Book News December 2019




faith queen elizabeth

The Faith of Queen Elizabeth

Hardcover – 31 October 2019 (UK) & 3 December 2019 (US)

Discover the inspiring spiritual legacy of Queen Elizabeth II, the longest reigning monarch in British history. Sharing a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the life of this notoriously private monarch, The Faith of Queen Elizabeth features intimate stories and inspiring reflections on the personal faith behind the Crown. With testimonies from historic figures such as Winston Churchill, Billy Graham, Mother Teresa, and Margaret Thatcher, this magnificent tribute explores the faith of the world’s most famous Queen – and the King she serves. Icon, matriarch, reformer, and the longest-reigning monarch in British history – Queen Elizabeth II intrigues millions around the world with her royal heritage, inspirational character, and profound faith, especially as depicted in award-winning films such as The Queen and the wildly popular Netflix series The Crown. With a reign that bridges the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, Queen Elizabeth has become the definition of stability, faithfulness, and dignity. Fearlessly, she led her country into the modern age with a balance of historical tradition and entrepreneurial initiative, public service and private devotion. Nearing seven decades on the throne, the Queen has faced many personal and public storms – an early and surprising ascension to the throne, the dissolution of the British Empire, political upheavals, international crises, national tragedies, family deaths, and the tabloid travails of her children and grandchildren. But throughout all her trials and triumphs, Her Majesty credits her personal faith in Jesus Christ as the steadying anchor to her life and reign. In this spiritual biography, Dudley Delffs unpacks the secret behind Her Majesty’s personal devotion and public service, giving you a fuller, richer picture of the woman who’s led a nation with unwavering faith and resolve.

Anne Boleyn: 500 Years of Lies

Paperback – 1 December 2019 (UK & US)

History has lied.

Anne Boleyn has been sold to us as a dark figure, a scheming seductress who bewitched Henry VIII into divorcing his queen and his church in an unprecedented display of passion. Quite the tragic love story, right?

Wrong.

In this electrifying exposé, Hayley Nolan explores for the first time the full, uncensored evidence of Anne Boleyn’s life and relationship with Henry VIII, revealing the shocking suppression of a powerful woman.

So leave all notions of outdated and romanticised folklore at the door and forget what you think you know about one of the Tudors’ most notorious queens. She may have been silenced for centuries, but this urgent book ensures Anne Boleyn’s voice is being heard now.

Anna of Denmark and Henrietta Maria: Virgins, Witches, and Catholic Queens (Queenship and Power)

Paperback – 4 December 2019 (US) & 6 November 2019 (UK)

This book examines how early Stuart queens navigated their roles as political players and artistic patrons in a culture deeply conflicted about the legitimacy of female authority. Anna of Denmark and Henrietta Maria both employed powerful female archetypes such as Amazons and the Virgin Mary in court performances. Susan Dunn-Hensley analyzes how darker images of usurping, contaminating women, epitomized by the witch, often merged with these celebratory depictions. By tracing these competing representations through the Jacobean and Caroline periods, Dunn-Hensley peels back layers of misogyny from historical scholarship and points to rich new lines of inquiry. Few have written about Anna’s religious beliefs, and comparing her Catholicism with Henrietta Maria’s illuminates the ways in which both women were politically subversive. This book offers an important corrective to centuries of negative representation, and contributes to a fuller understanding of the role of queenship in the English Civil War and the fall of the Stuart monarchy.

Ippolita Maria Sforza: The Renaissance Princess Who Linked Milan and Naples

Paperback – 3 December 2019 (US) & 28 February 2020 (UK)

In April 1455, ten-year-old Ippolita Maria Sforza, a daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Milan, was betrothed to the seven-year-old crown prince of the Kingdom of Naples as a symbol of peace and reconciliation between the two rival states. This first full-scale biography of Ippolita Maria follows her life as it unfolds at the rival courts of Milan and Naples amid a cast of characters whose political intrigues too often provoked assassinations, insurrections, and wars. She was conscious of her duty to preserve peace despite the strains created by her husband’s arrogance, her father-in-law’s duplicity, and her Milanese brothers’ contentiousness. The duchess’ intelligence and charm calmed the habitual discord between her families, and in time, her diplomatic savvy and her great friendship with Lorenzo de’ Medici of Florence made her a key player in the volatile politics of the peninsula for almost 20 years.

Drawing on her letters and contemporary chronicles, memoirs, and texts, this biography offers a rare look into the private life of a Renaissance woman who attempted to preserve a sense of self while coping with a tempestuous marriage, dutifully giving birth to three children, and supervising a large household under trying political circumstances.

The Last Princess: The Devoted Life of Queen Victoria’s Youngest Daughter

Hardcover – 12 December 2019 (UK & US)

Beatrice Mary Victoria Feodore, later Princess Henry of Battenberg, was the last-born – in 1866 – of Victoria and Albert’s children, and she would outlive all of her siblings to die as recently as 1944. Her childhood coincided with her mother’s extended period of mourning for her prematurely deceased husband, a circumstance which may have contributed to Victoria’s determination to keep her youngest daughter as close to her as possible.

She would eventually marry Prince Henry of Battenberg in 1885, but only after overcoming her mother’s opposition to their union. Beatrice remained Queen Victoria’s favourite among her five daughters, and became her mother’s constant companion and later her literary executor, spending the years that followed Victoria’s death in 1901 editing her mother’s journals and voluminous correspondence.

Matthew Dennison’s elegantly written biography restores Beatrice to her rightful place as a key figure in the history of the Victorian age, and paints a touching and revealing portrait of the life and family of Britain’s second-longest-reigning monarch.

Women’s Patronage and Gendered Cultural Networks in Early Modern Europe: Vittoria della Rovere, Grand Duchess of Tuscany (Visual Culture in Early Modernity)

Hardcover – 20 December 2019 (US & UK)

This book examines the socio-cultural networks between the courts of early modern Italy and Europe, focusing on the Florentine Medici court, and the cultural patronage and international gendered networks developed by the Grand Duchess of Tuscany, Vittoria della Rovere.

Adelina Modesti uses Grand Duchess Vittoria as an exemplar of pan-European matronage and proposes a new matrilineal model of patronage in the early modern period, one in which women become not only the mediators but also the architects of public taste and the transmitters of cultural capital. The book will be the first comprehensive monographic study of this important cultural figure.

This study will be of interest to scholars working in art history, gender studies, Renaissance studies, and seventeenth century Italy.

The Diary of Lady Murasaki (Dover Thrift Editions)

Paperback – 18 December 2019 (US) & 31 January 2020 (UK)

Derived from the journals of an empress’s tutor and companion, this unique book offers rare glimpses of court life in eleventh-century Japan. Lady Murasaki recounts episodes of drama and intrigue among courtiers as well as the elaborate rituals related to the birth of a prince. Her observations, expressed with great subtlety, offer penetrating and timeless insights into human nature.
Murasaki Shikibu (circa AD 973–1025) served among the gifted poets and writers of the imperial court during the Heian period. She and other women of the era were instrumental in developing Japanese as a written language, and her masterpiece, The Tale of Genji, is regarded as the world’s first novel. Lady Murasaki’s diary reveals the role of books in her society, including the laborious copying of texts and their high status as treasured gifts. This translation is accompanied by a Foreword from American poet and Japanophile Amy Lowell.

Cleopatra: Fact and Fiction

Paperback – 15 December 2019 (UK) & 1 May 2020 (US)

Cleopatra is one of the greatest romantic figures in history, the queen of Egypt whose beauty and allure is legendary. We think we know her story, but our image of her is largely gleaned from the film starring Elizabeth Taylor or from Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra. Shakespeare himself was inspired by Plutarch, who was only sixteen years old when Cleopatra died. So her story was never based purely on fact.

In the middle of the first century BC, Cleopatra caught the attention of Rome by captivating the two most powerful Romans of the day, Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. She outlived both and attempted to suborn a third, her mortal enemy, Octavius Caesar, the first of the Roman Emperors. Having failed to do so she destroyed herself.

We can tell that Cleopatra was highly intelligent and politically astute and that she wielded great power. But Roman histories heaped opprobrium upon her. Cleopatra’s detractors claimed that she used her feminine wiles to entrap Caesar and Antony. She came to symbolise the danger of female influence to the safety of Rome – and indeed to the male-dominated world.

Plutarch observed that Cleopatra’s actual beauty was apparently not in itself so remarkable. It was the impact of her presence that was irresistible. Cleopatra: Fact and Fiction sheds fascinating light on the woman behind the image.

The fact that Cleopatra’s legend still burns bright today is proof of Shakespeare’s description of her as a lady of infinite variety whom custom cannot stale.

Queens Matter in Early Modern Studies (Queenship and Power)

Paperback – 5 December 2019 (UK) & 30 August 2018 (US)

The essays in this book traverse two centuries of queens and their afterlives―historical, mythological, and literary. They speak of the significant and subtle ways that queens leave their mark on the culture they inhabit, focusing on gender, marriage, national identity, diplomacy, and representations of queens in literature. Elizabeth I looms large in this volume, but the interrogation of queenship extends from Elizabeth’s historical counterparts, such as Anne Boleyn and Catherine de Medici, to her fictional echoes in the pages of John Lyly, Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare, Mary Wroth, John Milton, and Margaret Cavendish. Celebrating and building on the renowned scholarship of Carole Levin, Queens Matter in Early Modern Studies exemplifies a range of innovative approaches to examining women and power in the early modern period.

Anne and Louis: Rulers and Lovers (Anne of Brittany Series Book 3) 

Kindle Edition – 12 December 2019 (UK & US)

In 1501 Anne of Brittany devises the perfect match for her only child by Louis XII, King of France. Their daughter will become the most powerful woman in Europe if she marries the future Holy Roman Emperor. But Louis balks. Instead, he wishes her to marry his successor. How else to keep his own bloodline on the throne?

Anne is incensed. Why should her daughter not rule Brittany one day as her successor? Better to be a decision maker as ruler of Brittany, where women are not forbidden to rule, than only to sit next to France’s future king as queen-consort, bereft of political power.

Anne wants Louis to stay out of Italy, but Louis is determined to gain a foothold there for France. Joining Ferdinand of Spain in a secret pact to partition southern Italy, Louis soon discovers, with devastating results, that the age of chivalry is over.

As lovers, Anne and Louis are in accord. As rulers, their aims differ. Who will prevail?

The End of the Habsburgs: The Decline and Fall of the Austrian Monarchy

Hardcover – 5 December 2019 (UK)

In 1806, the Holy Roman Empire ceased to exist when Francis II became Emperor of Austria. 112 years later, the Habsburg empire collapsed after the First World War after surviving many tribulations. During the year of revolutions in 1848 the much-loved but incompetent Emperor Ferdinand had abdicated in favour of his young nephew Francis Joseph. His long reign was marked by defeat in several wars, family tragedies and scandals including the execution of his brother Maximilian, Emperor of Mexico, the suicide of his son Crown Prince Rudolf, and the assassinations of his wife Empress Elizabeth, and nephew Francis Ferdinand. He was succeeded in 1916 by the succession of his great-nephew Charles, who abdicated in 1918 and died after two unsuccessful attempts to regain the throne of Hungary, but his eldest son Otto remained head of the family and Member of the European Parliament for twenty years. This book looks at the final chapter of the Habsburgs, from the Napoleonic era to the age of the dictators and post-war Europe.

The Story of my Life

Paperback – 8 December 2019 (US & UK)

Born in 1875, the daughter of Queen Victoria’s second son Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh and Tsar Alexander II’s daughter Grand Duchess Marie, Princess Marie married Crown Prince Ferdinand of Roumania in 1893 and became Queen on his accession to the throne in 1914. Her three volumes of memoirs, covering her life from both to the end of the First World War in 1918, paint a lively picture of her upbringing in England, Malta and Germany, her sometimes difficult life as a young wife and mother in Roumania, and her struggle during an uncertain time when the country was poised between invasion and defeat, and ultimate victory. First issued between 1934 and 1935, a few years before her death, they appear here for the first time in one volume.






About Moniek 1499 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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