Queen's Mate tells the story of three remarkable women who shaped and presided over the destiny of France during the last years of the 15th century and the early part of the 16th: Anne of France, Anne of Brittany, and Louise of Savoy.
Although each is worthy of her own individual biography, their lives were so enmeshed by kinship, marriage and circumstances as to be well served by a book that mirrors the complex interweaving of their lives. Their story is rich enough in dramatic incident to provide a gripping narrative, but the book looks also at the wider issues: at the restrictions, particularly in the exercise of power, placed on the three women by society; at their success in ignoring or pushing back those barriers; at what they wanted or expected for their daughters; and at how they saw themselves in relation to men. The study draws largely on contemporary sources, both printed and manuscript, and presents material hitherto unknown or overlooked.
It is the first study of the three women as a group, and indeed is one of the first modern, reliable studies in English or French of any one of them as an individual.