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Always the Queen
The Denise LaSalle Story
Denise LaSalle, with David Whiteis
University of Illinois Press, 2020
Denise LaSalle's journey took her from rural Mississippi to an unquestioned reign as the queen of soul-blues. From her early R&B classics to bold and bawdy demands for satisfaction, LaSalle updated the classic blueswoman's stance of powerful independence while her earthy lyrics about relationships connected with generations of female fans. Off-stage, she enjoyed ongoing success as a record label owner, entrepreneur, and genre-crossing songwriter.

As honest and no-nonsense as the artist herself, Always the Queen is LaSalle's in-her-own-words story of a lifetime in music. Moving to Chicago as a teen, LaSalle launched a career in gospel and blues that eventually led to the chart-topping 1971 smash ”Trapped by a Thing Called Love” and a string of R&B hits. She reinvented herself as a soul-blues artist as tastes changed and became a headliner on the revitalized southern soul circuit and at festivals nationwide and overseas. Revered for a tireless dedication to her music and fans, LaSalle continued to tour and record until shortly before her death.


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The Appian Way
Ghost Road, Queen of Roads
Robert A. Kaster
University of Chicago Press, 2012

The Roman poet Statius called the via Appia “the Queen of Roads,” and for nearly a thousand years that description held true, as countless travelers trod its path from the center of Rome to the heel of Italy. Today, the road is all but gone, destroyed by time, neglect, and the incursions of modernity; to travel the Appian Way today is to be a seeker, and to walk in the footsteps of ghosts.

Our guide to those ghosts—and the layers of history they represent—is Robert A. Kaster. In The Appian Way, he brings a lifetime of studying Roman literature and history to his adventures along the ancient highway. A footsore Roman soldier pushing the imperial power south; craftsmen and farmers bringing their goods to the towns that lined the road; pious pilgrims headed to Jerusalem, using stage-by-stage directions we can still follow—all come to life once more as Kaster walks (and drives—and suffers car trouble) on what’s left of the Appian Way. Other voices help him tell the story: Cicero, Goethe, Hawthorne, Dickens, James, and even Monty Python offer commentary, insight, and curmudgeonly grumbles, their voices blending like the ages of the road to create a telescopic, perhaps kaleidoscopic, view of present and past.

To stand on the remnants of the Via Appia today is to stand in the pathway of history. With The Appian Way, Kaster invites us to close our eyes and walk with him back in time, to the campaigns of Garibaldi, the revolt of Spartacus, and the glory days of Imperial Rome. No traveler will want to miss this fascinating journey.


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The Autobiography of Maud Gonne
A Servant of the Queen
Maud Gonne
University of Chicago Press, 1995
Maud Gonne is part of Irish history: her founding of the Daughters of Ireland, in 1900, was the key that effectively opened the door of twentieth-century politics to Irish women. Still remembered in Ireland for the inspiring public speeches she made on behalf of the suffering—those evicted from their homes in western Ireland, the Treason-Felony prisoners on the Isle of Wright, indeed all those whom she saw as victims of imperialism—she is known, too, within and outside Ireland as the woman W. B. Yeats loved and celebrated in his poems.

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Black Soldiers of the Queen
The Natal Native Contingent in the Anglo-Zulu War
P. S. Thompson
University of Alabama Press, 2006
Africans who fought alongside the British against the Zulu king

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Demonizing the Queen of Sheba
Boundaries of Gender and Culture in Postbiblical Judaism and Medieval Islam
Jacob Lassner
University of Chicago Press, 1993
Over the centuries, Jewish and Muslim writers transformed the biblical Queen of Sheba from a clever, politically astute sovereign to a demonic force threatening the boundaries of gender. In this book, Jacob Lassner shows how successive retellings of the biblical story reveal anxieties about gender and illuminate the processes of cultural transmission.

The Bible presents the Queen of Sheba's encounter with King Solomon as a diplomatic mission: the queen comes "to test him with hard questions," all of which he answers to her satisfaction; she then praises him and, after an exchange of gifts, returns to her own land. By the Middle Ages, Lassner demonstrates, the focus of the queen's visit had shifted from international to sexual politics. The queen was now portrayed as acting in open defiance of nature's equilibrium and God's design. In these retellings, the authors humbled the queen and thereby restored the world to its proper condition.

Lassner also examines the Islamization of Jewish themes, using the dramatic accounts of Solomon and his female antagonist as a test case of how Jewish lore penetrated the literary imagination of Muslims. Demonizing the Queen of Sheba thus addresses not only specialists in Jewish and Islamic studies, but also those concerned with issues of cultural transmission and the role of gender in history.

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Fêting the Queen
Civic Entertainments and the Elizabethan Progress
John M Adrian
University of Massachusetts Press, 2021
In a 1572 visit to Warwick, Queen Elizabeth looked out the window of her lodgings and saw local people dancing in the courtyard, a seemingly spontaneous performance meant to entertain her. During her travels, she was treated to fireworks, theatrical performances, and lavish banquets. Reconstructing the formal and informal events that took place throughout Elizabeth's progress visits, events rich in pageantry and ceremony, John M. Adrian demonstrates how communities communicated their character, as well as their financial and political needs, to noble guests.

While previous scholars have studied Elizabeth I and her visits to the homes of influential courtiers, Fêting the Queen places a new emphasis on the civic communities that hosted the monarch and their efforts to secure much needed support. Case studies of the cities of Oxford, Canterbury, Sandwich, Bristol, Worcester, and Norwich focus on the concepts of hospitality and space—including the intimate details of the built environment.

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Letters from the Queen of Navarre with an Ample Declaration
Jeanne d’Albret
Iter Press, 2016

This edition presents in English, for the first time, Jeanne d’Albret’s Letters to the king, his mother, his brother, her own brother-in-law, and the queen of England, together with her Ample Declaration (1568) defending her decampment to the Protestant stronghold of La Rochelle. A historical-biographical introduction situates these writings in the larger context of Reformation politics and examines in detail the specific literary characteristics of her memoir. In her works, Jeanne d’Albret asserts her own position as legal sovereign of Béarn and Navarre and situates herself at the nexus of overlapping political, religious, and familial tensions.


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Midwife to the Queen of France
Diverse Observations
Louise Bourgeois
Iter Press, 2017
Diverse Observations is a groundbreaking book available for the first time in English. Written by a midwife committed to improving the care of women and newborns, it records the evolution of Bourgeois’s practice and beliefs, comments on changing attitudes related to reproductive health, and critiques the gendered elitism of the early modern medical hierarchy

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Queen in Blue
Ambalila Hemsell
University of Wisconsin Press, 2020
This gorgeous and wry debut firmly claims physical strength, toughness, and authority for femininity. Ambalila Hemsell’s poems speak from a place of empowerment as well as wonder. They address the insatiable fear of motherhood and the violence embedded in natural processes of creation, birth, and survival. Her words flicker and glow with magical realism, just as they reveal profound truths shared by the miraculous and the mundane. This lush and lyric collection artfully tackles what it means to reconcile one’s own needs and desires with those of others, and to find abundance and strength in the midst of catastrophe.

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The Queen of America Goes to Washington City
Essays on Sex and Citizenship
Lauren Berlant
Duke University Press, 1997
In The Queen of America Goes to Washington City, Lauren Berlant focuses on the need to revitalize public life and political agency in the United States. Delivering a devastating critique of contemporary discourses of American citizenship, she addresses the triumph of the idea of private life over that of public life borne in the right-wing agenda of the Reagan revolution. By beaming light onto the idealized images and narratives about sex and citizenship that now dominate the U.S. public sphere, Berlant argues that the political public sphere has become an intimate public sphere. She asks why the contemporary ideal of citizenship is measured by personal and private acts and values rather than civic acts, and the ideal citizen has become one who, paradoxically, cannot yet act as a citizen—epitomized by the American child and the American fetus.
As Berlant traces the guiding images of U.S. citizenship through the process of privatization, she discusses the ideas of intimacy that have come to define national culture. From the fantasy of the American dream to the lessons of Forrest Gump, Lisa Simpson to Queer Nation, the reactionary culture of imperilled privilege to the testimony of Anita Hill, Berlant charts the landscape of American politics and culture. She examines the consequences of a shrinking and privatized concept of citizenship on increasing class, racial, sexual, and gender animosity and explores the contradictions of a conservative politics that maintains the sacredness of privacy, the virtue of the free market, and the immorality of state overregulation—except when it comes to issues of intimacy.
Drawing on literature, the law, and popular media, The Queen of America Goes to Washington City is a stunning and major statement about the nation and its citizens in an age of mass mediation. As it opens a critical space for new theory of agency, its narratives and gallery of images will challenge readers to rethink what it means to be American and to seek salvation in its promise.

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Queen of Navarre
Jeanne d’Albret, 1528–1572
Nancy Lyman Roelker
Harvard University Press

This is the first biography in a hundred years of Jeanne d'Albret, a femme politique worthy of comparison with Elizabeth of England (her ally) and Catherine de Medici (her opponent) in a period when all the political and ideological currents of Reformation Europe converged in France. Her career as a feudal ruler in southwest France illustrates the changing relations between the high nobility and the crown, while her role as co-leader, with Coligny, of the Calvinist party at its height contributes to an understanding of the failure of the French Reformation. As the mother of Henry IV, she was responsible for the political education of France's most popular king, some of whose problems were inherited from her along with the models for some solutions.

The daughter of Marguerite de Navarre, Jeanne d'Albret experienced a dramatic series of crises which her uncompromising Calvinism and iron will enabled her to survive. In addition to the many unpublished letters included here, the author's insights into the character and motives of this unusual woman constitute one of the most enlightening aspects of her biography. Nancy Lyman Roelker's vivid style breathes life into a host of fascinating figures in an era in France richly colored by intrigue, war, and turbulent religious conflict.


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Queen of the Confederacy
The Innocent Deceits of Lucy Holcombe Pickens
Elizabeth Wittenmyer Lewis
University of North Texas Press, 2002

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Queen of the Hillbillies
The Writings of May Kennedy McCord
Patti McCord
University of Arkansas Press, 2022

May Kennedy McCord, lovingly nicknamed “First Lady of the Ozarks” and “Queen of the Hillbillies,” spent half a century sharing the history, songs, and stories of her native Ozarks through newspaper columns, radio programs, and music festivals. Though her work made her one of the twentieth century’s preeminent folklorists, McCord was first and foremost an entertainer—at one time nearly as renowned as the hills she loved.

Despite the encouragement of her contemporaries, McCord never published a collection of her work. In 1956, Vance Randolph wrote to her, “If you didn’t have such a mental block against writing books, I could show you how to make a book out of extracts from your columns. It would be very little work, and sell like hotcakes. . . . I could write a solemn little introduction, telling the citizens what a fine gal you are! The hell of it is, most of the readers know all about you.” In Queen of the Hillbillies, editors Patti McCord and Kristene Sutliff at last bring together the best of McCord’s published and previously unpublished writings to share her knowledge, humor, and inimitable spirit with a new generation of readers.


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