August 2017 Book News

Diana & Dodi: The Truth

Hardcover – 31 Aug 2017 (UK & US)

Michael Cole is the only person who knew all three victims of the fatal Pont de l’Alma road tunnel crash that occurred in Paris, in the early hours of 31 August, 1997: Diana, Princess of Wales, Dodi Al Fayed and Henri Paul, their driver. Michael discovered that the Princess had not survived her terrible injuries nearly two hours before news of her death was announced by the British ambassador.

During that surreal interval, it was reported that Diana was not badly injured and had walked to the ambulance. At first, Michael thought the crash was a tragic accident that had robbed two young people of their lives and happiness. Michael accompanied his boss, Mohamed Al Fayed, and his wife, Heini, to the Princess’s funeral in Westminster Abbey.

But even before that things started to happen which to him, a seasoned journalist and award-winning TV correspondent, seemed strange. He sensed a cover-up, with the authorities on both sides of the Channel anxious to write off the deaths of the world s most celebrated woman and her lover as accidental. But an English jury brought in a verdict of ‘Unlawful Killing’.

This is the inside story of what really happened.

Pleasure and Politics at the Court of France: The Artistic Patronage of Queen Marie de Brabant (1260-1321) (Studies in Medieval and Early Renaissance Art History)

Hardcover – 31 August 2017 (US & UK)

For her commissioning and performance of a French vernacular version of the Arabic Tale of the Thousand and One Nights – recorded in one of the most vivid and sumptuous late thirteenth-century manuscripts extant – as well as for her numerous other commissions, Queen Marie de Brabant (1260-1321) was heralded as a literary and intellectual patron comparable to Alexander the Great and Charlemagne. Nevertheless, classic studies of the late medieval period understate Marie’s connection to the contemporary rise of secular interests at the French court. Pleasure and Politics at the Court of France: the Artistic Patronage of Marie de Brabant (1260-1321), by reshaping the inquiry into court patronage, posits that the historical record reveals exciting and important contributions Marie de Brabant made to this burgeoning secular court. This emerging importance of the secular and redefinition of the sacred during these last decades of Capetian rule becomes all the more striking when juxtaposed to the pious tone of the lengthy reign of Louis IX (1214-1270), which had ended just four years before Marie’s marriage to his son. That Marie often chose innovative materials and iconographies – that would later in the fourteenth century become the norm – to create these images signals her importance in late medieval patronage. The themes of court, culture, politics, and gender reflect and connect the chronological and methodological organization of this volume. The book examines Marie’s commissions from her arrival in Paris in 1274 until her death in 1321 and analyzes the dynamics of her patronage and its impact on other women and men of the royal house.

Cleopatra: Queen of Egypt (Women Who Changed History)
Paperback– 15 August 2017 (UK & US)

Cleopatra is one of the most dynamic figures of ancient historya powerful, brilliant queen whose cunning, ambition, and boldness not only brought her to Egypts throne but also into alliances and conflicts with Julius Caesar, Mark Antony, and the Roman Empire itself. Although her desperate bid for power may have ended in tragedy, it fueled centuries of stories about her. Cleopatras life and legacy are illuminated in this attractive, eye-catching guide chock-full with lively prose, impeccable research, and engaging features. Learn about a woman whose real life story rivals the most exciting works of fiction.

Guarding Diana: My Journeys with Diana, Princess of Wales
Hardcover – 10 August 2017 (US & UK)

Diana, Princess of Wales – security code name ‘Purple Five Two’ – travelled all over the world during her incredible life. Wherever she went, in public or in private, she was shadowed by her Scotland Yard personal protection officer, Inspector Ken Wharfe, whose job it was it keep her safe, even to the extent of sacrificing his own life, if necessary.

In public Diana was fêted wherever she went, greeted by adoring crowds and fawned over by the media. In private she craved anonymity, and it was Ken Wharfe’s brief to protect her and keep her away from prying eyes.

The SAS-trained officer from the Yard’s elite Special Operations 14, Royalty and Diplomatic Protection Department, was with the Princess every step of the way. As she dazzled among Washington society or walked the sand of exclusive Caribbean beaches he watched over her. In the foothills of the Himalayas, the heat and dust of India and the heart of Africa, he was always just a heartbeat away.

‘Purple Five Two’ – the woman, the princess – was Ken’s charge. In private when they travelled, they often posed as man and wife under assumed names, ‘Mr and Mrs Hargreaves’, to throw the determined paparazzi desperate for a photograph off the scent. Whenever she wanted a private holiday it would be to Ken she would turn, who would be despatched in secret to find the idyllic spot.

In the six years that Ken was at Diana’s side they travelled hundreds of thousands of miles together, sharing secrets, laughter and tears on a truly extraordinary journey. This is their exclusive story.

Remembering Diana: A Life in Photographs
Hardcover – 10 August 2017 (UK) & 1 August (US)

For the millions who adored the People’s Princess, this lavish book celebrates Diana Spencer’s life in pictures. Page after page of inside photos from the legendary National Geographic archives document the royal’s most memorable moments in the spotlight; a luminous, personal remembrance by Diana friend and biographer Tina Brown adds context and nuance to a poignant life twenty years after her tragic death. Float down memory lane through more than 100 remarkable images of Diana, from her days as a schoolgirl to her engagement to Prince Charles, the birth of Princes William and Harry, and her life in the media as an outspoken advocate for the poor, the sick, and the downtrodden. This elegant book features reflections from those who knew her best, recollections from dignitaries and celebrities like Nelson Mandela and Elton John, and personal insight through the princess’s own words. Published to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of Diana’s death, this richly illustrated book is a beautiful ode to one of the world’s most beloved women.

The Murder of Princess Diana
Paperback – 10 August 2017 (UK & US)

A whole nation stood paralysed at the news of Princess Diana’s tragic death after a car crash in Paris in August 1997. However heartbroken about the accident that took the life of the People’s Princess, many people were sceptical about the government’s official statements.

After in-depth research of the circumstances of that fateful night, investigative writer and former journalist Noel Botham finally reveals what he alleges to be the truth – Princess Diana fell victim to a ruthlessly executed assassination.

Twenty years later, the tragedy still shapes Britain as we know it today. How could the Establishment betray the trust of a whole nation? How was the killing executed? Was there really another car in the tunnel at the time of the crash? Reporting from the innermost sanctums of British intelligence and royalty, Botham reveals shocking answers to what he claims is one of the UK’s most successfully kept secrets.

As Botham affirms, The Murder of Princess Diana firmly lays to rest the outdated theory that Diana’s death was a mere accident, and finally gives the people of Britain the explanation they deserve.


Paperback – 3 August 2017 (UK)

Sarah Bradford delivers an authoritative and explosive study of the greatest icon of the twentieth century: Diana.

After more than a decade interviewing those closest to the Princess and her select circle, Sarah Bradford exposes the real Diana: the blighted childhood, the old-fashioned courtship which saw her capture the Prince of Wales, the damage caused by the spectre of Camilla Parker Bowles, through to the collapse of the royal marriage and Diana’s final and complicated year as single woman.

Diana paints an honest portrait of a woman riddled with contradictions and whose vulnerability and unique empathy with the suffering made her one of the most extraordinary figures of the modern age.

The Warrior Queen: The Life and Legend of Aethelflaed, Daughter of Alfred the Great

Hardcover – 1 August 2017 (US) & 15 May 2017 (UK)

Æthelflæd, eldest daughter of Alfred “the Great,” has gone down in history as an enigmatic and almost legendary figure. To the popular imagination, she is the archetypal warrior queen, a Medieval Boudicca, while in fiction she has also been cast as the mistreated wife who seeks a Viking lover, and struggles to be accepted as a female ruler in a patriarchal society. The sources from her own time, and later, reveal a more complex and fascinating image of the “Lady of the Mercians.” A skilled diplomat who forged alliances with neighboring territories, she was a shrewd and ruthless leader willing to resort to deception and force to maintain her power. Yet she was also a patron of learning, who used poetic tradition and written history to shape her reputation as a Christian maiden engaged in an epic struggle against the heathen foe.

Folly and Malice: The Habsburg Empire, the Balkans and the Start of World War One

Hardcover – 1 August 2017 (US) & 28 June 2017 (UK)

Once in a generation a book appears that transcends all others on its subject. John Zametica has written such a book about the outbreak of World War One. His work will be impossible to ignore despite or indeed because of the plethora of recent titles in this field. More than a century after the event, the circumstances which in 1914 transformed Europe into a slaughterhouse continue to fascinate historians. With “war guilt” the main issue, widely divergent interpretations characterise the ongoing debate. Permanent controversy surrounds this topic. John Zametica’s work stands out because he has been able to resolve questions that have successfully confused generations of his predecessors. He has focused his attention on the pre-1914 situation in Austria-Hungary and the Balkans where the conflict began. They have had their fair share of scholarly attention, but remain the areas least understood when the origins of the war are discussed. Zametica’s mastery of Serbo-Croat and German sources has put him in a unique position to write this book, a revisionist account that slays many shibboleths of current orthodoxy. The author demolishes one myth after another in showing how far and how often historians have diverged from what the sources say. Thus he documents that Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the Austro-Hungarian Heir to the Throne, was anything but a “federalist”, modern-minded reformer of the multi-national Habsburg Empire; that the people who killed the Archduke in Sarajevo were not proponents of the “Great Serbia” project, but supported a “Yugoslav” ideology which they shared with the young Croat intelligentsia; and that the secret “Black Hand” officers’ organization in Serbia, far from organizing the assassination in Sarajevo, had in fact tried to prevent it. While not sparing the Serbian leadership, Zametica shows that Austro-Serbian antagonism arose from the internal agonies of Austria-Hungary and the ineptitude of its statesmen. He argues that there was nothing inevitable about this collision course. The main conclusions of the book are: the contempt and fear felt by Vienna towards Belgrade gave rise to ill-conceived polices which led to the cataclysm; the war came about because Austria-Hungary, a so-called “Great Power”, thought the path to its salvation lay in its small neighbour’s destruction; and lastly, this ramshackle empire, faced with the prospect of its own demise, was prepared to gamble recklessly with the peace of Europe.

The Wars of the Roses

Paperback – 1 August 2017 (US) & 15 May 2017 (UK)

The Wars of the Roses call to mind bloody battles, treachery, and deceit, and a cast of characters known to us through fact and fiction: Edward IV, Elizabeth Woodville, Richard III, Warwick the Kingmaker, the Princes in the Tower, Henry Tudor. But the whole era also creates a level of bewilderment among even keen readers. John Ashdown-Hill gets right to the heart of this “thorny” subject, dispelling the myths and bringing clarity to a topic often shrouded in confusion. Between 1455 and 1487, a series of dynastic wars for the throne of England were fought. These have become known as the Wars of the Roses. But there never was a red rose of Lancaster. This book sets the record straight on this and many other points, getting behind the traditional mythology and reaching right back into the origins of the conflict to cut an admirably clear path through the thicket.

The Hidden Lives of Tudor Women: A Social History

Hardcover – 4 July 2017 (US) & 1 August 2017 (UK)

The turbulent Tudor Age never fails to capture the imagination. But what was it truly like to be a woman during this era? 

The Tudor period conjures up images of queens and noblewomen in elaborate court dress; of palace intrigue and dramatic politics. But if you were a woman, it was also a time when death during childbirth was rife; when marriage was usually a legal contract, not a matter for love, and the education you could hope to receive was minimal at best.

Yet the Tudor century was also dominated by powerful and dynamic women in a way that no era had been before. Historian Elizabeth Norton explores the life cycle of the Tudor woman, from childhood to old age, through the diverging examples of women such as Elizabeth Tudor, Henry VIII’s sister; Cecily Burbage, Elizabeth’s wet nurse; Mary Howard, widowed but influential at court; Elizabeth Boleyn, mother of a controversial queen; and Elizabeth Barton, a peasant girl who would be lauded as a prophetess. Their stories are interwoven with studies of topics ranging from Tudor toys to contraception to witchcraft, painting a portrait of the lives of queens and serving maids, nuns and harlots, widows and chaperones. Norton brings this vibrant period to colorful life in an evocative and insightful social history. 8 pages of color illustrations.

Mary Queen of Scots

Paperback – 1 September 2017 (US) & 17 August 2017 (UK)

Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, has long been portrayed as one of history’s romantically tragic figures. Devious, naive, beautiful and sexually voracious, often highly principled, she secured the Scottish throne and bolstered the position of the Catholic Church in Scotland. Her plotting, including probable involvement in the murder of her husband Lord Darnley, led to her flight from Scotland and imprisonment by her equally ambitious cousin and fellow queen, Elizabeth of England. Yet when Elizabeth ordered Mary’s execution in 1587 it was an act of exasperated frustration rather than political wrath. Unlike biographies of Mary predating this work, this masterly study set out to show Mary as she really was – not a romantic heroine, but the ruler of a European kingdom with far greater economic and political importance than its size or location would indicate. Wormald also showed that Mary’s downfall was not simply because of the ‘crisis years’ of 1565-7, but because of her way of dealing, or failing to deal, with the problems facing her as a renaissance monarch. She was tragic because she was born to supreme power but was wholly incapable of coping with its responsibilities.Her extraordinary story has become one of the most colourful and emotionally searing tales of western history, and it is here fully reconsidered by a leading specialist of the period. Jenny Wormald’s beautifully written biography will appeal to students and general readers alike.

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Royal Britain: A Magnificent Study Of Britain’S Royal Heritage With A Directory Of Royalty And Over 120 Of The Most Important Historic Buildings

Hardcover –1 August 2017 (US) & 31 July 2017 (UK)

Explore the history of the British Isles in this celebration of its monarchs, and the development of its fine architectural legacy. The first half is a magnificent illustrated history of Britain’s kings and queens, including such internationally recognized characters as Henry VIII and Elizabeth II. The second part focuses on many fascinating historic sites in Britain and Ireland, including Tintagel, Windsor and Chatsworth. From castles to kings,from stately houses to statesmen and nobles, the legacy of Britain’s past is an intrinsic part of the country today.This expert and comprehensive guide to British royalty and architecture will delight and inform every reader.

Margaret, Queen of Sicily

Paperback – 16 August 2017 (US) & 23 November 2016 (UK)

For five years during the twelfth century, Margaret of Navarre, Queen of Sicily, was the most powerful woman in Europe and the Mediterranean. Her life and times make for the compelling story of a wife, sister, mother and leader. This is the first biography of the great-granddaughter of El Cid and friend of Thomas Becket who could govern a nation and inspire millions.

In Margaret’s story sisterhood is just the beginning. The Basque princess who rose to confront unimagined adversity became the epitome of medieval womanhood in a world dominated by men, governing one of the wealthiest, most powerful – and most socially complex – states of Europe and the Mediterranean.

This book is the result of original, scholarly research in medieval chronicles and manuscripts – some never before translated into English – yet its narrative is lively and interesting. In addition to its main text, the volume presents maps, genealogical tables and numerous photographs, reflecting information gathered by the author in Italy, Spain and England (and even in the United States). Her research took her from the tiny town in Navarre where Margaret was born to the locality in Sicily where the queen died, and a lot of places in-between. The author’s keen knowledge of history and her mastery of Italian, Spanish, French and Latin aided her in following every step of Margaret’s journey. If you could travel back in time to the twelfth century, Ms Alio would be the perfect guide, and in this book she guides you through an eventful life in a perilous age.

Chapters detail Margaret’s life but also her world, from Pamplona to Palermo. The chapter on Monreale’s splendid abbey, erected on the orders of Margaret and her son, is a sophisticated guide to this unique place, offering the reader nuggets of information rarely mentioned in travel books. Ten appendices provide information on the chronicles of Hugh Falcandus, Romuald of Salerno and others, along with the rarely-available original text of the Assizes of Ariano, the legal code enacted by Margaret’s father-in-law in 1140. There is a chronology and over 400 end notes, and a bibliography with over 200 sources cited. (The book’s text was double-blind peer reviewed.)

There is much in these pages for the armchair historian but also for the hardcore academic, everything from the analysis of sources to maps of medieval Palermo. The ‘back matter’ containing notes, appendices and the detailed bibliography is longer than the main narrative text.

Closer to our times, Palermo-based Jackie Alio stands out as the only Sicilian woman writing books in English about the women of medieval Sicily. She lives and breathes Sicilian history. Her previous titles include The Peoples of Sicily: A Multicultural Legacy and Women of Sicily: Saints, Queens and Rebels. She has published papers on the Jews of medieval Sicily and she co-authored a book on the history of Sicilian cuisine. This biography is the longest academic monograph written in English by a Sicily-based historian.

With the publication of this book, our knowledge of Europe’s complex twelfth century is one step nearer completeness.


Queen Victoria’s Mysterious Daughter: A Biography of Princess Louise

Paperback – 22 August 2017 (UK & US)

The secrets of Queen Victoria’s sixth child, Princess Louise, may be destined to remain hidden forever. What was so dangerous about this artistic, tempestuous royal that her life has been documented more by rumor and gossip than hard facts? When Lucinda Hawksley started to investigate, often thwarted by inexplicable secrecy, she discovered a fascinating woman, modern before her time, whose story has been shielded for years from public view.

Louise was a sculptor and painter, friend to the Pre-Raphaelites and a keen member of the Aesthetic movement. The most feisty of the Victorian princesses, she kicked against her mother’s controlling nature and remained fiercely loyal to her brothers-especially the sickly Leopold and the much-maligned Bertie. She sought out other unconventional women, including Josephine Butler and George Eliot, and campaigned for education and health reform and for the rights of women. She battled with her indomitable mother for permission to practice the “masculine” art of sculpture and go to art college-and in doing so became the first British princess to attend a public school.

The rumors of Louise’s colorful love life persist even today, with hints of love affairs dating as far back as her teenage years, and notable scandals included entanglements with her sculpting tutor Joseph Edgar Boehm and possibly even her sister Princess Beatrice’s handsome husband, Liko. True to rebellious form, she refused all royal suitors and became the first member of the royal family, since the sixteenth century, to marry a commoner. She moved with him to Canada when he was appointed Governor-General.

Spirited and lively, Queen Victoria’s Mysterious Daughter is richly packed with arguments, intrigues, scandals, and secrets, and is a vivid portrait of a princess desperate to escape her inheritance.

Colonization, Piracy, and Trade in Early Modern Europe: The Roles of Powerful Women and Queens (Queenship and Power)

Hardcover – 21 August 2017 (US) and 23 August 2017 (UK)

This collection brings together essays examining the international influence of queens, other female rulers, and their representatives from 1450 through 1700, an era of expanding colonial activity and sea trade. As Europe rose in prominence geopolitically, a number of important women―such as Queen Elizabeth I of England, Catherine de Medici, Caterina Cornaro of Cyprus, and Isabel Clara Eugenia of Austria―exerted influence over foreign affairs. Traditionally male-dominated spheres such as trade, colonization, warfare, and espionage were, sometimes for the first time, under the control of powerful women. This interdisciplinary volume examines how they navigated these activities, and how they are represented in literature. By highlighting the links between female power and foreign affairs, Colonization, Piracy, and Trade in Early Modern Europe contributes to a fuller understanding of early modern queenship.

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Diana – The People’s Princess

Hardcover – 3 August 2017 (US & UK)

LIFE Diana: A Princess Remembered

Paperback – 4 August 2017 (US & UK)

Embrace the lasting legacy of Princess Diana with this keepsake Special Edition, filled with insightful writing and gorgeous photography from the LIFE archives. At her storybook royal wedding in 1981—“The Wedding of the Century”—Diana Spencer seemed the perfect match for Prince Charles, the dashing heir to the British throne. Though their story did not end happily ever after, Diana’s talent for truly connecting with people changed the monarchy forever, and her commitment to helping the underprivileged continues to inspire us today. From Prince William and Kate Middleton, to Prince Harry, and even Queen Elizabeth II, England’s royal family shows the influence of Diana’s bold and brave choices. LIFE Diana offers a touching remembrance of “The People’s Princess,” 20 years after her tragic death.

Please note that this product is an authorized edition published by Time Inc. and sold by Amazon. This edition is printed using a high quality matte interior paper and printed on demand for immediate fulfillment.

About Moniek Bloks 2730 Articles
My name is Moniek and I am from the Netherlands. I began this website in 2013 because I wanted to share these women's amazing stories.

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