Julia P. Gelardi
St. Martin's Griffin
“An excellent, comprehensive study of six fascinating women and the troubled times that shaped their lives.”—Publishers Weekly
Exhaustively researched and utterly compelling, In Triumph’s Wake is the story of three unusually strong women and the devastating consequences their decisions had on the lives of their equally extraordinary daughters.
Queen Isabella of Castile, Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, and Queen Victoria of England were respected and admired rulers whose legacies continue to be felt today. Their daughters—Catherine of Aragon, Queen of England; Queen Marie Antoinette of France; and Vicky, the Empress Frederick of Germany—are equally legendary for the tragedies that befell them, their roles in history surpassed by their triumphant mothers.
Because of his doomed marriage to Queen Catherine, Henry VIII broke away from the Roman Catholic Church, triggering the English Reformation. To many, responsibility for the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror fell squarely upon Marie Antoinette. And Empress Frederick proved insufficient in getting Germany to rise to political maturity: under her son’s reign, the country plunged into the beginnings of world war. In Triumph’s Wake is the first book to bring together the poignant stories of these mothers and daughters in a single narrative.
Praise for In Triumph's Wake:
“The unusual melding of Spanish, English, Austrian, French and Prussian history into one sweeping project is done with remarkable clarity and verve. Excerpts of her subjects' letters are integrated flawlessly into the sequence of events. Gelardi is also skilled in placing actions within the larger historical framework of international relations, as well as genetics—Gelardi traces the devastating effects of hemophilia on royal families in one of her most interesting tangents. The personal relationships portrayed are layered and complex, and tidbits regarding fashion and Queen Victoria's childhood love of dolls are not to be missed . . . an excellent, comprehensive study of six fascinating women and the troubled times that shaped their lives.”—Publishers Weekly
“Uniquely conceived, well-argued comparison study of three epochal matriarchs—Queen Isabella of Castile, Empress Maria Theresa and Queen Victoria—and the daughters who didn't measure up. Three sad stories make it clear that anxiety of influence made it impossible for the offspring of these great lady monarchs to meet their mothers' standards. . . . Gelardi delivers substantial, accessible European history.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Appealing narrative history. While these three royal mothers are forever associated with steely determination, great intelligence, and inspirationally successful reigns, their ill-fated daughters are just as ensconced in the roles of great tragic figures, frequently viewed as women battered by misfortune or, worse yet, brought down by their own personal failings. Gelardi seeks to humanize them as she tells these doubly sad stories.”—Library Journal
“Historian Julia Gelardi is passionate about bringing human drama to life in her books. She has done that with skill in In Triumph's Wake.”—Pioneer Press (Minnesota)
“The comparisons and contrasts she finds among these women are remarkable, and she deserves as much praise for seeing such parallels as she does for her excellent writing. Under her pen, these rulers aren't just dusty old bygones to learn about, but women we can admire and mourn. Her book is no dull, dry tome but a conversational piece that is both scholarly and an easy read.”—Roanoke Times