Book News August 2018

Princess: The Early Life of Queen Elizabeth II

Hardcover – 1 June 2018 (US) & 1 August 2018 (UK)

In November 2017 the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. As a 13-year-old Princess, she fell in love with Prince Philip of Greece, an ambitious naval cadet, and they married when she was 21; when she suddenly became Queen at 25, their lives changed forever. Philip has been her great support, but fortunately she also had a solid foundation that helped prepare her for a life dedicated to duty. With previously unpublished material and unique memories from friends and relatives who have known her since childhood, this book looks afresh and in richer depth at her life as Princess, glittering yet isolating. Vivid detail and anecdotes reveal more about her, the era in which she grew up and the people who shaped her life. The archives of royal confidante Lady Desborough and Private Secretary Sir Alec Hardinge reveal unseen letters from the Princess and the royal family, giving intimate insights into their lives and minds. Here is her sadness at the death of her nanny, Alah; her joy in her children; her melancholy as a young wife when Philip returns to his ship; the sensitivities of her father.

Here too is the Princess with the aristocratic Bowes Lyons, her mother’s family, who featured significantly in her life, yet rarely appear in books. The author sheds new light on anomalies surrounding the birth of her mother who, it has been asserted, was the daughter of the family’s cook. The strain of wartime on the royal family is highlighted in new material contrasting the stance of the Princess’s uncles, the Duke of Windsor and David Bowes Lyon. In contrast with her upbringing, Philip’s early life was turbulent, although their lives shared some interesting parallels. Lady Butter, a relation of Philip and friend of the Princess, recalls time spent with each of them; and unpublished documents show how intelligence agencies considered the socialist influence of the Mountbattens on Philip and thus on the royal court.

More importantly, Princess traces how an “ordinary country girl” suddenly found herself in the line of succession to the crown at age ten when her Uncle, the Duke of Windsor, abdicated the throne to his brother Albert (“Bertie” to family and friends), the once and future King George VI. Breaking new ground for a future English monarch, she became the first female member of the royal family to serve on active duty during World War II, and broke tradition by sending her children away to school rather having them privately tutored. Indeed, by the time of her coronation in 1953, she had already achieved a “broad and solid background from which she could draw during the rapidly changing times of her long reign. Out of a little princess they made a Queen.”

Empress: The Astonishing Reign of Nur Jahan

Hardcover – 3 July 2018 (US) & 3 August 2018 (UK)

Four centuries ago, a Muslim woman ruled an empire. Her legend still lives, but her story was lost―until now.

In 1611, thirty-four-year-old Nur Jahan, daughter of a Persian noble and widow of a subversive official, became the twentieth and favorite wife of the Emperor Jahangir, who ruled the vast Mughal Empire. An astute politician as well as a devoted partner, she issued imperial orders; coins of the realm bore her name. When Jahangir was imprisoned by a rebellious nobleman, the Empress led troops into battle and ultimately rescued him.

The only woman to acquire the stature of empress in her male-dominated world, Nur was also a talented dress designer and innovative architect whose work inspired her stepson’s Taj Mahal. Nur’s confident assertion of talent and power is revelatory; it far exceeded the authority of her female contemporaries in Renaissance Europe, including Elizabeth I. Here, she finally receives her due in a deeply researched and evocative biography that awakens us to a fascinating history.

Map; 8 pages of illustrations

 

Princess: Stepping Out Of The Shadows

Kindle Edition – 23 August 2018 (US & UK)

In the international bestseller, Princess: The True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia, Princess Al-Sa’ud and the acclaimed author Jean Sasson began a remarkable series of books. Now, more than twenty-five years later, this compelling journey continues as we follow the fortunes and the dazzling life of the Princess, her friends and her family.

But, of course, there is a less glamorous, much darker side to this engaging series, and in Stepping Out of the Shadows Jean and the Princess focus their attention on how, despite positive news on civil rights reforms, Saudi women still suffer physical and psychological abuse and have little legal protection due to the archaic guardianship laws of the land. So, although this is a kingdom on the threshold of revolutionary change – change spearheaded by the young Saudi Crown Prince who is keen to modernize his country – any thoughts of equal rights and the chance to lead an independent life remain little more than dreams for most Saudi women.

Whilst the Princess acknowledges and welcomes the reforms that are on the horizon, through stories of joy and sorrow, we see how she is determined to continue to fight for equal rights for women in this, her beloved kingdom.

Founder, Fighter, Saxon Queen: Aethelflaed, Lady of the Mercians

Hardcover – 30 August 2018 (UK) & 3 December 2018 (US)

Alfred the Great’s daughter defied all expectations of a well-bred Saxon princess. The first Saxon woman ever to rule a kingdom, Aethelflaed, Lady of the Mercians, led her army in battle against Viking invaders. She further broke with convention by arranging for her daughter to succeed her on the throne of Mercia. To protect her people and enable her kingdom in the Midlands to prosper, Aethelflaed rebuilt Chester and Gloucester, and built seven entirely new English towns. In so doing she helped shape our world today. This book brings Aethelflaed s world to life, from her childhood in time of war to her remarkable work as ruler of Mercia. The final chapter traces her legend, from medieval paintings to novels and contemporary art, illustrating the impact of a legacy that continues to be felt to this day.

The Private Life of Victoria

Paperback – 15 August 2018 (UK & US)

Now the second-longest-reigning monarch after Elizabeth II, Queen Victoria ruled at the height of Britain’s power on the world stage and was a symbol of stability at home and abroad. Against this background of pomp and power, she was a passionate woman who led an often turbulent private life. Victoria was just eight months old when her father died and his paternal role was taken by her uncle Leopold of Saxe-Coburg and Sir John Conroy, an ally of her mother. The two of them sought to control Victoria and isolate her from others. This is the story of the Queen of England who had to fight to forge her own way in the world, and who found true romance with Prince Albert only to have happiness snatched from her when he died of typhoid at the age of 42.

Empress: Queen Victoria and India

Hardcover – 14 August 2018 (UK) & 25 September 2018 (US)

In this engaging and controversial book, Miles Taylor shows how both Victoria and Albert were spellbound by India, and argues that the Queen was humanely, intelligently, and passionately involved with the country throughout her reign and not just in the last decades. Taylor also reveals the way in which Victoria’s influence as empress contributed significantly to India’s modernization, both political and economic. This is, in a number of respects, a fresh account of imperial rule in India, suggesting that it was one of Victoria’s successes.

The Favourite

Paperback – 9 August 2018 (US) & 29 November 2018 (UK)

Sarah Churchill, 1st Duchess of Marlborough, was the glamorous and controversial subject of hundreds of satires, newspaper articles and publications both during her lifetime and after her death. Tied to Queen Anne by an intimate friendship, Sarah hoped to wield power equal to that of a government minister. When their relationship soured, she blackmailed Anne with letters revealing their intimacy and accused her of perverting the course of national affairs by keeping lesbian favourites – including Sarah’s own cousin Abigail Masham. Sarah was a compulsive and compelling writer, narrating the major events of life at Blenheim Palace and at court with herself often centre-stage. Attacked for traits that might have been applauded in a man, she was also capable of inspiring intense love and loyalty, deeply committed to her principles and to living what she believed to be a virtuous life. This biography brings Sarah Churchill’s own voice, passionate and intelligent, back to life, and casts a critical eye over images of the Duchess handed down through art, history and literature. Here is an unforgettable portrait of a woman who cared intensely about how we would remember her.

Anne Seymour: Lady in Waiting to Henry VIII’s Six Wives

Hardcover – 1 August 2018 (US)

Catherine Parr called her ‘that hell’, while Queen Mary I called her ‘my good Nann’. Lady-in-waiting to each of Henry VIII’s six queens, Anne Seymour, Duchess of Somerset, witnessed the reigns of Henry VIII and each of his three children. When her sister-in-law Jane became Henry’s third queen, Anne shared her husband Edward Seymour’s rise to power – and his tragic fall. Friends with Mary I despite their strong religious differences, Anne had a more difficult relationship with Elizabeth I, who sent her son and his bride to the Tower. Anne gave her daughters splendid educations, befriended a religious martyr, Anne Askew, and feuded with Catherine Parr. Her brother-in-law, her brother, and her husband each died on the scaffold, and Anne herself spent months in the Tower. Yet after a tumultuous life, Anne would die elderly and wealthy – and in her bed.

Power, Splendour, and Diamonds: Denmark’s Regalia and Crown Jewels (Crown Series)

Hardcover– 14 August 2018 (US)

The foremost symbols of the Kingdom of Denmark—the crown, the sceptre, and the orb—have been kept at Rosenborg Castle since the 1680s. Here one can also see a number of the monarchy’s other central objects: the baptismal font that has been used by the royal family since the 17th century, the silver lions as well as the collection of crown jewels founded by Queen Sophie Magdalene in the mid-18th century, which is still used by the Queen on major occasions.

Christian X and Queen Alexandrine: Royal Couple Through the World Wars (Crown Series) 

Hardcover – 14 August 2018 (US)

Christian X and Queen Alexandrine were Denmark’s royal couple from 1912 to 1947. They reigned during a period in which the world was dramatically changed; two world wars and serious economic crises left their mark on their reign and contributed to the royal couple’s great significance as a centre around which the nation could gather.
During the same period, the role of the monarchy was fundamentally changed; the Danish monarchy found its place in a modern parliamentary democracy, and following the advent of modern mass media the royal couple became a public presence.

Frederik IX and Queen Ingrid: The Modern Royal Couple (Crown Series)

Hardcover – 14 August 2018 (US)

Frederik IX and Queen Ingrid were the Danish royal couple from 1947 until 1972, when King Frederik died and was succeeded by his eldest daughter, Queen Margrethe II. In contrast to his predecessors, Frederik IX was seen as a man of the people, and thanks to the influence of Queen Ingrid he endowed his reign with kingly dignity. Together they modernized the Danish monarchy and came to symbolize an exemplary modern Danish nuclear family. They mastered the art of being both popular and royal in a time in which handling of the media became increasingly important for the monarchy.

Frederik VIII and Queen Lovisa: The Overlooked Royal Couple (Crown Series)

Hardcover – 14 August 2018 (US)

Frederik VIII reigned for only six years, from 1906 until 1912. He and Lovisa spent four decades as Crown Prince and Crown Princess, and this presented them with some special challenges, not least as regards their relationship with the rest of the royal family, which was strained. In several ways Frederik and Lovisa were individuals whose behaviour was at odds with previously existing patterns, and neither the Danish royal family nor the public always viewed this in a positive light. In his efforts to meet the populace on its own terms, Frederik VIII became too folksy in the eyes of many contemporary Danes.

Christian IX and Queen Louise: Europe’s Parents-in-Law

Hardcover – 14 August 2018 (US)

Christian IX and Queen Louise were the first couple of the Glücksburg line on the Danish throne. They had a difficult beginning, as they ascended the throne in 1863, immediately prior to the military defeat by Prussia and Austria in 1864. However, they eventually became popular with the Danish people, not least because they secured such advantageous marriages for their six children that already in their own day they were known as “Europe’s parents-in-law”. Today there are not many European royals who are not descendants of Christian IX and Queen Louise, who died in 1906 and 1898 respectively.
This book is part of the Crown Series, a series of small books on the Danish monarchy and related subjects published in cooperation with the Royal Danish Collection.

Mary, Queen of Scots

Paperback – 23 August 2018 (UK & US)

Mary, Queen of Scots was only eighteen years old when she came to the throne of Scotland in 1542. A catholic in a protestant country, her twenty-five year reign was marked by turbulence. Eric Linklater accentuates her strong political ambition, her kindness and strength in adversity as she battled through religious divide, hostility from Queen Elizabeth, unwanted suitors, spiteful love traps and double-crossing rebel lords. But throughout all of this she ruled her country with austere kindness and grace, woman against men, Queen against Queen.

Eric Linklater details the trials and tribulations of Mary’s life with illustrative precision, littered with quotes and poetry that build an honest portrayal of this prestigious Queen.

Tudors to Windsors: British Royal Portraits

Hardcover – 9 August 2018 (UK) & 23 October 2018 (US)

The Collection of the National Portrait Gallery, London, embraces over 500 years of British history, more than 60,000 sitters and explores ideas of social change, power and influence. Arguably as powerful and influential as any individual are the heads of state and empire, whose portraits are among the most popular in the Gallery’s Collection.

For the exhibition that accompanies this book, the portraits of kings, queens, statesmen and stateswomen featured will go on tour for the first time, providing international audiences with the opportunity to encounter these famous historical and contemporary personalities face to face. The publication traces major events in British history and examine s the ways in which royal portraiture has reflected individual sitters’ personalities and wider social, cultural and historical change. Works are arranged chronologically in sections, each of which is prefaced by an introductory text and timeline providing context to the period in question. Particularly significant portraits from each period are accompanied by extended captions that provide key information on the sitter and the artist. Tudors to Windsors also consider s how each dynasty has been perceived and interpreted subsequently, with reference to popular culture and contemporary sources.

A number of features on topics such as Royal Favourites, Royal Weddings, Satire, Royal sat War, and Royal Fashion and Jewellery provide insight s into particular aspects of royal portraiture and trends within the genre.

The publication includes a foreword by the Gallery’s Director, a fully illustrated introductory essay discussing royal patronage and key artists in royal portraiture, and an essay by David Cannadine on the historical role of the monarchy in Britain.



About Moniek 1087 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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