Juana the Mad has been depicted by some historians as a 16th century Spanish queen who was insane. She was the daughter of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand. Juana was so far down the chain of succession that she was never expected to ascend to the throne.
But she did. Then she spent most of her long life as a virtual prisoner while a succession of men, her husband, her father, then her son, ruled Juana's empire while she languished in seclusion. Lynn Cullen was intrigued by the rather mythical aspects of Juana's reign. She decided to write a historical novel about it.
In this interview Cullen describes her research process and her desire to try to set the record straight. In her novel Cullen draws a sympathetic portrait of a woman who might have ruled if she had not been so terribly misunderstood.