The Tragic Story of Henry VIII's Fifth Queen
Katherine Howard was little more than a child when she married Henry VIII, and just 18 when she was beheaded in the Tower of London. This sympathetic biography sheds new light on the life and death of a kind, intelligent young woman trapped in a web of sexual abuse, family ambition, religious conflict and political intrigue by those in positions of power.
How to Ruin a Queen: Marie Antoinette,the Stolen Diamonds
and the Scandal that Shook the French Throne
In September 1785 a trial began in Paris that would divide the country, captivate Europe and set the French monarchy on course for revolution and the tumbrils. The aristocratic Cardinal Louis de Rohan stood accused, not only of stealing a 2,800-carat diamond necklace, but claiming he was acting for the queen in purchasing the jewellery. Beckman reopens the case and examines how this murky, convoluted tale of greed and deceit fits into the narrative of French history.
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.