The Lady Queen: The Notorious Reign of Joanna I, Queen of Naples, Jerusalem, and Sicily

The Lady Queen

Out of the romance and passion of the fourteenth century comes the riveting story of Joanna I, the only female monarch of her day to rule in her own name, and one of the most remarkable and accomplished women in history. 

Married at the age of seven to her six-year-old Hungarian cousin, Prince Andrew, Joanna’s brilliant, cultivated world was shattered twelve years later by the brutal assassination of her husband by unknown assailants.  At the instigation of her powerful Hungarian in-laws, who used Andrew’s death as a pretext to invade her kingdom, Joanna was accused of his murder and forced to stand trial for her life before the papal court at Avignon.  This compelling account of how, despite her youth and sex, Joanna triumphed over her enemies, raised an army, and took back her kingdom, makes for one of the most thrilling sagas of any age. Amazon Apple Audible Barnes & Noble Books-A-Million Kobo Amazon UK

Praise for The Lady Queen:

Joanna: The Notorious Queen of Naples, Jerusalem & Sicily
Published under the title Joanna: The Notorious Queen of Naples, Jerusalem & Sicily in the U.K.

“In scholarly but accessible prose, popular historian Goldstone underscores the many significant accomplishments of this exemplary queen. A thoroughly intriguing portrait of a neglected historical figure.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Veteran author Goldstone expertly describes bloodthirsty 14th-century politics and the complex family entanglements that encouraged siblings and cousins to clash over kingdoms like toddlers brawling over toys … Packed with action and effortless to read, Goldstone’s account will satisfy scholars and entertain book clubs with a heroine who had persistence and unbounded dedication to her realm.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

The Lady Queen weaves the story of one of the most extraordinary (and unjustly overlooked) rulers of the Middle Ages. The incredible episodes in Joanna’s history—not only murder and plague, but also cannibalism and even a medieval-style credit crunch—sometimes seem like something out of one of Boccaccio’s more fantastical tales. In bringing it all together, Nancy Goldstone has produced the most compelling history of the ‘calamitous fourteenth century’ since A Distant Mirror.”
—Ross King, author of The Bookseller of Florence

“This is a remarkable story about a remarkable woman told with skill and verve. Nancy Goldstone re-creates the fourteenth-century world of intrigue, family feud, and skullduggery with a flourish.”
—Wendy Moore, author of Wedlock

“Living two centuries earlier than Elizabeth I of England, Joanna I was the first European woman ever to govern a realm in her own name. Written in vivid, pellucid prose, Nancy Goldstone’s terrific biography of this unique and extraordinary woman gives us a glimpse of the significant political power exercised by many women in the Middle Ages, and is nothing short of riveting.”
—Francine Du Plessix Gray

“If your tastes run to medieval European politics, then there is nothing better than a good meaty biography of royal intrigue and murder… Goldstone reminds us of Queen Joanna I’s shrewdness, as well as the delicious infamy of her reign and times.”
McClatchy Tribune

The Lady Queen is a murder mystery, a tale of hard-earned political power and a harrowing drama of family discord guaranteed to keep readers turning pages late into the night.”
Connecticut Post

The Lady Queen is a fascinating account of the life of Joanna I. It provides a sympathetic appraisal of the notorious queen, placing her rule within the broader historical context. This includes her navigation of the political realities of the Black Death, the Hundred Years’ War, economic downturns, and the papal courts movement between Avignon and Rome. In an age dominated by men, this previously obscure historical figure fought scandal, betrayal, and personal tragedy to rule in her own name for over a quarter century.”
Historical Novels Review

“Goldstone gives a good, solid account of Queen Joanna, unlike previous works that tend to see her in an overly flowery or overly critical tone… a fascinating read and will appeal to anyone interested in the Middle Ages.”