Book News May 2022




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Ena and Bee: Queen Victoria’s Spanish Granddaughters 

Hardcover – 28 May 2022 (UK) & 7 September 2022 (US)

Princess Victoria Eugenia (Ena) of Battenberg and Princess Beatrice (Bee) of Saxe-Coburg, granddaughters of Queen Victoria of England, married into the Spanish royal family. In 1906, Ena became the consort of King Alfonso XIII, who had been sovereign since his birth in 1886. Three years later, Bee married his cousin, Infante Don Alfonso. Ena’s marriage proved unhappy with the ill-health of her haemophiliac sons and her husband’s infidelities. The king abdicated in 1931, and they led separate lives in exile until he died in 1941. Bee and her husband Ali were more popular, although personal differences between them and the king resulted in their temporary exile for the first years of their marriage; they later returned to Spain, staying there for the rest of their lives. Bee died in 1966 and Ena three years later. This dual biography, written by Ana de Sagrera with additional material from Doña Beatriz, Bee’s granddaughter, looks in depth at the friendship of the mutually supportive cousins against the often turbulent background of twentieth-century Spanish politics.

Queen Victoria and The Romanovs: Sixty Years of Mutual Distrust 

Paperback – 15 February 2022 (UK) & 15 May 2022 (US)

Despite their frequent visits to England, Queen Victoria never quite trusted the Romanovs. In her letters she referred to ‘horrid Russia’ and was adamant that she did not wish her granddaughters to marry into that barbaric country. ‘Russia I could not wish for any of you,’ she said. She distrusted Tsar Nicholas I but as a young woman she was bowled over by his son, the future Alexander II, although there could be no question of a marriage. Political questions loomed large and the Crimean War did nothing to improve relations. This distrust started with the story of the Queen’s ‘Aunt Julie’, Princess Juliane of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, and her disastrous Russian marriage. Starting with this marital catastrophe, Romanov expert Coryne Hall traces sixty years of family feuding that include outright war, inter-marriages, assassination, and the Great Game in Afghanistan, when Alexander III called Victoria ‘a pampered, sentimental, selfish old woman’. In the fateful year of 1894, Victoria must come to terms with the fact that her granddaughter has become Nicholas II’s wife, the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna. Eventually, distrust of the German Kaiser brings Victoria and the Tsar closer together. Permission has kindly been granted by the Royal Archives at Windsor to use extracts from Queen Victoria’s journals to tell this fascinating story of family relations played out on the world stage.

The People’s Princess 

Paperback – 31 March 2022 (UK) & 17 May 2022 (US)

The stunning new historical novel from the author of the bestselling Before the Crown. Perfect for fans of Gill Paul, Wendy Holden, Pam Jenoff and Jennifer Robson!

Buckingham Palace, 1981

Her engagement to Prince Charles is a dream come true for Lady Diana Spencer but marrying the heir to the throne is not all that it seems. Alone and bored in the palace, she resents the stuffy courtiers who are intent on instructing her about her new role as Princess of Wales…

But when she discovers a diary written in the 1800s by Princess Charlotte of Wales, a young woman born into a gilded cage so like herself, Diana is drawn into the story of Charlotte’s reckless love affairs and fraught relationship with her father, the Prince Regent.

As she reads the diary, Diana can see many parallels with her own life and future as Princess of Wales.

The story allows a behind-the-scenes glimpse of life in the palace, the tensions in Diana’s relationship with the royal family during the engagement, and the wedding itself.

Daughters of the North: Jean Gordon and Mary, Queen of Scots 

Hardcover – 17 March 2022 (UK) & 17 May 2022 (US)

Mary, Queen of Scots’ marriage to the Earl of Bothwell is notorious. Less known is Bothwell’s first wife, Jean Gordon, who extricated herself from their marriage and survived the intrigue of the Queen’s court. <BR><BR> Daughters of the North reframes this turbulent period in history by focusing on Jean, who became Countess of Sutherland. Follow her from the intrigues of Mary’s court to the blood feuds and clan battles of the Far North of Scotland, from her place as the daughter of the ‘King of the North’ to her disastrous union with the infamous Earl of Bothwell – and her lasting legacy to the Earldom of Sutherland.

Philippa of Hainault: Mother of the English Nation 

Paperback – 15 January 2022 (UK) & 15 May 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 Daughters of George III: Sisters and Princesses

Paperback – 31 May 2022 (US) & 30 March 2023 (UK)

In the dying years of the 18th century, the corridors of Windsor echoed to the footsteps of six princesses. They were Charlotte, Augusta, Elizabeth, Mary, Sophia, and Amelia, the daughters of King George III and Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Though more than fifteen years divided the births of the eldest sister from the youngest, these princesses all shared a longing for escape. Faced with their father’s illness and their mother’s dominance, for all but one a life away from the seclusion of the royal household seemed like an unobtainable dream.

The Times Queen Elizabeth II: Her 70 Year Reign 

Hardcover – 15 May 2022 (US) & 14 October 2021 (UK)

Pocket Diana Wisdom: Wise and Inspirational Words from the People’s Princess 

Hardcover – 10 May 2022 (US) & 12 May 2022 (UK)

Queen Elizabeth II: An Oral History 

Hardcover – 3 May 2022 (US & UK)

This lavishly produced hardback with rarely seen color photos paints a full, detailed and sympathetic portrait of a life lived in service.

Featuring interviews from diverse sources from private staff at Buckingham Palace and family friends, to international figures like Nelson Mandela, it contains a broad spectrum of views on Queen Elizabeth II—her story and her personality and how her life has intersected and impacted others.

Hawaii’s Story by Hawaii’s Queen (AmazonClassics Edition) 

Kindle Edition – 3 May 2022 (US & UK)

Part memoir, part historical record, this intimate narrative by the first and only queen regnant of Hawaii offers a behind-the-scenes account of the kingdom’s annexation by the US and reckons with the emotional and political fallout of that event.

In this unusually personal document, Queen Liliʻuokalani paints a detailed picture of life in a royal family—something few such figures ever attempt. She shares important memories from her childhood and chronicles her life on the international stage, beginning with her momentous ascension to the throne and ending with her effective overthrow by American businessmen and politicians who had little interest in maintaining Hawaii’s autonomy.

Agnès Sorel and the French Monarchy: History, Gallantry, and National Identity (Gender and Power in the Premodern World) 

Hardcover – 31 May 2022 (US & UK)

Agnès Sorel (1428–1450), beautiful favourite of Charles VII of France and first in the long genealogy of French royal mistresses, was mysteriously poisoned in the prime of life. Agnès, part of a network of royal “favourites,” is equally interesting for her political activity. And yet, no scholarly study in English of her exists. This study brings her story to an English-speaking audience, examining her in her historical context, that is, the factional struggle for power waged against Charles VII by the dauphin Louis and the king’s final routing of the English. It then traces Agnès’s afterlife, exploring her roles as founding mother of the tradition of the French royal mistress and foil for the less popular holders of the “office”; as erotic fantasy figure for nineteenth-century historians “re-inventing” the Middle Ages; and, most recently, as poignant victim for fans of the true crime genre.

Catherine the Great and the Culture of Celebrity in the Eighteenth Century (Cultures of Early Modern Europe) 

Hardcover – 19 May 2022 (US) & 26 May 2022 (UK)

This book presents long neglected material evidence of the tsarina’s fantasy-inducing fame, examines the 1762 coup as the indispensable story that first constructed her distant public image, and explains how the themes of enlightenment, luxury consumption, clashing gender roles, and exotic Russia continued to attract non-elite fans and anti-fans during the middle decades of her reign. For the later years, the book considers the scrutiny inspired by the French Revolution and Catherine’s skewering in unsparing misogynist cartoons as they applied to visual representations, her achievements as ruler, the long-ago overthrow of her husband, and her gradually revealed list of lovers. Dawson reflects on Catherine II’s demise in 1796 and how this instigated a final burst of adoration, loathing, and ambivalence as new accounts of her life, both real and fictional, claimed to unwrap the final secrets of the first modern international female celebrity – even now the only woman in history widely known as ‘the Great’.

Mary I in Writing: Letters, Literature, and Representation (Queenship and Power)

Hardcover – 15 May 2022 (US & UK)

This book―along with its companion volume Writing Mary I: History, Historiography, and Fiction―centers on representations of Queen Mary I in writing, broadly construed, and the process of writing that queen into literature and other textual sources. It spans an equally wide chronological and geographical scope, accounting for the years prior to her accession in July 1553 through the centuries that followed her death in November 1558 and for her reach across England, and into Ireland, Spain, Italy, Russia, and Africa. Its intent is to foreground words and language―written, spoken, and acted out―and, by extension, to draw out matters of and conversations about rhetoric, imagery, methodology, source base, genre, narrative, form, and more. Taken together, these two volumes find in England’s first crowned queen regnant an incomparable opportunity to ask new questions and seek new answers that deepen our understanding of queenship, the early modern era, and modern popular culture.

Selected Letters, 1514-1543 (Volume 90) (The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe: The Toronto Series) 

Paperback – 5 May 2022 (US & UK)

In recent years, there has been an upsurge of interest in Maria Salviati de’ Medici, specifically, in her role in Medici governance and her relationships with other members of the Medici court. Maria Salviati’s surviving correspondence documents a life spent close to the centers of Medici power in Florence and Rome, giving witness to its failures, resurrection, and eventual triumph. Presented here for the first time in English, this book is a representative sample of Maria’s surviving letters that document her remarkable life through a tumultuous period of Italian Renaissance history. While she earned the exasperation of some, she gained the respect of many more. Maria ended her life as an influential dowager, powerful intercessor for local Tuscans of all strata, and wise elder in Duke Cosimo I’s court. The first critical, analytical, biographical work on Maria Salviati de’ Medici’s life and letter-writing in English.

The Platinum Queen: Over 75 Speeches Given by Britain’s Longest-Reigning Monarch 

Hardcover – 5 May 2022 (UK) & 1 July 2022 (US)

For the first time, all 70 of the Queen’s Christmas speeches are published together in full, along with six additional feature speeches made at significant points in her life.

The Queen: 101 Reasons to Celebrate Her Majesty – The Platinum Jubilee edition 

Hardcover – 12 May 2022 (UK)

This book is a charming and witty paean to our longest-serving monarch; a collection of all the things that make Queen Elizabeth II a national treasure, from the profound impact she has had on 21st century politics, to her unshakeable sense of duty to her fabulous collection of headscarves.

With beautiful illustrations and humorous observations, The Queen:101 Reasons to Celebrate Her Majesty is a joyful celebration of a monarch who will go down in history as one of the greatest of all time.

 

Her Majesty The Queen: The Official Platinum Jubilee Pageant Commemorative Album 

Hardcover – 12 May 2022 (UK)

Accompanying this unique and joyous occasion, Her Majesty The Queen: The Official Platinum Jubilee Pageant Commemorative Album charts the trials and triumphs of The Queen’s 70-year reign and explores how Her Majesty has provided the country and Commonwealth with a lifetime of leadership, from her steadfast presence during the Second World War through to her current unifying influence at a time of political, economic and social turbulence.






About Moniek Bloks 2196 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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