The Murder of King James I
Even before James I’s death in 1625, rumours spread that he was being poisoned by a court favourite, the Duke of Buckingham, who had been cultivating the heir to the throne. Historians have long dismissed the charge, but in a detailed reassessment of contemporary sources the authors trace how this scandalous claim was widely published, believed and debated in Britain and beyond. They also examine how it both reflected and shaped political conflicts that would eventually lead to civil war.
Catherine of Aragon
An Intimate Life of Henry VIII's True Wife
Catherine of Aragon has been remembered as a tragic figure, the woman Henry VIII divorced for want of a male heir. Amy Licence takes issue with this portrayal: her study presents neither a victim nor a divorcée, but a highly educated Spanish princess and a great humanist queen who, in the early years of her marriage, was Henry's advisor and his warrior. A portrait of a 'complex, passionate, unbreakable woman', the biography also upholds Catherine's unwavering conviction that her 'divorce' was invalid.
The Golden Reign of Gloriana
David Loades’s concise and richly illustrated study focuses on significant aspects of Elizabeth I’s life and reign and is structured around 20 manuscripts held in the National Archives, including letters to and from Elizabeth, her first speech as monarch, a report of the Armada and the queen’s letter acknowledging James VI of Scotland as her heir.
The Corruption of Power
The most significant Scottish politician of the late Stewart age and a man of great learning and ability, John Maitland (1616–1682), ‘King Lauderdale’, served on the Westminster Assembly and the Committee of Both Kingdoms and became Secretary of State for Scotland and a member of Charles II's 'Cabal'. Paterson’s study is both a balanced portrayal of Maitland and a lucid analysis of late 17th-century political life. Off-mint.
The Fateful Life of Margaret Beaufort, Tudor Matriarch
When Henry Tudor was crowned King Henry VII in 1485, his mother, Margaret Beaufort (1443–1509) became the most powerful woman in England. Margaret was 13 years old when Henry was born shortly after the death of her husband, Edmund Tudor, and in the midst of war. It was an inauspicious beginning, but her ambition, skill and determination won through to found a dynasty. Nicola Tallis’s new biography dispels the myths about Margaret and shows her life to be more remarkable than the many fictions it has inspired.
The House of Beaufort
The Bastard Line that Captured the Crown
A dynasty that originated in 1372 with the birth of John Beaufort, the illegitimate son of John of Gaunt, the Beauforts were loyal supporters of the Lancastrian monarchs. They amassed authority during the 15th century and ultimately claimed the English throne with the victory of Lady Margaret Beaufort’s son, Henry Tudor, at Bosworth. The Beaufort earls, duke and cardinals were ‘highly visible in the stories of others’; this study focuses on the rise and fall and rise again of this intriguing family.
The Women Behind the Wars of the Roses
The Wars of the Roses that convulsed 15th-century England sprang from a family quarrel as fraught and intimate as any before or since. It is often viewed in terms of its male protagonists but, as this history makes clear, women played a key role, among them the Yorkist matriarch Cecily Neville; Margaret of Anjou, formidable wife of the mad King Henry VI; and Margaret Beaufort, whose ambition for her son ushered in the Tudor dynasty.
Lives in Letters
In chapters devoted to each monarch – Henry VII, Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I – this is a narrative account of the Tudor period, told through 42 letters and documents in the British Library’s collections. From Henry VII and Elizabeth of York’s autograph inscriptions in a prayer book, to a letter from Elizabeth I to James VI of Scotland in 1603, each item is illustrated in colour, fully transcribed and accompanied by a commentary setting it in historical context.
An Elizabethan Assassin
Theodore Paleologus: Seducer, Spy and Killer
John Hall explores the myths and controversies surrounding Italian nobleman Theodore Paleologus, heir apparent to the throne of Byzantium, who in 1597 arrived in England to murder a traitorous compatriot, then remained in the pay of the Earl of Lincoln to sow misery among the English aristocracy until his death in 1636. The biography also scrutinizes Paleologus’s offspring, who fought one another in the English Civil War, and backs their father’s long-dismissed claim to the imperial throne.
Hey for Old Robin!
The Campaigns and Armies of the Earl of Essex During the First Civil War, 1642–44
After failing to strike any decisive blow against the Royalists, Robert Devereux, 3rd Earl of Essex, who commanded the first Parliamentarian army against King Charles I, never achieved military distinction. This account of Essex’s campaigns, which includes analysis of the battles of Edgehill, Lostwithiel and Newbury, reappraises the man and his reputation in the light of his military accomplishments, his strategic influence over the battles, and his loyalty to his men.
Margaret of York
The Diabolical Duchess
Reared in a dangerous world, Margaret of York was one of history’s great survivors. This biography tells how, from her Burgundian exile, she sought to avenge the overthrow of the House of York by sending pretenders to contest the throne of Henry Tudor. Slightly off-mint.
Puritanism and the Pursuit of Happiness
The Ministry and Theology of Ralph Venning, c.1621–1674
Against the familiar view of puritans as killjoys, this study reveals a neglected strand of puritan theology in the writings and pastoral work of Ralph Venning, an Independent divine who emphasized the importance of inner happiness and personal piety.
The Life and Works of Robert Baillie (1602–1662)
Politics, Religion and Record-Keeping in the British Civil Wars
The letters of the Glaswegian minister Robert Baillie (1620–1662) are a common source for the history of Scotland during the violent years 1637–1660. This first biography of Baillie establishes his significance as a polemicist, theologian and contemporary historian.
Anna, Duchess of Cleves
The King's 'Beloved Sister'
Born Anna von der Mark, Duchess of Jülich-Cleves-Berg, in 1515, Anna of Cleves married Henry VIII and became Queen Consort of England in 1540. British history remembers her as the ‘Flanders Mare’: looking from a German perspective, this biography reveals a very different figure. Heather Darsie describes Anna’s life in Cleves before leaving for England; examines her marriage to Henry, her role as stepmother to his two daughters, and her status as ‘political refugee’ after the divorce.
The White King
Charles I, Traitor, Murderer, Martyr
Reviled as a tyrant and canonized as a martyr, Charles I remains one of the most controversial of English monarchs, and he polarizes historians to this day. Drawing on previously unseen royal correspondence, Leanda de Lisle’s carefully researched history charts the tragic career of a flawed king, sets the Civil War in the context of the wider European conflict of the Thirty Years' War, and highlights the crucial and often underestimated role of Charles’s wife Henrietta Maria. Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
The Other Exile
The Remarkable Story of Fernão Lopes, the Island of Saint Helena and a Paradise Lost
Napoleon Bonaparte was not the first exile to end his days on St Helena. In the 16th century, the Portuguese conquistador Fernão Lopes set out to invade India, only to defect to the Muslim side and fight his own countrymen. This compelling biography tells the long-forgotten story of how he was captured and tortured before jumping ship en route to his homeland to live as a hermit on the uninhabited island for 30 years.
The Private Lives of the Tudors
Uncovering the Secrets of Britain's Greatest Dynasty
The six wives of Henry VIII and the virginity of Elizabeth I are the stuff of popular history, but the lives of the Tudor monarchs away from the public eye are little known. Drawing on contemporary correspondence and eyewitness accounts, this book takes us into their kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms to reveal, through what they ate, what they wore, how they worshipped, whom they loved and how they gave birth, the intimate moments of their daily lives.
To Catch A King
Charles II's Great Escape
In 1651, Charles II returned to England to reclaim the throne of his executed father, only to be crushed by the might of Cromwell’s armies at Worcester. Based on the account he gave of his adventures to Samuel Pepys, and the reports of others who assisted him, this history tells of his six weeks on the run, using deception and disguise, grit and good luck to evade capture.
The Sultan and the Queen
The Untold Story of Elizabeth and Islam
Excommunicated in 1570, Queen Elizabeth I found the key markets of Catholic Europe closed to English merchants; instead, she reached out to the Shah of Iran, the King of Morocco and the Ottoman Sultan. This gripping history reveals how English merchants, sailors and diplomats plied their trade with the Muslim world, creating a fashion for the Orient in London that was reflected in the plays of Marlowe and Shakespeare. Off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
The Last Ironsides
The English Expedition to Portugal, 1662–1668
As part of the marriage contract between Charles II and the Portuguese princess Catherine of Braganza, Charles agreed to send three regiments, under the command of General Hermann von Schomberg, to support Portugal’s struggle for independence from Spain. Many of the troops were from Cromwell’s disbanded New Model Army. This history of the brigade and its expedition explores the politics surrounding the Portuguese Restoration War and recounts many of its battles, including Montes Claros.
Sisters to the King
The Tumultuous Lives of Henry VIII's Sisters – Margaret of Scotland and Mary of France
Much has been written about the six wives of Henry VIII, but less attention has been paid to his two sisters. This groundbreaking volume restores these two women to their rightful place at the crux of European history. The book describes how Margaret became Queen of Scotland at 13, how her younger sister Mary was married to the ageing king of France, and how both, defying convention, chose their second husbands for love.
Young & Damned & Fair
The Life and Tragedy of Catherine Howard at the Court of Henry VIII
This biography of Henry VIII’s fifth wife, who was queen consort for just 16 months, sheds new light on her story by describing the world that surrounded her both above and below stairs, and includes maps, charts and colour illustrations.
The Lady Penelope
Passion and Intrigue at the Heart of the Elizabethan Court
A muse to poets and descendant of royalty, the golden-haired Penelope Devereux was celebrated in the court of her godmother, Queen Elizabeth I, for being as quick-witted as she was beautiful. This biography charts Devereux’s political ascendancy in the court, her unhappy marriage to nobleman Robert Rich, her involvement in the rebellion to overthrow Elizabeth, led by her brother, the Earl of Essex, and her doomed love affair with Charles Blount, which ultimately led to her downfall.
The King Is Dead
The Last Will and Testament of Henry VIII
The Acts of Succession (1536 and 1544) allowed Henry VIII to nominate his successors in his will: the result was one of the most intriguing and contested documents in British history. Lipscomb re-opens the debate about its intended meaning, authenticity and validity. Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
How to Behave Badly in Renaissance Britain
Nothing reveals as much about a society as its bad behaviour, and if Shakespeare’s England is remembered for courtly ceremony, it was also an age of brawling, boozing and badmouthing. Drawing on contemporary behaviour manuals, court cases and sermons, Ruth Goodman, the presenter of Victorian Farm, reveals what most upset and infuriated our forebears. Her entertaining survey dishes the dirt on ninny-hammers, wittols, stinkards and draggletails, and offers practical advice on how to handle yourself in a fight.
The First Circumnavigators
Unsung Heroes of the Age of Discovery
When Ferdinand Magellan set sail in 1519 to claim the Spice Islands for the King of Spain, his fleet included an international crew of family, friends, mariners, men-at-arms and slaves. Returning to Spain years later, three dozen of them had circumnavigated the globe, probably by accident. This book tells the story of the men accompanying Magellan and other illustrious expedition leaders on their voyages of discovery, and includes route maps and short biographies. Slightly off-mint.
The Ugly Renaissance
Sex, Greed, Violence and Depravity in an Age of Beauty
Known as an age of artistic rebirth, the Renaissance is cloaked with an aura of beauty and brilliance. But behind the Mona Lisa's smile lurked a seamy world of power politics, cruelty and corruption. Illustrated with colour reproductions of works by Michelangelo, Botticelli, Ghirlandaio and other Renaissance masters, this groundbreaking survey reveals how these sublime works of art were created by flawed, tormented artists living in a world of corrupt bankers, greedy politicians, sex-crazed priests, extravagance, murder and madness.