Format Hardcover
Publication Date 10/01/24
ISBN 9781639367269
Trim Size / Pages 6 x 9 in / 352

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The Lost Queen

The Surprising Life of Catherine of Braganza—the Forgotten Queen Who Bridged Two Worlds

Sophie Shorland

An enthralling and vivid portrait of Queen Catherine of Braganza, wife of Charles II, that reveals her forgotten place in history.

A long-overlooked figure in history, Catherine has a crucial place in the history of the British Empire: she may have failed to produce an heir to the throne, but her marriage to Charles in 1662 marked a key turning point in Britain’s imperial ascendancy, for part of her dowry was Bombay, Britain’s first territory of the Indian subcontinent. Catherine also was highly influential in the worlds of fashion, Baroque art and music, and food and culture. She popularized tea drinking, bringing England’s national drink into fashion for the first time. Her life was at the nexus of Old and New Worlds, war and exploration, frivolity, and scientific inquiry.

Noteworthy in its scope and approach to sources, The Lost Queen combines personal and political accounts, offering a lively portrait of Catherine’s life, and the wider politics and explorations of her time.

Sophie Shorland has a PhD in Early Modern English literature and is a former Research Fellow at the University of Warwick. She was a semi-finalist in the BBC's New Generation Thinkers competition and the proposal for her first book was shortlisted for the Tony Lothian Prize.

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Endorsements & Reviews

"Between these covers we rediscover a lost queen, having now emerged from the shadow of her husband, Charles II. She stands before us as never before, complex, astute and fully realised, all thanks to Shorland’s sensitive and robust retelling of her life. 'Let Bonfires blaze' indeed, for here, finally, is the long-awaited history of Catherine of Braganza." Anthony Delaney, History Hit presenter, author of the forthcoming Queer Georgians
"Another neglected Early Modern woman finally gets the biography she deserves! Shorland's is a confident, cosmopolitan and always accessible life of the Queen Consort who brought England nothing less than the first toeholds of a truly global empire, and the habit of tea-drinking." Ophelia Field, author of The Favourite
"What a wonderful subject Sophie Shorland has picked. It's for far too long that Charles II's Portuguese queen has been neglected or misrepresented. Shorland connects her to our own times in a splendidly sympathetic and sparky portrait, filled with unexpected images of a courageous woman who wasn't afraid to create her own circle and defend her beliefs at an English court dominated by her husband's mistresses. Wittily written and rich in detail." Miranda Seymour, author of I Used to Live Here Once: The Haunted Life of Jean Rhys and In Byron's Wake