Margaret of Austria
“Fortune, misfortune, fortifies one.”
Margaret of Austria, born in Brussels in 1480, was the only daughter of the great Habsburg Roman Emperor, Archduke Maximilian I of Austria, and the Duchess Mary of Burgundy. She was raised to become Queen of Austria, and betrothed to Charles, the Dauphin of France. As a young girl she was sent to France to experience life at the French court. But, when King Charles married another woman, Maximillan forms an alliance with Spain. Margaret marries Juan, the Prince of Asturias and heir to the Spanish throne. But their marriage is short lived, when Juan becomes ill and dies just a few months later. Four years later, Maximillan arranges a marriage between Margaret and Philibert II, the Duke of Savoy. The Duke has little interest in state affairs, and Margaret begins to manage the Duchy, where she develops skills in leadership and diplomacy. After Philibert's death, Margaret's becomes the governor of the Netherlands in 1507, as Regent for her nephew, Charles V, who was too young to rule the country.
Margaret of Austria: Governor of the Netherlands and Early 16th Century Europe’s Greatest Diplomat is an engaging, historical fiction novel by author and art historian, Rozsa Gaston, about one of Europe’s great, but often overlooked, leaders. The book follows the life, fortunes, and misfortunes of Margaret, from her early life, her two marriages and her role as Governor of the Netherlands, through to her death in 1530. Gaston describes her many connections to European royalty, and how she became an accomplished leader and diplomat, negotiating disputes between various foreign parties and maintaining peace in the Netherlands. During a significant period in European history, when women seldom had a voice or role in politics, Margaret became one of the most prominent figures of her time.
This is a rich, insightful, and entertaining historical fiction novel, with a captivating cast of historical figures. Meticulously researched by Gaston, this book will appeal to readers who enjoy historical fiction, particularly those interested in early European politics.
Star rating: 5 Stars
Summary: With a captivating cast of historical figures, the book sheds light on the fascinating life of one of Europe’s great leaders.