Book News November 2022

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Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II: 1926–2022: A Celebration of Her Life and Reign 

Hardcover – 29 November 2022 (US) & 25 October 2022 (UK)

Long did she reign, and peacefully may she rest: this beautiful and thoughtful tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II celebrates the life of a remarkable woman whose 70 years on the throne made her the longest-reigning monarch in British history.

Eleanor of Aquitaine: Queen of France and England, Mother of Empires

Paperback – 15 July 2022 (UK) & 15 November 2022 (US)

In the competition for remarkable queens, Eleanor of Aquitaine tends to win. In fact, her story sometimes seems so extreme it ought to be made up. The headlines: orphaned as a child, Duchess in her own right, Queen of France, crusader, survivor of a terrible battle, kidnapped by her own husband, captured by pirates, divorced for barrenness, Countess of Anjou, Queen of England, mother of at least five sons and three daughters, supporter of her sons’ rebellion against her own husband, his prisoner for fifteen years, ruler of England in her own right, traveller across the Pyrenees and Alps in winter in her late sixties and seventies, and mentor to the most remarkable queen medieval France was to know (her own granddaughter, obviously).

Queen Elizabeth I: Life and Legacy of the Virgin Queen 

Hardcover – 30 September 2022 (UK) & 30 November 2022 (US)

 In this magnificently illustrated book, we see her birthplace at Greenwich Palace, her childhood homes, her prison in the Tower of London, the palaces she lived in, ruins of stately homes she visited, such as Gorhambury House, Kenilworth House, Upnor Castle and the Elizabethan town walls at Berwick, the many fortifications built during her reign to defend her realm, through to her final resting place in Westminster Abbey.

Helena Augusta: Mother of the Empire 

Hardcover – 28 October 2022 (US) & 20 November 2022 (UK)

In the middle of the third century, a girl was born on the north-eastern frontier of the Roman empire. Eighty years later, she died as Flavia Iulia Helena, Augusta of the Roman world and mother of the first Christian emperor Constantine, without ever having been married to an emperor herself. In Helena Augusta: Mother of the Empire, Julia Hillner traces Helena’s story through her life’s peaks, which generated beautiful imperial artwork, entertaining legends as well as literary outrage. But Helena Augusta also pays careful attention to the disruptions in Helena’s life course and in her commemoration–disruptions that were created by her nearest male relatives.

Queens: Women in Power through History 

Hardcover – 14 October 2022 (UK) & 15 November 2022 (US)

In a world historically dominated by male rulers, the women who have sat on thrones of their own shine out brightly. Some queens and empresses were born to greatness, while others fought their way to power. Queens ranges from the ancient world to the present day, telling the stories of these women who ruled, from murderous former courtesan Wu Zetian in 7th century China to Elizabeth I, the ‘Virgin Queen’ of England.

The Kings and Queens of England: Lives and Reigns from the House of Wessex to the House of Windsor 

Hardcover – 13 October 2022 (UK) & 15 November 2022 (US)

Opening with the reign of King Alfred, during which the foundations of the nation were laid, The Kings and Queens of England introduces the monarchs who have ruled through personal and political strife, triumph, war and peacetime. Snow and MacMillan offer a unique insight into the waxing and waning fortunes of these formidable rulers, from those such as devious King John, who ruled with cruelty and fabled warrior-king William the Conqueror, to our own Elizabeth II, admired for her diplomacy and integrity while presiding over turbulent times.

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A Companion to the Queenship of Isabel La Católica (Brill’s Companions to the Christian Tradition, 104)

Hardcover – 17 November 2022 (US & UK)

Cleopatra: Her History, Her Myth (Ancient Lives) 

Hardcover – 8 November 2022 (US & UK)

Francine Prose delves into ancient Greek and Roman literary sources, as well as modern representations of Cleopatra in art, theatre, and film, to challenge past narratives driven by orientalism and misogyny and offer a new interpretation of Cleopatra’s history through the lens of our current era.

Cleopatra’s Daughter: Egyptian Princess, Roman Prisoner, African Queen 

Kindle Edition/Hardcover – 10 November 2022 (UK) & 23 April 2023 (US)

The first biography of one of the most fascinating and unjustly neglected female rulers of the ancient world: Cleopatra Selene. Princess, prisoner, African queen – and surviving daughter of Cleopatra VII.

All the Queen’s Jewels, 1445–1548: Power, Majesty and Display

Paperback – 29 November 2022 (US & UK)

The jewellery worn by queens reflected both their gender and their status as the first lady of the realm. Jewels were more than decorative adornments; they were an explicit display of wealth, majesty and authority. They were often given to queens by those who wished to seek her favour or influence and were also associated with key moments in their lifecycle. These included courtship and marriage, successfully negotiating childbirth (and thus providing dynastic continuity), and their elevation to queenly status or coronation. This book explores the way that queens acquired jewels, whether via their predecessor, their own commission or through gift giving. It underscores that jewels were a vital tool that enabled queens to shape their identities as consort and to fashion images of power that could be seen by their households, court and contemporaries.

Egypt’s Golden Couple: When Akhenaten and Nefertiti Were Gods on Earth 

Hardcover – 1 November 2022 (US) & 9 November 2022 (UK)

November 2022 marks the centennial of the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun, and although “King Tut” is a household name, his nine-year rule pales in comparison to the revolutionary reign of his parents. Akhenaten and Nefertiti became gods on earth by transforming Egyptian solar worship, innovating in art and urban design, and merging religion and politics in ways never attempted before.

Medieval Royal Mistresses: Mischievous Women who Slept with Kings and Princes 

Hardcover – 30 November 2022 (UK) & 6 February 2023 (US)

Marriage for Medieval kings was about politics, power and the provision of legitimate heirs. Mistresses were about love, lust and possession. It was a world that included kidnap, poison, murder, violation, public shaming and accusations of witchcraft. Ambition and quick wits, as well as beauty, were essential attributes for any royal mistress. Infamy, assassination and imprisonment awaited some royal mistresses who tumbled from favour, whilst others disappeared into obscurity or respectable lives as married women and were quickly forgotten. Meet Nest of Wales, born in turbulent times, whose abduction started a war; Alice Perrers and Jane Shore labelled ‘whores’ and ‘wantons’; Katherine Swynford, who turned the medieval world upside down with a royal happy-ever-after and Rosamund Clifford, who left history and stepped into legend. Discover how serial royal womanisers married off their discarded mistresses to bind their allies close. Explore the semi-official roles of some mistresses; the illegitimate children who became kings; secret marriage ceremonies; Edith Forne Sigulfson and Lady Eleanor Talbot, who sought atonement through religion, as well as the aristocratic women who became the victims of royal lust. Most of the shameful women who shared the beds of medieval kings were silenced, besmirched or consigned to the footnotes of a patriarchal worldview, but they negotiated paths between the private and public spheres of medieval court life-changing history as they went.

The Reception of Cleopatra in the Age of Mass Media

Hardcover – 3 November 2022 (UK & US)

This study examines the reception of Cleopatra from the beginning of the 20th century to the present day as it has been reflected in popular culture in the United States of America. Daugherty provides a broad overview of the influence of the Egyptian queen by looking at her presence in film, novels, comics, cartoons, TV shows, music, advertising and toys. The aim of the book is to show the different ways in which the figure of Cleopatra was able to reach a large and non-elite audience.

The Queen and the Mistress: The Women of Edward III 

Hardcover – 10 November 2022 (UK)

There were two women in Edward III’s life: Philippa of Hainault, his wife of 40 years and bearer of 12 children, and his mistress, Alice Perrers, the 20-year-old who took the king’s fancy as his ageing wife grew sick. After Philippa’s death, Alice began to dominate court, amassing a fortune and persuading the elderly Edward to promote her friends and punish her enemies.

Elizabeth: A Celebration in Photographs of Elizabeth II’s Life & Reign 

Hardcover – 10 January 2023 (US) & 24 November 2022 (UK)

Elizabeth: A Celebration in Photographs, looks at this remarkable period in the history of Britain’s monarchy in lavish and fascinating detail, featuring over 250 photographs. Constantly under scrutiny the entire time she was on 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 she held the throne.

The Final Year of Anne Boleyn 

Hardcover – 30 November 2022 (UK) & 30 January 2023 (US)

There are few women in English history more famous or controversial than Queen Anne Boleyn. She was the second wife of Henry VIII, mother of Elizabeth I and the first English queen to be publicly executed. Much of what we think we know about her is coloured by myth and legend, and does not stand up to close scrutiny. Reinvented by each new generation, Anne is buried beneath centuries of labels: homewrecker, seductress, opportunist, witch, romantic victim, Protestant martyr, feminist. In this vivid and engaging account of the triumphant and harrowing final year of Queen Anne Boleyn’s life, the author reveals a very human portrait of a brilliant, passionate and complex woman.

About Moniek Bloks 2748 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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