chapter  1
18 Pages

Well represented or missing in action? Queens, queenship and Mary Hays

WithElena Woodacre

Miriam Wallace has argued that 'Queens and Empresses are well represented' in Mary Hays's seminal Female Biography. Hays's last work Memoirs of Queens, Illustrious and Celebrated published in 1821, redressed these omissions by bringing in more well-known queenly figures such as the aforementioned Mary Tudor, Isabel I of Castile and Marie Antoinette, as well as many of the royal women featured in her earlier collection. This chapter compares her two works on queens and aims to shed greater light on her selection process in order to understand why certain figures were selected while others were ignored. It highlights Hays's work on queens, an area of her work which has been less studied, demonstrating the important contribution that she made to this particular sub-strand of collective biography and ultimately the modern discipline of queenship studies.