Queens of a Fallen World
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FINALIST: THE CUNDILL HISTORY PRIZE 2023The vibrant and surprising lives of the women in Augustine's Confessions
While many know of Saint Augustine and his Confessions, few are aware of how his life and thought were influenced by women.
Queens of a Fallen World tells a story of betrayal, love, and ambition in the ancient world as seen through a woman's eyes. Historian Kate Cooper introduces us to four women whose hopes and plans collided in Augustine's early adulthood: his mother, Monnica of Thagaste; his lover; his fiancée; and Justina, the troubled empress of ancient Rome. Drawing upon their depictions in the Confessions, Cooper skilfully reconstructs their lives against the backdrop of their fourth-century society. Though they came from different walks of life, each found her own way of prevailing in a world ruled by men.
A refreshingly complex and compelling portrait of Augustine, Queens of a Fallen World is the riveting story of four remarkable women who set him on course to change history.