The Life and Afterlife of Isabeau of Bavaria
Adulteress and traitor—two charges long leveled against the queen—are the first subjects of Adam's reinterpretation of medieval French history. Scholars have concluded that the myths of Isabeau's scandalous past are just that: rumors that evolved after her death in the context of a political power struggle. Unfortunately, this has not prevented the lies from finding their way into respected studies on the period. Adams's own work serves as a corrective, rehabilitating the reputation of the good queen and exploring the larger topic of memory and the creation of myth.
Adams next challenges the general perception that the queen lacked political acumen. With her husband incapacitated by insanity, Isabeau was forced to rule a country ripped apart by feuding, power-hungry factions. Adams argues that Isabeau handled her role astutely in such a contentious environment, preserving the monarchy from the incursions of the king's powerful male relatives.
Taking issue with history's harsh treatment of a woman who ruled under difficult circumstances, Adams convincingly recasts Isabeau as a respected and competent queen.
About the Author
"This is a fascinating reassessment of medieval French history."—Past In Review
"Adams's technically proficient work warrants a place in a series devoted to rethinking theoretical models and approaches."—Naomi Ruth Pitamber, Comitatus
"This is a remarkable book that warrants a long and detailed review."—Larissa Juliet Taylor, H-France
"Adams has produced an extremely interesting book, which will undoubtedly encourage further debate about Isabeau of Bavaria . . . a stimulating and thought provoking read."—Katherin Harvey, European Review of History
"This book is of use to all historians who want to rethink critically the basic tenets of how we approach our subjects and the various ways in which we analyse, interpret, and criticize their actions and make or unmake their historical reputations."—Natalie Tomas, Parergon
"The rich palette of information contained in The Life and Afterlife renders it an extremely significant contribution to the process of transforming a blackened legend into an appropriately illuminated image."—Beverly J. Evans, Dalhousie French Studies
Other Titles from Rethinking Theory
Other Titles in Literature: history & criticism