April 2017 Book News

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Arbella Stuart: England’s Almost Queen

Hardcover – 15 April 2017 (UK) & 2 February 2017 (US)

In 1562, Elizabeth I, the last of Henry VIII’s children, lay dying of smallpox, and the curse of the Tudor succession again reared its head. The queen was to recover, but the issue remained: if the queen did not produce an heir, who was next in line to succeed?

Enter Lady Arbella Stuart, cousin to both the English queen and James VI of Scotland, a woman whose parents’ marriage had been orchestrated to provide an heir to the English throne. Raised by her formidable grandmother, Bess of Hardwick, Arbella lived her life in Elizabeth’s shadow and, unfortunately, at her mercy.

Jill Armitage lovingly revitalises Arbella’s tale, focusing on her lineage, her life and her legacy. Through her story we discover a well-born, well-educated woman desperate to control her own fate, but who is ultimately powerless against those in the scheming Tudor court; and we explore the harsh reality that comes from being on the wrong side of the calculated revenge of a jealous queen.

51o02cgYOlL._SX332_BO1,204,203,200_Raising Royalty: 1000 Years of Royal Parenting

Hardcover – 2 May 2017 (UK) & 8 April 2017 (US)

How royal parents dealt with raising their children over the past thousand years, from keeping Vikings at bay to fending off paparazzi. William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, are setting trends for millions of parents around the world. The upbringing of their two children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, is the focus of intense popular scrutiny. Royalty have always raised their children in the public eye and attracted praise or criticism according to parenting standards of their day. Royal parents have always faced unique challenges and held unique privileges. In medieval times, raising an heir often meant raising a rival, and monarchs sometimes faced their grown children on the battlefield. Conversely, kings and queens who lost their thrones in wars or popular revolutions often found solace in time spent with their children. In modern times, royal duties and overseas tours have often separated young princes and princesses from their parents, a circumstance that is slowly changing with the current generation of British royalty.

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Isabella of France: The Rebel Queen

Paperback – 15 Jan 2017 (UK) & 13 April 2017 (US)

Isabella of France married Edward II in January 1308, and afterwards became one of the most notorious women in English history. In 1325, she was sent to her homeland to negotiate a peace settlement between her husband and her brother Charles IV, king of France. She refused to return. Instead, she began a relationship with her husband’s deadliest enemy, the English baron Roger Mortimer. With the king’s son and heir, the future Edward III, under their control, the pair led an invasion of England which ultimately resulted in Edward II’s forced abdication in January 1327. Isabella and Mortimer ruled England during Edward III’s minority until he overthrew them in October 1330.

A rebel against her own husband and king, and regent for her son, Isabella was a powerful, capable and intelligent woman. She forced the first ever abdication of a king in England, and thus changed the course of English history. Examining Isabella’s life with particular focus on her revolutionary actions in the 1320s, this book corrects the many myths surrounding her and provides a vivid account of this most fascinating and influential of women.

Catherine of Braganza: Charles II’s Restoration Queen

Paperback – April 28, 2017 (US & UK)

Catherine of Braganza, a Portuguese princess, married Charles II in 1662 and became the merry monarch’s Restoration queen. Yet life for her was not so merry – she put up with the king’s many mistresses and continuous plots to remove her from the throne. She lived through times of war, plague and fire. Catherine’s marriage saw many trials and tribulations including her inability to produce an heir. Yet Charles supported his queen throughout the Restoration, remaining devoted to her no matter what. Outliving her husband, she ended up back in her home country and spent her final days as queen-regent of Portugal.

So High a Blood: The Life of Margaret, Countess of Lennox

Hardcover – 6 Apr 2017 (UK & US)

‘Who hopes still constantly with patience shall obtain victory in their claim’

Sometime heir to the English throne, courtier in danger of losing her head, spy-mistress and would-be architect of a united Catholic Britain: Lady Margaret Douglas is the Tudor whose life demands a wider telling.

As niece to Henry VIII and half-sister to James V of Scotland, the beautiful and Catholic Margaret held a unique and precarious position in the English court. Throughout her life, she was to navigate treacherous waters: survival necessitated it. Yet Margaret was no passive pawn or bit-part player. As the Protestant Reformations unfolded across the British Isles and the Tudor monarchs struggled to produce heirs, she had ambitions of her own. She wanted to see her family ruling a united, Catholic Britain. When her niece Mary, Queen of Scots was left a widow, Margaret saw her chance. Through a thoroughly Machiavellian combination of timing, networking and family connections, she set in motion a chain of shattering events that would one day see her descendants succeed to the crowns of England, Ireland and Scotland.

Morgan Ring has revived the story of Lady Margaret Douglas to vivid and captivating effect. From a richly detailed backdrop of political and religious turbulence Margaret emerges, full of resilience, grace and intelligence. Drawing on previously unexamined archival sources, So High a Blood presents a fascinating and authoritative portrait of a woman with the greatest of ambitions for her family, her faith and her countries.

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Margaret, Queen of Sicily

Paperback – 28 April 2017 (US) & 23 November 2016 (UK)

Margaret of Navarre, Queen of Sicily, was one of the most important women of the twelfth century, acting as regent during a pivotal phase in her kingdom’s history. Her life and times make for the compelling story of a wife, sister, mother and leader. This is the first biography of the great-granddaughter of El Cid and friend of Thomas Becket who could govern a nation and inspire millions.

In Margaret’s story sisterhood is just the beginning. The Basque princess who rose to confront unimagined adversity became the epitome of medieval womanhood in a world dominated by men, governing one of the wealthiest, most powerful – and most socially complex – states of Europe and the Mediterranean.

This book is the result of original, scholarly research, yet its narrative is lively and interesting. In addition to its main text, the volume presents maps, genealogical tables and numerous photographs, reflecting information gathered by the author in Italy, Spain and England (and even in the United States). Her research took her from the tiny town in Navarre where Margaret was born to the locality in Sicily where the queen died, and a lot of places in-between. The author’s keen knowledge of history and her mastery of Italian, Spanish, French and Sicilian aided her in following every step of Margaret’s journey. If you could travel back in time to the twelfth century, Ms Alio would be the perfect guide, and in this book she guides you through an eventful life in a perilous age.

Closer to our times, Jackie Alio stands out as the only Sicilian woman writing books in English about the women of medieval Sicily. Her previous titles include The Peoples of Sicily: A Multicultural Legacy and Women of Sicily: Saints, Queens and Rebels. She has published papers on the Jews of medieval Sicily and she co-authored a book on the history of Sicilian cuisine.

In Haste with Aloha: Letters and Diaries of Queen Emma, 1881-1885

Hardcover – 30 April 2017 (UK & US)

This ambitious volume assembled by scholar David W. Forbes features a collection of ninety-two previously unpublished letters, as well as excerpts from two diaries, written between 1881 and 1885 by Hawaiian royal consort Queen Emma Kalanikaumaka’amano Kaleleon?lani Na’ea Rooke. In Haste with Aloha illuminates the last five years of the Queen’s life and makes available an important record of royal social life and customs in nineteenth-century Hawai’i. Much of her earlier correspondencehas been published in two books by the late Alfons L. Korn: The Victorian Visitor: An Account of the Hawaiian Kingdom, 1861-1866 and News from Molokai: Letters between Peter Kaeo and Queen Emma, 1873-1876. In her letters, almost all of which were written in English, Queen Emma provides a rare account of ali’i (royal) perspective, endowing modern readers and researchers with insight far beyond the limited available documentation of public speeches or printed statements. Besides the nuanced behaviors of correspondence between Queen Emma and her recipients, there is much to be considered and analyzed in her descriptions of ali’i,many of them relatives to Queen Emma as a descendant of Kamehameha I, including Bernice Pauahi Bishop and Ruth Ke’elik?lani.With few comparable Hawaiian historical primary resource texts in print, this book makes accessible a preserved and treasured collection of documents drawn primarily from the Hawai’i State Archives, along with diaries in Bishop Museum Library and Archives. Fully transcribed and with annotation by Forbes, editor of the monumental four-volume Hawaiian National Bibliography and annotator of Hawaii ‘s Story by Hawaii ‘s Queen Liliuokalani, this text sheds light on the lives of Hawai’i’s ruling class in the decade leading up to climactic political transition.

What the Queen Said to Me…

Hardcover – 28 Apr 2017 (UK & US)

The stories are a small glimpse of The Queen’s personality as told through the conversations and detailed back story that led up to that pinnacle moment when The Queen was all theirs for that small moment in time. There are a whole variety of stories in the book from a whole host of different people. From walkabouts to investitures, civil servants to Sirs, royal outfitters to radio DJ’s, artists to head teachers, the book has stories from all walks of life covering many different royal occasions.



About Moniek 1044 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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