Book News January 2022




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Mary, Queen of Scots Book of Days 

Hardcover – 9 September 2021 (UK) & 1 January 2022 (US)

Hugely informative and stunningly produced, the Mary, Queen of Scots Book of Days pairs a practical perpetual diary with a wealth of material on the life and times of Mary, Queen of Scots (1542 -1587). The first woman to be crowned as a queen regnant in the British Isles, her tumultuous life and tragic end has fascinated people for centuries.

Each of the 365 days of the calendar year has the date, but not the day, of the month, allowing the owner to record events and reminders over many years.

The linen-effect cover reproduces a detail from François Clouet’s Portrait of Mary, Queen of Scots (circa 1558), courtesy of the Royal Collection Trust, with the interior printed on Munken Pure paper, perfect for writing, and completed with a ribbon bookmark.

The high-quality production and luxurious feel make this an ideal gift item for anyone with an interest in the\nTudor and Stewart history.

Queen Elizabeth I Book of Days 

Hardcover – 7 September 2021 (UK) & 1 January 2022 (US)

Hugely informative and stunningly produced, the Elizabeth I Book of Days pairs a practical perpetual diary with a wealth of material on the life and times of the last Tudor queen, Elizabeth I (1533-1603), one of England’s most iconic and celebrated monarchs.

Each of the 365 days of the calendar year has the date, but not the day, of the month, allowing the owner to record events and reminders over many years.

The linen-effect cover reproduces a detail from William Segar’s Ermine Portrait of the queen (1585), courtesy of Hatfield House, with the interior printed on Munken Pure paper, perfect for writing, and completed with a ribbon bookmark. The high-quality production and luxurious feel make this an ideal gift item for anyone with an interest in the Tudor period.

Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots: Royal Cousins, Rival Queens (The British Library Exhibition Book)

Hardcover – 8 October 2021 (UK) & 1 January 2022 (US)

This book seeks to refresh and retell the story of Queen Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots through their own words. Accompanying a major British Library exhibition, Elizabeth and Mary: Royal Cousins, Rival Queens brings new insights to the familiar tale of two powerful women whose relationship dominated English and Scottish politics for thirty years. Their personal history and struggle for dynastic pre-eminence are described and explained against the backdrop of religious conflict, rebellion, fear of foreign invasion, espionage and treason.

The Wives of George IV: The Secret Bride and the Scorned Princess 

Hardcover – 30 November 2021 (UK) & 30 January 2022 (US)

In Georgian England, few men were more fashionable or more eligible than George, Prince of Wales. Wild, glamorous, and with a penchant for beautiful women, the heir to George III’s throne was a very good catch -or so it seemed. The two women who married him might beg to differ. Maria Fitzherbert was a twice-widowed Roman Catholic with a natural aversion to trouble. When she married the prince in a secret ceremony conducted in her Mayfair sitting room, she opened the door on three decades of heartbreak. Cast aside by her husband one minute, pursued tirelessly by him the next, Maria’s clandestine marriage was anything but blissful. It was also the worst kept secret in England. Caroline of Brunswick was George’s official bride. Little did she know that her husband was marrying for money and when she reached her new home in England, she found him so drunk that he couldn’t even walk to the altar. Caroline might not have her husband’s love, but the public adored her. In a world where radicalism was stirring, it was a recipe for disaster. In The Wives of George IV: The Secret Bride & the Scorned Princess, Maria and Caroline navigate the choppy waters of marriage to a capricious, womanising king-in-waiting. With a queen on trial for adultery and the succession itself in the balance, Britain had never seen scandal like it.

Joan, Lady of Wales: Power and Politics of King John’s Daughter 

Paperback – 30 November 2021 (UK) & 30 January 2022 (US)

The history of women in medieval Wales before the English conquest of 1282 is one largely shrouded in mystery. For the Age of Princes, an era defined by ever-increased threats of foreign hegemony, internal dynastic strife and constant warfare, the comings and goings of women are little noted in sources. This misfortune touches even the most well-known royal woman of the time, Joan of England (d. 1237), the wife of Llywelyn the Great of Gwynedd, illegitimate daughter of King John and half-sister to Henry III. With evidence of her hand in thwarting a full scale English invasion of Wales to a notorious scandal that ended with the public execution of her supposed lover by her husband and her own imprisonment, Joan’s is a known, but little-told or understood story defined by family turmoil, divided loyalties and political intrigue. From the time her hand was promised in marriage as the result of the first Welsh-English alliance in 1201 to the end of her life, Joan’s place in the political wranglings between England and the Welsh kingdom of Gwynedd was a fundamental one. As the first woman to be designated Lady of Wales, her role as a political diplomat in early thirteenth-century Anglo-Welsh relations was instrumental. This first-ever account of Siwan, as she was known to the Welsh, interweaves the details of her life and relationships with a gendered re-assessment of Anglo-Welsh politics by highlighting her involvement in affairs, discussing events in which she may well have been involved but have gone unrecorded and her overall deployment of royal female agency.

Royal Mysteries: The Anglo-Saxons and Early Britain

Hardcover – 30 April 2022 (UK) & 30 January 2022 (US)

Royal mysteries never fail to intrigue readers and TV viewers. The ‘mysteries’, unravelled and analysed, are of enduring fascination and full of tragedy, suffering and pathos but also heroism and romance. The text is based on deep research in original sources including rare documents, archaeological and DNA evidence, latest historiography and academic research but is essentially accessible history. These are the ‘Dark Ages’ but Anglo-Saxon enlightenment is emphasised. The Heptarchy, with seven Anglo-Saxon states is examined and Alfred’s victory over the Vikings and emergence of the English kingdom. But mystery surrounds all aspects of dynastic, political and military history. The story includes the surviving British and Welsh kingdoms when ‘Welsh’ meant ‘foreigner, the Gaelic kingdoms in what became Scotland, the survival of lowland ‘Britons’ under the Germanic Anglo-Saxon radar – a new interpretation of early English society in its shadowy forms with the half-mythical founders of the early English kingdoms like Hengist of Kent or Cerdic of Wessex, up to William duke of Normandy – did he have any legitimate claim to justify his ‘power-grab’? Some episodes have dropped out of history like the murder the teen-age King Edward the ‘Martyr’, but here is a re-telling of early mysteries based on close analysis of the myriad sources while stimulating romantic fascination.

Medieval Women 

Hardcover – 30 November 2021 (UK) & 30 January 2022 (US)

A jewel of a book, this latest release from one of Pen & Sword’s women historians, contains a treasure trove of medieval dramatis personae, from the more mainstream figures such as Lady Godiva and Joan of Arc to the lesser known Crusader Queens and mystics. For the first time together, we meet two elusive Jewish medieval business women, one of whom was imprisoned in the Tower of London and the other who was likely one of the richest women in the world. Meticulously researched and clearly showing the author’s keen eye for detail, this latest offering from Michelle Rosenberg builds on her reputation for bringing back to life women often forgotten from mainstream history. Relatively new figures include the elusive Virdimura of Sicily, and Julian of Norwich. The medieval period saw life expectancy at around 33 years old, with the vast majority of women unable to read or write. This text weaves together a rich and broad historic tapestry of women’s stories from the fall of the Roman Empire, the invasion of the Vikings, the First Crusade, Hundred Years War and Black Death. It offers an intriguing insight into medieval women whose lives were deemed outstanding enough, (whether through exemplary religious conduct, queenly, consort or intellectual accomplishment or scandal), by their contemporaries, to record. Their ability to endure, thrive and survive during a time when most women were subordinate to the men in their lives, makes them extraordinary; it also makes the loss of so many other missing stories so acute and tantalising for what our collective history has been deprived of. Only imagine what richness of tales we might have had, should more women’s lives have been better recorded for posterity.

 

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.

A Scented Palace: The Secret History of Marie Antoinette’s Perfumer

Paperback – 11 January 2022 (US) & 11 November 2021 (UK)

Montpellier, 1748: Jean-Louis Fargeon is born into a family of perfumers and soon becomes apprentice to his father’s modest perfumery. But he dreams of the glittering court of Versailles and of becoming perfumer to the young queen, Marie Antoinette. His ambition carried him to Paris where his boutique became one of the most elegant and well-patronised in France. Concocting sumptuous perfumes and pomades for most of the French nobility, Fargeon eventually caught the attention of the queen. After meeting Marie Antoinette in the Trianon Palace, he began creating lavish bespoke scents that perfectly reflected her moods and personality.

Love Letters of Kings and Queens 

Hardcover – 18 January 2022 (US) & 4 February 2021 (UK)

Tender, moving, heartfelt and warm (and sporadically scandalous and outrageous too), these are the private messages between people in love. Yet they are also correspondence between the rulers of nations.

Maria Theresa: The Habsburg Empress in Her Time 

Hardcover – 18 January 2022 (US) & 15 March 2022 (UK)

A major new biography of the iconic Austrian empress that challenges the many myths about her life and rule.

Elite Women as Diplomatic Agents in Italy and Hungary, 1470–1510: Kinship and the Aragonese Dynastic Network (Gender and Power in the Premodern World) 

Hardcover – 31 January 2022 (US & UK)

This book explores the diplomatic role of women in early modern European dynastic networks through the study of Aragonese marriage alliances in late fifteenth-century Italy and Hungary. It challenges the frequent erasure of dynastic wives from diplomatic and political narratives to show how elite women were diplomatically active agents for two dynasties.

Philippa of Hainault: Mother of the English Nation 

Paperback – 15 January 2022 (UK) & 15 April 2022 (US)

Philippa of Hainault: Mother of the English Nation is the first full-length biography of the queen at the centre of the some of the most dramatic events in English history. Philippa’s marriage to Edward III was arranged in order to provide ships and mercenaries for her mother-in-law to invade her father-in-law’s kingdom in 1326, yet it became one of the most successful royal marriages and endured for more than four decades. The chronicler Jean Froissart described her as, ‘The most gentle Queen, most liberal, and most courteous that ever was Queen in her days.’ Philippa stood by her husband’s side as he began a war against her uncle, Philip VI of France, and claimed his throne. She frequently accompanied him to France and Flanders during his early campaigns of the Hundred Years War. She also acted as regent in 1346 when Edward was away from his kingdom at the time of a Scottish invasion. She appeared on horseback to rally the English army to victory. Philippa became popular with the people due to her kindness and compassion. This popularity helped maintain peace in England throughout Edward’s reign. Her son, later known as the Black Prince ‒ the eldest of her thirteen children ‒ became one of the greatest warriors of the Middle Ages. Her extraordinary life did not escape tragedy: in 1348 three of her children died, almost certainly of the Black Death.

The Queen 

Paperback – 6 January 2022 (UK)

For millions of people, both in Britain and across the world, Elizabeth II is the embodiment of monarchy. Her long life spans nearly a century of national and global history, from a time before the Great Depression to the era of Covid-19. Her reign embraces all but seven years of Britain’s postwar history; she has been served by fifteen UK prime ministers from Churchill to Johnson, and witnessed the administrations of thirteen US presidents from Truman to Trump. The vast majority of Britons cannot remember a world without Elizabeth II as head of state and the Commonwealth.

Thorns in the Crown: The Story of the Coronation and what it meant for Britain

Hardcover – 6 January 2022 (UK)

It is 1952 and Britain is changing. The Second World War is over, but the country is still scarred, recovering from six years of horror and still in the grip of food rationing. The British Empire is crumbling as countries fight for their independence both literally and physically. And George VI, the king who had refused to abandon London, is dead.

Thorns in the Crown is the story of a country on the precipice, divided between those who held firm to old values and traditions and those who were fighting for modernity and progression. Featuring memories and reflections of those who were part of the coronation, Barry Turner presents a unique look at Britain as it came to terms with the second Elizabethan age.

The Royal Gardens at Highgrove 

Hardcover – 1 January 2022 (UK)

When Prince Charles first moved in to Highgrove, the gardens were a blank canvas and His Royal Highness an inexperienced gardener. Now, nearly 40 years later, through hard work and passion, not only has he become an accomplished gardener but the grounds of his Gloucestershire home have been transformed into one of the most remarkable gardens in Britain, delighting visitors from all around the world.

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.






About Moniek Bloks 2357 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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