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She-Wolves: England’s Early Queens

Series Description

Seen on public television.

The medieval and Tudor world was built for and ruled by men. Kings were warriors who earned power through blood spilled on the battlefield. Women who sought to rule in their own right were viewed with horror and vilified as “she-wolves.” Yet beginning 800 years ago with Matilda—daughter of Henry I, granddaughter of William the Conqueror—a handful of extraordinary women decided they would wear England’s crown. They were thwarted, betrayed, imprisoned, and condemned until the day came when England had no choice but to name a female monarch.

Hosted by Dr. Helen Castor, “an accomplished and elegant historian” (The New York Times), based on her book, and filmed on location in England and France, this captivating BBC series explores the lives of seven English queens who challenged male power, the fierce and fiery reactions they provoked, and whether, in fact, much has changed.


About the Host

Cambridge professor Helen Castor is a historian of medieval England, presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Making History, and author of the award-winning book Blood and Roses.