Book News February 2022

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The Times Queen Elizabeth II: Her 70 year reign 

Hardcover – 14 October 2021 (UK) & 1 February 2022 (US)

Discover how the reign of Britain’s longest-serving monarch unfolded, as seen through fascinating Times articles and photography.

Published to commemorate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee this full-colour book is a detailed profile of Britain’s longest-serving monarch.

The story of a life dedicated to public service is told from her time as a young princess to a hugely respected head of state.


Mary and Philip: The Marriage of Tudor England and Habsburg Spain (Studies in Early Modern European History) 

Paperback – 5 October 2021 (UK) & 22 February 2022 (US)

Mary I, eldest daughter of Henry VIII, was Queen of England from 1553 until her death in 1558. For much of this time she ruled alongside her husband, King Philip II of Spain, forming a co-monarchy that put England at the heart of early modern Europe. In this book, Alexander Samson presents a bold reassessment of Mary and Philip’s reign, rescuing them from the neglect they have suffered at the hands of generations of historians. The co-monarchy of Mary I and Philip II put England at the heart of early modern Europe. This positive reassessment of their joint reign counters a series of parochial, misogynist and anti-Catholic assumptions, correcting the many myths that have grown up around the marriage and explaining the reasons for its persistent marginalisation in the historiography of sixteenth-century England. Using new archival discoveries and original sources, the book argues for Mary as a great Catholic queen, while fleshing out Philip’s important contributions as king of England.

La Reine Blanche: Mary Tudor, A Life in Letters 

Paperback – 15 November 2021 (UK) & 15 February 2022 (US)

Mary Tudor’s childhood was overshadowed by the men in her life: her father, Henry VII, and her brothers Arthur, heir to the Tudor throne, and Henry VIII. These men and the beliefs held about women at the time helped to shape Mary’s life. She was trained to be a dutiful wife and at the age of eighteen Mary married the French king, Louis XII, thirty-four years her senior. When her husband died three months after the marriage, Mary took charge of her life and shaped her own destiny. As a young widow, Mary blossomed. This was the opportunity to show the world the strong, self-willed, determined woman she always had been. She remarried for love and at great personal risk to herself. She loved and respected Katherine of Aragon and despised Anne Boleyn – again, a dangerous position to take. Author Sarah Bryson has returned to primary sources, state papers and letters, to unearth the truth about this intelligent and passionate woman. This is the story of Mary Tudor, told through her own words for the first time.

The Tsarina’s Lost Treasure: Catherine the Great, a Golden Age Masterpiece, and a Legendary Shipwreck

Paperback – 11 January 2022 (US) & 17 February 2022 (UK)

On October 1771, a merchant ship out of Amsterdam,  Vrouw Maria, crashed off the stormy Finnish coast, taking her historic cargo to the depths of the Baltic Sea. The vessel was delivering a dozen Dutch masterpiece paintings to Europe’s most voracious collector: Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia. Among the lost treasures was The Nursery, an oak-paneled triptych by Leiden fine painter Gerrit Dou, Rembrandt’s most brilliant student and Holland’s first international superstar artist. Dou’s triptych was long the most beloved and most coveted painting of the Dutch Golden Age, and its loss in the shipwreck was mourned throughout the art world.

The Dark Queens: The Bloody Rivalry That Forged the Medieval World 

Hardcover – 22 February 2022 (US) & unknown (UK)

Brunhild was a foreign princess, raised to be married off for the sake of alliance-building. Her sister-in-law Fredegund started out as a lowly palace slave. And yet-in sixth-century Merovingian France, where women were excluded from noble succession and royal politics was a blood sport-these two iron-willed strategists reigned over vast realms, changing the face of Europe.

The two queens commanded armies and negotiated with kings and popes. They formed coalitions and broke them, mothered children and lost them. They fought a decades-long civil war-against each other. With ingenuity and skill, they battled to stay alive in the game of statecraft, and in the process laid the foundations of what would one day be Charlemagne’s empire. Yet after the queens’ deaths-one gentle, the other horrific-their stories were rewritten, their names consigned to slander and legend.

Queen Alexandra 

Paperback – 28 February 2022 (US & UK)

Queen Alexandra was a private person who destroyed or left instructions to destroy, much of her archive, but nevertheless enough remains in the form of original documents, such as engagement diaries and letters and informal information, to chart her life more completely than ever before and to attempt to rectify the negative or dismissive attitude towards her which has gained credence in some previous works. This method, rather than drawing mainly from over-salted and peppered memoirs written much later, aims to show her character, enables readers to get to know her and to appreciate what an enormous amount a senior member of the royal family has to accomplish, while still remaining the loving daughter, sister, wife and mother, and keen supporter of the arts, welfare and education, that Alexandra was.

101 Reasons Why We Love the Queen 

Hardcover – 1 February 2022 (US) & 3 September 2020 (UK)

What is it about Her Majesty that inspires such admiration and respect? This little book attempts to answer that big question.

Queens of Jerusalem: The Women Who Dared to Rule 

Hardcover – 1 February 2022 (US & UK)

The untold story of a trailblazing dynasty of royal women who ruled the Middle East and how they persevered through instability and seize greater power.

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The Last Queen: Elizabeth II’s Seventy-Year Battle to Save the House of Windsor 

Paperback – 1 February 2022 (UK) & unknown (US)

‘The Firm’, as the royal family styles itself, judged by real corporate standards, is a mess. Any consultants called in from outside to scrutinise the way The Firm works would find all the familiar flaws of a family business that has outgrown its original scale and design. There is no overall strategy, just a collection of warring divisions pursuing their own ends.

And this will be a profound problem when the Queen dies, because make no bones about it, the Queen’s mortality determines the mortality of the monarchy. Under Charles III the monarchy can never be the same, and its survival is in doubt. We will be bidding goodbye to a golden age and ushering in an age of uncertainty and upheaval in the realm.

Powerful Princesses 

Hardcover – 1 February 2022 (UK & US)

These princess stories are not fairytales for small children. They are true tales of real women that every young person should know.

These fast-paced, action-packed tales are stories that have been lost, stories that have remained untold. They come from every corner of the world and across history, but the single thing they share is that each is, in their own way, a powerful princess.

These princesses are: Deep minded. Courageous. Warring. Healing. Mighty. Artful. Rebellious. Wise. Sage. Stoic.

Discover the true tales of history’s boldest heroines.

The Queen: 70 Glorious Years 

Hardcover – 3 February 2022 (UK) & 15 January 2022 (US)

This official souvenir publication celebrates the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-serving monarch.

In this special selection of photographs, captured by professional and amateur photographers alike, discover Her Majesty’s early life before she acceded to the throne in 1952, the official role of the monarch, her travel at home and abroad and her support for the Commonwealth, her fondness for animals and family life, and how she gives thanks to people who have given service to the monarch and their communities, from Garden Parties to the Order of the Garter. Photographs are accompanied by resonant quotations from speeches given by The Queen over the years – including her wartime Children’s Hour radio broadcast aged 14, her first Christmas Speech in 1952 and her speech welcoming President and Mrs Obama on the occasion of their State Visit in 2011.

Through 70 photographs from Her Majesty’s reign, this book takes readers on a photographic journey of a remarkable life of service.

Elizabeth II: Princess, Queen, Icon 

Hardcover – 6 February 2022 (UK) & 29 March 2022 (US)

With just under a thousand portraits of Queen Elizabeth II, the National Portrait Gallery boasts some of the most treasured and famous official portraits of the Queen captured at key historic moments, as well as day-to-day images of the monarch at home and with family, following her journey from childhood, to princess and Queen, mother and grandmother. This publication highlights the most important portraits of Elizabeth II from the Gallery’s Collection. Paintings and photographs from the birth of Elizabeth II to the present will take readers on a visual journey through the life of Britain’s foremost icon.

Queen Victoria and The Romanovs: Sixty Years of Mutual Distrust 

Paperback – 15 February 2022 (UK) & 15 May 2022 (US)

Despite their frequent visits to England, Queen Victoria never quite trusted the Romanovs. In her letters she referred to ‘horrid Russia’ and was adamant that she did not wish her granddaughters to marry into that barbaric country. ‘Russia I could not wish for any of you,’ she said. She distrusted Tsar Nicholas I but as a young woman she was bowled over by his son, the future Alexander II, although there could be no question of a marriage. Political questions loomed large and the Crimean War did nothing to improve relations. This distrust started with the story of the Queen’s ‘Aunt Julie’, Princess Juliane of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, and her disastrous Russian marriage. Starting with this marital catastrophe, Romanov expert Coryne Hall traces sixty years of family feuding that include outright war, inter-marriages, assassination, and the Great Game in Afghanistan, when Alexander III called Victoria ‘a pampered, sentimental, selfish old woman’. In the fateful year of 1894, Victoria must come to terms with the fact that her granddaughter has become Nicholas II’s wife, the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna. Eventually, distrust of the German Kaiser brings Victoria and the Tsar closer together. Permission has kindly been granted by the Royal Archives at Windsor to use extracts from Queen Victoria’s journals to tell this fascinating story of family relations played out on the world stage.

Tudor Roses: From Margaret Beaufort to Elizabeth I 

Hardcover – 15 February 2022 (UK) & 15 May 2022 (US)

All too often, a dynasty is defined by its men: by their personalities, their wars and reigns, their laws and decisions. Their mothers, wives, sisters and daughters are often depicted as mere foils; shadowy figures whose value lies in the inheritance they brought, or the children they produced. Yet the Tudor dynasty is full of women who are fascinating in their own right, from Margaret Beaufort, who finally emerged triumphant after years of turmoil; Elizabeth of York’s steadying influence; Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn, whose rivalry was played out against the backdrop of the Reformation; to Mary I and Elizabeth, England’s first reigning Queens. Then there were all the others: Henry VIII’s fascinating sisters who became Queens of France and Scotland, and their offspring, the Brandon and Grey women, Lady Margaret Douglas and her granddaughter Arabella Stuart. Many more women still danced the Pavane under Henry’s watchful eye or helped adjusted Elizabeth’s ruff. Without exception, these were strong women, wielding remarkable power, whether that was behind the scenes or on the international stage. Their contribution took England from the medieval era into the modern. It is time for a new narrative of the Tudor women: one that prioritises their experiences and their voices.

Queen Victoria: Her Life and Legacy (In 100 Objects) 

Hardcover – 28 February 2022 (UK) & 24 February 2022 (US)

For almost 64 years, Queen Victoria reigned over Great Britain during a period which saw the country become the most powerful and prestigious in the world and one which experienced enormous social, political and industrial change. Those changes were embraced by Victoria, who became the first monarch to use the railway as a mode of transport, to use anaesthetic to alleviate pain, during childbirth, and to use a telephone.

House of Tudor: A Grisly History 

Hardcover – 28 February 2022 (UK) & 30 April 2022 (US)

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 

Hardcover – 28 February 2022 (UK) & 30 April 2022 (US)

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.

The Last Grand Duchess: A Novel of Olga Romanov, Imperial Russia, and Revolution 

Hardcover – 8 February 2022 (US & UK)

At turns glittering and harrowing, The Last Grand Duchess is a story about dynasty, duty, and love, but above all, it’s the story of a family who would choose devotion to each other over everything—including their lives.

About Moniek Bloks 2595 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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