Saturday, September 19, 2015

Upcoming Royal History Books

Playing catch up so there's a lot...

The Lost Tudor Princess: The Life of Lady Margaret Douglas by Alison Weir

UK Release Date: October 1, 2015
US Release Date: January 12, 2016


Royal Tudor blood ran in her veins. Her mother was a queen, her father an earl, and she herself was the granddaughter, niece, cousin and grandmother of monarchs. Some thought she should be queen of England. She ranked high at the court of her uncle, Henry VIII, and was lady of honour to five of his wives. Beautiful and tempestuous, she created scandal, not just once, but twice, by falling in love with unsuitable men. Fortunately, the marriage arranged for her turned into a love match.

Throughout her life her dynastic ties to two crowns proved hazardous. A born political intriguer, she was imprisoned in the Tower of London on three occasions, once under sentence of death. She helped to bring about one of the most notorious royal marriages of the sixteenth century, but it brought her only tragedy. Her son and her husband were brutally murdered, and there were rumours that she herself was poisoned. She warred with two queens, Mary of Scotland and Elizabeth of England. A brave survivor, she was instrumental in securing the Stuart succession to the throne of England for her grandson.



Elizabeth: The Forgotten Years by John Guy

Release Date: May 3, 2016


Elizabeth was crowned at twenty-five after a tempestuous childhood as a bastard and an outcast, but it was only when she reached fifty and all hopes of a royal marriage were dashed that she began to wield real power in her own right. For twenty-five years she had struggled to assert her authority over advisers who pressed her to marry and settle the succession; now, she was determined not only to reign but also to rule. In this magisterial biography of England's most ambitious Tudor queen, John Guy introduces us to a woman who is refreshingly unfamiliar: at once powerful and vulnerable, willful and afraid. In these essential and misunderstood forgotten years, Elizabeth confronts challenges at home and abroad: war against the Catholic powers of France and Spain, revolt in Ireland, an economic crisis that triggered riots in the streets of London, and a conspiracy to place her cousin Mary Queen of Scots on her throne. For a while she was smitten by a much younger man, but could she allow herself to act on that passion and still keep her throne?



Frederick the Great: King of Prussia by Tim Blanning

UK Release Date: September 24, 2015
US Release Date: March 29, 2016


Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, dominated the 18th century in the same way that Napoleon dominated the start of the 19th - a force of nature, a caustic, ruthless, brilliant military commander, a monarch of exceptional energy and talent, and a knowledgeable patron of artists, architects and writers, most famously Voltaire. From early in his reign he was already a legendary figure - fascinating even to those who hated him. Tim Blanning's brilliant new biography recreates a remarkable era, a world which would be swept away shortly after Frederick's death by the French Revolution. Equally at home on the battlefield or in the music room at Frederick's extraordinary miniature palace of Sanssouci, Blanning draws on a lifetime's obsession with the 18th century to create a work that is in many ways the summation of all that he has learned in his own rich and various career. Frederick's spectre has hung over Germany ever since: an inspiration, a threat, an impossible ideal - Blanning at last allows us to understand him in his own time.



The Empress of Art: Catherine the Great and the Transformation of Russia by Susan Jaques

Release Date: April 8, 2016


An art-oriented biography of the mighty Catherine the Great, who rose from seemingly innocuous beginnings to become one of the most powerful people in the world. A German princess who married a decadent and lazy Russian prince, Catherine mobilized support amongst the Russian nobles, playing off of her husband's increasing corruption and abuse of power. She then staged a coup that ended with him being strangled with his own scarf in the halls of the palace, and she being crowned the Empress of Russia.



The King's Bed: Ambition and Intimacy in the Court of Charles II by Don Jordan and Michael Walsh

US Release Date: March 8, 2016
UK Release Date: April 12, 2016


To refer to the private life of Charles II is to abuse the adjective. His personal life was anything but private. His amorous liaisons were largely conducted in royal palaces surrounded by friends, courtiers and literally hundreds of servants and soldiers. Gossip radiated throughout the kingdom.

The astonishing private life of Charles II reveals much about the man he was and why he lived and ruled as he did. The King's Bed tells the compelling story of a king ruled by his passion.



The Medici: Power, Money, and Ambition in the Italian Renaissance by Paul Strathern

US Release Date: March 8, 2016
UK Release Date: April 12, 2016


A dazzling history of the modest family that rose to become one of the most powerful in Europe, The Medici is a remarkably modern story of power, money, and ambition. Against the background of an age that saw the rebirth of ancient and classical learning Paul Strathern explores the intensely dramatic rise and fall of the Medici family in Florence, as well as the Italian Renaissance which they did so much to sponsor and encourage.

Strathern also follows the lives of many of the great Renaissance artists with whom the Medici had dealings, including Leonardo, Michelangelo and Donatello; as well as scientists like Galileo and Pico della Mirandola; and the fortunes of those members of the Medici family who achieved success away from Florence, including the two Medici popes and Catherine de' M├ędicis, who became Queen of France and played a major role in that country through three turbulent reigns.



The Temptation of Elizabeth Tudor: Elizabeth I, Thomas Seymour, and the Making of a Virgin Queen by Elizabeth Norton

US Release Date: January 8, 2016
UK Release Date: February 12, 2016


England, late 1547. King Henry VIII Is dead. His fourteen-year-old daughter Elizabeth is living with the king’s widow, Catherine Parr, and her new husband, Thomas Seymour. Seymour is the brother of Henry VIII’s third wife, the late Jane Seymour, who was the mother to the now-ailing boy King.

Ambitious and dangerous, Seymour begins and overt flirtation with Elizabeth that ends with Catherine sending her away. When Catherine dies a year later and Seymour is arrested for treason soon after, a scandal explodes. Alone and in dreadful danger, Elizabeth is threatened by supporters of her half-sister, Mary, who wishes to see England return to Catholicism. She is also closely questioned by the king’s regency council due to her place in the line of succession. Was she still a virgin? Was there a child? Had she promised to marry Seymour?

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