Other books

Claudia Gold has written two other books: the first, her anthology of great women rulers, and the second, a biography of Melusine – King George I’s extraordinary mistress.

women who ruled

Women Who Ruled: History’s 50 Most Remarkable Women

‘Poisoners’, ‘whores’, ‘witches’ and ‘murderers’ – or so their enemies claimed. From Queen Nefertiti of Egypt, to the villainous Catherine de Medici and her flying squadron, to England’s ‘Gloriana’ Elizabeth I, and the modern phenomenon of female prime ministers – Golda Meir, Indira Gandhi, Margaret Thatcher and Benazir Bhutto – Gold looks at 3,500 years of history to examine the lives of fifty of the worlds’ most exceptional rulers, all of them women.

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kings mistressThe King’s Mistress: The True and Scandalous Story of the Woman Who Stole the Heart of George I

As the mistress of George I, Ehrengard Melusine von der Schulenburg was England’s first Georgian queen in all but name. Her nickname among the English, who loathed her and found her scrawny, was ‘the Maypole’. Some complained she was excessive in her greed and would have ‘sold George to the highest bidder’; others, that 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 explain 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 certainly gives no credit to her astonishing rise from minor courtier to the ranks of the most powerful women in Europe.

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