Dr Katherine J. Lewis is senior lecturer in History at the University of Huddersfield. Her research focuses on aspects of religious, cultural and gender history in late medieval England. She has published on hagiography and saints’ cults (especially St Katherine of Alexandria), on medieval women, and on masculinity, including Kingship and Masculinity in Late Medieval England (2013). She has appeared a number of times on BBC Radio 4's 'In Our Time', including the programme on Queen Margaret of Anjou.
Catherine of Valois was queen of England for less than two years so had little opportunity to exercise the office before the untimely death of Henry V in August 1422. Nor did she play any formal role, beyond the ceremonial, in arrangements made for government during the lengthy minority of her son Henry VI. As a result, accounts of Catherine written both by contemporaries and by later commentators have focused on her not as a queen, but as a woman: she is virgin, wife, mother, widow, and even corpse. This talk will revisit these various interrelated versions of Catherine, as well as exploring other evidence, including her surviving book of hours, which can be used to shed different light on her conduct and reputation.