Elizabeth: A Biography by Lisa Hilton
UK Pub Date: October 9, 2014
'We are a prince from a line of princes'
Lisa Hilton's majestic biography of 'The Virgin Queen', Elizabeth I, provides vibrant new insights on the monarch's compelling, enthralling life story. It is a book that challenges readers to reassess Elizabeth's reign and the colourful drama, scandal and intrigue to which it is always linked.
Using new research from sources in France and Italy, Lisa Hilton to presents a fresh interpretation of Elizabeth as a queen who saw herself primarily as a Renaissance prince. She delivers a new perspective on the most intimate details of Elizabeth's life, and upon her attempts to fashion England into a Renaissance state. Elizabeth was not an exceptional woman but an exceptional ruler, and Hilton redraws English history with this animated portrait of an astounding life. Her biography maps the dramatic journey that Elizabeth took from being a timid and meek newly-crowned queen, to one of the most powerful and vivid monarchs ever to rule England.
Ambition and Desire: The Dangerous Life of Josephine Bonaparte by Kate Williams
Pub Date: November 4, 2014
A new biography of Napoleon's love and consort that explores the unbelievable life of an incredible woman and lays bare one of the world's most violent love affairs.
Josephine de Beauharnais began as a kept woman of Paris and became the most powerful woman in France. She was no beauty, her teeth were rotten, and she was six years older than her husband, but one twitch of her skirt could bring running the man who terrorized Europe.
The tale of Napoleon and Josephine is one of the most famous love stories in the world. They were bound together by a scorching erotic fascination. With her, he became the greatest man in Europe, the Supreme Emperor. And yet, envisioning Josephine as the calm consort on the sofa obscures many of the most fascinating aspects of her story. How did she rise to such an astonishing position? How did she perfect the art of the beautiful, sweet chameleon -- and thus fool so many? What and whom did she sacrifice on the bonfire of her ambition? France in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century was a country in such extreme flux that everything was accessible -- and possible. But it took an incredible woman to seize the opportunities. Ambition and Desire shows how the little girl from Martinique became the Queen of France.
Drawing on new sources from the Paris archives, Ambition and Desire is a searing story of sexual obsession, war, heartbreak, affairs, devastating love, plots and murder and politics -- in a world that was being altered forever.
Napoleon: A Life by Andrew Roberts
Pub Date: November 4, 2014
The definitive biography of the great soldier-statesman by the New York Times bestselling author of The Storm of War
Austerlitz, Borodino, Waterloo: his battles are among the greatest in history, but Napoleon Bonaparte was far more than a military genius and astute leader of men. Like George Washington and his own hero Julius Caesar, he was one of the greatest soldier-statesmen of all times.
Andrew Roberts’s Napoleon is the first one-volume biography to take advantage of the recent publication of Napoleon’s thirty-three thousand letters, which radically transform our understanding of his character and motivation. At last we see him as he was: protean multitasker, decisive, surprisingly willing to forgive his enemies and his errant wife Josephine. Like Churchill, he understood the strategic importance of telling his own story, and his memoirs, dictated from exile on St. Helena, became the single bestselling book of the nineteenth century.
An award-winning historian, Roberts traveled to fifty-three of Napoleon’s sixty battle sites, discovered crucial new documents in archives, and even made the long trip by boat to St. Helena. He is as acute in his understanding of politics as he is of military history. Here at last is a biography worthy of its subject: magisterial, insightful, beautifully written, by one of our foremost historians.
A Royal Experiment: The Private Life of King George III by Janice Hadlow
Pub Date: October 21, 2014
The surprising, deliciously dramatic, and ultimately heartbreaking story of King George III’s radical pursuit of happiness in his private life with Queen Charlotte and their 15 children
In the U.S., Britain's George III, the protagonist of A Royal Experiment, is known as the king from whom Americans won their independence and as "the mad king," but in Janice Hadlow’s groundbreaking and entertaining new biography, he is another character altogether—compelling and relatable.
He was the first of Britain’s three Hanoverian kings to be born in England, the first to identify as native of the nation he ruled. But this was far from the only difference between him and his predecessors. Neither of the previous Georges was faithful to his wife, nor to his mistresses. Both hated their own sons. And, overall, their children were angry, jealous, and disaffected schemers, whose palace shenanigans kick off Hadlow's juicy narrative and also made their lives unhappy ones.
Pained by his childhood amid this cruel and feuding family, George came to the throne aspiring to be a new kind of king—a force for moral good. And to be that new kind of king, he had to be a new kind of man. Against his irresistibly awful family background—of brutal royal intrigue, infidelity, and betrayal—George fervently pursued a radical domestic dream: he would have a faithful marriage and raise loving, educated, and resilient children.
The struggle of King George—along with his wife, Queen Charlotte, and their 15 children—to pursue a passion for family will surprise history buffs and delight a broad swath of biography readers and royal watchers.
A Knight's Tale: The Story of William Marshal, Medieval England's Most Celebrated Knight by Thomas Asbridge
Pub Date: December 2, 2014
No synopsis or description available yet.
The Art of the English Murder: From Jack the Ripper and Sherlock Holmes to Agatha Christie and Alfred Hitchcock by Lucy Worsley
Pub Date: October 15, 2014
From Jack the Ripper and Sherlock Holmes to the cosy crimes of the Golden Age, renowned historian Lucy Worsley explores the evolution of the traditional English murder—and reveals why we are so fascinated by this sinister subject.
Murder—a dark, shameful deed, the last resort of the desperate or a vile tool of the greedy. And a very strange, very English obsession. But where did this fixation develop? And what does it tell us about ourselves?
In The Art of the English Murder, Lucy Worsley explores this phenomenon in forensic detail, revisiting notorious crimes like the Ratcliff Highway Murders, which caused a nationwide panic in the early nineteenth century, and the case of Frederick and Maria Manning, the suburban couple who were hanged after killing Maria’s lover and burying him under their kitchen floor. Our fascination with crimes like these became a form of national entertainment, inspiring novels and plays, prose and paintings, poetry and true-crime journalism. At a point during the birth of modern England, murder entered our national psyche, and it’s been a part of us ever since.
The Art of the English Murder is a unique exploration of the art of crime—and a riveting investigation into the English criminal soul by one of our finest historians. 24 pages of color and B&W illustrations.
Inglorious Royal Marriages: A Demi-Millennium of Unholy Mismatrimony by Leslie Carroll
Pub Date: September 2, 2014
It’s no secret that the marriages of monarchs are often made in hell. Here are some of the most spectacular mismatches in five hundred years of royal history....
In a world where many kings, queens, and princes lacked nothing but true love, marital mismatches could bring out the baddest, boldest behavior in the bluest of bloodlines. Margaret Tudor, her niece Mary I, and Catherine of Braganza were desperately in love with chronically unfaithful husbands, but at least they weren’t murdered by them, as were two of the Medici princesses were. King Charles II’s beautiful, high-spirited sister “Minette” wed Louis XIV’s younger brother, who wore more makeup and perfume than she did. Forced to wed her boring, jug-eared cousin Ferdinand, Marie of Roumania—a granddaughter of Queen Victoria—proved herself one of the heroines of World War I by using her prodigious personal charm to regain massive amounts of land during the peace talks at Versailles.
Brimming with outrageous real-life stories of royal marriages gone wrong, this is an entertaining, unforgettable book of dubious matches doomed from the start.
The Tudor Miscellany by Elizabeth Norton
UK Pub Date: November 1, 2014
From the first Tudor king to the Virgin Queen, a primer on who the Tudors were and why they remain so popular to this day
This history begins when the dynasty was secured by the plotting of Margaret, the mother of Henry VII, who returned from exile to take the English throne. In time, a 17-year-old prince was crowned Henry VIII, ushering in a golden era that would gradually darken as the king broke away from Rome to establish the Church of England and dissolve the monasteries. His death brought fresh intrigue that eventually saw his daughter Mary become queen, and her attempts to restore Catholicism saw hundreds of "heretics" burned at the stake. On her death, her sister Elizabeth came to the throne, and retained it. She snuffed out plots and defeated rebellions, and her navy thwarted the Armada sent by the King of Spain. She was a woman who won the admiration of many, not least for her skillful ability to remain independent while exploiting the possibility of marriage. Her reign was also an age of exploration, which saw Walter Raleigh venture to the New World and Francis Drake circumnavigate the world.
Dear Abigail: The Intimate Lives and Revolutionary Ideas of Abigail Adams and Her Two Remarkable Sisters by Diane Jacobs
Pub Date: February 25, 2014
For readers of the historical works of Robert K. Massie, David McCulough, and Alison Weir comes the first biography on the life of Abigail Adams and her sisters.
“Never sisters loved each other better than we.”—Abigail Adams in a letter to her sister Mary, June 1776
Much has been written about the enduring marriage of President John Adams and his wife, Abigail. But few know of the equally strong bond Abigail shared with her sisters, Mary Cranch and Elizabeth Shaw Peabody, accomplished women in their own right. Now acclaimed biographer Diane Jacobs reveals their moving story, which unfolds against the stunning backdrop of America in its transformative colonial years.
Abigail, Mary, and Elizabeth Smith grew up in Weymouth, Massachusetts, the close-knit daughters of a minister and his wife. When the sisters moved away from one another, they relied on near-constant letters—from what John Adams called their “elegant pen”—to buoy them through pregnancies, illnesses, grief, political upheaval, and, for Abigail, life in the White House. Infusing her writing with rich historical perspective and detail, Jacobs offers fascinating insight into these progressive women’s lives: oldest sister Mary, who became de facto mayor of her small village; youngest sister Betsy, an aspiring writer who, along with her husband, founded the second coeducational school in the United States; and middle child Abigail, who years before becoming First Lady ran the family farm while her husband served in the Continental Congress, first in Philadelphia, and was then sent to France and England, where she joined him at last.
This engaging narrative traces the sisters’ lives from their childhood sibling rivalries to their eyewitness roles during the American Revolution and their adulthood as outspoken wives and mothers. They were women ahead of their time who believed in intellectual and educational equality between the sexes. Drawing from newly discovered correspondence, never-before-published diaries, and archival research, Dear Abigail is a fascinating front-row seat to history—and to the lives of three exceptional women who were influential during a time when our nation’s democracy was just taking hold.
The Wars of the Roses: The Fall of the Plantagenets and the Rise of the Tudors by Dan Jones
Pub Date: October 14, 2014
The author of the New York Times bestseller The Plantagenets chronicles the next chapter in British history—the historical backdrop for Game of Thrones
The crown of England changed hands five times over the course of the fifteenth century, as two branches of the Plantagenet dynasty fought to the death for the right to rule. In this riveting follow-up to The Plantagenets, celebrated historian Dan Jones describes how the longest-reigning British royal family tore itself apart until it was finally replaced by the Tudors.
Some of the greatest heroes and villains of history were thrown together in these turbulent times, from Joan of Arc to Henry V, whose victory at Agincourt marked the high point of the medieval monarchy, and Richard III, who murdered his own nephews in a desperate bid to secure his stolen crown. This was a period when headstrong queens and consorts seized power and bent men to their will. With vivid descriptions of the battles of Towton and Bosworth, where the last Plantagenet king was slain, this dramatic narrative history revels in bedlam and intrigue. It also offers a long-overdue corrective to Tudor propaganda, dismantling their self-serving account of what they called the Wars of the Roses.
Wondrous Beauty: The Life and Adventures of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte by Carol Berkin
Pub Date: February 11, 2014
From the award-winning historian and author of Revolutionary Mothers (“Incisive, thoughtful, spiced with vivid anecdotes. Don’t miss it.”—Thomas Fleming) and Civil War Wives (“Utterly fresh . . . Sensitive, poignant, thoroughly fascinating.”—Jay Winik), here is the remarkable life of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte, renowned as the most beautiful woman of nineteenth-century Baltimore, whose marriage in 1803 to Jérôme Bonaparte, the youngest brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, became inextricably bound to the diplomatic and political histories of the United States, France, and England.
In Wondrous Beauty, Carol Berkin tells the story of this audacious, outsized life. We see how the news of the union infuriated Napoleon and resulted in his banning the thenpregnant Betsy Bonaparte from disembarking in any European port, offering his brother the threat of remaining married to that “American girl” and forfeiting all wealth and power—or renouncing her, marrying a woman of Napoleon’s choice, and reaping the benefits.
Jérôme ended the marriage posthaste and was made king of Westphalia; Betsy fled to England, gave birth to her son and only child, Jérôme’s namesake, and was embraced by the English press, who boasted that their nation had opened its arms to the cruelly abandoned young wife.
Berkin writes that this naïve, headstrong American girl returned to Baltimore a wiser, independent woman, refusing to seek social redemption or a return to obscurity through a quiet marriage to a member of Baltimore’s merchant class. Instead she was courted by many, indifferent to all, and initiated a dangerous game of politics—a battle for a pension from Napoleon—which she won: her pension from the French government arrived each month until Napoleon’s exile.
Using Betsy Bonaparte’s extensive letters, the author makes clear that the “belle of Baltimore” disdained America’s obsession with moneymaking, its growing ethos of democracy, and its rigid gender roles that confined women to the parlor and the nursery; that she sought instead a European society where women created salons devoted to intellectual life—where she was embraced by many who took into their confidence, such as Madame de Staël, Madame Récamier, the aging Marquise de Villette (goddaughter of Voltaire), among others—and where aristocracy, based on birth and breeding rather than commerce, dominated society.
Wondrous Beauty is a riveting portrait of a woman torn between two worlds, unable to find peace in either—one a provincial, convention-bound new America; the other a sophisticated, extravagant Old World Europe that embraced freedoms, a Europe ultimately swallowed up by decadence and idleness.
A stunning revelation of an extraordinary age.
Village of Secrets: Defying the Nazis in Vichy France by Caroline Moorehead
Pub Date: October 14, 2014
No description available.