US/UK Release Date: January 1, 2010
This early, unusual romance by Georgette Heyer features a young country gentleman driven by jealousy to transform himself into a sophisticated dandy to win the lady he loves.
In the glorious days of the mid 18th century, sophisticated men wore high heels, powdered wigs, and plenty of lace. Philip Jettan, however, is just a stolid country gentleman, happy with his estate, plainspoken, and plainly dressed. When a London dandy visits the neighborhood and attracts entirely too much attention from Philip's beautiful young neighbor Cleone Charteris, Philip goes to Paris to learn how to become what he thinks Cleone wants. When he encounters Cleone again, he is powdered and patched, and Cleone discovers a preference for the simple, plainspoken gentleman he used to be. Now that he has transformed for her sake, it's up to her to understand her own heart…
US/UK Release Date: January 7, 2010
The richest and most powerful noble family in Britain, after the king himself, the Howards regarded themselves as the power behind the throne and regularly tried to act as 'kingmakers'. Thomas Howard, the second duke of Norfolk, fought for Richard III at Bosworth and was imprisoned in the Tower by Henry VII. A brilliant politician, he negotiated his way out and became a key minister in the new Tudor regime. Late in life he commanded the English army that annihilated the Scots at Flodden in 1513. However, his descendants were a louche lot of plotters and conspirators; Henry VIII and Elizabeth I both beheaded a Norfolk for treason (although another led the Royal Navy against the Spanish Armada).
US/UK Release Date: October 31, 2009
As the son of Mary Queen of Scots, born into her 'bloody nest', James had the most precarious of childhoods. Even before his birth, his life was threatened: it was rumoured that his father, Henry, had tried to make the pregnant Mary miscarry by forcing her to witness the assassination of her supposed lover, David Riccio. By the time James was one year old, Henry was murdered, possibly with the connivance of Mary; Mary was in exile in England; and James was King of Scotland. By the age of five, he had experienced three different regents as the ancient dynasties of Scotland battled for power and made him a virtual prisoner in Stirling Castle. In fact, James did not set foot outside the confines of Stirling until he was eleven, when he took control of his country. But even with power in his hands, he would never feel safe. For the rest of his life, he would be caught up in bitter struggles between the warring political and religious factions who sought control over his mind and body. Yet James believed passionately in the divine right of kings, as many of his writings testify. He became a seasoned political operator, carefully avoiding controversy, even when his mother Mary was sent to the executioner by Elizabeth I. His caution and politicking won him the English throne on Elizabeth's death in 1603 and he rapidly set about trying to achieve his most ardent ambition: the Union of the two kingdoms. Alan Stewart's impeccably researched new biography makes brilliant use of original sources to bring to life the conversations and the controversies of the Jacobean age. From James' 'inadvised' relationships with a series of favourites and Gentlemen of the Bedchamber to his conflicts with a Parliament which refused to fit its legislation to the Monarch's will, Stewart lucidly untangles the intricacies of James' life. In doing so, he uncovers the extent to which Charles I's downfall was caused by the cracks that appeared in the monarchy during his father's reign.
US/UK Release Date: October 31, 2009
This book will address the origins of witch-hunting in England in the sixteenth century, the methods by which it was conducted, its distribution, its causes and consequences, and its decline. While addressing a general readership it will be a scholarly work that is informed by the historiography of the subject - e.g. feminist perspectives, functional explanations, post-modern interpretations. The text will be rich in primary source material including trial records and contemporary literature, including demonological texts and the papers of the Royal Society. Most of the illustrations will also be engravings from the period but some maps and location photographs will be included.
UK Release Date: September 24, 2009
Elizabeth I was born into a world of women. As a child, she was served by a predominantly female household of servants and governesses, with occasional visits from her mother, Anne Bolyen, and the wives who later took her place. As Queen, Elizabeth was constantly attended by ladies of the bedchamber and maids of honor who clothed her, bathed her and watched her while she ate. Among her family, it was her female relations who had the greatest influence: from her sister Mary, who distrusted and later imprisoned her, to her cousin, Mary, Queen of Scots, who posed a constant and dangerous threat to her crown for almost thirty years. Despite the importance of women in Elizabeth's life, most historians and biographers have focused on her relationships with men. She has been portrayed as a 'man's woman' who loved to flirt with the many ambitious young men who frequented her court. Yet it is the women in her life who provide the most fascinating insight into the character of this remarkable monarch. With them she was jealous, spiteful and cruel, as well as loyal, kind and protective. She showed her frailties and her insecurities, but also her considerable shrewdness and strength. In short, she was more human than the public persona she presented to the rest of the court. It is her relationships with women that hold the key to the private Elizabeth. In this original chronicling of the life of one of England's greatest monarchs, historian Tracy Borman explores Elizabeth's relationships with the key women in her life. Beginning with her mother and the governesses and stepmothers who cared for the young princess, including her beloved Kat Astley and the inspirational Katherine Parr, "Elizabeth's Women" sheds new light on her formative years. Elizabeth's turbulent relationships with her rivals are examined: from her sister, 'Bloody' Mary, to the sisters of Lady Jane Grey, and finally the most deadly of all her rivals, Mary, Queen of Scots who would give birth to the man Elizabeth would finally, inevitably have to recognize as heir to her throne. It is a chronicle of the servants, friends and 'flouting wenches' who brought out the best - and the worst - of Elizabeth's carefully cultivated image as Gloriana, the Virgin Queen, in the glittering world of her court.
US Paperback Release Date: August 6, 2009
England's medieval queens were elemental in shaping the history of the nation. In an age where all politics were family politics, dynastic marriages placed English queens at the very centre of power - the king's bed. From Matilda of Flanders, the Conqueror's queen, to Elizabeth of York, the first Tudor consort, England's queens fashioned the nature of monarchy and influenced the direction of the state. Occupying a unique position in the mercurial, often violent world of medieval state-craft, English queens had to negotiate a role that combined tremendous influence with terrifying vulnerability. Lisa Hilton's meticulously researched new book explores the lives of the twenty women who were crowned queen between 1066 and 1503, reconsidering the fictions surrounding well-known figures like Eleanor of Aquitaine and illuminating the lives of forgotten figures such as Adeliza of Louvain. War, adultery, witchcraft, child abuse, murder - and occasionally even love - formed English queenship, but so too did patronage, learning and fashion. Lisa Hilton considers the evolution of the queenly office alongside intimate portraits of the individual women, dispelling the myth that medieval brides were no more than diplomatic pawns.
US Release Date: November 1, 2009
Which 'ill-prepared' monarch was on the English throne at the turn of the last millenium? How many English monarchs have been crowned on St George's Day? When, how and why did England 'lose' eleven days? "Monarchs, Murders & Mistresses" answers these questions and many more, presenting a royal event for each day of the calendar year in vivid detail with close-ups of the personalities involved. The book reveals the recurring occupational difficulties faced by the royal family over the centuries: as Shakespeare's Henry IV so memorably concludes, 'Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown'. Today the royal family is plagued by the press, but even 300 years ago Charles II felt the need to apologise to a crowd of onlookers for taking so long to die. This book contains topics ranging from the death of William III, who was killed by a mole to the beheading of Mary, Queen of Scots. These, and over 300 other tales of royal days, bring alive the drama of what it was, and is, to be a king or a queen.