Book News March 2023

rapsutin russian queen mickey mayhew

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Charlene: In Search of a Princess 

Paperback – 5 January 2023 (UK) & 14 March 2023 (US)

Journalist Arlene Prinsloo sifts fact from fiction in this revealing unauthorised biography of Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene.

Prinsloo traces her life from humble beginnings in Zimbabwe, Johannesburg and Durban to the Olympic Games, her jet-set romance with the bachelor prince, the fairy-tale wedding and becoming a mother to twins. At its heart, it’s the story of a woman is search of happiness for herself and her family – and also of the beginning of Charlene defining her own space amid the royal protocol.

Founder, Fighter, Saxon Queen: Aethelflaed, Lady of the Mercians 

Paperback – 30 January 2023 (UK) & 30 March 2023 (US)

Alfred the Great’s daughter defied all expectations of a well-bred Saxon princess. The first Saxon woman ever to rule a kingdom, Aethelflaed, Lady of the Mercians, led her army in battle against Viking invaders. She further broke with convention by arranging for her daughter to succeed her on the throne of Mercia. To protect her people and enable her kingdom in the Midlands to prosper, Aethelflaed rebuilt Chester and Gloucester, and built seven entirely new English towns. In so doing she helped shape our world today. This book brings Aethelflaed’s world to life, from her childhood in time of war to her remarkable work as ruler of Mercia. The final chapter traces her legend, from medieval paintings to novels and contemporary art, illustrating the impact of a legacy that continues to be felt to this day.

Henry VIII’s Imprisoned Women: The Women of the Tower 

Hardcover – 30 January 2023 (UK) & 30 March 2023 (US)

The stories of women, including Henry’s two queens, who were persecuted, condemned and ultimately executed will be explored in this book. Alice Tankerville, the first woman to escape the infamous Tower of London, albeit for a short while; Elizabeth Barton, The Nun of Kent and the only woman to be dealt the dishonour of having her head spiked on London Bridge; Queen Anne Boleyn, whose fall was as tragically spectacular as her rise to fame; Margaret Pole, the last living Plantagenet princess who was denounced as a traitor and met a merciless end in her twilight years; Queen Katheryn Howard, whose daring yet seemingly foolish decisions ultimately led to her downfall; and finally, Anne Askew, the brave Protestant who gained infamy as the only woman to be racked at the Tower. Through the lives of these women, we will get a glimpse into the reign of the capricious monarch who changed the face of England forever.

In Search of Amrit Kaur: A Lost Princess and Her Vanished World 

Hardcover – 14 March 2023 (US & UK)

As she builds her own life anew, an Italian writer embarks on an all-consuming search for the true story of the mysterious princess H. H. Amrit Kaur of Mandi.

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Royal Childhoods (Routledge Revivals)

Hardcover – 31 March 2023 (UK & US)

First published in 1986, Royal Childhoods shows how the early years of Britain’s kings and queen have coloured their later lives. Combining skills of a professional historian with a knowledge of psychology, the author links the study of childhood to known pattern of events. His book makes the distant figures of royalty more comprehensible as individuals. With great insight into the influence of childhood experience, he covers the whole span of British monarchy from William the Conqueror to the Prince of Wales. This book will be of interest to students of history, literature and psychology.

Royal Mistresses (Routledge Revivals) 

Hardcover – 31 March 2023 (UK & US)

First published in 1990, Royal Mistresses provides an innovative way of looking at the development of British monarchy, and at the same time investigates the relationship between sex and power. Charles Carlton focuses not so much on the amorous activities of the mistresses of British monarchs as on their influences on those monarchs and on society at large. Ranging from the early medieval period to the late 1990s, he shows that a monarch’s illicit sexual life sheds light on his character and reign. It is no coincidence that Henry I, Charles II, and Edward VII, who were successful with their mistresses were also successful in their reigns, while the divorced John and the lovelorn Edward VIII failed Not surprisingly, the affairs of the sovereign’s heart have very often become the affairs of state. This book will be of interest to students of history and literature.

The House of Dudley: A New History of Tudor England 

Paperback – 30 March 2023 (UK

With three generations of felled favourites, what was it that caused this family to keep rising so high and falling so low? Here, for the first time, is the story of England’s Borgias, a noble house competing for proximity to the throne through cunning, adultery and sheer audacity, revealing some of the period’s most talented, intelligent and cunning individuals.

Rasputin and his Russian Queen: The True Story of Grigory and Alexandra 

Hardcover – 30 March 2023 (UK) & 30 May 2023 (US)

Rasputin’s relationship with Russia’s last Tsarina, Alexandra, notorious from the famous Boney M song, has never been adequately addressed; biographies are always for one or the other, or simply Alexandra and her husband Nicholas. In this new work, Mickey Mayhew reimagines Alexandra for the #MeToo generation: ‘neurotic’; ‘hysterical’; ‘credulous’ and ‘fanatical’ are shunted aside in favour of a sympathetic reimagining of a reserved and pious woman tossed into the heart of Russian aristocracy, with the sole purpose of providing their patriarchal monarchy with an heir. When the son she prayed for turns out to be a haemophiliac, she forms a friendship with the one man capable of curing the child’s agonising attacks. Some say that between them, Grigori and Alexandra brought down 300 years of Romanov rule and ushered in the Russian Revolution, but theirs was simply the story of a mother fighting for the health of her son against a backdrop of bigotry, sexism and increasing secularism. Bubbling with his trademark bon mots, Mickey Mayhew’s new book breathes fresh life into two of history’s most fascinating – and polarising – figures. She liked to pray and he liked to party, but when they found themselves steering Russia into the First World War, her gender and his class meant that society simply had to crush them. This is the real story of Rasputin and his Russian queen, Alexandra.

Protect and Keep: The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II 

Paperback – 30 March 2023 (UK)

The summer of 2022 saw the celebration of the seventieth anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation, the first time in British history that a monarch has reached this remarkable milestone.

As the event was the first of its kind to be televised, images from the ceremony inside Westminster Abbey are instantly recognisable. Far less familiar are the scenes in the streets outside, where huge crowds assembled to see a procession of state coaches and historic regiments marching past public buildings festooned with patriotic banners and colourful grandstands erected outside many famous landmarks.

Using a private collection of more than 200 rare images of London’s West End, Protect and Keep looks back to the day that the Queen pledged herself to her country. It provides a unique and precious record of an historic occasion: the day of the Coronation as it was seen by ordinary members of the public.

Rasputin’s Killer and his Romanov Princess 

Hardcover – 15 March 2023 (UK) & 23 June 2023 (US)

When the Tsar’s eighteen-year-old niece Princess Irina Romanov announced her marriage to Prince Felix Youssoupov, heir to the richest fortune in Russia, the Imperial family were shocked. Prince Felix and his wife Princess Irina had it all. When they married in St Petersburg in 1914 immense wealth and social standing were theirs. But fate had other ideas. In 1916 Felix was involved in one of the most famous crimes of the twentieth century – the murder of Gregory Rasputin, evil genius of Empress Alexandra. It was Irina’s royal blood that ensured Felix was never prosecuted for what many saw as a patriotic act. The following year revolution swept the country and in 1919 Felix and Irina were forced into exile for the rest of their lives. How did they survive in the real world when the money began to run out? Why did they live their lives in the shadow of Rasputin? How did Rasputin save them? And how did Felix redeem himself for Rasputin’s murder? No joint biography of Irina and Felix has ever been written. This book utilises little-known Russian sources, as well as documents recently purchased at auction to reveal new facts, throwing fresh light on the couple’s lives, their relationship and how they never quite escaped from the shadow of Rasputin.

Katherine Parr: Opportunist, Queen, Reformer: A Theological Perspective

Paperback – 15 March 2023 (UK) & 13 June 2023 (US)

Don Matzat here provides a new perspective on the life of Katherine Parr, the sixth and final wife of the infamous Henry VIII. While most biographers suggest that Katherine chose to marry the obese, irascible monarch in order to further some reformation or obey a divine imperative, the author goes against the tide and concludes that Katherine was an opportunist who married the king in order to enjoy the comforts of being the Queen of England, proven by her sumptuous lifestyle. But everything changed for Katherine when she had a dramatic conversion experience, embracing the primary tenets of the Protestant Reformation as described in her seminal work, The Lamentation of a Sinner. Her newly found belief placed her in a precarious position, not only with her husband but with the heresy hunters who, with the king’s blessing, beheaded those who held such beliefs. Yet Katherine had the courage to discuss her faith with her dangerous husband during the final months of his life. The life of Katherine Parr was one of drama, intrigue, danger, deceit, clandestine romance, scandal, tragedy and mystery. She came to a tragic end, and for three hundred years her burial site remained unknown. Katherine ruled England while Henry went to war against France. She was the first woman published in England under her own name. Her Lamentation of a Sinner is a little-known gem of the Protestant Reformation. Her influence upon the children of Henry, the future monarchs Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I, would affect English history for many years to come.

The Windsors at War: The Nazi Threat to the Crown 

Hardcover – 9 March 2023 (UK) & 18 April 2023 (US)

The Windsors at War tells the story of the turbulent and seismic decade in between 1937 and 1947, including the bombing of Buckingham Palace in May 1940, the Duke of Windsor’s ill-advised visit to Germany in October 1937 and the death of the Duke of Kent in a plane crash in August 1942. It answers a simple question: how did this squabbling, dysfunctional family manage to put their differences aside and unite to help win the greatest conflict of their lifetimes?

The Dark Queens: A gripping tale of power, ambition and murderous rivalry in early medieval France 

Paperback – 2 March 2023 (UK)

From the tangled primary evidence of Merovingian sources, award-winning writer Shelley Puhak weaves a gripping and intricate tale, its characters driven by ambition, lust and jealousy to acts of treachery and murderous violence. The Dark Queens resurrects these two women in all their complexity, painting a richly detailed portrait of a shadowy era and dispelling some of the stubbornest myths about female power.

The House of Jaipur: The Inside Story of India’s Most Glamorous Royal Family 

Paperback – 2 March 2023 (UK)

The House of Jaipur charts a dynasty’s determination to remain relevant in a democracy set on crushing its privileges. Against the odds, they secured their place at the height of Indian society; but Ayesha would pay for her criticism of Indira Gandhi during the Emergency.

From the polo field and politics to imprisonment and personal tragedy, the Jaipurs’ extraordinary journey of transformation mirrors the story of a rapidly changing country.

Kings and Queens of England and Scotland 

Paperback – 25 April 2023 (US) & 9 March 2023 (UK)

From the Saxons to the Windsors, Britain’s royal lineage is brought to life in the pages of this visual guide. Confused about which Henry had six wives and which was crowned at the age of eight? Kings and Queens of England and Scotland documents the public and private lives of the royal dynasties.

Queens of a Fallen World: The Lost Women of Augustine’s Confessions 

Hardcover – 30 March 2023 (UK & US)

Vividly written and drawing on extensive new research, Queens of a Fallen World is essential reading for those looking for a new understanding not only of Augustine, but also of the women who shaped his life with consequences that were to change Christianity for centuries to come.

Anne Boleyn, An Illustrated Life of Henry VIII’s Queen 

Hardcover – 28 February 2023 (UK) & 9 March 2023 (US)

‘If you remember my love in your prayers as strongly as I adore you, I shall hardly be forgotten, for I am yours,’ – Henry Rex, forever Written by King Henry VIII to his sweetheart, the seductive and vivacious Anne Boleyn, his passion for her would be so great that Henry would make Anne his queen, and change the course of English history. But the woman whom Henry had promised to love for all time would go from palace to prison, charged with heinous crimes. Her life ended on a bloody scaffold in the Tower of London. Explore the incredible story of Anne Boleyn, the most famous and controversial of Henry VIII’s six wives, in this exciting new account of her life told in words and pictures.

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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