The Lady Queen

The Notorious Reign of Joanna I, Queen of Naples, Jerusalem, and Sicily
Narrated by: Christine Lakin
Length: 15 hrs and 6 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (18 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The riveting history of a beautiful queen, a shocking murder, a papal trial - and a reign as triumphant as any in the Middle Ages. 

On March 15, 1348, 22-year-old Joanna I, queen of Naples, stood trial for the murder of her husband before the pope and his court in Avignon. Determined to defend herself, Joanna won her acquittal against overwhelming odds. Victorious, she returned to Naples and ruled over one of Europe's most prestigious courts for the next three decades - until she herself was killed.

Courageous and determined, Joanna was the only female monarch in her time to rule in her own name. She was widely admired: dedicated to the welfare of her subjects, she reduced crime, built hospitals and churches, and encouraged the licensing of female physicians. A procession of the most important artists and writers of the time frequented her glittering court. But she never quite escaped the stain of her husband's death, and the turmoil of the times surrounded her - war, plague, and treachery would ultimately be her undoing.

With skill, passion, and impeccable research and detail, Nancy Goldstone brings to life one of history's most remarkable women. The Lady Queen is a captivating portrait of medieval royalty in all its incandescent complexity.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2009 Nancy Goldstone (P)2018 Hachette Audio
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Intriguing

This topic is new to me. I have not read about Italian monarchs before.
Joanna I (1326-1382) ruled Southern Italy for over thirty years despite invaders, plague, four husbands, jealous-in-laws and the death of her children. She even stood trial before the Pope having been accused of murdering her husband Prince Andrew (1327-1345) of Hungary. Her life reads like a soap opera.

The book is well written and researched. The book is written in an academic style. In the audiobook version the footnotes were inserted in the appropriate place. After reading the book, I thought the use of the word notorious in the title was inappropriate. Goldstone wrote an unbiased biography of Joanna I. This was mostly new information to me. I found the scheming for power both by the royal families and by the Pope intriguing. It appears women’s lives in the middle ages were miserable. This book reveals that I need to expand my range of reading/learning. This is my first experience reading Nancy Goldstone’s work. She is an expert on medieval history.

The book is fifteen hours and 6 minutes. Christine Lakin does a good job narrating the book. Lakin is an actress and audiobook narrator. This is my first experience listening to her read.

4 people found this helpful

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Terrible mispronunciation of words

Overall lovely book, but someone really should have pulled the narrator aside and explain the pronunciations of common elemental words/geographical locations necessary for the book. I’m usually not a vocabulary stickler and understandably, errors happen, but after 8 hours of mispronunciations of words such as papacy, Navarre, Chartres, and many other words, made my history loving soul cry and my eye to twitch. Narrator is clear and well spoken, but PLEASE don’t underestimate the need for pronunciation. Overall, lovely book.

2 people found this helpful

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Didn't care for the narration

The book was interesting and the narrator was okay EXCEPT she mispronounced half of the town names which, at least for me, took away from the overall experience of it.

1 person found this helpful

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Real life Game of Thrones

Joanna Queen of Naples story is compelling, dramatic, and profound. I am awed by it!