Book News March 2020




The War Queens: Extraordinary Women Who Ruled the Battlefield

Hardcover – 10 March 2020 (US) & 26 March 2020 (UK)

History’s killer queens come in all colors, ages, and leadership styles. Elizabeth Tudor and Golda Meir played the roles of high-stakes gamblers who studied maps with an unblinking, calculating eye. Angola’s Queen Njinga was willing to shed (and occasionally drink) blood to establish a stable kingdom in an Africa ravaged by the slave trade. Caterina Sforza defended her Italian holdings with cannon and scimitar, and Indira Gandhi launched a war to solve a refugee crisis.

From ancient Persia to modern-day Britain, the daunting thresholds these exceptional women had to cross―and the clever, sometimes violent ways in which they smashed obstacles in their paths―are evoked in vivid detail. The narrative sidles up to these war queens in the most dire, tumultuous moments of their reigns and examines the brilliant methods and maneuvers they each used to defend themselves and their people from enemy forces.

Father-daughter duo Jonathan W. and Emily Anne Jordan extoll the extraordinary power and potential of women in history who walked through war’s kiln and emerged from the other side―some burnished to greatness, others burned to cinders. All of them, legends.

Sicilian Queenship: Power and Identity in the Kingdom of Sicily 1061-1266

Paperback – 1 March 2020 (US & UK)

This supplement to the author’s groundbreaking compendium, Queens of Sicily 1061-1266, brings us further insight into the lives and times of the earliest countesses and queens of Sicily, introducing a few topics and details considered here for the first time. Chapters are dedicated to such subjects as: the queens’ use of power in suppressing adversaries, reginal patronage, reginal titles and heraldry, words spoken by the queens, court cuisine, court poetry, places identified with the queens, the queens as part of Sicilian cultural identity, and more. A chapter also lists current work in the field by various historians. This book begins a new conversation in Sicilian women’s studies.

Diaries of an Egyptian Princess

Hardcover – 3 March 2020 (US) & 1 February 2020 (UK)

Princess Nevine Halim is a direct descendant of the dynasty that ruled Egypt from 1805 until the abdication of King Farouk in the wake of the Free Officers coup in 1952. The eldest of three children, she was born in Alexandria on 30 June 1930, the great-great-granddaughter of Muhammad Ali Pasha on her father’s side and the great-granddaughter of Khedive Ismail on her mother’s side. Drawing on her own diary, as well as those of her mother and grandmother, she takes us on a journey from the First to the Second World War, from Egypt to Europe and the United States, from a world of glamor, wealth, and privilege to the fugitive existence of the exile and social outcast after 1952. We also meet her father, Abbas Halim, the charming rebel prince who clashed with King Fuad for championing the rights of workers, as well as many other members of the Egyptian royal family and a glittering host of international royals, politicians, and film stars. Packed with royal gossip and political intrigue, with tales of young love and fashionable society, and of princes and princesses dancing perilously close to the edge of a way of life that would one day fall apart and then vanish, Diaries of an Egyptian Princess is an event-filled account of an endlessly fascinating epoch in modern Egyptian history.

 

cousins anarchy

Stephen and Matilda’s Civil War: Cousins of Anarchy

Hardcover – 30 October 2019 (UK) & 4 March 2020 (US)

The Anarchy was the first civil war in post-Conquest England, enduring throughout the reign of King Stephen between 1135 and 1154. It ultimately brought about the end of the Norman dynasty and the birth of the mighty Plantagenet kings. When Henry I died having lost his only legitimate son in a shipwreck, he had caused all of his barons to swear to recognize his daughter Matilda, widow of the Holy Roman Emperor, as his heir and remarried her to Geoffrey, Count of Anjou. When she was slow to move to England on her father’s death, Henry’s favourite nephew Stephen of Blois rushed to have himself crowned, much as Henry himself had done on the death of his brother William Rufus.

Supported by his brother Henry, Bishop of Winchester, Stephen made a promising start, but Matilda would not give up her birthright and tried to hold the English barons to their oaths. The result was more than a decade of civil war that saw England split apart. Empress Matilda is often remembered as aloof and high-handed, Stephen as ineffective and indecisive. By following both sides of the dispute and seeking to understand their actions and motivations, Matthew Lewis aims to reach a more rounded understanding of this crucial period of English history and asks to what extent there really was anarchy.

Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown

Hardcover – 24 March 2020 (US)

Anne Glenconner has been at the center of the royal circle from childhood, when she met and befriended the future Queen Elizabeth II and her sister, the Princess Margaret. Though the firstborn child of the 5th Earl of Leicester, who controlled one of the largest estates in England, as a daughter she was deemed “the greatest disappointment” and unable to inherit. Since then she has needed all her resilience to survive the vipers of court life with her sense of humor intact.
A unique witness to landmark moments in royal history, Maid of Honor at Queen Elizabeth’s coronation, and a lady in waiting to Princess Margaret until her death in 2002, Anne’s life has encompassed extraordinary drama and tragedy. In Lady in Waiting, she will share many intimate royal stories from her time as Princess Margaret’s closest confidante as well as her own battle for survival: her broken-off first engagement on the basis of her “mad blood”; her 54-year marriage to the volatile, unfaithful Colin Tennant, Lord Glenconner, who left his fortune to a former servant; the death in adulthood of two of her sons; a third son she nursed back from a six-month coma following a horrific motorcycle accident. Through it all, Anne has carried on, traveling the world with the royal family, including visiting the White House, and developing the Caribbean island of Mustique as a safe harbor for the rich and famous-hosting Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Raquel Welch, and many other politicians, aristocrats, and celebrities.
With unprecedented insight into the royal family, Lady in Waiting is a witty, candid, dramatic, at times heart-breaking personal story capturing life in a golden cage for a woman with no inheritance.

The Royal Family Operations Manual: From 1066 to the present. The history, dominions, protocol, residences, households, pomp and circumstance of the British Royals

Hardcover –24 March 2020 (US) & 6 April 2020 (UK)

This book offers a complete examination of the British Royal Family, looking behind the scenes at the Windsors, their bloodline, family tree and personalities, royal residences, palaces and country retreats, military connections, charity work, and annual engagements.

Queen Mary

Paperback – 17 March 2020 (US)

When Queen Mary died in 1953, James Pope-Hennessy was commissioned to write an official biography of her – unusual for a Queen ConsortQueen Mary’s life, contrary to popular belief, was essentially dramatic, and she played a far more important and influential role in the affairs of the British monarchy than her public image might have otherwise suggested. Using material from the Royal Archives, private papers and Queen Mary’s personal diaries and letters, Pope-Hennessy’s biography was a remarkable portrait of a remarkable woman and received rave reviews across the press.

Long out of print, this new edition of Queen Mary will be accompanied by a new foreword from royal biographer and writer Hugo Vickers.

Matilda: Empress, Queen, Warrior

Paperback – 17 March 2020 (US) & 11 February 2020 (UK)

Matilda was a daughter, wife, and mother. But she was also empress, heir to the English crown—the first woman ever to hold the position—and an able military general.

This new biography explores Matilda’s achievements as military and political leader, and sets her life and career in full context. Catherine Hanley provides fresh insight into Matilda’s campaign to claim the title of queen, her approach to allied kingdoms and rival rulers, and her role in the succession crisis. Hanley highlights how Matilda fought for the throne, and argues that although she never sat on it herself her reward was to see her son become king. Extraordinarily, her line has continued through every single monarch of England or Britain from that time to the present day.

The Queen’s Sisters: The lives of the sisters of Elizabeth Woodville

Paperback – 27 March 2020 (UK) &1 April 2020 (US)

Whether Queen or commoner, the lives of women throughout history is a fascinating study. Elizabeth Woodville, ‘The White Queen’, managed to make the transition from commoner to Queen and became the epitome of medieval heroines the commoner who married a King. When she became the wife of Edward IV her actions changed the life of her entire family. Vilified both by their contemporaries and by many historians since, the Woodville family were centre stage during the reigns of Edward IV and Richard III. Elizabeth Woodville became the ancestress of future Kings and Queens. This book takes a fresh look at the lives of Elizabeth’s sisters. Although information on them is scarce, by looking at the men they married, their families, the places they lived and the events that they lived through we can catch a glimpse of their lives. Each sister has their own story to tell and they may not have achieved the dizzying heights that their sister did, but they are all fascinating women.

Daughters of Chivalry: The Forgotten Children of Edward I

Paperback – 5 March 2020 (UK)

Virginal, chaste, humble, patiently waiting for rescue by brave knights and handsome princes: this idealized – and largely mythical – notion of the medieval noblewoman still lingers. Yet the reality was very different, as Kelcey Wilson-Lee shows in this vibrant account of the five daughters of the great English king, Edward I.

The lives of these sisters – Eleanora, Joanna, Margaret, Mary and Elizabeth – ran the full gamut of experiences open to royal women in the Middle Ages. Living as they did in a courtly culture founded on romantic longing and brilliant pageantry, they knew that a princess was to be chaste yet a mother to many children, preferably sons, meek yet able to influence a recalcitrant husband or even command a host of men-at-arms. 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 favour. But they also skilfully 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 spirited Plantagenet women. With their libraries of beautifully illustrated psalters and tales of romance, their rich silks and gleaming jewels, we follow these formidable women throughout their lives and see them – at long last – shine from out of the shadows, revealing what it was to be a princess in the Age of Chivalry.

The American Duchess

Paperback – 19 March 2020 (US) & 6 February 2020 (UK)

Life has always been made difficult for those marrying into England’s royal family. In 1936, just months into his reign, King Edward VIII proposed to Wallis Simpson, a divorced American woman. Gossip ran wild, and that cacophony of speculation and distrust both hid the real Wallis, and forced Edward into abdicating so that he might marry the woman he adored.

In this intimate biography Anna Pasternak seeks to understand Wallis – and her relationship with Edward and The Crown. Using testimony from her closest friends, she shows the warm, loyal, intelligent woman who was written off and undermined by the powerful, often manipulative men of the Establishment. This is Wallis Simpson’s story as it has never been told before.

Previously published as Untitled.

A Luang Prabang Love Story

Paperback – 15 April 2020 (US) & 26 March 2020 (UK)

In 1930s Luang Prabang, the beautiful and demure Kham-Phiou was much admired. On a New Year’s Day, the life of the aristocratic young woman changed when she caught the eye of a sophisticated older man – Prince Souvanna Phouma. The prince fell madly in love with Kham-Phiou and was determined to marry her against all odds. His family wanted a marriage within the dynasty, while her widowed mother feared Palace intrigues. After the wedding, life in the prince’s family home was difficult, but Kham-Phiou began to adapt until the prince decided they should move to Vientiane for the sake of his career. The tale of the tragic love story spans over half a century and is set against the little-known backdrop of old-world Laos where ancient customs and superstitions still held sway.

In this charming and moving personal account incorporating the social history of Laos, Manisamouth, granddaughter of Kham-Phiou, brings her grandmother’s untold story to life, accompanied by evocative black and white photographs, family trees of the Luang Prabang Royals and Kham-Phiou’s lineage, and includes a section on Lao history.






About Moniek 1799 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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