Review of Queen, Jewel, Mistress

Eleanor of Castile, b.1241 d.28 November 1290, first wife of Edward I and Queen Consort of England. Sixteen children.

Sarah James writes a micro review on her blog HERE

“If history lessons at school had been anything like Ruth Stacey’s Queen, Jewel, Mistress: A History of the Queens of England & Great Britain In Verse (Eyewear), then I’d have paid better attention.

I know Ruth, she’s a good friend and I love her work. This collection demonstrates why. Each queen is a given a distinct voice, in poems that take a range of poetry forms and styles befitting their time. They’re women’s viewpoints, but the worlds they belong to and are set in mostly men’s; its depiction therefore unconfined. The imagery is wide-ranging: nature, animals, birds, blood, war, lust, secrecy, politics, violence and the hidden messages of nursery rhyme.

The poems are full of memorable lines and metaphors. Some of the poems are thoughtscapes, others landscapes. Some carry a narrative, others spark against each other to create a bigger story. All of them are very human, and very much recommended.”


  1. I have just discovered Ruth Stacey’s poem “Anne Boleyn” on Poetry Foundation in the US. I am still reading it over and falling into its filigree. Stacey is transcending time with the wording of wisp and warden, and I am intrigued. Not often is it found a poet has such metaphoric dance. I’m famished to read more…

    Lenore of “Poets and Poems RI,” USA

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