Four Sisters, All Queens
Amid the lush valleys and fragrant wildflowers of Provence, Marguerite, Eléonore, Sanchia, and Beatrice have learned to charm, hunt, dance, and debate under the careful tutelage of their ambitious mother—and to abide by the countess’s motto: “Family comes first.”
With Provence under constant attack, their legacy and safety depend upon powerful alliances. Marguerite’s illustrious match with the young King Louis IX makes her Queen of France. Soon Eléonore—independent and daring—is betrothed to Henry III of England. In turn, shy, devout Sanchia and tempestuous Beatrice wed noblemen who will also make them queens.
Yet a crown is no guarantee of protection. Enemies are everywhere, from Marguerite’s duplicitous mother-in-law to vengeful lovers and land-hungry barons. Then there are the dangers that come from within, as loyalty succumbs to bitter sibling rivalry, and sister is pitted against sister for the prize each believes is rightfully hers—Provence itself.
From the treacherous courts of France and England, to the bloody tumult of the Crusades, Sherry Jones traces the extraordinary true story of four fascinating sisters whose passions, conquests, and progeny shaped the course of history.
FOUR SISTERS, ALL QUEENS
Reading Group Guide
Four Sisters, All Queens follows the lives of Beatrice of Savoy’s four daughters—all of whom became queens in thirteenth-century Europe. As Marguerite, Queen of France to Louis IX; Eléonore, Queen of England; Sanchia, Queen of Germany; and Beatrice, Queen of Sicily, all work to both expand their husbands’ empires and increase the influence of the House of Savoy, they find themselves unable to remain loyal to both. Told from alternating points of view of all four queens, the novel explores family and political dynamics, as allegiances to kin and country are tested.
Topics & Questions for Discussion
1. Beatrice’s maxim, which she tries to pass on to her daughters, is “Family comes 3rst.” Do you agree with this motto? Which queen best upholds this mantra?
2. In the prologue, Beatrice states, “A woman achieves nothing in this man’s world without careful plotting.” (p. 1) How does this see more