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Wednesday, March 20, 2024

The Dark Queens: The Bloody Rivalry That Forged the Medieval WorldThe Dark Queens: The Bloody Rivalry That Forged the Medieval World by Shelley Puhak
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This history book really hit the spot. I've always had a bit of a soft spot for the Merovingian princes, but this particular focus on the strong QUEENS that were the power behind some of the most bloody times, just before and after 600 AD, was a brilliant piece of shading-in for me.

Early Medieval times, a good stretch before Charlemagne, are quite romanticized now. Getting this breath of realism, not just convoluted white-washing for the men, reveals a number of strong, intelligent women embroiled in some rather convoluted politicking. The French Royal line was never quite as barbaric as we are led to think. So much of history is erased by the successors. But in this case, it's just the church and the men who went so far out of their way to erase THESE particularly smart and strong women -- because of their successes.

I know it's kind of a thing these days to glow up women in either history or mythology, and it is what it is, but frankly, I'm impressed by the amount of meat and bones on these particular Frankish women.

This isn't weak history. It's very fascinating.

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