Early English Queens, 650–850 Speculum Reginae
This book offers the first dedicated and comprehensive examination of the lives of nearly thirty women known to occupy the office of queen in the English kingdoms between 650 and 850.
The queens of early England are often shadowy figures in the historical record, beset by numerous issues which have largely confined them to the margins of history. Through careful analysis, the volume presents a ground-breaking appraisal of the role of queens in early England, and how their actions and identities shaped their practice of queenship. Organised thematically, it offers an overview of queens in many different roles, such as agents of Christianity, mothers, and peace-weavers. From high profile queens such as Æthelthryth of Ely and Cynethryth of Mercia, to the shadowy Leofrun of East Anglia and the nameless queen of Anna of East Anglia, the book engages with sources to advance fuller narratives about even the most obscure queens of the era.
Aided by resources such as genealogical tables, Early English Queens, 650–850 is an ideal resource for students and scholars at all levels, as well general readers, interested in the lives of queens and early English history.
Introduction, 1. Christian Queens, 2. Queens as Mothers, 3. The Peaceweaver (freoðuwebbe): a Queenly Custom?, 4. The Voiceless Queens, 5. Conclusion
“The voiceless queens are the most poignant reminders of what happens when women are overshadowed by men and overlooked in the historical record. Wragg’s careful, painstaking research and analysis goes beyond conjecture and highlights the richness of these voiceless women. This book brings out of the shadows both the prominent and the voiceless queens and will be a valuable addition to the ever-growing library of all scholars of English history and queenship.”
Theresa Earenfight, Seattle University, USA