Book News July 2020

Empress Galla Placidia and the Fall of the Roman Empire

Paperback – 27 June 2020 (US) & 30 July 2020 (UK)

Despite being one of history’s most important women, the story of Galla Placidia’s life has been largely forgotten. Though the Roman empress witnessed the decline and fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century and lived a life of almost constant suffering, her actions helped postpone the fall of Rome and had massive, widespread impact on the empire that can still be felt today. She watched the barbarian king Alaric and his horde of Visigoth warriors sack Rome, slaughter many of the city’s inhabitants, and take her hostage. Surviving captivity, Galla Placidia became the queen of the barbarians who had imprisoned her. Eventually, she became the only woman to rule the Roman empire alone. Soldiers obeyed her commands while Popes and Christian saints alike sought her advice. Despite all obstacles and likely suffering from PTSD, she lived to old age. This book uses the letters and writings of Galla Placidia’s contemporaries to reconstruct, in more depth and detail than has yet been attempted, the remarkable story of her life and the decline and fall of the Roman Empire.

The Betrayal of Mary, Queen of Scots: Elizabeth I and Her Greatest Rival 

Paperback – 14 July 2020 (UK & US)

Elizabeth and Mary were cousins and queens, but eventually it became impossible for them to live together in the same world.

This is the story of two women struggling for supremacy in a man’s world, when no one thought a woman could govern. They both had to negotiate with men–those who wanted their power and those who wanted their bodies–who were determined to best them. In their worlds, female friendship and alliances were unheard of, but for many years theirs was the only friendship that endured. They were as fascinated by each other as lovers; until they became enemies. Enemies so angry and broken that one of them had to die, and so Elizabeth ordered the execution of Mary.

But first they were each other’s lone female friends in a violent man’s world. Their relationship was one of love, affection, jealousy, antipathy–and finally death.

This book tells the story of Mary and Elizabeth as never before, focusing on their emotions and probing deeply into their intimate lives as women and queens. They loved each other, they hated each other–and in the end they could never escape each other.

The Crown in Crisis: Countdown to the Abdication 

Hardcover – 9 July 2020 (UK)

Using previously unpublished and rare archival material, and new interviews with those who knew Edward and Wallis, The Crown in Crisis is the conclusive exploration of how an unthinkable and unprecedented event tore the country apart, as its monarch prized his personal happiness above all else. This seismic event has been written about before but never with the ticking-clock suspense and pace of the thriller that it undoubtedly was for all of its participants.

The Crown in Crisis is the definitive book about the events of 1936. Painstakingly researched, incisively written and entirely fresh in its approach, it will bring the events of that time to thrilling life, and in the process appeal to an entirely new audience.

Isle and Empires: Romanov Russia, Britain and the Isle of Wight 

Hardcover – 7 July 2020 (UK)

The tumultuous story of the Romanovs and their enigmatic relationship with Britain is brought to life in Stephan Roman’s Isle and Empires, as he explores the misunderstandings, suspicions and alliances that created an uneasy partnership between two of the world’s most powerful Empires. The Isle of Wight was at the heart of this relationship, an island off the south coast of England that intimately linked the British royal family and the Romanovs. Peter the Great drew inspiration for the first Russian naval fleet from his sailing trips around the Island, and Alexander I was immortalised by a hilltop monument built for him on St Catherine’s Down. Alexander II’s beloved only daughter, Grand Duchess Marie, spent many years at Osborne House infuriating and irritating her mother-in-law, Queen Victoria. In contrast to the Isle of Wight’s imperial and royal connections, Russian revolutionaries also made it their home, establishing a summer colony of radical political thinkers and writers in Ventnor. In August 1909 the Island hosted the Russian Imperial family during their visit to Cowes Week, then the most glamorous yachting regatta in Europe’s social calendar. A new era of Anglo-Russian collaboration was dawning and seemed destined to become a dominant force in 20th century global politics. The Tsar’s visit to Cowes was deliberately intended to set the seal on this new alliance. Less than ten years later the Romanovs had been overthrown, with the British government and royal family accused of betrayal and complicity in their deaths. Isle and Empires is a journey into a world of Imperial glory and power, family rivalry, wars, intrigue and alliances. It is also a story of Russia’s revolutionaries, spies and terrorists, and the refugees fleeing Tsarist oppression who found shelter and safety both in mainland Britain and on the Isle of Wight. These events reverberate to the present day and much of what happened when the Romanovs ruled Russia continues to set the pattern for the current relationship between the two countries.

Uncrowned Queen: The Life of Margaret Beaufort, Mother of the Tudors

Hardcover – 28 July 2020 (US & UK)

In 1485, Henry VII became the first Tudor king of England. His victory owed much to his mother, Lady Margaret Beaufort. Over decades and across countries, Margaret had schemed to install her son on the throne and end the War of the Roses. Margaret’s extraordinarily close relationship with Henry, coupled with her role in political and ceremonial affairs, ensured that she was treated — and behaved — as a queen in all but name. Against a lavish backdrop of pageantry and ambition, court intrigue and war, historian Nicola Tallis illuminates how a dynamic, brilliant woman orchestrated the rise of the Tudors.

Elizabeth: A Celebration in Photographs of the Queen’s Life and Reign 

Hardcover – 9 July 2020 (UK) & 4 August 2020 (US)

Queen Elizabeth II is the longest-serving monarch in British history. She has been a towering presence in British national life and throughout the world for almost 70 years and it is this extraordinary life that former BBC correspondent Jennie Bond explores and celebrates.

On February 6, 1952, Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh, became Queen on the death of her father, King George VI. The reign that was to see major changes both in the country and Commonwealth and in the role of the monarchy began far away from Britain in a game reserve in Kenya. Elizabeth: A Celebration in Photographs, looks at this remarkable period in the history of Britain’s monarchy in lavish and fascinating detail, featuring over 240 photographs.

Constantly under scrutiny ever since she took the throne, this book presents a balanced and absorbing account of the Queen’s life and of her role as the head of state in a country and a world that have changed almost beyond recognition in the seventy years since she inherited the throne.

Catherine the Great: A Reference Guide to Her Life and Works (Significant Figures in World History) 

Hardcover – 15 July 2020 (UK) & 15 August 2020 (US)

Catherine the Great: A Reference Guide to Her Life and Works covers all aspects of her life and work. Empress Catherine the Great was one of the most famous and amazing women in world history. -Includes a detailed chronology of Catherine’s life, family, and work. -The A to Z section includes the major events, places, and people in Catherine’s life. -The bibliography includes a list of publications concerning her life and work. -The index thoroughly cross-references the chronological and encyclopedic entries.

About Moniek Bloks 2734 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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