Book News September 2021




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The Queen 

Hardcover – 3 June 2021 (UK) & 1 September 2021 (US)

In this brand-new biography of the longest-reigning sovereign in British history, Matthew Dennison traces her life and reign across an era of unprecedented and often seismic social change. Stylish in its writing and nuanced in its judgements, The Queen charts the joys and triumphs as well as the disappointments and vicissitudes of a remarkable royal life; it also assesses the achievement of a woman regarded as the champion of a handful of ‘British’ values endorsed – if no longer practised – by the bulk of the nation: service, duty, steadfastness, charity and stoicism.

Daughters of Edward I 

Hardcover – 30 July 2021 (UK) & 30 September 2021 (US)

In 1254 the teenage heir to the English throne married a Spanish bride, the sister of the king of Castile, in Burgos, and their marriage of 36 years proved to be one of the great royal romances of the Middle Ages. Edward I of England and Leonor of Castile had at least fourteen children together, though only six survived into adulthood, five of them daughters. Daughters of Edward I traces the lives of these five capable, independent women, including Joan of Acre, born in the Holy Land, who defied her father by marrying a second husband of her own choice, and Mary, who did not let her forced veiling as a nun stand in the way of the life she really wanted to live. The women’s stories span the decades from the 1260s to the 1330s, through the long reign of their father, the turbulent reign of their brother Edward II, and into the reign of their nephew, the child-king Edward III.

Marie-Antoinette: The Making of a French Queen

Paperback – 24 August 2021 (UK) & 28 September 2021 (US)

Who was the real Marie-Antoinette? She was mistrusted and reviled in her own time, and today she is portrayed as a lightweight incapable of understanding the events that engulfed her. In this new account, John Hardman redresses the balance and sheds fresh light on Marie-Antoinette’s story.

She is But a Woman: Queenship in Scotland 1424–1463 

Paperback – 2 September 2021 (UK) & 2 November 2021 (US)

She is but a Woman, the first in-depth study of medieval Scottish queens, investigates the relationship between gender and power in the medieval Scottish court by exploring the art of queenship as practised by Joan Beaufort and Mary of Guelders, queens of James I and James II. These women were excluded from authority but clearly possessed power as wives and mothers of kings. They established and cultivated relationships with members of the court, learned about Scottish political life and supported their husbands in the business of government. The book examines for the first time the arrivals of Joan and Mary in Scotland, their social and political status, their relationships with their husbands and families, and their roles in international diplomacy.

Elizabeth II: A Queen for Our Time 

Hardcover – 14 September 2021 (US & UK)

For as long as many of us can remember, Queen Elizabeth II has been an omnipresent figurehead—an icon. As Head of the Commonwealth, she is respected and admired around the world in equal measure. Her stalwart presence has signaled stability, neutrality, and responsibility. Uniting all that is British as an ambassador and statesperson, Queen Elizabeth II has seen more of the planet and its people than any other head of state and has engaged with them like no other monarch in British history; she is unquestionably a global voice for our time. As a Getty Images royal photographer, Chris Jackson has been granted privileged access to the monarch and the British royal family. He has documented the Queen’s official engagements over the past two decades, during a period of seismic changes in the British monarchy.

The Mountbattens: The Lives and Loves of Dickie and Edwina Mountbatten

Hardcover – 7 September 2021 (US & UK)

From British high society to the South of France, from the battlefields of Burma to the Viceroy’s House, The Mountbattens is a rich and filmic story of a powerful partnership, revealing the truth behind a carefully curated legend.

Was Mountbatten one of the outstanding leaders of his generation, or a man over-promoted because of his royal birth, high-level connections, film-star looks and ruthless self-promotion? What is the true story behind controversies such as the Dieppe Raid and Indian Partition, the love affair between Edwina and Nehru, and Mountbatten’s assassination in 1979?

Raised to Rule: Educating Royalty at the Court of the Spanish Habsburgs, 1601-1634 

Paperback – 1 September 2021 (US & UK)

The children of Philip III of Spain (1578–1621) and Margarita de Austria (1584–1611) inherited great potential power: the abilities to declare war or make peace, to advocate religious doctrine, and to exert lasting influence over art, culture, and taste. The leadership provided by this generation raises the question of how royal families learned the roles they played in court, country, and on the international stage. In Raised to Rule, Hoffman presents a deeply researched and stimulating study of the formative experiences of children in the royal households of early modern Spain.

In the Shadow of the Empress: The Defiant Lives of Maria Theresa, Mother of Marie Antoinette, and Her Daughters 

Hardcover – 21 September 2021 (US & UK)

Unfolding against an irresistible backdrop of brilliant courts from Vienna to Versailles, embracing the exotic lure of Naples and Sicily, this epic history of Maria Theresa and her daughters is a tour de force of desire, adventure, ambition, treachery, sorrow, and glory.

Domina: The Women Who Made Imperial Rome 

Paperback – 14 September 2021 (US) & 22 September 2021 (UK)

A captivating popular history that shines a light on the notorious Julio-Claudian women who forged an empire​

Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero—these are the names history associates with the early Roman Empire. Yet, not a single one of these emperors was the blood son of his predecessor. In this captivating history, a prominent scholar of the era documents the Julio-Claudian women whose bloodline, ambition, and ruthlessness made it possible for the emperors’ line to continue.

Women in Purple: Rulers of Medieval Byzantium 

Kindle Edition – 14 September 2021 (US & UK)

In the eighth and ninth centuries, three Byzantine empresses–Irene, Euphrosyne, and Theodora–changed history. Their combined efforts restored the veneration of icons, saving Byzantium from a purely symbolic and decorative art and ensuring its influence for centuries to come.

The Tudors in Love: The Courtly Code Behind the Last Medieval Dynasty 

Hardcover – 23 September 2021 (UK) & unknown (US)

The dramas of courtly love have captivated centuries of readers and dreamers. Yet too often they’re dismissed as something existing only in books and song – those old legends of King Arthur and chivalric fantasy.

Not so. In this ground-breaking history, Sarah Gristwood reveals the way courtly love made and marred the Tudor dynasty. From Henry VIII declaring himself as the ‘loyal and most assured servant’ of Anne Boleyn to Elizabeth I’s poems to her suitors, the Tudors re-enacted the roles of the devoted lovers and capricious mistresses first laid out in the romances of medieval literature. The Tudors in Love dissects the codes of love, desire and power, unveiling romantic obsessions that have shaped the history of this nation. In the #MeToo era, re-examining the history of the social codes behind modern romance has never been more vital.

Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine: Founding an Empire 

Hardcover – 15 September 2021 (UK) & 1 October 2021 (US)

Henry II became King of England in 1154 after twenty years of civil war. He was the first Plantagenet king, the founder of England’s most successful and longest-ruling dynasty. But Henry did not come to the throne alone. He had married Eleanor of Aquitaine, a feisty, formidable and powerful woman ten years his senior. Eleanor had spent fifteen years married to Louis VII of France before he divorced her, only to be angered when she married his young rival. Together, they were a medieval power couple who soon added the ultimate rank of king and queen consort to their list of titles. With them, the Angevin Empire was born. Over the decades, a wedge was driven between the king, fiercely protective of his empire, and Eleanor, who felt restrained in her husband’s shadow. Henry imprisoned his wife, fought his elder sons and pinned his hopes on his youngest, whose betrayal was the last straw. This book charts the early lives of Henry and Eleanor before they became a European power couple and examines the impact of their union on contemporaries and European politics. It explores the birth of the Angevin Empire that spread from Northumberland to the Mediterranean, and the causes of the disintegration of that vast territory, as well as the troublesome relationships between Henry and his sons, who dragged their father to the battlefield to defend his lands from their ambitious intriguing.

Catherine the Great and Potemkin: The Imperial Love Affair 

Paperback – 2 September 2021 (UK) & unknown (US)

It was history’s most successful political partnership – as sensual and fiery as it was creative and visionary. Catherine the Great was a woman of notorious passion and imperial ambition. Prince Potemkin – wildly flamboyant and sublimely talented – was the love of her life and her co-ruler.

Together they seized Ukraine and Crimea, defining the Russian empire to this day. Their affair was so tumultuous that they negotiated an arrangement to share power, leaving Potemkin free to love his beautiful nieces, and Catherine her young male favourites. But these ‘twin souls’ never stopped loving each other.

Drawing on their intimate letters and vast research, Simon Sebag Montefiore’s enthralling, widely acclaimed biography restores these imperial partners to their rightful place as titans of their age.

Informally Royal: Studio Lisa and the Royal Family 1936-1966 

Paperback – 1 September 2021 (UK) & unknown (US)

A chance meeting in 1936 gave Lisa and Jimmy Sheridan the opportunity of a lifetime. Keen amateur photographers, their company Studio Lisa was engaged by the then Duke and Duchess of York to take casual photographs of their family, including the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret, at their homes Royal Lodge and at 145 Piccadilly, London. At a time of traditional formality, when it was unheard of for mere unknowns to be given such an opportunity, the hiring of Studio Lisa proved to be a revolutionary and popular move on the part of the royals as it humanised them in the eyes of their subjects. They soon struck up an unlikely friendship with Lisa and Jimmy – a friendship that would span over 30 years and yield 13 separate photographic sessions, the last of which included Queen Elizabeth’s young children. This volume charts the story of Studio Lisa, from its humble beginnings right through to the granting of two Royal Warrants. For the first time Studio Lisa’s cache of remarkable royal photographs is brought together, producing a marvellous collector’s item and a treasure thankfully preserved for posterity.

The Story of the Death of Anne Boleyn – A Poem by Lancelot de Carle (Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies) 

Paperback – 10 September 2021 (UK & US)

The Story of the Death of Anne Boleyn is a critical edition and translation of a long narrative poem written by the secretary to the French ambassador in London within two weeks of Anne Boleyn’s execution. It was intended as a diplomatic dispatch, relating the astonishing news of the queen’s demise (along with that of five alleged lovers). Uniquely among diplomatic correspondence, this dispatch was written in verse form. It thus straddles the domains of literature and history, of chronicle and fiction.

Mary, Queen of Scots Book of Days 

Hardcover – 9 September 2021 (UK) & 1 January 2022 (US)

Hugely informative and stunningly produced, the Mary, Queen of Scots Book of Days pairs a practical perpetual diary with a wealth of material on the life and times of Mary, Queen of Scots (1542 -1587). The first woman to be crowned as a queen regnant in the British Isles, her tumultuous life and tragic end has fascinated people for centuries.

Each of the 365 days of the calendar year has the date, but not the day, of the month, allowing the owner to record events and reminders over many years.

The linen-effect cover reproduces a detail from François Clouet’s Portrait of Mary, Queen of Scots (circa 1558), courtesy of the Royal Collection Trust, with the interior printed on Munken Pure paper, perfect for writing, and completed with a ribbon bookmark.

The high-quality production and luxurious feel make this an ideal gift item for anyone with an interest in the\nTudor and Stewart history.

Who Ruled Tudor England: Paradoxes of Power 

Hardcover – 9 September 2021 (UK & US)

Henry VIIIs wives, his watershed break with Rome, Marys bloody persecution of Protestants and Elizabeths fearless reign have been immortalised in history books and the public consciousness. This book addresses widens the scope of established historiography by examining the dynamics of Tudor power and assessing where power really lay. By considering the roles of the monarch, church and individuals it sheds a fascinating light on the study of government in sixteenth-century England. Addressing different aspects of how Tudor England was governed, the twelve chapters discuss who participated in that government, and the extent of their power and governance. Paying close attention to the scholars who have shaped perceptions of major Tudor political figures this book re-situates the dynamics of Tudor power and its historiography.

Queen Elizabeth I Book of Days 

Hardcover – 7 September 2021 (UK) & 1 January 2022 (US)

Hugely informative and stunningly produced, the Elizabeth I Book of Days pairs a practical perpetual diary with a wealth of material on the life and times of the last Tudor queen, Elizabeth I (1533-1603), one of England’s most iconic and celebrated monarchs.

Each of the 365 days of the calendar year has the date, but not the day, of the month, allowing the owner to record events and reminders over many years.

The linen-effect cover reproduces a detail from William Segar’s Ermine Portrait of the queen (1585), courtesy of Hatfield House, with the interior printed on Munken Pure paper, perfect for writing, and completed with a ribbon bookmark. The high-quality production and luxurious feel make this an ideal gift item for anyone with an interest in the Tudor period.

Boudica Britannia 

Paperback – 30 September 2021 (US & UK)

When Roman troops threatened to seize the wealth of the Iceni people, their queen, Boudica, retaliated by inciting a major uprising, allying her tribe with the neighbouring Trinovantes. The ensuing clash is one of the most important – and dramatic – events in the history of Britain, standing testament to what can happen when an insensitive colonial power meets determined resistance from a subjugated people head-on.

In this fascinating account of a legendary figure, Miranda Aldhouse-Green raises questions about female power, colonial oppression, and whether Boudica would be seen today as a freedom fighter, terrorist or martyr.

Divine Lola: A True Story of Scandal and Celebrity 

Hardcover – 1 September 2021 (US & UK)

Lola Montez was one of the most celebrated and notorious women of the nineteenth century. A raven-haired Andalusian who performed her scandalous “Spider Dance” in the greatest performance halls across Europe, she dazzled and beguiled all who met her with her astonishing beauty, sexuality, and shocking disregard for propriety. But Lola was an impostor, a self-invention. Born Eliza Gilbert, the beautiful Irish wild child escaped a stifling marriage and reimagined herself as Lola the Sevillian flamenco dancer and noblewoman, choosing a life of adventure, fame, sex, and scandal rather than submitting to the strictures of her era.

The Duchess

Paperback – 28 September 2021 (US)

It was a love so strong, a king renounced his kingdom—all for that woman. Or was she just an escape route for a monarch who never wanted to rule? Bestselling author Wendy Holden takes an intimate look at one of the most notorious scandals of the 20th century. (Fiction)






About Moniek Bloks 2087 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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