Friday, April 19, 2013

A Quiver of Queens

Welcome to the regularly scheduled post for today, for the letter Q! Today I would like to feature a Quiver of Queens, some of my favorites from history and fiction.
Queen Elizabeth I of England has always been one of my favorite queens, considering we share a name and all. She rose from the adversity of her birth - her mother was decapitated when she was a toddler and her sister later imprisoned her - to be one of the most loved monarchs of England. There's even an era named after her, the Elizabethan Era, also sometimes known as the Golden Age. Under her rule, English drama flourished, especially William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe. I've watched movies and read books based on her life, and they're all great. Especially Cate Blanchette's portrayal of her. And Phillippa Gregory's British historical romance novels are great - there's one or two featuring Elizabeth I, others about her father, mother, other Tudors and even back before her family with the War of the Roses players. Fun fact - she's the featured ruler of the British Empire in the video game Civilization 5.

But she's not the only great queen around. There are plenty of other historical queens who did great deeds and ruled well, but Elizabeth I is still my favorite. For fictional queens though, I have some other favorites...

Queen Guinevere of Arthurian legend is a conflicted character - does she really love Arthur? In some stories, she does, in others, it's just a marriage of convenience. I want her to love him, Arthur deserves a true love after all he goes through. Child of the Northern Spring by Persia Wooley is a good story about young Guinevere, I never read the following novels - now that I've discovered their existence online I want to! Another favorite Arthurian tale focusing on this queen is Queen of Camelot by Nancie McKenzie. I'm a little into Arthurian legend, so I have a few books about it. I'm always disappointed when Guinevere turns to Lancelot, because I want Arthur to be happy!

Another queen with heartache is Queen Amlaruil Moonflower of Evermeet, a nation in the role playing game setting of Forgotten Realms. She wasn't meant to be queen, but rose to the position, and then through an cruel mistake loses her king but has to keep ruling without him, holding the nation together. She is featured in Evermeet: Island of Elves by Elaine Cunningham, a very interesting history of elves in Forgotten Realms.

The queens in George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series provide many different styles of ruling - or yearning to rule. Queen Cersei is a queen you love to hate, Stannis' queen is not really worth thought, while Daenerys' journey to claim her father's throne makes you love her but sometimes wonder at her choices on the how to get there.

Queen Gogo in the movie 300 is worth mentioning for her amazing speech before the council - she's a strong inspiration for characters I play that focus on diplomacy. Aurora's mother in Sleeping Beauty and Rapunzel's mother in Tangled both show love toward their long-lost daughters without speaking, just lovely. And of course, the Scarlet Empress of Exalted is a queen, well more than a queen, and amazing in her role.

Queen Cleopatra of Egypt is always an interesting topic, with the Ptolemaic custom of brother-sister marriages and her affair with Marc Antony. Queen Catherine the Great of Russia, more commonly called Empress, revitalized her country during her long rule, while Queen Marie Antoinette of France led a dangerous life of court intrigue - never really in power until her husband's decline, but often in the public eye until her public execution.

That's an exhausting list of queens to read and write about! Do you have a favorite above, or another queen you admire or love to read about? Share in the comments!

Thank you for joining me through this crazy blogging journey from A to Z! Come back tomorrow for something that starts with R!


  1. That's a lot of queens! And it's so cool that you're named after one. I always liked your name, btw! It's the reason why I picked out your blog among the hundreds in the A-Z list.

    I also like Philippa's writing though I've only read one - The Other Boleyn Girl. My, that was a gripping read! Queen Anne is also one interesting queen.

    I love how you feel for King Arthur. I never thought of it that way. He does deserve true love!


    1. Aww thanks! I like my name too, Elizabeth has possibly the MOST different nicknames of any name, at least English names. There are variations in different European languages also. I ended up with the nickname Liz from my first grade teacher, she decided I was Miss Liz, it ended up Lizzy with friends and so usually I'm Liz or Lizzy. I like your name too, simple and sweet! Now I need to get back to your blog!

      Philippa's writing is great, The Other Boleyn Girl is good, but there's also a book about Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII's first wife, and some others about his other wives, then about his children. I really like The White Queen, which is about Elizabeth Woodville, queen consort of King Edward IV of England, Henry VIII's grandmother fights with her politically. In looking online, apparently there is now a BBC show based on that book!

      I'm a big romantic, and when I decide a couple should be together I tend to get mad when they don't, or if someone else gets in the way. Besides that, Arthur deserved true love =)

    2. The royals are just a romantic topic, aren't they? I love to read about Prince William and his wife Kate. Did you know her middle name is Elizabeth too? There you go. :)