|Intro||Queen of Naples|
|Birth||1326 (Naples, Metropolitan city of Naples, Campania, Italy)|
|Death||12 May 1382 (Muro Lucano, Province of Potenza, Basilicata, Italy)|
Joanna I (Italian: Giovanna I; March 1328 – 27 July 1382) was Queen of Naples and Countess of Provence and Forcalquier from 1343 until her death. She also reigned as Princess of Achaea and claimed the crowns of Jerusalem and Sicily. During her long reign she was involved in numerous conflicts both internal and external. She was married four times.
Birth and early years
Most sources indicate that she was born in March 1328, although some indicate 1326 as the year of her birth. Joanna was the fourth but eldest surviving child of Charles, Duke of Calabria (eldest son of King Robert the Wise of Naples), and Marie of Valois (sister of King Philip VI of France). Her two older sisters: Eloisa (January or February 1325 – 27 December 1325) and Maria (April 1326 – 1328), and only brother: Charles Martel (13 April 1327 – 21 April 1327) had predeceased her, so at birth Joanna was the second in line to the throne after her father, who died on 9 November 1328, leaving his wife pregnant with their fifth child, a daughter named Maria, who was born in May 1329. Two years later, on 23 October 1331, Marie of Valois died during a pilgrimage to Bari.
With the death of the Duke of Calabria, King Robert faced the serious problem of his succession (his second son Louis, was already dead in 1310): he had to choose between his eldest granddaughter or his nephews. Because the descendants of his older brother Charles had already been bypassed in favour of himself, Robert appointed Joanna as his successor. As heir presumptive to the throne of Naples, she received homage on 4 November 1330, and was proclaimed Duchess of Calabria on 26 September 1333 and Princess of Salerno on 26 June 1334.
In order to reconcile his bloodline with the descendants of his older brother, King Robert arranged the marriage of Joanna with her six-year-old kinsman Andrew, the younger son of Robert's nephew Charles I of Hungary. Through his father he had a claim to Naples, which could be argued to be superior to that of Robert and consequently also to that of Joanna. The marriage contract between Joanna and Andrew was signed on 8 November 1332, and they were formally married at Santa Chiara Basilica on 26 September 1333, despite being both underage (Joanna was around five-years-old and Andrew six). In the ceremony, Andrew was created Duke of Calabria and began to live in Naples.
When King Robert of Naples died on 20 January 1343, in his last will and testament, he formally bequeathed his kingdom to Joanna, and made no mention of Andrew, even as a consort, and tried to exclude him from rule. In the event of Joanna's death without children, the crown would fall to her younger sister Maria and not to him.
Poorly prepared for her role, Joanna was placed (following her grandfather's will, who wanted to end the Papal influence over Naples) under regency council led by her stepgrandmother, the queen dowager Sancha of Majorca; the Vice-Chancellor Philippe de Cabassoles, Bishop of Cavaillon; Fillipo di Sanginetto, Great Seneschal of Provence; and Admiral Giffredo di Marzano. Faced with the ineffectiveness of the Council, the Pope, in his capacity as overlord, decided to impose his direct rule by sending a Legate, Cardinal Aimery de Châtelus.
Accession to the Throne
Murder of Andrew of Hungary
Almost immediately, the court was involved in violent political struggles among the members of the Angevin house, especially the closest relatives of King Robert's three brothers:
- Charles Robert, from the Hungarian branch, son of Charles Martel of Anjou, king's elder brother.
- Philip I, Prince of Taranto, the King's younger brother, whose 2nd wife was Catherine of Valois.
- Charles, Duke of Durazzo son of John, Duke of Durazzo, the King's youngest brother, husband of Agnes de Périgord, sister of Cardinal Hélie de Talleyrand-Périgord).
The Durazzo branch took major importance with the marriage between Charles of Durazzo and Maria, Countess of Alba and the Queen's sister, on 21 April 1343. Through this union, the Duke of Durazzo was placed first in line to the throne.
When Joanna reached her majority, it was necessary to proceed with her official coronation. In accordance with the will of her grandfather, she opposed the coronation of her husband, long pressed for by his Hungarian relatives. Pope Clement VI, as overlord of the Kingdom of Naples, finally decided the matter.
Joanna was crowned by the Pope as Queen of Naples on 28 August 1344. Andrew was present in the ceremony and received the title of King, but was excluded from the government. Angered with this, he began to claim a part in the government and the right to be properly crowned.
Fearing for his life, Andrew wrote to his mother Elizabeth that he would soon flee Naples. She intervened, and made a state visit; at that same time, she allegedly bribed the Pope to revert his previous decision and permit Andrew's coronation. She also gave a ring to her son, which was supposed to protect him from death by blade or poison, and returned with a false sense of security to Hungary.
Joanna lost an important ally when her stepgrandmother withdrew into a monastery, but kept resisting more papal interference in the Kingdom. Due to her letters to the pope, the pope agreed that though Andrew would be crowned, only her coronation would be 'Blessed by God'.
When Joanna fell ill in the summer of 1344, Andrew caused great controversy when he released the Pipini brothers. They had been locked up by King Robert the Wise after having been convicted for murder, rape, pillage, treason and several other offences. Their possessions had been given to other nobles, which now became increasingly hostile to Andrew.
Hearing of the Pope's reversal, a group of noble conspirators determined to forestall Andrew's coronation. During a hunting trip at Aversa in 1345, Andrew left his room in the middle of the night from 18 to 19 September and was set upon by the conspirators. A treacherous servant barred the door behind him; and with Joanna in her own bedroom, a terrible struggle ensued, Andrew defending himself furiously and shrieking for aid. He was finally overpowered, strangled with a cord, and flung from a window with a rope tied to his genitals. Isolde, Andrew's Hungarian nurse, heard his cries, and with her own screams chased the murderers off. She took the Prince's corpse to the church of the monks, and remained with it until next morning in mourning. When the Hungarian knights arrived she told them everything in their mother tongue so no one else would learn about the truth, and soon they left Naples informing everything to the Hungarian King. Opinions are divided on the real involvement of the Queen in the assassination. For some, she would be the instigator of the murder, for others, as Émile-Guillaume Léonard, Joanna's involvement has not been demonstrated.
Joanna informed the Papacy, as well as other states in Europe of the murder, expressing her disgust in letters, but her inner circle of friends were thought to be most suspect. On 25 December 1345, she gave birth to a son, Charles Martel, Andrew's posthumous child. The infant was proclaimed Duke of Calabria and Prince of Salerno on 11 December 1346 as heir of the Kingdom of Naples.
War in the Piedmont
When Joanna took the throne, several lords in northern Italy saw this as an opportunity to expand their territory at her expense. In 1344 John II, Marquess of Montferrat led attacks which conquered her cities of Alessandria, Asti, Tortona, Bra, and Alba. She sent her seneschal, Reforce d'Agoult to deal with it. He engaged the invaders on 23 April 1345 at the Battle of Gamenario, but was soundly defeated and killed.
Montferrat then went on to capture Chieri, within the lands of James of Piedmont, who had supported Joanna. James called for help from his cousin and lord, Amadeus VI, Count of Savoy in 1347. Together, they drove back the attackers through that July. John then added more forces to his alliance, bringing in Thomas II, Marquess of Saluzzo and Humbert II of Viennois. Together, they captured nearly all of Joanna's lands in the region.
When she made public her plans to marry one of her Taranto cousins and not Andrew's younger brother Stephen, the Hungarians openly accused her of the murder.
Louis of Taranto was a seasoned warrior, who understood Neapolitan politics from his lifetime experiences, raised at the court of Catherine of Valois, Joanna's aunt. After Joanna stated her intention to marry him, his brother Robert banded together with his cousin (and erstwhile rival) Charles of Durazzo against them. Some of Joanna's courtiers and servants were tortured and later executed, including her Sicilian governess Philippa the Catanian and the latter's family. Louis was successful in driving his brother's forces back, but just as he reached Naples, it became known that the Hungarians planned to invade. Joanna made a pact with the Kingdom of Sicily, preventing them from invading at the same time. She married Louis on 22 August 1347, without seeking the necessary Papal dispensation, because of their being closely related.
In anticipation of his marriage, Louis was made Joint-Protector and Defender of the Kingdom (1 May 1347), jointly with Charles of Durazzo. One month later (20 June), Louis was made Vicar-General of the Kingdom. The marriage caused the Queen's popularity within her own Kingdom to fall.
The Hungarian Invasion
Louis the Great, Andrew's older brother, took this opportunity to seek the annexation of the Kingdom of Naples. He launched a military expedition and the first troops made their entrance to L'Aquila on 10 May 1347.
On 11 January 1348 the Hungarian troops were at Benevento ready to invade the Kingdom of Naples. Faced with this threat, Joanna, who had retired at Castel Nuovo and trusted to the loyalty of Marseille, prepared her escape from the vengeance of Louis. Without waiting for the return of her husband, she embarked on 15 January 1348 on two galleys—property of the Marseille citizen Jacques de Gaubert to Provence—taking with her the still devoted Enrico Caracciolo. Louis of Taranto arrived in Naples the next day and escaped in another galley.
After easily taking the city of Naples, Louis the Great ordered the execution of Charles of Durazzo, Joanna's cousin and brother-in-law: he was beheaded on 23 January 1348 in the same place where Louis' brother Andrew was murdered. Joanna and Andrew's son, Charles Martel (betrothed to Charles of Durazzo's eldest daughter), who was left behind by his mother, was sent by his uncle to Visegrád in the Kingdom of Hungary, where he died after 10 May 1348, aged 2.
Exile in Provence
After a stop-over in the Fort de Brégançon, Joanna arrived in Marseille on 20 January 1348, where she received a warm welcome. She swore to observe the privileges of the city and received the oath of allegiance of its inhabitants. She signed the letters patents that united the upper and lower towns, ensuring the administrative unit. She then went to Aix-en-Provence, where her reception was very different: the Provençal barons clearly demonstrating their hostility to her. She had to take an oath to do nothing against Provence and to appoint only locals in the county posts.
Joanna arrived in Avignon on 15 March, to have a personal meeting with the Pope. Louis of Taranto joined her in Aigues-Mortes, and the couple was received by Clement VI. Joanna's visit had a triple purpose: to obtain a dispensation for her marriage to Louis of Taranto, to receive the absolution or exoneration of Andrew's murder and to prepare the reconquest of her Kingdom. The Pope granted the couple the dispensation, appointed a commission to investigate the charges of involvement in the murder of Andrew and bought the city of Avignon for 80,000 florins, which became effectively separate from Provence. Eventually, Joanna was exonerated for the crime by the Pope. During her stay in Avignon, by the end of June, Joanna gave birth her second child and first-born from her marriage with Louis of Taranto, a daughter called Catherine.
Having learned that Louis the Great abandoned Naples after the outbreak of the Black Death, Joanna, with her husband and newborn daughter, left Avignon on 21 July and stayed in Marseille during 24–28 July, then moved to Sanary-sur-Mer on 30 July, then to the Fort de Brégançon on 31 July and finally arrived in Naples on 17 August 1348. One month after her arrival, she broke her previous promises on 20 September by removing Raymond d'Agoult from his post of Seneschal and appointing in his place the Neapolitan Giovanni Barrili. The public discontent forced Joanna to restore d'Agoult in his post.
Over time, the Hungarians came to be viewed as barbarians by the Neapolitan people, including Giovanni Boccaccio (who described Louis the Great as “’rabid’ and ‘more vicious than a snake’”), so was easy for the Queen and her husband to gain popularity after their return.
Reign of Louis of Taranto
From early 1349 onwards, all documents for the Kingdom were issued in the names of both husband and wife, and Louis was indisputably in control of military fortresses. On coins issued during their joint reign, Louis' name always preceded Joanna's. Although he was not officially recognised by Clement as king and co-ruler until 1352, it is likely that Neapolitans considered him their monarch from the moment he started acting as such.
Louis took advantage of the turmoil caused by yet another Hungarian attack to wrest complete royal authority from his wife. He purged the court of her supporters, and struck down her favourite, Enrico Caracciolo, whom he accused of adultery in April 1349 and very likely had executed. Two months later, on 8 June 1349, Catherine, Joanna and Louis' daughter, died aged 1.
After another Hungarian offensive which led to the walls of Naples in 1350, Pope Clement VI sent a Legate, Raymond Saquet, Bishop of Saint-Omer, with a fleet commanded by Hugues des Baux. Following this, Louis of Taranto promised to respect Joanna's independence. Shortly after, Louis the Great, seriously injured, returned to his country.
In October 1351, Joanna gave birth to her second child with Louis, another daughter, Françoise. Five months later, on 23 March 1352, Louis received Clement VI's formal recognition as his wife's co-ruler in all her realms. On 27 May, Louis was crowned with her by the Archbishop of Braga in the Hotel di Taranto in Naples. A few days later, on 2 June, Françoise, by then the couple's only surviving child, died aged 8 months. Joanna never conceived again.
In 1356 Louis and Joanna organized the reconquest of Sicily. After a victory at Messina, there was a serious naval defeat by the Catalans (29 June 1357).
At the same time, the troops of mercenary Arnaud de Cervole (called the Archpriest), crossed the Durance on 13 July 1357 and plundered Provence. Philip II of Taranto, Louis' brother (and third husband of Joanna's sister Maria since April 1355), was sent to Provence as Vicar General to fight against the forces that ravaged Provence. He bought the support of the troops of the Count of Armagnac which also showed daunting for local people. Finally Pope Innocent VI obtain the discharge of these bands with payments.
Louis of Taranto, who caught a cold while bathing, fell ill. His condition worsened during a month and he died on 25 May 1362.
The death of Louis of Taranto, a brutal and authoritarian husband, finally gave Joanna the opportunity to take back the power she had been denied. During the next three years, the Queen would take a series of measures that made her popular: she granted a pardon to Raymond des Baux on 20 March 1363, replaced Roger of San Severino by Fouques d'Agoult as Seneschal of Provence, and promulged various edicts to prevent internal disorders.
On 14 December 1362, Joanna contracted by proxy her third marriage, with James IV, titular King of Majorca and Prince of Achaea, who was ten years her junior. The wedding took place in person five months later, in May 1363 at Castel Nuovo. Unfortunately, this marriage was also turbulent: her new husband had been imprisoned for almost 14 years by his uncle King Peter IV of Aragon in an iron cage, an experience which left him mentally deranged. In addition to his poor mental state, another bone of contention between the couple was James IV's efforts to be involved in the government, although he was excluded from any role in the government of Naples in his marriage contract. Without hope of being King of Naples, James IV left Naples for Spain by the end of January 1366 and made an unsuccessful attempt to recapture Majorca. He was captured by King Henry II of Castile, who transferred him to Bertrand du Guesclin, who held him captive in Montpellier. He was ransomed by Joanna in 1370 and returned to her briefly, only to depart again, this time for good. He failed in an attempt to recapture Roussillon and Cerdanya in 1375, and fled to Castile where he died of illness or poison at Soria in February 1375.
Disturbance in Provence
To assert the rights of the Holy Roman Empire over the Kingdom of Arles, Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia crossed Avignon, and was crowned on 4 June 1365 as King of Arles at the Church of St. Trophime, but guaranteed the rights of Joanna over Provence.
Louis I, Duke of Anjou, brother of King Charles V of France and Lieutenant of Languedoc, asserted a claim to Provence. With the help of the armies of Bertrand du Guesclin, he launched an attack. Avignon was ransomed, Arles and Tarascon were besieged, but while the first was captured, the latter was saved by Provençal troops after nineteen days of unsuccessful siege. The troops of Seneschal Raymond II d'Agoult were defeated at Céreste. The intervention of both Pope Urban V and King Charles V, as well the excommunication against du Guesclin on 1 September 1368 caused the retreat of the latter and the signing of a peace Treaty on 13 April 1369 which was followed by a truce signed on 2 January 1370.
Administration and her Court
After these periods of unrest, Joanna experienced a period of relative calm, thanks to her good relations with the Holy See under Popes Urban V and Gregory XI. Elzéar of Sabran was canonized in 1371. Bridget of Sweden visited Naples in 1372. Through the mediation of Gregory XI, the final peace treaty with Louis I of Anjou was signed on 11 April 1371, under which he gave up his claim over Tarascon. In addition, the Queen recovered her domains in Piedmont thanks to the success of the condottiero Otto of Brunswick, with whom she later married.
By the Treaty of Villeneuve (1372), Joanna officially recognised as permanent the loss of Sicily, suffered ninety years earlier in 1282. Joanna then immersed herself fully in the running of her kingdom, and enjoyed every aspect of government. Although she was a fair and judicious ruler, no law or edict, however minor, was ever carried out without her personal approval and seal. Joanna's reign was also marked by her support and protection of local businesses, the creation of new industry, and her refusal to debase the currency. Crime was greatly reduced and she was an ardent promoter of peace within her vast realm.
Despite the Queen's deep spirituality and friendships with Catherine of Siena and Bridget of Sweden, her court was notable for its extravagance, with her collection of exotic animals and servants of various origins including Turkish, Saracen, and African.
The contemporary writer Giovanni Boccaccio has left us with the following description of Queen Joanna in his De mulieribus claris: "Joanna, queen of Sicily and Jerusalem, is more renowned than other woman of her time for lineage, power, and character". Extant images reveal her to have been blonde-haired and fair-skinned.
The Western Schism
Without surviving children, Joanna sought a solution to her succession by arranging the marriage in January 1369 between her niece Margaret of Durazzo (youngest daughter of her sister Maria and her first husband Charles, Duke of Durazzo), and her first-cousin Charles of Durazzo (in turn Joanna's second cousin; son of Louis, Count of Gravina). This wedding was opposed by her former brother-in-law and Margaret's stepfather Philip II, Prince of Taranto. During a near fatal illness in November 1373, he bequeathed his claims to his brother-in-law Francis of Baux, Duke of Andria, and his son James. Francis laid claim by force to the rights of Philip II, which Joanna had reverted to the crown. Joanna then confiscated his property by grounds of lèse-majesté on 8 April 1374.
Joanna was now determined to undermine the position of Charles of Durazzo as potential heir. Indeed, with the approval of Pope Gregory XI, on 25 December 1375 she signed her fourth marriage contract, with Otto, Duke of Brunswick-Grubenhagen, who valiantly defended her rights in Piedmont. The wedding in person took place three months later, on 25 March 1376 at Castel Nuovo. Although the new husband was reduced to the status of Prince consort, Charles of Durazzo was irritated by this union and approached Louis the Great of Hungary, Joanna's enemy.
Louis of Anjou, heir of Naples
During this time, the Western Schism developed, one of the largest fractures of Christianity in the Middle Ages. Two Popes were elected: Bartolomeo Prignano, Archbishop of Bari (who took the name of Urban VI) and Robert, Cardinal of Geneva (who became Clement VII). The first lived in Rome, the second in Avignon. After some hesitation, Joanna decided for Clement VII and supported him with 50,000 florins. Urban VI for his part encouraged the enemies of Joanna: the King of Hungary, the Duke of Andria and Charles of Durazzo. Being in a critical situation, Joanna appealed to Clement VII, who advised her to use Louis I of Anjou in her favor. France and Avignon counted on Naples to give them a foothold in Italy, if it came to resolving the schism by force. However, for Joanna the main factor of her support to Clement VII was Urban VI’s attempts to take Naples away from her and to cede part of her Kingdom to his nephew, Francesco Prigano. On 11 May 1380 Urban VI declared her a heretic and her Kingdom, a papal fief, to be forfeit and bestowed it upon Charles of Durazzo.
In exchange for his help, Joanna adopted Louis I of Anjou as her heir on 29 June 1380, replacing Charles of Durazzo. This agreement realized the ambitions that the Duke of Anjou harbored for a long time. Charles of Durazzo then invaded Naples in November 1380 at the head of an army mainly composed by Hungarians.
Louis I of Anjou may not have understood the gravity of the situation in Naples, and didn't intervene immediately because he was forced to remain in France after his brother's death as a regent of his nephew and new King Charles VI.
Joanna entrusted her husband Otto of Brunswick with the few troops she could muster, but he was unable to stoop the forces of Charles of Durazzo, who on 28 June 1381 crossed the borders of the Kingdom of Naples. After Otto's defeat at Anagni, and bypassing the Neapolitan defences at Aversa, Charles entered in Naples on 16 July at 7 p.m. and besieged Joanna in Castel Nuovo. Without any help, Joanna was forced to surrender on 25 August and was imprisoned, firstly in Castel dell'Ovo and later in the fortress of Nocera.
Catherine of Siena viewed Joanna as a demonically misguided ruler due to her support for the Avignon Papacy, Clement VII, over Pope Urban VI. In her letter to Joanna, Catherine stated that Joanna had been led astray by demonic forces: “You who were a lady have made yourself a servant, and a slave of that which is not, having submitted yourself to falsehood and to the devil…” St. Catherine also accused Joanna’s advisors of making her see “falsehood for truth” because of her support of Clement VII. While she expressed concern for Joanna’s spiritual well being, her letter to the Queen was also a politically motivated criticism because Catherine and Joanna found themselves on opposing sides regarding the Great Schism. While Catherine Benincasa was a Dominican tertiary and was associated with the Catholic Church, she also advocated in favor of returning the seat of the Papacy to Rome following the Pope’s relocation to Avignon. Along with her concern for Joanna’s soul, St. Catherine was also acting as an agent of Catholic Church in order to gain Joanna’s support. In her letter to Joanna, Catherine told her to consider her temporal position invalid by supporting the Pope in Avignon: “And if I consider your condition akin to those temporal and transitory goods that pass like the wind, you yourself have deprived yourself of them by your actions.” What St. Catherine was referring to was the legal position of Naples in relation to the Papacy. While Joanna had been established as the legitimate ruler of the Neapolitan Kingdom, she was also under the rule of the Pope in Rome. The Neapolitan throne had been under legal oversight of the Papacy "since the mid-thirteenth century, and the kingdom was a valuable source of revenue, prestige, and soldiers for the Church." With Joanna’s decision to side with the Avignon Pope, her moral as well as material support was essentially withdrawn from Pope Urban VI. Catherine, an associate of the Catholic Church, was essentially branding Joanna not just a heretic, but a traitor to their cause in the midst of the Great Schism.
Louis I of Anjou finally decided to act and went to Avignon at the head of a powerful army on 31 May 1382 in order to rescue Joanna. He passed through Turin and Milan. Towards the beginning of September, he was in Amatrice, near Rome. But by that time the Queen was already dead. Charles of Durazzo, thinking that he couldn't resist Louis I of Anjou, had transferred Joanna at the fortress of San Fele, near Muro Lucano, where she was killed on 27 July 1382, aged 54.
In his official statement, Charles claimed Joanna died of natural causes, however other documentary sources unanimously claim she was murdered. Because of the nature of the remote and clandestine act, the accounts of the manner in which Joanna was slain vary. The two most authentic sources:
- Thomas of Niem, secretary to Urban VI, states Joanna was strangled with a silken chord whilst kneeling in prayer in the private chapel at Muro castle by Hungarian soldiers.
- Marie of Blois, wife of Louis I of Anjou, states Joanna was killed by four men, presumably Hungarian, with her hands and feet tied and then smothered between two feather mattresses.
Since there were no witnesses present at the time of her murder, it is impossible to say definitively which of the reports is accurate. Another account states she was smothered with pillows.
Her body was brought to Naples where for several days it was put on display to the public as proof of her death. As Urban VI had excommunicated Joanna, the Queen could not be consecrated in church property and was therefore tossed into a deep well on the grounds of Santa Chiara Church. The Neapolitan Kingdom was left to decades of recurring wars of succession. Louis I of Anjou was able to retain the mainland counties of Provence and Forcalquier. James of Baux, the nephew of Philip II of Taranto, claimed the Principality of Achaea after her deposition in 1381.
Role in literature
- Giovanni Boccaccio wrote a biography of Joanna in his series of biographies known as De mulieribus claris (en: On Famous Women). Boccaccio devoted part of his biography of Joanna to dispelling any idea that Joanna was not the rightful ruler of Naples, which Boccaccio did by proclaiming that Joanna was a descendent of noble bloodline. Boccaccio claimed that Joanna I’s bloodline could be traced all the way back to “Dardanus, the founder of Troy, whose father the ancients said was Jupiter." Boccaccio also definitively and unequivocally proclaimed Joanna to be the lawful ruler of Naples by discussing the manner in which she ascended the Neapolitan throne. Boccaccio mentioned in his biography of Joanna that she rightfully inherited the kingdom from her grandfather because Joanna’s father had died in his youth. In addition to demonstrating for his readers that Joanna was the rightful Queen of Naples, Boccaccio revealed his personal support for Joanna amongst the chaos of her reign and the controversy surrounding it. In Boccaccio’s view, the question of whether a woman could reign or if there were other nobles who were more fit to rule was irrelevant because of Joanna. Boccaccio also discussed her capabilities and the aspects of her reign that made her a great ruler in his eyes. When Boccaccio summarized all of the areas and provinces that Joanna ruled over, he described Naples as having remarkable towns, fruitful fields, great nobles, and great wealth, but he also emphasized that “Joanna’s spirit [was] equal to ruling it”. Additionally, Boccaccio claimed that the reason why Naples was a prosperous Kingdom was because it was no longer inhabited by the Hungarian Royal Family and their supporters that he disliked. Boccaccio claimed that Joanna “bravely attacked and cleaned out the bands of wicked men” who had occupied Naples.
- Alexandre Dumas, père wrote a romance, Joan of Naples, part of his eight-volume series Celebrated Crimes (1839–40).
- A fictionalised account of her life can also be found in the novel Queen of the Night by Alan Savage.
- László Passuth wrote a novel Napolyi Johanna (Joanna of Naples, 1968) about her life.
Titles and styles
Joanna's full style as queen was: Joanna, by the Grace of God, Queen of Jerusalem and of Sicily, Duchess of Apulia, Princess of Capua, and Countess of Provence, Forqualquier, and Piedmont.
|Ancestors of Joanna I of Naples|