Book: Catherine de Valois (The Legendary Women of World History Book 2) by Laurel A. Rockefellercategories: Book, Biography, France, England, Tudor, Hundred Years War, History, Henry V, Queen, Mental Illness, Inspiration, Catherine de Valois
Laurel A. Rockefellerabout this book: I love Shakespeare, especially the Kenneth Branagh adaptation of Henry V. In the movie, Emma Thompson plays "Kate," the French princess so intrigued by the English king that her heart is easily swept away.
Without question, Henry V is a great play and the Branagh movie is a skillful and faithful rendering. But how accurate was Shakespeare and how was this "Kate?"
Searching for the real Catherine de Valois took me down paths I never expected, deep into the complicated labyrinth of 15th century history. Together the 15th and 16th centuries were a sort of golden age for women with more women wielding real political power than at any other time in history.
This was an unexpected journey for me as I learned about King Charles VI of France's paranoid and violent schizophrenia, mental illness so severe that France accepted the leadership of his queen consort and Catherine's mother, Queen Isabeau of Bavaria. It also took me into the failed and final war of independence by Welsh Prince of Wales Owain Glyndŵr and the way that war transformed the life of the young Owain ap Maredudd ap Tewdwr who fought alongside King Henry V at the Battle of Agincourt as Owen Tudor. It even took me into the life of Jehanne d'Arc, the "Maid of Orlean" who gave her life so that Catherine's younger brother Charles could be formally crowned Charles VII in Reims -- controlled by the English at the time.
Catherine stood at the center of all these events, a woman of great courage, conviction, and integrity. She was a true role model for all of us which is why everyone needs to read her story.
In my short biography, I stick to what we know, telling her complex story so that everyone, no matter how young or old, can be inspired by it. At the end of the kindle edition, you will find a timeline and bibliography so you can keep learning and exploring this extraordinary life.
No matter where you are in the world, it is time to be inspired by the real woman named Catherine de Valois.
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