Programme Index

Discover 10,249,320 listings and 229,222 playable programmes from the BBC

She-Wolves: England's Early Queens

Episode 1: Matilda and Eleanor

Duration: 1 hour

First broadcast: on BBC FourLatest broadcast: on BBC Four HD

In the medieval and Tudor world there was no question in people's minds about the order of God's creation - men ruled and women didn't. A king was a warrior who literally fought to win power then battled to keep it. Yet despite everything that stood in their way, a handful of extraordinary women did attempt to rule medieval and Tudor England. In this series, historian Dr Helen Castor explores seven queens who challenged male power, the fierce reactions they provoked and whether the term 'she wolves' was deserved.

Eight hundred years ago, Matilda came within a hair's breadth of being the first woman to be crowned queen of England in her own right. Castor explores how Matilda reached this point and why her bid for the throne ultimately failed. Her daughter-in-law Eleanor of Aquitaine was an equally formidable woman. Despite being remembered as the queen of courtly love, in reality during her long life she divorced one king and married another, only to lead a rebellion against him. She only finally achieved the power she craved in her seventies. Show less

Contributors

Presenter:
Helen Castor
Producer:
Lucy Swingler
Director:
Lucy Swingler
Executive Producer:
Ross Wilson
Executive Producer:
Sam Anthony

About this data

This data is drawn from the data stream that informs BBC's iPlayer and Sounds. The information shows what was scheduled to be broadcast, meaning it was/is subject to change and may not be accurate. More