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.
Lady Fanshawe's Receipt Book
An Englishwoman's Life During the Civil War
In the mid 17th century, England was riven by bloody civil war. For Ann Fanshawe, married to a Royalist diplomat, it was a time of insecurity and danger. Throughout the turmoil, she kept a leather-bound book full of ink-stained receipts for everything from life-saving remedies to hot chocolate. That volume forms the basis for this account of her attempts to keep a household together in the face of adversity, and her passionate devotion to the Stuart cause.
Henry VIII, James IV and the Battle for Renaissance Britain
The decisive battle at Flodden Field in 1513 marked the climax of the personal and political tension between England’s Henry VIII and his brother-in-law James IV of Scotland. This book traces the origins and escalation of their rivalry, with analysis of the political and military manoeuvres leading up to Flodden. It ends with an account of the battle itself, which saw the first artillery exchange on a British battlefield, and an assessment of James’s level of responsibility for Scotland’s defeat.
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.
La Reine Blanche
Mary Tudor, A Life in Letters
The youngest surviving daughter of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, Mary Tudor was married to the French king Louis XII, 34 years her senior, when she was just 18. Drawing on state papers and letters by Mary and others, this sympathetic biography tells how, when she found herself a widow just three months later, the intelligent, strong-willed young woman shaped her own destiny, married for love, and defied her overbearing brother, Henry VIII.
Gibraltar in the Age of Napoleon
After a long history as a site of strategic importance, Gibraltar, the lone British stronghold in the Mediterranean, played a vital role in the Napoleonic Wars (1793–1815). This history examines how the military and naval offensive potential of the hitherto defensive fortress was realized; the part Gibraltar played as the site of British and Spanish negotiations during the Peninsular War; and how its garrison and dockyard contributed to Nelson’s victories in the battles of the Nile and Trafalgar.
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.
The Uncrowned Queen
Lady Arbella Stuart, cousin to both Elizabeth I and James VI of Scotland, was a woman whose parents' marriage had been orchestrated to provide an heir to the English throne. Raised by her grandmother, Bess of Hardwick, Arbella lived in the shadow and at the mercy of Elizabeth. This study focuses on her lineage, life and legacy, revealing a well-educated woman, desperate to control her own destiny, but ultimately powerless against the politics and intrigue of the Tudor court.
Had the first-born son of Henry VII lived into adulthood, the crown would not have passed to his younger brother: Arthur Tudor, rather than Henry VIII, would have ruled and England’s subsequent history would have been quite different. This study of Arthur (1486–1502) describes the life of a prince royally matched to Catherine of Aragon, groomed and destined for the throne; and it shows how, when Arthur died, Henry inherited his brother’s wife, but not his careful preparation for kingship.
Duke and King of Scots, 1633–1701
In this scholarly biography the Duke of Albany, later James VII and II, is 'discussed from birth to death as a prince of Scotland'. That Scottish perspective allows Mann to re-evaluate traditional views of the king as a Catholic extremist and absolutist who failed through incompetence; to reassess his personality and motives; and to give a full account of James as a member of the royal house of Scotland, as a commander, as king and, finally, as exile.
Beginning with the horror of the battlefield where 50,000 men lay dead and injured as night fell on 18 June 1815, O'Keeffe's study covers the months between Wellington's victory and the confinement of Napoleon on St Helena. It describes how, once the dead and dying were gone, the site was visited by tourists; how the news of the battle was spread; the advance of the British and Prussian armies into France; and Napoleon's final weeks as surrender became inevitable.
A Royal Experiment
The Private Life of King George III
Our view of George III is coloured by the madness that afflicted him in later life. Yet as this sympathetic biography makes clear, the prince who acceded to the throne at the age of 22 had eminently sane but novel ambitions. He would be a new kind of king, whose authority rested on consent rather than power; and a new kind of man, with a stable, affectionate marriage rather than a string of royal mistresses. (Also published as The Strangest Family.) Slightly off-mint.
The Adulterous Wife of Henry VIII
Henry VIII's fifth queen is commonly regarded as the stupid girl who became fatally entangled with lovers and ended up, aged only 20, on the executioner's block. In this book, the first new study of Catherine in 25 years, Loades looks again at Catherine's sexuality and her fateful marriage, approaching her story through the intensely personal nature of Henry's government and the rise of the Howard family in court politics after the demise of Thomas Cromwell.
Katharine of Aragon
Henry VIII's Lawful Wife?
The heroic and dignified first wife of Henry VIII, Katharine of Aragon was cast aside for reasons of dynastic ambition, yet never relinquished her religion or principles. Professor Williams's biography of Katharine, the first to make full use of Spanish archives, presents a new portrait of the Catholic queen; and establishes that her marriage to Henry's elder brother Arthur was never consummated. It thus forces a reappraisal of Henry, his marriages and the origins of the Reformation in England.
The Angel and the Cad
Love, Loss and Scandal in Regency England
Witty, wealthy and beautiful, Catherine Tylney Long was the most eligible heiress in England. Courted by royalty, she chose instead to marry William Wellesley, the charming but feckless and dissolute nephew of the Duke of Wellington. Combining archival research and the readability of detective fiction, this history unravels the story of a scandalous marriage that delighted the press and cartoonists of the day, and culminated in financial ruin and a landmark court case.
The Lost Imperialist
Lord Dufferin, Memory and Mythmaking in an Age of Celebrity
'My whole life,' wrote Lord Dufferin in 1894, 'has been a series of surprises.' The Irish landowner became a bestselling travel writer on the publication of his Letters from High Latitudes in 1856, and went on to hold the two most powerful offices in the British Empire, Viceroy of India and Governor-General of Canada. Yet, as this biography – written with access to the family archive – recounts, his lavish lifestyle would lead to his downfall in a notorious financial scandal.
The Betrayed Queen
The daughter of Henri IV and Maria de Medici, Henrietta Maria left France in 1625 at the age of 15 to marry Charles I, King of England. It was a marriage between ruling dynasties, but Henrietta Maria was a willing bride who became a devoted wife and worthy queen. Pearce's biography begins with Henrietta Maria's illustrious family and follows her life in detail, emphasizing her significant cultural influence – a contribution overshadowed by the crisis of the Civil War and Charles's execution.
The End of Glory
Illuminating the question of why Napoleon chose to gamble on total victory at the risk of utter defeat, this study focuses on the dramatic two years between the retreat from Moscow in 1812 and the Emperor's abdication in 1814. Price shifts away from the usual emphasis on Waterloo, to the conflicts of 1813; he examines the battle of Leipzig in particular; and explores the reasons why Napoleon rejected the offers of a compromise peace extended to him during that year.
Catherine of Aragon
The Spanish Queen of Henry VIII
The woman Henry VIII 'divorced' is much overshadowed by Anne Boleyn, the woman who took her place, yet Catherine of Aragon was Henry's wife for 22 years. As queen regent she defeated the Scots at Flodden in his absence and she fought tenaciously against the divorce: the king had never met a tougher opponent on or off the battlefield. This compelling biography brings Catherine to the fore, stressing her intensity of character and approaching her life through her Spanish family as well as her Tudor in-laws. Slightly off-mint.
A Tale of Three Cities
The Life and Times of Lord Daer, 1763–1794
Basil William Douglas, Lord Daer (1763–1794), left an indelible impression on everyone he met, including the poet Robert Burns and the radical Thomas Paine. This first-ever biography charts the life of this far-sighted progressive politician, his immersion in Scottish Enlightenment ideas, and his experiences in Edinburgh, London and Paris against the turbulent backdrop of revolution and war. And, as the Scots and English reappraise their union, it shows the continuing relevance of Daer's political vision.
Prince Charles Edward (1900)
Published in 1900, this biography is the finest historical work of the poet, journalist, folklorist and historian Andrew Lang (1844–1912), once described as 'the greatest bookman of his age and, after Stevenson, the last great man of letters of the old Scottish tradition'. Despite his Jacobitism, Lang offers a dispassionate, detailed portrait of Charles that aims to place historical truth above sentiment and actually favours the Old Pretender above the romantic adventurer. Facsimile reprint. No jacket.