who ordered her dead husband dug up so she could spend more time with him. There’s also Ranavalona, who spilled rivers of blood and put heads on spikes but did successfully resist European colonization in her lifetime.
posted by Countess Elena at 7:35 PM on July 5, 2018

I just read these the other day, and I am enthralled. (Anne Boleyn and Eleanor of Aquitaine are, in fact, my two favorite queens since childhood as well. It's like she knows me!)
posted by desuetude at 11:03 PM on July 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

I hope they do Margaret I of Denmark, who kicked some ass.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:32 PM on July 7, 2018

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