Our Sporting Monarchs: Royalty at War and Play Through the Ages
Sports of all kinds have played a crucial role in the reigns of our kings and queens. Some used it for purposes both brutal and mercenary, others to boost courage and prowess for war, and many because they enjoyed physical exercise and the thrills and excitement sport brings. Our Sporting Monarchs traces the involvement of royalty with sport from the Norman Conquest to modern times. It is an exciting, romantic and colourful story spanning 1,200 years of British history. Brought up in the archery butts, it was the English bowmen who won the Battle of Agincourt for King Henry V, while the Tudor sporting star, Henry VIII, wrestled for prestige with the French King on the Field of the Cloth of Gold. Learn about Queen Elizabeth I’s surprising passion for blood sports like bear-baiting, Charles I’s bitter quarrel with the Puritans over Sunday sport (which hastened the onset of the English Civil War), and discover how George V and VI’s racing pigeons were commandeered for messages in the two World Wars.
Royal Mysteries: The Anglo-Saxons and Early Britain
Royal mysteries never fail to intrigue readers and TV viewers. The ‘mysteries’, unravelled and analysed, are of enduring fascination and full of tragedy, suffering and pathos but also heroism and romance. The text is based on deep research in original sources, including rare documents, archaeological and DNA evidence, latest historiography and academic research, but is essentially accessible history. These are the ‘Dark Ages’, but Anglo-Saxon enlightenment is emphasised. The Heptarchy, with seven Anglo-Saxon states, is examined, and Alfred’s victory over the Vikings and emergence of the English kingdom. But mystery surrounds all aspects of dynastic, political and military history. The story includes the surviving British and Welsh kingdoms when ‘Welsh’ meant ‘foreigner, the Gaelic kingdoms in what became Scotland, the survival of lowland ‘Britons’ under the Germanic Anglo-Saxon radar – a new interpretation of early English society in its shadowy forms with the half-mythical founders of the early English kingdoms like Hengist of Kent or Cerdic of Wessex, up to William duke of Normandy – did he have any legitimate claim to justify his ‘power-grab’? Some episodes have dropped out of history, like the murder of the teenage King Edward the ‘Martyr’, but here is a re-telling of early mysteries based on close analysis of the myriad sources while stimulating romantic fascination.
Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Hearts
Elizabeth Stuart is one the most misrepresented – and underestimated – figures of the seventeenth century. Labelled a spendthrift more interested in the theatre and her pet monkeys than politics or her children, and long pitied as ‘The Winter Queen’, the direct ancestor of Elizabeth II was widely misunderstood. Nadine Akkerman’s biography reveals an altogether different woman, painting a vivid picture of a queen forged in the white heat of European conflict.
House of Tudor: A Grisly History
Gruesome but not gratuitous, this decidedly darker take on the Tudors, from 1485 to 1603, covers some forty-five ‘events’ from the Tudor reign, taking in everything from the death of Richard III to the botched execution of Mary Queen of Scots and a whole host of horrors in between. Particular attention is paid to the various gruesome ways in which the Tudors despatched their various villains and lawbreakers, from simple beheadings to burnings and, of course, the dreaded hanging, drawing and quartering. Other chapters cover the various diseases prevalent during Tudor times, including the dreaded ‘Sweating Sickness’ – rather topical at the moment, unfortunately – as well as the cures for these sicknesses, some of which were considered worse than the actual disease itself. The day-to-day living conditions of the general populace are also examined, as well as various social taboos and the punishments that accompanied them, i.e. the stocks, as well as punishment by exile. Tudor England was not a nice place to live by 21st century standards, but the book will also serve to explain how it was still nevertheless a familiar home to our ancestors.
Women in the Medieval Court: Consorts and Concubines
While the courts of medieval Europe ate up tales of knights in shining armour and damsels in distress, the reality for the elite women who inhabited those courts could be very different. Medieval society might expect the noblewomen who decorated its courts to play the role of Queen Guinevere, but many of these women had very different ideas. In a society dominated by men, women who stood out from the crowd could experience great success -and greater failure. Great queens, who sometimes ruled in their own right, fought wars and forged empires. Noblewomen acted behind the scenes to change the course of politics. Far from cloistered off from the world, powerful abbesses played the role of kingmaker. And concubines had a role to play as well, both as political actors and as mothers of children who might change a country’s destiny. They experienced tremendous success and dramatic downfalls. Meet women from across medieval Europe, from a Danish queen who waged political war to form a Scandinavian empire to a Tuscan countess who joined her troops on the battlefield. Whether they wielded power in battle, from a convent or throne room, or even in the bedchamber, these women were far from damsels in distress.
Sybil: Queen of Jerusalem, 1186–1190 (Rulers of the Latin East)
Queen Sybil of Jerusalem, Queen in her own right, was ruler of the kingdom of Jerusalem from 1186 to 1190. Her reign saw the loss of the city of Jerusalem to Saladin and the beginning of the Third Crusade. Her reign began with her nobles divided and crisis looming; by her death, the military forces of Christian Europe were uniting with her and her husband, intent on recovering what had been lost. Sybil died before the bulk of the forces of the Third Crusade could arrive in the kingdom, and Jerusalem was never recovered. But although Sybil failed, she went down fighting – spiritually, even if not physically.
In Search of a Kingdom: Francis Drake, Elizabeth I, and the Perilous Birth of the British Empire
In 1580, sailing on Elizabeth’s covert orders, Drake became the first captain to circumnavigate the earth successfully. (Ferdinand Magellan had died in his attempt.) Part exploring expedition, part raiding mission, Drake’s audacious around-the-world journey in the Golden Hind reached Patagonia, the Pacific Coast of present-day California and Oregon, the Spice Islands, Java, and Africa. Almost a decade later, Elizabeth called upon Drake again. As the devil-may-care vice-admiral of the English fleet, Drake dramatically defeated the once-invincible Spanish Armada, spurring the British Empire’s ascent and permanently wounding its greatest rival.
The relationship between Drake and Elizabeth is the missing link in our understanding of the rise of the British Empire, and its importance has not been fully described or appreciated. Framed around Drake’s key voyages as a window into this crucial moment in British history, In Search of a Kingdom is a rousing adventure narrative entwining epic historical themes with intimate passions.
Cleopatra: The Queen Who Challenged Rome and Conquered Eternity
Cleopatra focuses on a twenty-year period that marked a sweeping change in Roman history, beginning with the assassination of Julius Caesar that led to the end of the Republic and ending with the suicides of Antony and Cleopatra and the birth of the Augustan Empire. Angela brings the people, stories, customs, and traditions of this fascinating period alive as he transports us to the chaotic streets of the capital of the ancient world, the exotic port of Alexandria in Egypt, and to the bloody battlefields where an empire was won and lost.
Queen of Our Times: The Life of Queen Elizabeth II
A definitive portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on the seventieth anniversary of her reign by a renowned royal biographer.
The Queen: 70 years of Majestic Style
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II: Platinum Jubilee Celebration: 70 Years: 1952-2022
This book celebrates the highlights and challenges of HM Queen Elizabeth II’s reign over the past seven decades.
Scandals of the Royal Palaces: An Intimate Memoir of Royals Behaving Badly
This book is the first in-depth look at the outrageous behaviour not just of the royals themselves but also of palace officials, courtiers, household servants and hangers-on. Covering existing royal palaces in some depth as well taking a look at scandals linked to long-vanished royal residences, such as Whitehall, Nonsuch and Kings Langley, Scandals of the Royal Palaces also includes new information on well-known and not-so-well-known scandals, including those that have only recently been revealed in detail through the release of previously secret official papers.
Queen Kaʻahumanu of Hawaii: A Biography
The Palace Papers: Inside the House of Windsor–the Truth and the Turmoil
Hardcover – 26 April 2022 (US)
Picking up where Tina Brown’s masterful The Diana Chronicles left off, The Palace Papers reveals how the royal family reinvented itself after the traumatic years when Diana’s blazing celebrity ripped through the House of Windsor like a comet.
Anne of Bohemia (Lives of Royal Women)
This volume examines the life of Anne of Bohemia, first queen of Richard II (1377-1399), and situates her within the context of medieval queenship by arguing that Anne ably fulfilled the political role of the queen consort through her intercession, patronage, and piety.
Much previous scholarship on Anne has focused on her relationship with famous poets, such as Geoffrey Chaucer, but from analysing government documents, it becomes clear that Anne used her wealth and status to enact power. Through financial, religious, and cultural patronage, Anne rewarded supporters and servants and influenced court life. The examination of sources such as a letter from Anne to her half brother and an apothecary bill that contains some fertility medicines suggests that the Queen both desired and tried to have children. As such, the volume questions the public imagination of Anne and shows that, in this example, although she died childless, Anne and Richard attempted to have children throughout their marriage.
With the inclusion of tables listing Anne’s acts of intercession and her land holdings and land grants, Anne of Bohemia is a useful tool for students and scholars interested in queenship studies, medieval women’s history, and the history of the English monarchy.
The Queen and the U.S.A.
During 2022, Queen Elizabeth II will celebrate the 70th anniversary of her role as Queen of England. The American and British people have shared a special relationship between our two countries. This book intends to celebrate our relationship and honour Queen Elizabeth II for her role and contributions to a friendship recognised throughout the world. This release is a revised 2nd printing of The Queen and the U.S.A. released in 2012 to honour her Diamond Jubilee Celebration.
The Royal Throne of Mercy and British Culture in the Victorian Age
In the first detailed study of its kind, James Gregory’s book takes a historical approach to mercy by focusing on widespread and varied discussions about the quality, virtue or feeling of mercy in the British world during Victoria’s reign. Gregory covers an impressive range of themes from the gendered discourses of ’emotional’ appeal surrounding Queen Victoria to the exercise and withholding of royal mercy in the wake of colonial rebellion throughout the British empire. Against the backdrop of major events and their historical significance, a masterful synthesis of rich source material is analysed, including visual depictions (paintings and cartoons in periodicals and popular literature) and literary ones (in sermons, novels, plays and poetry).
The American Revolution and the Habsburg Monarchy (The Revolutionary Age)
This book presents the American Revolution from the perspective of the Habsburg monarchy. It reveals how, despite seeming antithetical to the American cause, the Habsburg dynasty and people in the Habsburg lands realized the opportunity unleashed by the creation of the thirteen United States of America, demonstrating the wider effects of the American Revolution beyond the standard Atlantic World and portraying the Habsburg Monarchy in a new, oceanic light.
The Life of Henrietta Anne: Daughter of Charles I