Book News February 2021




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The Trouble with Women in Power: Leaders Who Dared to Change the World 

Hardcover – 26 November 2020 (UK) & 16 February 2021 (US)

From Cleopatra to Margaret Thatcher, and from Christine Lagarde to Joan of Arc, this book focuses on powerful women across the centuries and geographical zones.

At the head of military operations, at the origin of revolutionary laws, dictatorial rulers or emblems of an entire people, these strong-willed women continue to fascinate and inspire. The text―richly illustrated by portraits, photographs, and mythical scenes―also addresses the question of their representations and their attributes of power.

In the history of world rulers, only a relatively small number of women have gained and retained places of power. In order to overcome misogyny, archaic laws governing inheritance, and the constraints of religious fervor, the women featured here incarnate exceptional determination and strength of character. Their stories―often riveting tales of courage in the face of injustice―offer fascinating and rich inspiration.

Anna, Duchess of Cleves: The King’s ‘Beloved Sister’ 

Paperback – 15 November 2020 (UK) & 15 February 2021 (US)

Anna was the ‘last woman standing’ of Henry VIII’s wives ‒ and the only one buried in Westminster Abbey. How did she manage it? Anna, Duchess of Cleves: The King’s ‘Beloved Sister’ looks at Anna from a new perspective, as a woman from the Holy Roman Empire and not as a woman living almost by accident in England. Starting with what Anna’s life as a child and young woman was like, the author describes the climate of the Cleves court, and the achievements of Anna’s siblings. It looks at the political issues on the Continent that transformed Anna’s native land of Cleves ‒ notably the court of Anna’s brother-in-law, and its influence on Lutheranism ‒ and Anna’s blighted marriage. Finally, Heather Darsie explores ways in which Anna influenced her step-daughters Elizabeth and Mary, and the evidence of their good relationships with her. Was the Duchess Anna in fact a political refugee, supported by Henry VIII? Was she a role model for Elizabeth I? Why was the marriage doomed from the outset? By returning to the primary sources and visiting archives and museums all over Europe (the author is fluent in German, and proficient in French and Spanish) a very different figure emerges to the ‘Flanders Mare’.

Empress: Queen Victoria and India 

Paperback – 9 March 2021 (US) & 9 February 2021 (UK)

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.

Queens of the Crusades: England’s Medieval Queens Book Two 

Hardcover – 23 February 2021 (US & UK)

This second volume of Alison Weir’s critically acclaimed history of the queens of medieval England now moves into a period of even higher drama, from 1154 to 1291: years of chivalry and courtly love, dynastic ambition, conflict between church and throne, baronial wars, and the ruthless interplay between the rival monarchs of Britain and France. We see events such as the murder of Becket, the Magna Carta, and the birth of parliaments from a new perspective.

Daughters of Chivalry: The Forgotten Children of King Edward Longshanks 

Paperback – 9 February 2021 (US & UK)

The lives of these sisters—Eleanora, Joanna, Margaret, Mary and Elizabeth—ran the gamut of experiences open to royal women in the Middle Ages. Edward’s daughters were of course expected to cement alliances and secure lands and territory by making great dynastic marriages, or endow religious houses with royal favor. But they also skillfully managed enormous households, navigated choppy diplomatic waters, and promoted their family’s cause throughout Europe—and had the courage to defy their royal father. They might never wear the crown in their own right, but they were utterly confident of their crucial role in the spectacle of medieval kingship.

Drawing on a wide range of contemporary sources, Daughters of Chivalry offers a rich portrait of these formidable women, seeing them—at long last—shine from out of the shadows, revealing what it was to be a princess in the Age of Chivalry.

Love Letters of Kings and Queens 

Hardcover – 4 February 2021 (US & UK)

Here is a chance to glimpse behind the pomp and ceremony, the carefully curated images of royal splendour and decorum, to see the passions, hopes, jealousies and loneliness of kings and queens throughout history. From Henry VIII’s lovelorn notes to Anne Boleyn to Charles II’s hot pursuit of Nell Gwynn to Queen Victoria’s tender letters to Prince Albert – these letters depict romantic love from its budding passion to the comfort and understanding of a long union, set against the background of great affairs of state, wars and the strictures of royal duty.

Queens of Jerusalem: The Women Who Dared to Rule

Hardcover – 13 May 2021 (US) & 18 February 2021 (UK)

The lives of this trailblazing dynasty of royal women, and the crusading Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, are the focus of Katherine Pangonis’s debut book. In QUEENS OF JERUSALEM she explores the role women played in the governing of the Middle East during periods of intense instability, and how they persevered to rule and seize greater power for themselves when the opportunity presented itself.

Women and Monarchy in Macedonia 

Paperback – 16 February 2021 (US) & 28 February 2021 (UK)

In this groundbreaking work, Elizabeth Donnelly Carney examines the role of royal women in the Macedonian Argead dynasty from the sixth century B.C. to 168 B.C. Women were excluded from the exercise of power in most of the Hellenic world. However, Carney shows that the wives, mothers, and daughters of kings played important roles in Macedonian public life and occasionally determined the course of national events. Carney assembles an exhaustive array of evidence on the political role of Argead royal women. She also presents a series of biographical sketches describing the public careers of all the royal women – including Olympias, mother of Alexander the Great, and the warrior Cynnane, his half-sister – whose names are preserved in ancient sources.

The Daughters of George III: Sisters and Princesses 

Paperback – 28 February 2021 (UK) & 28 April 2021 (US)

In the dying years of the 18th century, the corridors of Windsor echoed to the footsteps of six princesses. They were Charlotte, Augusta, Elizabeth, Mary, Sophia, and Amelia, the daughters of King George III and Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Though more than fifteen years divided the births of the eldest sister from the youngest, these princesses all shared a longing for escape. Faced with their father’s illness and their mother’s dominance, for all but one a life away from the seclusion of the royal household seemed like an unobtainable dream. The six daughters of George III were raised to be young ladies and each in her time was one of the most eligible women in the world. Tutored in the arts of royal womanhood, they were trained from infancy in the skills vial to a regal wife but as the king’s illness ravaged him, husbands and opportunities slipped away. Yet even in isolation, the lives of the princesses were filled with incident. From secret romances to dashing equerries, rumours of pregnancy, clandestine marriage and even a run-in with Napoleon, each princess was the leading lady in her own story, whether tragic or inspirational. In The Royal Nunnery: Daughters of George III, take a wander through the hallways of the royal palaces, where the king’s endless ravings echo deep into the night and his daughters strive to be recognised not just as princesses, but as women too.

Princess Mary: The First Modern Princess 

Hardcover – 1 February 2021 (UK) & Unknown (US)

Princess Diana is seen as the first member of the British royal family to tear up the rulebook, and the Duchess of Cambridge is modernising the monarchy in strides. But before them was another who paved the way. Born in 1897, Princess Mary was one of the hardest-working members of the royal family, known for her no-nonsense philosophy. During the First World War she came into her own, launching an appeal to furnish every British troop and sailor with a Christmas gift, and training as a nurse at Great Ormond Street Hospital. As the only daughter of King George V and Queen Mary, she would live to see not only two of her brothers ascend the throne but also her niece Queen Elizabeth II. In the first biography in decades, Elisabeth Basford offers a fresh appraisal of a princess who redefined the title for the modern age.

The Duchess of Cambridge: A Decade of Modern Royal Style 

Hardcover – 9 February 2021 (US & UK)

In the decade since, Kate has become the Duchess of Cambridge, a future Queen and a mother of three. Her outfits range from high street to haute couture, with women worldwide fascinated by her style and eager to copy it. The Duchess has used her clothing to make diplomatic gestures, to send messages of solidarity, and to show respect. One day, her wardrobe underscores her status as a senior royal; the next it’s all about being just like any 30-something Mum. But, thanks to an explosion of 24/7 news coverage and social media, her choices are analysed more closely than those of any royal before. In this book, Bethan Holt marks the tenth anniversary of Kate’s royal life by taking readers on a highly illustrated journey through the Duchess’s style evolution.

More than Mere Spectacle: Coronations and Inaugurations in the Habsburg Monarchy during the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries (Austrian and Habsburg Studies, 31) 

Hardcover – 1 February 2021 (US & UK)

Across the medieval and early modern eras, new rulers were celebrated with increasingly elaborate coronations and inaugurations that symbolically conferred legitimacy and political power upon them. Many historians have considered rituals like these as irrelevant to understanding modern governance―an idea that this volume challenges through illuminating case studies focused on the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Habsburg lands. Taking the formal elasticity of these events as the key to their lasting relevance, the contributors explore important questions around their political, legal, social, and cultural significance and their curious persistence as a historical phenomenon over time.

The Empress and I: How an Ancient Empire Collected, Rejected and Rediscovered Modern Art 

Paperback – 23 February 2021 (US) & 25 March 2021 (UK)

In the 1970s, American curator Donna Stein served as the art advisor to Empress Farah Diba Pahlavi, the Shahbanu of Iran. Together, Stein and Pahlavi generated an art market in Iran, as Stein encouraged Pahlavi’s patronage of the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art. Today, the contemporary section of the Iranian National Collection―most of which continues to languish in storage―is considered one of the most significant collections of modern art outside of Europe and the United States.






About Moniek 1930 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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