The Monstrous Regiment of Women: Female Rulers in Early Modern Europe


Now Available in a New Paperback Edition


Originally published in 2002, The Monstrous Regiment of Women is now available in an affordable new paperback edition. 

When Mary Tudor became queen of England, the succession of a woman to the throne horrified many, including the Protestant reformer John Knox. His blistering condemnation of female rule, The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women, was followed in print by a series of pamphlets that echoed and expanded his argument that female rule was unnatural, unlawful, and contrary to scripture. 

In a variation on Knox’s “monstrous regiment,” The Monstrous Regiment of Women: Female Rulers in Early Modern Europe contributes to the debate about women and political power, exploring the relationship among the many women whose lives occupy a place in and perpetuate a continuing, though largely unrecognized, tradition of political rule. The “story” of early modern European political history looks very different if we focus on successive generations of powerful women and view the shifting political alliances of the period from their perspective. 

“. . . this counternarrative unveils a shrouded history that is enjoyable, thoughtful, and definitely worth the read. Highly recommended.” –American Library Association, Choice Reviews


Jansen's book is readable and informative. . . . [It] will stimulate students to investigate further the nature of female rule and encourage historians to incorporate the stories of powerful women in their political narratives.”—Susan Doran, Journal of Early Modern History

. . .A superb book, an incredible array of connections, an amazingly new history of the Renaissance.” --Elizabeth Mazzola, The City College of New York

 Click here to purchase at or to Search Inside.


The Monstrous Regiment of Women is now part of the new Queenship and Power series, edited by Carole Levin and Charles Beem. From the publisher: “This series brings together monographs and edited volumes from scholars specializing in gender analysis, women’s studies, literary interpretation, and cultural, political, constitutional, and diplomatic history. It aims to broaden our understanding of the strategies that queens—both consorts and regnants, as well as female regents—pursued in order to wield political power within the structures of male-dominant societies. . . ."

Click here to learn more about the Queenship and Power Series from Palgrave Macmillan.



The Monstrous Regiment of Women is still available in its original hardbound edition.


Click here to purchase the hardbound edition of The Monstrous Regiment of Women: Female Rulers in Early Modern Europe or to Search Inside.

Reader Comments (1)

What an incredible book! I am a teacher of English and History with a long standing passion for the lives of Europe's royal women, and I have read around the subject widely. Yet never have I encountered a book that gave such clearly structured and coherent insightful voice to the observations I have clumsily made over the course of the years (with of course many insights and astute observations I have lacked the ability to form). Furthermore, what a relief to find a scholarly and academic work that relies on its own merit rather than unnecessarily pretentious and dense prose in order to convey its arguments. I am completely inspired to order and read your other books - if they are half as worthwhile as this one I will not be disappointed.

September 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterArina Bosch

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