June 2017 Book News

The King Who Had To Go: Edward Vlll, Mrs Simpson and the Hidden Politics of the Abdication Crisis

Hardcover – 13 June 2017 (US) & 13 October 2016 (UK)

In 1936, a constitutional crisis in the British Empire arose when Edward VIII proposed to marry Wallis Simpson, an American socialite who was divorced from her first husband and was pursuing the divorce of her second. The crisis led to the King’s abdication in December of that year. Adrian Phillips reveals the harsh realities of how government responds when a monarch steps out of line, and describes the battles in Westminster and Whitehall that settled the fate of King and Mrs. Simpson.

Adrian Phillips worked as an investment analyst in London and Frankfurt for twenty-five years. He has a postgraduate Masters in modern history from Birmingham University.


Diana: The People’s Princess: A Celebration of Her Life and Legacy 20 Years On

Hardcover – 2 June 2017 (US) & 1 June 2017 (UK)

A sensitive and poignant tribute to Princess Diana—the elegant, charming, and sympathetic symbol of our times.
The outpouring of public emotion at the early death of Diana, Princess of Wales has lived on in the memories of not just the entire British nation but in billions of people across the world. Now, 20 years later, Diana: The People’s Princess celebrates her life, from childhood to her premature death at the age of 36. With authoritative, respectful text and an array of photographs, this updated edition includes new material, including Diana’s legacy as a mother as her sons perpetuate and protect her memory, and continue her humanitarian work.

The Empress of Art: Catherine the Great and the Transformation of Russia
Paperback – 11 July 2017 (UK) & 13 June 2017 (US)

Intelligent and determined, Catherine modeled herself off of her grandfather in-law, Peter the Great, and sought to further modernize and westernize Russia. She believed that the best way to do this was through a ravenous acquisition of art, which Catherine often used as a form of diplomacy with other powers throughout Europe. She was a self-proclaimed -glutton for art- and she would be responsible for the creation of the Hermitage, one of the largest museums in the world, second only to the Louvre. Catherine also spearheaded the further expansion of St. Petersburg, and the magnificent architectural wonder the city became is largely her doing. There are few women in history more fascinating than Catherine the Great, and for the first time, Susan Jaques brings her to life through the prism of art.

Diana: Her True Story–In Her Own Words
Paperback – 27 June 2017 (UK & US)

The sensational biography of Princess Diana, now revised to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of her death.
When Diana: Her True Story in Her Own Words was first published in 1992, it forever changed the way the public viewed the British monarchy. Greeted initially with disbelief and ridicule, the #1 New York Times bestselling biography has become a unique literary classic, not just because of its explosive contents but also because of Diana’s intimate involvement in the publication. Never before had a senior royal spoken in such a raw, unfiltered way about her unhappy marriage, her relationship with the Queen, her extraordinary life inside the House of Windsor, her hopes, her fears, and her dreams. Now, twenty-five years on, biographer Andrew Morton has revisited the secret tapes he and the late princess made to reveal startling new insights into her life and mind. In this fully revised edition of his groundbreaking biography, Morton considers Diana’s legacy and her relevance to the modern royal family.
An icon in life and a legend in death, Diana continues to fascinate. Diana: Her True Story in Her Own Words is the closest we will ever come to her autobiography.

The Diana Chronicles
Paperback – 1 June 2017 (UK )

The 20th Anniversary Edition of Tina Brown’s definitive behind-the-scenes insight into the life of Diana Princess of Wales with a brand new introduction by Andrew Marr.

Twenty years after her death, Princess Diana remains a mystery. Was she “the people’s princess,” who electrified the world with her beauty and humanitarian missions? Or was she a manipulative, media-savvy neurotic who nearly brought down the monarchy?

In this new 20th anniversary commemorative edition, which includes a new introduction by Andrew Marr, The Diana Chronicles parts the curtains on Diana’s troubled time in the mysterious world of the Windsors, as she breaks out of her royal cage into celebrity culture, where she found her own power and used it to devastating effect.

Knowing Diana personally, Tina Brown understands her world, understands its players and has-reaching insight into the royals and the Queen herself.

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The Letters of Queen Elizabeth I
Paperback – 1 June 2017 (UK & US)

Queen Elizabeth I was one of the most charismatic of English sovereigns, and one of the most prolific. While her more famous public speeches are familiar to some, many of her private writings have never before been printed or made accessible. From a poem written in charcoal on a wall at Woodstock Palace by the twenty-two-year-old imprisoned princess, to the speech the thirty-year-old queen gave in response to parliamentary pressure that she marry, to the fascinating letters sent to her emissaries as they conducted the kingdom’s business, this collection of the selected writings of Elizabeth I is a privileged glimpse into the mind of one of the most compelling rulers of the Western world. Her written words reveal not only Elizabeth’s political and psychological insight, but her literary gifts as well. The texts are accompanied by extensive explanatory notes and introductory material. An impressive collection of rare documents, presented with abundant commentary and full explanatory notes.

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Queen Victoria: The Scottish Journals
Paperback – 1 June 2017 (UK & US)

Queen Victoria’s diaries of her visits to Scotland have been described as among the happiest books ever written, and this selection reflects her deep appreciation of the dramatic Highland scenery and her love for its people. A deft selection of those diary entries which best give an unprecedented inside tour of a royal lifestyle. Queen Victoria was a disciplined woman of strong habits and a diarist who possessed the gift of descriptive narrative. Her entries, once released as two bestselling works, strongly evoke a place, Scotland, and a time, most of the years of her reign, and tell of the scenery, weather, people, and events as she experienced them. From her entries about rides out on Highland moors, to reports on shooting parties, frank retellings of lugubrious funerals, seemingly endless notations of carriage rides, including one in which the Queen was injured in an accident, descriptions of formal dinners, and impromptu luncheons with simple folk met on her excursions, logs of royal cruises, jotted facts about legends and local histories, the Journals are divided into two sections, the first those happy two decades before her widowhood began with Albert’s passing in 1861, the second basically all that came after, a time largely invested in mourning, years dominated by her faithful friend and servant, the sturdy Highlander John Brown. Any lover of history or Victoriana should appreciate this collection of the Queen’s extraordinary writings.

Folly and Malice: The Habsburg Empire, the Balkans and the Start of World War One

Hardcover – 1 August 2017 (US) & 28 June 2017 (UK)

A queen who became a cause celebre, and led to the death of a dynasty. A countess who wanted to be empress…
The tale of two women who dared to buck the system in which they found themselves. Two women who wiled their way to the very top of their social trees, but in doing so became targets of the zeitgeist of the time, ending in their deaths… Their fates are the most dramatic chapters in the new book by John Zametica, ‘Folly and Malice: The Habsburgs, the Balkans and the Start of World War One’, to be published on June 28 in London.

Once in a generation a book appears that transcends all others on its subject. John Zametica has written such a book about the outbreak of World War One. His work will be impossible to ignore despite or indeed because of the plethora of recent titles in this field. More than a century after the event, the circumstances which in 1914 transformed Europe into a slaughterhouse continue to fascinate historians. With “war guilt” the main issue, widely divergent interpretations characterise the ongoing debate. Permanent controversy surrounds this topic. John Zametica’s work stands out because he has been able to resolve questions that have successfully confused generations of his predecessors. He has focused his attention on the pre-1914 situation in Austria-Hungary and the Balkans where the conflict began. They have had their fair share of scholarly attention, but remain the areas least understood when the origins of the war are discussed. Zametica’s mastery of Serbo-Croat and German sources has put him in a unique position to write this book, a revisionist account that slays many shibboleths of current orthodoxy. The author demolishes one myth after another in showing how far and how often historians have diverged from what the sources say. Thus he documents that Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the Austro-Hungarian Heir to the Throne, was anything but a “federalist”, modern-minded reformer of the multi-national Habsburg Empire; that the people who killed the Archduke in Sarajevo were not proponents of the “Great Serbia” project, but supported a “Yugoslav” ideology which they shared with the young Croat intelligentsia; and that the secret “Black Hand” officers’ organization in Serbia, far from organizing the assassination in Sarajevo, had in fact tried to prevent it. While not sparing the Serbian leadership, Zametica shows that Austro-Serbian antagonism arose from the internal agonies of Austria-Hungary and the ineptitude of its statesmen. He argues that there was nothing inevitable about this collision course. The main conclusions of the book are: the contempt and fear felt by Vienna towards Belgrade gave rise to ill-conceived polices which led to the cataclysm; the war came about because Austria-Hungary, a so-called “Great Power”, thought the path to its salvation lay in its small neighbour’s destruction; and lastly, this ramshackle empire, faced with the prospect of its own demise, was prepared to gamble recklessly with the peace of Europe.

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Kings & Queens of Britain

Paperback – 5 July 2017 (US) & 30 June 2017 (UK)

This lavishly illustrated volume charts the complete history of the royal families of Britain. It describes the lives of the kings and queens, their consorts and children, and the usurpers, pretenders and regents who played a role in the making of the United Kingdom. Special features reveal the lives of the Tudors; the trial of Charles I; and the growth of the British Empire in the Age of Victoria. The role of the Queen as head of The Firm , and of Prince William and Kate, are also discussed. This is a reference book to absorb, entertain and fascinate every reader interested in the history of the British monarchy.

The Duchess: The Love Affair That Rocked the Crown

Kindle – 29 June 2017 (US & UK)

In her relationship with Charles that has survived for more than forty years, Camilla’s story has seen a great many myths. This book is the definitive account.

The relationship between Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, is one of the most remarkable love stories of the age. It has endured against all the odds, and in the process nearly destroyed the British monarchy. It is a rich and remarkable story that has never been properly told – indeed, it is one of the most extraordinary, star-crossed love stories of the past fifty years.

Heretics and Believers: A History of the English Reformation

Hardcover – 27 June 2017 (US) & 2 May 2017 (UK)

Centuries on, what the Reformation was and what it accomplished remain deeply contentious. Peter Marshall’s sweeping new history—the first major overview for general readers in a generation—argues that sixteenth-century England was a society neither desperate for nor allergic to change, but one open to ideas of “reform” in various competing guises. King Henry VIII wanted an orderly, uniform Reformation, but his actions opened a Pandora’s Box from which pluralism and diversity flowed and rooted themselves in English life.

With sensitivity to individual experience as well as masterfully synthesizing historical and institutional developments, Marshall frames the perceptions and actions of people great and small, from monarchs and bishops to ordinary families and ecclesiastics, against a backdrop of profound change that altered the meanings of “religion” itself. This engaging history reveals what was really at stake in the overthrow of Catholic culture and the reshaping of the English Church.

Elizabeth of York and Her Six Daughters-in-Law: Fashioning Tudor Queenship, 1485–1547 (Queenship and Power)

Hardcover – 24 June 2017 (US & UK)

This study of early modern queenship compares the reign of Henry VII’s queen, Elizabeth of York, and those of her daughters-in-law, the six queens of Henry VIII. It defines the traditional expectations for effective Tudor queens―particularly the queen’s critical function of producing an heir―and evaluates them within that framework, before moving to consider their other contributions to the well-being of the court. This fresh comparative approach emphasizes spheres of influence rather than chronology, finding surprising juxtapositions between the various queens’ experiences as mothers, diplomats, participants in secular and religious rituals, domestic managers, and more. More than a series of biographies of individual queens, Elizabeth of York and Her Six Daughters-in-Law is a careful, illuminating examination of the nature of Tudor queenship.

The Future Royal Family: William, Kate and the Modern Royals

Paperback – 13 June 2017 (US & UK)

An insightful, authoritative biography of “modern royals” William and Kate and their family, by the “Godfather of Royal Reporting”!

A true insider account of Prince William’s love affair with Kate Middleton, from their initial meeting while attending university in Scotland to married life in Wales while William pursued his Royal Air Force career. In the US, William and Kate are largely heralded as pop-culture icons: he, the confident young Prince who is the future of the Royal family; she, the royal bride and future Queen Consort who is thoroughly modern and confounds all stereotypes of what a royal partner should be.

Published in time for the centenary of the House of Windsor (7/17/17), the American edition provides an in-depth look at the next chapter in this modern-day fairytale, packed with beautiful photographs, fascinating facts, and expert analysis into the most pivotal royal romance of our time. An intriguing insight and unrivaled souvenir, this is an essential read for royalists and romantics alike.

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

Hardcover – 6 June 2017 (US) & 6 October 2017 (UK)

The concluding volume to this rousing two-part history of the Wars of the Roses, England’s longest and bloodiest civil war, narrated by a master historian.

England, 1462.

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.

Ottonian Queenship

Hardcover – 6 June 2017 (US) & 6 April 2017 (UK)

This is the first major study in English of the queens of the Ottonian dynasty (919-1024). The Ottonians were a family from Saxony who are often regarded as the founders of the medieval German kingdom. They were the most successful of all the dynasties to emerge from the wreckage of the pan-European Carolingian Empire after it disintegrated in 888, ruling as kings and emperors in Germany and Italy and exerting indirect hegemony in France and in Eastern Europe. It has long been noted by historians that Ottonian queens were peculiarly powerful – indeed, among the most powerful of the entire Middle Ages. Their reputations, particularly those of the empresses Theophanu (d. 991) and Adelheid (d. 999) have been commemorated for a thousand years in art, literature, and opera. But while the exceptional status of the Ottonian queens is well appreciated, it has not been fully explained. Ottonian Queenship offers an original interpretation of Ottonian queenship through a study of the sources for the dynasty’s six queens, and seeks to explain it as a phenomenon with a beginning, middle, and end. The argument is that Ottonian queenship has to be understood as a feature in a broader historical landscape, and that its history is intimately connected with the unfolding story of the royal dynasty as a whole. Simon MacLean therefore interprets the spectacular status of Ottonian royal women not as a matter of extraordinary individual personalities, but as a distinctive product of the post-Carolingian era in which the certainties of the ninth century were breaking down amidst overlapping struggles for elite family power, royal legitimacy, and territory. Queenship provides a thread which takes us through the complicated story of a crucial century in Europe’s creation, and helps explain how new ideas of order were constructed from the debris of the past.

Dissolving Royal Marriages: A Documentary History, 860-1600

Paperback – 15 June 2017 (US & UK)

Dissolving Royal Marriages adopts a unique chronological and geographical perspective to present a comparative overview of royal divorce cases from the Middle Ages through to the Reformation period. Drawing from original translations of key source documents, the book sheds new light on some of the most prominent and elite divorce proceedings in Western history, including Henry VIII’s divorce from Catherine of Aragon. The comprehensive commentary that accompanies these materials allows readers to grasp, for the first time, how the constructs of canon law helped shape the legal arguments on which specific cases were founded, and better understand the events that actually unfolded in the courtrooms. In his case-by-case exploration of elaborate witness statements, extensive legal negotiations and political wrangling, d’Avray shows us how little the canonical law for the dissolution of marriage changed over time in this fascinating new study of Church-state relations and papal power over princes.

Tatiana Romanov, Daughter of the Last Tsar: Diaries and Letters, 1913–1918

Kindle Edition – 27 June 2017 (UK & US)

Translated for the First Time in English with Annotations by a Leading Expert, the Romanov Family’s Final Years Through the Writings of the Second Oldest Daughter

Grand Duchess Tatiana Nikolaevna of Russia was the second of the four daughters of Tsar Nicholas II and his wife, the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna. Long recognized by historians as the undisputed “beauty” of the family, Tatiana was acknowledged for her poise, her elegance, and her innate dignity within her own family. Helen Azar, translator of the diaries of Olga Romanov, and Nicholas B. A. Nicholson, Russian Imperial historian, have joined together to present a truly comprehensive picture of this extraordinarily gifted, complex, and intelligent woman in her own words. Tatiana Romanov, Daughter of the Last Tsar: Diaries and Letters, 1913–1918, presents translations of material never before published in Russian or in English, as well as materials never published in their entirety in the West.
The brisk, modern prose of Tatiana’s diary entries reveals the character of a young woman who was far more than the sheltered imperial beauty as she previously has been portrayed. While many historians and writers describe her as a cold, haughty, and distant aristocrat, this book shows instead a remarkably down-to-earth and humorous young woman, full of life and compassion. A detail-oriented and observant participant in some of the most important historical events of the early twentieth century, she left firsthand descriptions of the tercentenary celebrations of the House of Romanov, the early years of Russia’s involvement in World War I, and the road to her family’s final days in Siberian exile. Her writings reveal extraordinary details previously unknown or unacknowledged. Lavishly annotated for the benefit of the nonspecialist reader, this book is not only a reevaluation of Tatiana’s role as more than just one of four sisters, but also a valuable reference on Russia, the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the people closest to the Grand Duchess and her family.

About Moniek Bloks 2730 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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