The Memoirs of Helene Kottanner (1439-1440)

April 1998
91 pages
21.6x13.8 cm
Library of Medieval Women
ISBN: 9780859914628
Format: Paperback

The Memoirs of Helene Kottanner (1439-1440)

Maya Bijvoet Williamson

Eye-witness account of the theft of the crown of St Stephen in 15c Hungary.
Helene Kottanner was servant and confidante of the widowed Queen Elizabeth of Hungary (1409-1442). This is her first-person account of the part she played in the theft of the holy crown of St Stephen from the treasury of the royal stronghold Visegrad on 20 February, 1440, when the crown was smuggled out of the stronghold hidden in a pillow. It was immediately rushed on a sled to the queen, who within hours of its arrival at her castle in Komorn was delivered of a baby boy, Ladislaus Posthumous (1440-1457), who was crowned king of Hungary three months later. Helene Kottanner's account is unconsciously revealing about herself and her ambitions, allowing a rare glimpse into the inner world of a late-medieval woman.


Important text [now] accessible to an English-language readership... lucid translation. YEAR'S WORK IN MODERN LANGUAGE STUDIES

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