Female rulers have been the subject of much interest among historians in recent years, with medieval queens such as Margaret of Anjou and Eleanor of Provence having volumes devoted to them, and a veritable industry springing up of studies of Tudor queens, most notably Elizabeth I.

Two recent collections of essays have sought to cover the topic more broadly. The Rule of Women in Early Modern Europe originated from a 2005 Miami conference, while the more specifically British The Rituals and Rhetoric of Queenship; Medieval to Early Modern grew out of another conference held a year later in Oxford, and is reviewed this week for us by Elena Woodacre.