Wednesday, August 17, 2011
The Ones That Got Away
Isabella, Queen Consort to Edward II (1295-1358): called the She-Wolf of France by her enemies, this strong-willed Queen refused to play second fiddle to her husband Edward II’s male lovers who were showered not only with gifts and but with power. Aided by her lover, Roger de Mortimer, she stole the throne from her husband for her son, and possibly ordered the murder of her husband as well.
Veronica Franco (1546-1591): The daughter of a courtesan, this dangerous beauty followed in her mother’s footsteps, becoming the toast of Venice not just with her body but by her wit and skill in debating at a time when most women were illiterate. She quickly rose to consort with some of the leading notables of her day and even entranced the future King Henry III of France, who only wanted to meet her on his visit to Venice. A noted poet, Veronica used her poems to argue in support of defenseless women. She later managed to survive charges of witchcraft brought by the Inquisition. Veronica's insight into the age-old conflicts between men and women and her awareness of the threat she posed to men is what makes her so pertinent today
Queen Christina of Sweden (1626-1689): The eccentric crossing dressing Queen who gave up her throne for freedom. Raised by her father as a more of a Prince than a Princess, Christina inherited the throne after her father’s death at the age of 6. During her ten years on the throne, Christina absolutely refused to marry despite pressure to fulfill her duty to give Sweden an heir. She secretly converted to Catholicism which contributed to her decision to abdicate. The rest of her life was spent in France and Rome, where she was buried in St. Peter's Basilica. Her complex character has inspired numerous plays, books, and operatic works since her death including the 1933 MGM film Queen Christina starring the luminous Greta Garbo.
Hopefully, these women will end up in another book one day or here on Scandalous Women.