She Wolves: England's Early Queens


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The medieval and Tudor world was built for and ruled by men. Women who sought to rule were vilified as “she-wolves.” Yet starting 800 years ago, a handful of extraordinary women decided they would wear England’s crown. In this captivating BBC series based on her book, historian Helen Castor explores the lives of seven English queens who challenged male power—and whether much has changed. 3 episodes, 1 DVD. SDH, viewer’s guide. From Athena.
Episode 1: Matilda and Eleanor
The first woman to attempt to claim the English throne, Matilda-daughter of Henry I, granddaughter of William the Conqueror-was hours from her coronation in 1141 when an angry mob chased her away. Her daughter-in-law, Eleanor of Aquitaine, led a rebellion against her own husband. Neither won the crown, but both ensured that the dynasty would continue.

Episode 2: Isabella and Margaret
Isabella and Margaret were both young French girls and political pawns when they were married to English kings: Isabella to Edward II in the 14th century, Margaret to Henry VI 100 years later. Isabella was accused of murder and Margaret of plunging England into the Wars of the Roses. Shakespeare later dubbed Margaret "She-wolf of France."

Episode 3: Jane, Mary and Elizabeth
In 1553, the death of a 15-year-old boy caused an unprecedented political crisis. Edward VI was Henry VIII's only male heir. For the first time in English history, all of the contenders for his crown were female: Lady Jane Grey, the staunchly Catholic Mary Tudor, and Elizabeth I, who showed how capably and gloriously a woman could rule.
  • 16-page viewer's guide with articles about the first she-wolf, the men who were the monarchs, women in common life, powerful women in history, and matriarchal societies
  • Biography of Helen Castor
Packaging: Single disc
Run Time: 185 minutes
Format: Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
Language: English
Subtitles: No
Color or B&W: Color
CC: No
SDH: Yes
Region Code: 1
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Rating: NR
“Captivating twists and shocking betrayals” —Radio Times (UK)

“Riveting” —The Times (UK)
Cambridge professor Dr. Helen Castor is a historian of medieval England, presenter of BBC Radio 4's Making History, and author of the award-winning book Blood & Roses.

Product Reviews

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A history lesson
By Karen from WA on 5/2/2013

I wish I had this set when I was teaching History. It is well documented and is very clearly written and the graphics are wonderful.

By Shopper from CA on 7/31/2014

Excellent factual presentation of each subject. The visual presentation was interesting - mixing present with the past - but not a distraction. This is a keeper.

By Sherry from IL on 11/13/2013

I am very interested in history and found this fascinating.

I like it!
By Thomas from FL on 2/19/2013

I enjoyed this program immensely. I love history, especially European and US, and I buy a lot of books, I'm in the bookstore a lot!, and DVD's about history. When I saw the DVD in the catalog I was interested to buy it because one of the many books that I have is 'She-Wolves'. Any history lover like me would enjoy this DVD!

Really Enjoyed
By Jernigan from PA on 7/2/2014

This is a informative review of the females who played important roles in English History. A good documentary.

She Wolves
By Sallie from IA on 9/4/2014

Excellent documentary, provides an accurate historical baseline for watching a series such as 'The White Queen', or 'The Tudors'.

SHE WOLVES..............
By I'm from NC on 9/4/2013

Liked it...........but I do not consider Jane Grey, Mary Tudor or her sister Elizabeth as SHE WOLVES.

She Wolves - England's Early Queens
By Bronwyn from TX on 11/14/2013

I loved it. Not only did I catch it while it was on sale, I learned a few new things I didn't know. If you love history, this is a good pick.

she wolves - england's early queens
By linda from CA on 9/7/2014

a very interesting video for any who are interested in England's monarchy, especially the queens. it is a 'riveting and captivating' video with all the history told. the presentation is very good as told by dr Helen castor, the author. I recommend this video to all who are interested in the 'history' of women's rights and equality. how 'little' has truly changed from these queens to current times.

By Carolyn from MA on 10/2/2014

This is a fascinating account of some of the lesser-known but very influential queens in English history. A straight documentary with one narrator, by photographing the ancient castles and locations, it manages to ignite the imagination. Factual and unbiased.

By cindy on 2/6/2013

Liked this-it was well done and contained some new information for me. , I like English history so I did know quite a bit on Elizabeth and Mary, a bit on Eleanor, . Nicely done and used clips from modern day in with pictures done of the individuals.

Very interesting eye-opener on medieval and Tudor worlds
By Christiane from FL on 9/4/2013

I knew extremely little about England's early queens and decided to purchase this DVD. So far, I have only viewed the first two stories , about Matilda and Eleanor of Aquitaine, , and have not been disappointed. Historian Helen Carter, presents in an extremely engaging and thought-provoking manner. For me, this is quite an entertaining and learning experience. I am eager to look at the five remaining stories. Thank you Acorn, for offering quality and captivating BBC programs. I would definitely buy other similar historical series.