The King's Mistress: The True and Scandalous Story of the Woman Who Stole the Heart of George I
As the mistress and possible secret wife of George I, Ehrengard Melusine von der Schulenburg was England's first Georgian queen in all but name. Her nickname amongst the English, who loathed her and found her scrawny, was 'the Maypole'. Others sources complained she was excessive in her greed; she had no love for George and would have 'sold him to the highest bidder'; she was dim-witted; she was dull; she stood by passively as George pursued younger and more attractive mistresses; she condoned incest, willingly sharing George's affections and his bed with his half-sister, Sophia Charlotte.
Yet this scandalous gossip only tells one kind of story. It doesn't mention how Melusine charmed George away from his wife, the beautiful and tempestuous Sophia Dorothea of Celle, and bound him to her until his death. Nor does it show how her gentle nature and good sense helped keep George's notoriously dysfunctional family from tearing itself apart. It gives no credit to her astonishing rise from minor courtier to the ranks of the most powerful women in Europe, or for how her love of music saw her mixing with everyone from George Frideric Handel to the flamboyant theatrical impresario John James Heidegger.
In The King's Mistress, Claudia Gold brings Melusine, and the many contradictions that make her such a fascinating character, vividly to life.
Women Who Ruled: History's 50 Most Remarkable Women
Queen, Empress, Concubine: Fifty Women Rulers from the Queen of Sheba to Catherine the Great
The number of women who have ruled as queens or empresses, or governed as presidents or prime ministers, remains but a small subset of the total of those who have attained ultimate political power. But this elite group of women, who - through dynastic succession, democratic election or other means - have reached the heights of political and ceremonial leadership, includes some of the most influential and charismatic figures of world history. Queen, Empress, Concubine paints vivid portraits of the lives of 50 extraordinary women who have held positions of executive or ceremonial power throughout history, from the Queen of Sheba to Margaret Thatcher. Each biographical profile sets its subject clearly in the culture and context of its time, enabling author Claudia Gold not only to tell the stories of 50 courageous and fiercely independent women, but also to provide a fascinating and informative alternative social history of the last 3,500 years.
The Queen of Sheba
Eleanor of Aquitaine
Blanche of Castile
Isabella 'The She-Wolf'
Margaret I of Denmark
Margaret of Anjou
Isabella of Castile
Juana 'the Mad'
Catherine de Medicis
Lady Jane Grey
Mary Queen of Scots
Anne of Austria
Christina of Sweden
Catherine the Great