Book News August 2019




agrippina book

maria romanov

Maria Romanov: Third Daughter of the Last Tsar, Diaries and Letters, 1908–1918

Hardcover – 20 August 2019 (US) & 30 June 2019 (UK)

In Maria Romanov: Third Daughter of the Last Tsar, Diaries and Letters, 1908–1918, by translator and researcher Helen Azar with George Hawkins, Mashka’s voice is heard again through her intimate writings, presented for the first time in English. The Grand Duchess was much more than a pretty princess wearing white dresses in hundreds of faded sepia photographs; Maria’s surviving diaries and letters offer a fascinating insight into the private life of a loving family—from festivals and faith, to Rasputin and the coming Revolution; it is clear why this middle child ultimately became a pillar of strength and hope for them all. Maria’s gentle character belied her incredible courage, which emerged in the darkest hours of her brief life. “The incarnation of modesty elevated by suffering,” as Maria was described during the last weeks of her life, she was able to maintain her kindness and optimism, even in the midst of violence and degradation.

 

Agrippina: The Most Extraordinary Woman of the Roman World 

Hardcover – 6 August 2019 (US & UK)

In her own time, she was recognized as a woman of unparalleled power. Beautiful and intelligent, she was portrayed as alternately a ruthless murderer and helpless victim, the most loving mother and the most powerful woman of the Roman empire, using sex, motherhood, manipulation, and violence to get her way, and single-minded in her pursuit of power for herself and her son, Nero.

This book follows Agrippina as a daughter, born in Cologne, to the expected heir to Augustus’s throne; as a sister to Caligula who raped his sisters and showered them with honors until they attempted rebellion against him and were exiled; as a seductive niece and then wife to Claudius who gave her access to near unlimited power; and then as a mother to Nero―who adored her until he had  her assassinated.

Through senatorial political intrigue, assassination attempts, and exile to a small island, to the heights of imperial power, thrones, and golden cloaks and games and adoration, Agrippina scaled the absolute limits of female power in Rome. Her biography is also the story of the first Roman imperial family―the Julio-Claudians―and of the glory and corruption of the empire itself.

 

The Royal Art of Poison: Fatal Cosmetics, Deadly Medicines and Murder Most Foul

Paperback – 22 August 2019 (UK & US)

For centuries, royal families have feared the gut-roiling, vomit-inducing agony of a little something added to their food or wine by an enemy. To avoid poison, they depended on tasters, unicorn horns and antidotes tested on condemned prisoners. Servants licked the royal family s spoons, tried on their underpants and tested their chamber pots.

Ironically, royals terrified of poison were unknowingly poisoning themselves daily with their cosmetics, medications and filthy living conditions. Women wore makeup made with lead. Men rubbed feces on their bald spots. Physicians prescribed mercury enemas, arsenic skin cream, drinks of lead filings and potions of human fat and skull, fresh from the executioner. Gazing at gorgeous portraits of centuries past, we don t see what lies beneath the royal robes and the stench of unwashed bodies; the lice feasting on private parts; and worms nesting in the intestines.

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The Mountbattens

Hardcover – 22 August 2019 (UK & US

A major figure behind his nephew Philip’s marriage to Queen Elizabeth II and instrumental in the royal family taking the Mountbatten name, Dickie Mountbatten’s career included being Supreme Allied Commander of South East Asia during World War Two and the last Viceroy of India.

Once the richest woman in Britain and a playgirl who enjoyed numerous affairs, Edwina Mountbatten emerged from World War Two as a magnetic and talented charity worker loved around the world.

From the prize-winning and bestselling historian, Andrew Lownie, comes a nuanced portrayal of two very unusual people and their complex marriage to mark the 40th anniversary of Lord Mountbatten’s assassination by the IRA.

From British high society and the South of France to the battlefields of Burma and the Viceroy’s House, this is a rich and filmic story whose characters include all the key figures of the Second World War. From Churchill and Montgomery to Roosevelt and Eisenhower; the Royal Family, including the Duke of Windsor, George VI, the Queen, Prince Philip and Prince Charles; to Charlie Chaplin, Noel Coward, Salvador Dali, George Gershwin, Grace Kelly and Merle Oberon.

Princess: Stepping Out Of The Shadows

Paperback – 22 August 2019 (UK & US)

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.

Pets by Royal Appointment: The Royal Family and Their Animals

Paperback – 8 August 2019 (UK) & 1 October 2019 (US)

The royal family say they can do without many things, but not their animals. For countless monarchs and their consorts, dogs, cats, horses and even the occasional parrot have acted as constant, faithful companions, unquestioning allies and surrogate children.

With intimate anecdotes and fascinating detail, royal expert Brian Hoey describes the mini palaces provided for the Queen’s pampered corgis; Princess Anne’s badly behaved bull terriers; the wild animals including crocodiles, hippopotami and an elephant presented to princes and princesses; a regal passion for all things equine; and the pigeon awarded a military medal for its efforts in the Second World War.

royal homes

Royal Homes and Gardens

Paperback – 1 August 2019 (UK & US)

Britain has a wealth of royal palaces, some owned by the Crown as part of the country’s assets, while others have been bought by members of the Royal Family themselves as personal residences. Each property has a fascinating story behind it, as well as its own unique place in history. This beautifully illustrated book looks at some of the UK’s best-loved royal homes, current and former, their buildings, gardens, treasures and, of course, their inhabitants past and present. Discover how these homes have evolved over the centuries and how they are being adapted for the future and the demands of modern life. Written by seasoned Pitkin royal author Halima Sadat, this easily digestible volume makes a wonderful companion for anyone visiting these impressive buildings and their beautiful gardens. Entries include: Hampton Court, Osborne House, Windsor Castle, Kensington Palace, Buckingham Palace, Highgrove, Sandringham and Balmoral.

Dark History of the Kings and Queens of England

Hardcover – 14 July 2019 (UK) & 6 August 2019 (US)

Despite its reputation as the longest established in Europe, the history of the English monarchy is punctuated by scandal, murders, betrayals, plots, and treason. Since William the Conqueror seized the crown in 1066, England has seen three civil wars; six monarchs have been murdered or executed; the throne of England has been usurped four times, and won in battle three times; and personal scandals and royal family quarrels abound. The Dark History of the Kings & Queens of England provides an exciting and dramatic account of English royal history from 1066 to the present day. This engrossing book explores the scandal and intrigue behind each royal dynasty, from the ‘accidental’ murder of William II in 1100, through the excesses of Richard III, Henry VIII and ‘Bloody’ Mary, to the conspiracies surrounding the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997 and the present-day troubles of Meghan’s family. Carefully researched, superbly entertaining and illustrated throughout with more than 200 colour and black-and-white photographs and artworks, this accessible and immensely enjoyable book highlights the true personalities and real lives of the individuals honoured with the crown of England – and those unfortunate enough to cross their paths.

tudor kings and queens

The Tudor Kings and Queens: The Dynasty that Forged a Nation

Paperback – 15 August 2019 (US & UK)

Tudor Kings and Queens is the ideal, handy guide to what is a perennially popular era in British history. Beginning with the accession to the English throne of Henry VII, Alex Woolf guides the reader through a succession of monarchs, including the infamous King Henry VIII, Mary I, Edward VI and Elizabeth I, the Virgin Queen. Identifying the key moments of their reigns, from insurrections to their handling of foreign policy to their many marriages, Woolf reveals the ways in which these kings and queens governed their realm and the challenges they faced. It’s the perfect companion for anyone who enjoys historical drama and wants to know more about one of history’s most compelling royal dynasties.

julia augusta

Julia Augusta: Images of Rome’s First Empress on Coins of the Roman Empire

Hardcover – 13 August 2019 (US & UK)

Julia Augusta examines the socio-political impact of coin images of Augustus’ wife, Livia, within the broader context of her image in other visual media and reveals the detailed visual language that was developed for the promotion of Livia as the predominant female in the Roman imperial family.

The book provides the most comprehensive examination of all extant coins of Livia to date, and provides one of the first studies on the images on Roman coins as gender-infused designs, which created a visual dialogue regarding Livia’s power and gender-roles in relation to those of male members of the imperial family. While the appearance of Roman women on coins was not entirely revolutionary, having roughly coincided with the introduction of images of powerful Roman statesmen to coins in the late 40s BC, the degree to which Livia came to be commemorated on coins in the provinces and in Rome was unprecedented. This volume provides unique insights into the impact of these representations of Livia, both on coins and in other visual media.

Julia Augusta: Images of Rome’s First Empress on the Coins of the Roman Empire will be of great interest to students of women and imperial imagery in the Roman Empire, as well as the importance of visual representation and Roman imperial ideology.

neslishah

Neslishah: The Last Ottoman Princess

Paperback – 20 August 2019 (UK) & 3 September 2019 (US)

Twice a princess, twice exiled, Neslishah Sultan had an eventful life. When she was born in Istanbul in 1921, cannons were fired in the four corners of the Ottoman Empire, commemorative coins were issued in her name, and her birth was recorded in the official register of the palace. After all, she was an imperial princess and the granddaughter of Sultan Vahiddedin. But she was the last member of the imperial family to be accorded such honors: in 1922 Vahiddedin was deposed and exiled, replaced as caliph–but not as sultan–by his brother (and Neslishah’s other grandfather) Abd lmecid; in 1924 Abd lmecid was also removed from office, and the entire imperial family, including three-year-old Neslishah, was sent into exile. Sixteen years later on her marriage to Prince Abdel Moneim, the son of the last khedive of Egypt, she became a princess of the Egyptian royal family. And when in 1952 her husband was appointed regent for Egypt’s infant king, she took her place at the peak of Egyptian society as the country’s first lady, until the abolition of the monarchy the following year. Exile followed once more, this time from Egypt, after the royal couple faced charges of treason. Eventually Neslishah was allowed to return to the city of her birth, where she died at the age of 91 in 2012. Based on original documents and extensive personal interviews, this account of one woman’s extraordinary life is also the story of the end of two powerful dynasties thirty years apart.






About Moniek 1389 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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