Book News May 2018

An American Princess: The Many Lives of Allene Tew

Paperback – 1 April 2018 (US) & 1 May 2018 (UK)

The true story of a girl from the wilderness settlements of a burgeoning new America who became one of the most privileged figures of the Gilded Age.

Born to a pioneering family in Upstate New York in the late 1800s, Allene Tew was beautiful, impetuous, and frustrated by the confines of her small hometown. At eighteen, she met Tod Hostetter at a local dance, having no idea that the mercurial charmer she would impulsively wed was heir to one of the wealthiest families in America. But when he died twelve years later, Allene packed her bags for New York City. Never once did she look back.

From the vantage point of the American upper class, Allene embodied the tumultuous Gilded Age. Over the course of four more marriages, she weathered personal tragedies during World War I and the catastrophic financial reversals of the crash of 1929. From the castles and châteaus of Europe, she witnessed the Russian Revolution and became a princess. And from the hopes of a young girl from Jamestown, New York, Allene Tew would become the epitome of both a pursuer and survivor of the American Dream.

Elizabeth: The Queen and The Crown

Hardcover – 1 May 2018 (US) & 2 November 2017 (UK)

An internationally admired figure, Queen Elizabeth II is the most high-profile monarch in the world, and her enduring popularity is tantamount to her wide-ranging supporters. Spanning from 1927 to present day, Elizabeth reveals the details of Britain’s longest-reigning monarch’s extraordinary life. Sarah Gristwood follows the twists and turns of Elizabeth Windsor’s life and its key turning points—including her teenage years during the war, meeting and marrying the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Phillip Mountbatten, and her ascension to the throne in 1952.

American Princess: The Love Story of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

Paperback – 24 April 2018 (US) & 3 May 2018 (UK)

When Prince Harry of Wales took his American girlfriend, Meghan Markle, to have tea with his grandmother the queen, avid royal watchers had a hunch that a royal wedding was not far off. That prediction came true on November 27, 2017, when the gorgeous, glamorous twosome announced their engagement to the world. As they prepare to tie the knot in a stunning ceremony on May 19, 2018, that will be unprecedented in royal history, people are clamoring to know more about the beautiful American who captured Prince Harry’s heart.

Born and raised in Los Angeles to a white father of German, English, and Irish descent and an African American mother whose ancestors had been enslaved on a Georgia plantation, Meghan has proudly embraced her biracial heritage. In addition to being a star of the popular television series Suits, she is devoted to her humanitarian work—a passion she shares with Harry. Though Meghan was married once before, Prince Harry is a modern royal, and the Windsors have welcomed her into the tight-knit clan they call “The Firm.” Even a generation ago, it would have been unthinkable, as well as impermissible, for any member of Great Britain’s royal family to consider marrying someone like Meghan. Professional actresses were considered scandalous and barely respectable. And the last time an American divorcee married into the Royal Family, it provoked a constitutional crisis!

In American Princess, Leslie Carroll provides context to Harry and Meghan’s romance by leading readers through centuries of Britain’s rule-breaking royal marriages, as well as the love matches that were never permitted to make it to the altar; followed by a never-before-seen glimpse into the little-known life of the woman bringing the Royal Family into the 21st century; and her dazzling, thoroughly modern romance with Prince Harry.

Frederik VIII and Queen Lovisa: The Overlooked Royal Couple (Crown)

Hardcover – 19 May 2018 (UK) & 2 June 2018 (US)

Frederik VIII reigned for only six years, from 1906 until 1912. He and Lovisa spent four decades as Crown Prince and Crown Princess, and this presented them with some special challenges, not least as regards their relationship with the rest of the royal family, which was strained. In several ways Frederik and Lovisa were individuals whose behaviour was at odds with previously existing patterns, and neither the Danish royal family nor the public always viewed this in a positive light. In his efforts to meet the populace on its own terms, Frederik VIII became too folksy in the eyes of many contemporary Danes.

Christian X and Queen Alexandrine: Royal Couple Through the World Wars (Crown)

Hardcover – 19 May 2018 (UK) & 2 June 2018 (US)

Christian X and Queen Alexandrine were Denmark’s royal couple from 1912 to 1947. They reigned during a period in which the world was dramatically changed; two world wars and serious economic crises left their mark on their reign and contributed to the royal couple’s great significance as a centre around which the nation could gather. During the same period, the role of the monarchy was fundamentally changed; the Danish monarchy found its place in a modern parliamentary democracy, and following the advent of modern mass media the royal couple became a public presence.

Christian IX and Queen Louise: Europe’s Parents-In-Law (Crown)

Hardcover – 19 May 2018 (UK) & 2 June 2018 (US)

Christian IX and Queen Louise were the first couple of the Glucksburg line on the Danish throne. They had a difficult beginning, as they ascended the throne in 1863, immediately prior to the military defeat by Prussia and Austria in 1864. However, they eventually became popular with the Danish people, not least because they secured such advantageous marriages for their six children that already in their own day they were known as “Europe’s parents-in-law.” Today there are not many European royals who are not descendants of Christian IX and Queen Louise, who died in 1906 and 1898 respectively. This book is part of the Crown Series, a series of small books on the Danish monarchy and related subjects published in cooperation with the Royal Danish Collection.

Frederik IX and Queen Ingrid: The Modern Royal Couple (Crown)

Hardcover – 19 May 2018 (UK) & 2 June 2018 (US)

Frederik IX and Queen Ingrid were the Danish royal couple from 1947 until 1972, when King Frederik died and was succeeded by his eldest daughter, Queen Margrethe II. In contrast to his predecessors, Frederik IX was seen as a man of the people, and thanks to the influence of Queen Ingrid he endowed his reign with kingly dignity. Together they modernized the Danish monarchy and came to symbolize an exemplary modern Danish nuclear family. They mastered the art of being both popular and royal in a time in which handling of the media became increasingly important for the monarchy.

The Wicked Wit of Princess Margaret

Hardcover – 17 May 2018 (UK) & 1 November 2018 (US)

Even as a child, Princess Margaret – younger sister of Elizabeth – was noted for her theatrical and witty demeanour. Her nanny, ‘Crawfie’ described her as a ‘born comic’ and her sister, now Queen Elizabeth II, remarked that parties were always better with Margaret in attendance as she made everyone laugh. She made John Lennon blush and Pablo Picasso was infatuated with her – and she made no secret of her intolerance for the dim-witted, the disobedient or the boring – and her one-liners are legendary:

On considering that Elizabeth would one day be Queen, Margaret’s response was one of sincere commiseration, ‘Poor you’, she told her.

Attending a high-society party in New York, the hostess asked politely how was the Queen? ‘Which one?’ Margaret replied coolly, ‘My sister, my mother, or my husband?’

Henrietta Maria

Paperback – 15 May 2018 (UK) & 1 October 2018 (US)

At the heart of the English Civil War stands the wife of Charles I, Henrietta Maria. She came to England in 1625 at the age of fifteen, undermined by her greedy French entourage, blocked by the forceful Duke of Buckingham and weighed down by instructions from the Pope to protect the Catholics of England. She was only a girl, and she had hardly a winning card in her hand; yet fifteen years later she was the terror of Parliament.

We see Henrietta Maria in the portraits of van Dyck, and hear her voice in the letters which she wrote to her husband and many others. She is a historic queen who inherited from her father, the great French statesman Henri IV, undying convictions about royal and divine authority and about just governance. There was always brutal violence in the background of her life from the early moments (her father was assassinated when she was six months old); she lived through civil war both in England and in France (the Fronde); she was tortured by the fate of Charles I; but her spirit – and her family – prevailed. Two of her children sat on the throne of England (Charles II and James II) and three of her grandchildren followed them (William III, Mary II and Anne). Her life is a story of elegance, courage, wit, energy and family devotion on a grand scale.

The Fall of Heaven: The Pahlavis and the Final Days of Imperial Iran

Paperback – 15 May 2018 (US) & 1 June 2018 (UK)

In this remarkably human portrait of one of the twentieth century’s most complicated personalities, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Andrew Scott Cooper traces the Shah’s life from childhood through his ascension to the throne in 1941. He draws the turbulence of the post-war era during which the Shah survived assassination attempts and coup plots to build a modern, pro-Western state and launch Iran onto the world stage as one of the world’s top five powers. Readers get the story of the Shah’s political career alongside the story of his courtship and marriage to Farah Diba, who became a power in her own right, the beloved family they created, and an exclusive look at life inside the palace during the Iranian Revolution. Cooper’s investigative account ultimately delivers the fall of the Pahlavi dynasty through the eyes of those who were there: leading Iranian revolutionaries; President Jimmy Carter and White House officials; US Ambassador William Sullivan and his staff in the American embassy in Tehran; American families caught up in the drama; even Empress Farah herself, and the rest of the Iranian Imperial family. Intimate and sweeping at once, The Fall of Heaven recreates in stunning detail the dramatic and final days of one of the world’s most legendary ruling families, the unseating of which helped set the stage for the current state of the Middle East.

Gwynne’s Kings and Queens: The Indispensable History of England and Her Monarchs

Hardcover – 10 May 2018 (UK)

Do you know your Kings and Queens of England by heart? Can you tell your Ethelred from your Aethelbert? Your Marcia from your Matilda?

Well, passionate educator Mr Gwynne is back – and this time he is taking on the entirety of British history – so you will never be in the dark again. Within the pages of this little gem – bursting with our small island’s rich past – he teaches us the history of England through her remarkable monarchs.

It is Mr Gwynne’s belief that a certain amount of what you might read in other history books may well be wrong. It is his aim to show you why.

Concise, thorough and utterly fascinating, this is the perfect book to be enjoyed by young and old, to be read at a time when, for many, harking back to our rich past seems much more preferable than living in the dreary present.

And when it comes to the benefits of education, Mr Gwynne is never wrong!

Juana I: Legitimacy and Conflict in Sixteenth-Century Castile (Queenship and Power)

Hardcover – 3 April 2018 (US) & 18 May 2018 (UK)

This book examines the deep and lengthy crisis of legitimacy triggered by the death of Prince Juan of Castile and Aragon in 1497 and the subsequent ascent of Juana I to the throne in 1504. Confined by historiography and myth to the madwoman’s attic, Juana emerges here as a key figure at the heart of a period of tremendous upheaval, reaching its peak in the war of the Comunidades, or comunero uprising of 1520–1522. Gillian Fleming traces the conflicts generated by the ambitions of Juana’s father, husband and son, and the controversial marginalisation and imprisonment of Isabel of Castile’s legitimate heir. Analysing Juana’s problems and strategies, failures and successes, Fleming argues that the period cannot be properly understood without taking into account the long shadow that Juana I cast over her kingdoms and over a crucial period of transition for Spain and Europe.

Blood Royal: The Wars of the Roses: 1462-1485

Paperback – 8 May 2018 (US & UK)

The Yorkist Edward IV has been king for three years since his victory at Towton. The former Lancastrian King Henry VI languishes in the Tower of London. But Edward will soon alienate his backers by favoring the family of his ambitious wife, Elizabeth Woodville. And he will fall out with his chief supporter, Warwick “the Kingmaker,” with dire consequences.

Told with extraordinary authority and narrative verve, Blood Royal is the second part of a two-volume history of the dynastic wars fought between the houses of Lancaster and York for the English throne from 1450 until 1485. Hugh Bicheno tells the story of the Wars of the Roses as an enthralling, character-driven saga of interwoven families, narrating each chapter from the point of view of a key player in the wider drama.

This latest volume describes three Lancastrian attempts to overthrow the Yorkists, ending with the death of Edward’s successor, Richard III, at Bosworth in 1485―and the accession of Henry VII and the rise of the Tudor dynasty. 8 pages of color illustrations, family trees, and maps.

Heroines of the Medieval World

Hardcover – 1 May 2018 (US) & 15 September 2017 (UK)

These are the stories of women, famous, infamous and unknown, who shaped the course of medieval history. The lives and actions of medieval women were restricted by the men who ruled the homes, countries and world they lived in. It was men who fought wars, made laws and dictated religious doctrine. It was men who were taught to read, trained to rule and expected to fight. Today, it is easy to think that all women from this era were downtrodden, retiring and obedient housewives, whose sole purpose was to give birth to children (preferably boys) and serve their husbands. Heroines of the Medieval World looks at the lives of the women who broke the mould: those who defied social norms and made their own future, consequently changing lives, society and even the course of history. Some of the women are famous, such as Eleanor of Aquitaine, who was not only a duchess in her own right but also Queen Consort of France through her first marriage and Queen Consort of England through her second, in addition to being a crusader and a rebel. Then there are the more obscure but no less remarkable figures such as Nicholaa de la Haye, who defended Lincoln Castle in the name of King John, and Maud de Braose, who spoke out against the same king’s excesses and whose death (or murder) was the inspiration for a clause in Magna Carta. Women had to walk a fine line in the Middle Ages, but many learned to survive – even flourish – in this male-dominated world. Some led armies, while others made their influence felt in more subtle ways, but all made a contribution to their era and should be remembered for daring to defy and lead in a world that demanded they obey and follow.

 

Windsor Castle: A Thousand Years of a Royal Palace

Hardcover – 15 May 2018 (US) & 31 May 2018 (UK)

When we envision the British monarchy, one of the first things that comes to mind is Buckingham Palace, with its gilded gates and changing of the guard. But it is Windsor Castle that can claim pride of place as the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world, dating to the earliest days of the monarchy, a symbol of strength and magnificence over a nearly thousand-year history of sieges and soirées alike. Witness to both great moments in the country’s history and those that threatened to destroy it, the castle has become a symbol of English culture and architecture. Throughout England’s history, Windsor Castle has stood fast and evolved, much like the monarchy that inhabits it to this day.

The magisterial Windsor Castle: A Thousand Years of a Royal Palace illuminates the castle’s past using evidence from archaeological investigation and documentary sources, and is illustrated with paintings, drawings, and both historical and specially commissioned contemporary photographs, as well as stunning reconstructions of the castle’s past appearance which bring this essential piece of English history to life.

The Little Book of Versailles

Hardcover – 15 May 2018 (US) & 25 April 2018 (UK)

Why did Louis XIII go to Versailles? How many kings of France have lived in this palace? Why did Louis XIV decide to live outside Paris? When did the king’s court settle in the palace? Why did courtiers wear wigs? Who is the most famous chronicler of life in the time of Louis XIV’s court? Which sovereign was the mostly badly damaged by the “Affair of the Diamond Necklace”? Which was the last king to live in the castle?

Gloriously illustrated with pictures from the past, this little album charts the history of France’s most famous castle over the course of four centuries, from its construction in 1631 to the signature of the Peace Treaty in 1919, passing by the women’s march on Versailles in 1789.

Power, Splendour, and Diamonds: Denmark’s Regalia and Crown Jewels (Crown Series)

Hardcover –2 June 2018 (US) & 19 May 2018 (UK)

The foremost symbols of the Kingdom of Denmark—the crown, the sceptre, and the orb—have been kept at Rosenborg Castle since the 1680s. Here one can also see a number of the monarchy’s other central objects: the baptismal font that has been used by the royal family since the 17th century, the silver lions as well as the collection of crown jewels founded by Queen Sophie Magdalene in the mid-18th century, which is still used by the Queen on major occasions.

Amalienborg and Frederiksstaden: The Palace and the Royal Quarter (Crown Series)

Hardcover – 2 June 2018 (US) & 19 May 2018 (UK)

This book tells the story of Amalienborg and Frederiksstaden and the royal residents of the palace over the centuries.

Amalienborg’s palace square constitutes the central square of the monumental quarter of Frederiksstaden, which Frederik V had built starting in about 1750. The four palaces of the nobility that make up the palace complex were built simultaneously, but were taken over by the royal family after Christiansborg Palace burned down in 1794. Since 1920 Amalienborg has been the permanent residence of the Danish monarchy.

Elizabeth I and Her Circle

Paperback – 24 May 2018 (UK) & 24 July 2018 (US)

This is the inside story of Elizabeth I’s inner circle and the crucial human relationships which lay at the heart of her personal and political life. Using a wide range of original sources ― including private letters, portraits, verse, drama, and state papers ― Susan Doran provides a vivid and often dramatic account of political life in Elizabethan England and the queen at its centre, offering a deeper insight into Elizabeth’s emotional and political conduct ― and challenging many of the popular myths that have grown up around her.

It is a story replete with fascinating questions. What was the true nature of Elizabeth’s relationship with her father, Henry VIII, especially after his execution of her mother? What was the influence of her step-mothers on Elizabeth’s education and religious beliefs? How close was she really to her half-brother Edward VI ― and were relations with her half-sister Mary really as poisonous as is popularly assumed? And what of her relationship with her Stewart cousins, most famously with Mary Queen of Scots, executed on Elizabeth’s orders in 1587, but also with Mary’s son James VI of Scotland, later to succeed Elizabeth as her chosen successor?

Elizabeth’s relations with her family were crucial, but almost as crucial were her relations with her courtiers and her councillors (her ‘men of business’). Here again, the story unravels a host of fascinating questions. Was the queen really sexually jealous of her maids of honour? What does her long and intimate relationship with the Earl of Leicester reveal about her character, personality, and attitude to marriage? What can the fall of Essex tell us about Elizabeth’s political management in the final years of her reign? And what was the true nature of her personal and political relationship with influential and long-serving councillors such as the Cecils and Sir Francis Walsingham?

The Warrior Queen: The Life and Legend of Aethelflaed, Daughter of Alfred the Great

Paperback – 15 May 2018 (UK) & 1 September 2018 (US)

Æthelflæd, eldest daughter of Alfred the Great, has gone down in history as an enigmatic and almost legendary figure. To the popular imagination, she is the archetypal warrior queen, a Medieval Boudicca, renowned for her heroic struggle against the Danes and her independent rule of the Saxon Kingdom of Mercia. In fiction, however, she has also been cast as the mistreated wife who seeks a Viking lover, and struggles to be accepted as a female ruler in a patriarchal society.

The sources from her own time, and later, reveal a more complex, nuanced and fascinating image of the ‘Lady of the Mercians’. A skilled diplomat who forged alliances with neighbouring territories, she was a shrewd and even ruthless leader willing to resort to deception and force to maintain her power. Yet she was also a patron of learning, who used poetic tradition and written history to shape her reputation as a Christian maiden engaged in an epic struggle against the heathen foe.

The real Æthelflæd emerges as a remarkable political and military leader, admired in her own time, and a model of female leadership for writers of later generations.



About Moniek 1043 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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