Birth of the Chess Queen: A History (Paperback)

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Everyone knows that the queen is the most dominant piece in chess, but few people know that the game existed for five hundred years without her. It wasn't until chess became a popular pastime for European royals during the Middle Ages that the queen was born and was gradually empowered to become the king's fierce warrior and protector.

Birth of the Chess Queen examines the five centuries between the chess queen's timid emergence in the early days of the Holy Roman Empire to her elevation during the reign of Isabel of Castile. Marilyn Yalom, inspired by a handful of surviving medieval chess queens, traces their origin and spread from Spain, Italy, and Germany to France, England, Scandinavia, and Russia. In a lively and engaging historical investigation, Yalom draws parallels between the rise of the chess queen and the ascent of female sovereigns in Europe, presenting a layered, fascinating history of medieval courts and internal struggles for power.

About the Author

Marilyn Yalom is Senior Scholar at the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at Stanford University and author of "A History of the Wife "(2001), "A History of the Breast "(1997), "Blood Sisters: The French Revolution in Women's Memory "(1993), and "Maternity, Mortality, and the Literature of Madness "(1985). Laura Carstensen is Professor of Psychology and the Barbara D. Finberg Director of the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at Stanford University. She has published more than eighty articles and chapters on life-span development, marriage, and emotion.

Praise For…

“Both chess fans and those unfamiliar with the game will enjoy this absorbing look at the evolution of chess.”

“An enticing portal into the past…. Yalom writes passionately and accessibly about this esoteric topic.”
-Los Angeles Times Book Review

“A well-researched and enjoyable book.”
-The Economist

“Marilyn Yalom has written the rare book that illuminates something that always has been dimly perceived but never articulated.”
-Cleveland Plain Dealer

Product Details
ISBN: 9780060090654
ISBN-10: 0060090650
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publication Date: April 26th, 2005
Pages: 320
Language: English