Elizabeth: The Forgotten Years
History has pictured Elizabeth I as Gloriana, an icon of strength and power — and has focused on the early years of her reign. But in 1583, when Elizabeth is fifty, there is relentless plotting among her courtiers — and still to come is the Spanish Armada and the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots. We have not, until now, had the full picture.
This gripping and vivid portrait of her life and times — often told in her own words (and including details such as her love of chess and marzipan) — combines absorbing, human-interest narration with in-depth historical research, and reveals a woman who was insecure, human (‘You know I am no morning woman’), and unpopular even with the men who fought for her. This is the real Elizabeth, for the first time.
Enlightened Princesses: Caroline, Augusta, Charlotte, and the Shaping of the Modern World
Caroline of Ansbach (1683-1737), Augusta of Saxe-Gotha (1719-1772), and Charlotte of Mecklenberg-Strelitz (1744-1818) were three German princesses who became Queens Consort-or, in the case of Augusta, Queen in Waiting, Regent, and Princess Dowager-of Great Britain, and were linked by their early years at European princely courts, their curiosity, aspirations, and an investment in Enlightenment thought. This sumptuously illustrated book considers the ways these powerful, intelligent women left enduring marks on British culture through a wide range of activities: the promotion of the court as a dynamic forum of the Hanoverian regime; the enrichment of the royal collection of art; the advancement of science and industry; and the creation of gardens and menageries. Objects included range from spectacular state portraits to pedagogical toys to plant and animal specimens, and reveal how the new and novel intermingled with the traditional.
Diana: The People’s Princess: A Celebration of Her Life and Legacy 20 Years On
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.
Stefan Zweig based his biography of Marie Antoinette, who became the Queen of France at the age of fifteen, on the correspondence between her and her mother, and her great love the Count Axel von Fersen. Zweig analyzes the chemistry of a woman’s soul from her intimate pleasures to her public suffering as a Queen under the weight of misfortune and history. Zweig describes Marie Antoinette in the King’s bedroom, in the enchanted and extravagant world of the Trianon, and with her children. And in his account of ‘The Revolution’, he describes her resolve during the failed escape to varennes, her imprisonment in the Conciergerie and her final tragic destiny under the guillotine. Zweig’s account has been the definitive biography of Marie Antoinette since its publication, inspiring Antonia Fraser and the recent film adaptation.
Anne Boleyn in London
Romantic victim? Ruthless other woman? Innocent pawn? Religious reformer? Fool, flirt and adulteress? Politician? Witch? During her life, Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s ill-fated second queen, was internationally famous – or notorious; today, she still attracts passionate adherents and furious detractors.
It was in London that most of the drama of Anne Boleyn’s life and death was played out – most famously, in the Tower of London, the scene of her coronation celebrations, of her trial and execution, and where her body lies buried.
Londoners, like everyone else, clearly had strong feelings about her, and in her few years as a public figure Anne Boleyn was influential as a patron of the arts and of French taste, as the center of a religious and intellectual circle, and for her purchasing power, both directly and as a leader of fashion. It was primarily to London, beyond the immediate circle of the court, that her carefully ‘spun’ image as queen was directed during the public celebrations surrounding her coronation.
In the centuries since Anne Boleyn’s death, her reputation has expanded to give her an almost mythical status in London, inspiring everything from pub names to music hall songs, and novels to merchandise including pin cushions with removable heads. And now there is a thriving online community surrounding her – there are over fifty Twitter accounts using some version of her name.
This book looks at the evidence both for the effect London and its people had on the course of Anne Boleyn’s life and death, and the effects she had, and continues to have, on them.
The Kaiser’s Confidante: Mary Lee, the First American-Born Princess
New York City native Mary Esther Lee (1837-1914) first married in 1864 the Prince von Noer, brother of the Queen of Denmark, and was created a princess in her own right after his death. An active philanthropist to Protestant causes, she then married Count Alfred von Waldersee whose close ties to the Prussian court made her an intimate friend of Kaiser Wilhelm II and a mentor and valued friend to his young wife. Although she preferred to remain in the background, Mary’s influence caused intense jealousy by those at court who resented her friendship with the kaiser and kaiserin. This biography chronicles the remarkable life of an American woman whose wealth and influence enabled her to rise to power in the Prussian royal court.