Queen Victoria’s Matchmaking: The Royal Marriages That Shaped Europe
Paperback – 16 April 2019 (UK & US)
As her reign approached its sixth decade, Queen Victoria’s grandchildren numbered over thirty, and to maintain and increase British royal power, she was determined to maneuver them into a series of dynastic marriages with the royal houses of Europe.
Yet for all their apparent obedience, her grandchildren often had plans of their own, fueled by strong wills and romantic hearts. Victoria’s matchmaking plans were further complicated by the tumultuous international upheavals of the time: revolution and war were in the air, and kings and queens, princes and princesses were vulnerable targets.
Queen Victoria’s Matchmaking travels through the glittering, decadent palaces of Europe from London to Saint Petersburg, weaving in scandals, political machinations and family tensions to enthralling effect. It is at once an intimate portrait of a royal family and an examination of the conflict caused by the marriages the Queen arranged. At the heart of it all is Victoria herself: doting grandmother one moment, determined Queen Empress the next.
Plantagenet Queens & Consorts: Family, Duty and Power
Hardcover – 15 December 2018 (UK) & 1 April 2019 (US)
What common theme can be found across 250 years of English history? What thread runs throughout the Plantagenet Royal House, including as it does the ‘cadet’ Houses of Lancaster and York, to the beginning of the Modern Period, 1485? It is the influence on events of the royal women; in particular, the queens. Without children, there is no dynasty, no ‘house’. Arguably, the ‘She-Wolf’, Isabella of France, had more impact on the history of England than her husband Edward II.
‘In the Shadow of Eleanor ‘examines the lives and influence of twelve figures, comparing their different approaches to the manipulation and conservation of political power in what is always described as a man’s world. On the contrary, there is strong evidence to suggest that these women had more political impact than those who came after – with the exception of Elizabeth I – right up to the present day. Beginning with Eleanor of Provence, loyal spouse of Henry III, the author follows the thread of Queenship: Philippa of Hainault, Joan of Navarre, Katherine Valois, Elizabeth Woodville, Anne Neville and others, to Henry VII’s Elizabeth of York. These are not marginal figures. Elizabeth was the daughter, sister, niece, wife, and mother of successive Kings of England. As can be seen from the names, several are ostensibly ‘outsiders’ twice over, as female and foreign. With specially commissioned photographs of locations and close examination of primary sources, Dr Steven Corvi provides a new and invigorating perspective on Medieval English (and European) history.
Matilda: Empress, Queen, Warrior
Hardcover – 12 March 2019 (UK) & 23 April 2019 (US)
A life of Matilda-empress, skilled military leader, and one of the greatest figures of the English Middle Ages Matilda was a daughter, wife, and mother. But she was also empress, heir to the English crown-the first woman ever to hold the position-and an able military general. This new biography explores Matilda’s achievements as military and political leader, and sets her life and career in full context. Catherine Hanley provides fresh insight into Matilda’s campaign to claim the title of queen, her approach to allied kingdoms and rival rulers, and her role in the succession crisis. Hanley highlights how Matilda fought for the throne, and argues that although she never sat on it herself her reward was to see her son become king. Extraordinarily, her line has continued through every single monarch of England or Britain from that time to the present day.
The Tragic Daughters of Charles I: Mary, Elizabeth & Henrietta Anne
Paperback – 26 April 2019 (US & UK)
Mary, Elizabeth and Henrietta Anne, the daughters of King Charles I and his queen, Henrietta Maria, would be brought up against the background of the English Civil War. Mary would marry William, Prince of Orange, and be sent to live in the Netherlands. Elizabeth would remain in England under Parliamentary control. Henrietta Anne would escape to France and be the darling of the French Court. Yet none of the Stuart princesses would live to reach thirty. The Tragic Daughters of Charles I is their story. Chronos Books presents the latest in a series of historical royal biographies by Sarah-Beth Watkins, author of Lady Katherine Knollys: The Unacknowledged Daughter of King Henry VIII
Anna, Duchess of Cleves: The King’s Beloved Sister
Hardcover – 15 April 2019 (UK) & 1 July 2019 (US)
‘The King’s Beloved Sister’ looks at Anne of Cleves from a new perspective, as a woman from the Holy Roman Empire and not as a woman living almost by accident in England. Starting with what Anne’s life as a child and young woman was like, the author describes the climate of the Cleves court, and the achievements of Anne’s siblings. It looks at the political issues on the Continent that transformed Anne’s native land of Cleves – notably the court of Anne’s brother-in-law, and its influence on Lutheranism – and Anne’s marriage. Finally, Heather Darsie explores ways in which Anne influenced her step-daughters Elizabeth and Mary, and the evidence of their good relationships with her.
Was Anne – the Duchess Anna – in fact a political refugee, supported by Henry VIII? Was she a role model for Elizabeth I? Why was the marriage doomed from the outset? By returning to the primary sources and visiting archives and museums all over Europe (the author is fluent in German, and proficient in French and Spanish) a very different figure emerges to the ‘Flanders Mare’.
Elizabeth I (Penguin Monarchs): A Study in Insecurity
Paperback – 25 April 2019 (UK & US)
In the popular imagination, as in her portraits, Elizabeth I is the image of monarchical power. The Virgin Queen ruled over a Golden Age: the Spanish Armada was defeated; English explorers reached the ends of the earth; a new Church of England rose from the ashes of past conflict; the English Renaissance bloomed in the genius of Shakespeare, Spenser and Sidney. But the image is also armour.
In this illuminating account of Elizabeth’s reign, Helen Castor shows how England’s iconic queen was shaped by profound and enduring insecurity-an insecurity which was both a matter of practical political reality and personal psychology. From her precarious upbringing at the whim of a brutal, capricious father and her perilous accession after his death, to the religious division that marred her state and the failure to marry that threatened her line, Elizabeth lived under constant threat. But, facing down her enemies with a compellingly inscrutable public persona, the last and greatest of the Tudor monarchs would become a timeless, fearless queen.
Meghan: The Life and Style of a Modern Royal: Feminist, Influencer, Humanitarian, Duchess
Hardcover – 4 April 2019 (UK) & 7 May 2019 (US)
The eyes of the world are firmly fixed upon Meghan Markle, who married Prince Harry in 2018 and is about to become a mother of a prince or princess. But who is this enigmatic new Royal? And what propelled her to become the fierce woman we see today? Find out what really makes Meghan tick with this insightful and illustrated biography, which explores the driving forces behind the actress-turned-duchess. With a visual intimacy that makes it feel like Meghan’s own personal scrapbook or Instagram feed, Meghan reveals why the LA native became a feminist and began charity work at the tender age of 13. Follow the evolution of Meghan’s personal style and philosophy, and her love of food and travel, with both favorite recipes and vacation inspiration.
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