The exceptionally dramatic and previously unchronicled life of the medieval queen Joanna I.
On 15 March 1348, Joanna I, Queen of Naples, stood trial for her life before the pope and his court in Avignon. She was 22 years old. Her cousin and husband, Prince Andrew of Hungary, had recently been murdered, and Joanna was the chief suspect. Determined to defend herself, Joanna won her acquittal against enormous odds. Returning to Naples, she ruled over one of Europe’s most prestigious and enlightened courts for more than thirty years – until she was herself murdered.
As courageous as Eleanor of Aquitaine, as astute and determined as Elizabeth I, Joanna was the only female monarch in her time to rule in her own right. The taint of her husband’s death never quite left her, but she was also widely admired. Dedicated to the welfare of her subjects and her realm, she reduced crime, built hospitals and churches, and encouraged the licensing of women physicians. But the turmoil of her times swirled around her: war, plague, intrigue and the treachery that would ultimately bring her down. Nancy Goldstone brings one of history’s most remarkable women to life in this impeccably researched and captivating portrait of medieval royalty.