Compelling...A masterly feat...A magnificent, sweeping, authoritative, warm yet wry history.--The Wall Street Journal
In this fascinating and intimate portrait of the Stuarts, author Allan Massie takes us deep into one of history's bloodiest and most tumultuous reigns. Exploring the family's lineage from the first Stuart king to the last, The Royal Stuarts is a panoramic history of the family that acted as a major player in the Scottish Wars of Independence, the Union of the Crowns, the English Civil War, the Restoration, and more. Drawing on the accounts of historians past and present, novels, and plays, this is the complete story of the Stuart family, documenting their path from the salt marshes of Brittany to the thrones of Scotland and England and eventually to exile. The Royal Stuarts brings to life figures like Mary, Queens of Scots, Charles I, and Bonnie Prince Charlie, uncovering a family of strong affections and fierce rivalries. Told with panache, Allan Massie's The Royal Stuarts is the gripping true story of backstabbing, betrayal, and ambition gone awry.
From acclaimed biographer Flora Fraser, the brilliant life of Napoleon's favorite sister. Celebrated for her looks, notorious for her passions, immortalized by Antonio Canova's statue, and always deeply loyal to her brother, Pauline Bonaparte Borghese is a fascinating figure in her own right.
At the turn of the nineteenth century, she was considered by many to be the most beautiful woman in Europe. She shocked the continent with the boldness of her love affairs, her opulent wardrobe and jewels, and, most famously, her decision to pose nearly nude for Canova's sculpture, which has been replicated in countless ways through the years. But just as remarkable as Pauline's private life was her fidelity to the emperor (if not to her husbands). She was present for Napoleon's great victories in Italy, and she was often at Malmaison with her brother and her rival for his loyalty, the empress Josephine. When he was exiled to Elba, Pauline was the only sibling to follow him there, and after the final defeat at Waterloo she begged to be allowed to join him at Saint Helena.
No biographer has gone so deeply into the sources or so closely examined one of the seminal relationships of the man who shaped modern Europe. In "Pauline Bonaparte: Venus of Empire, "Flora Fraser has cast new light on the Napoleonic era while crafting a dynamic, vivid portrait of a mesmerizing woman.
Few people in history have had as eventful a matrimonial career as England's King Henry VIII. To pursue his romantic ambitions, he broke with Catholicism, created the Church of England, and was not above beheading those wives who fell from favor. Henry dreamed of a son who would succeed him as king, but in the end it was Elizabeth, daughter of the disgraced Anne Boleyn, who inherited the throne and became one of England's greatest monarchs.In Six Wives, award-winning historian David Starkey draws on newly discovered facts to create a fresh new interpretation of the emotional drama and political intrigue surrounding Henry's six marriages. Starkey expertly recreates the Tudor era -- and the wives of Henry VIII -- in this captivating tale. David Starkey is the Bye Fellow of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, and the author of Elizabeth: The Struggle for the Throne. A winner of the W.H. Smith Prize and the Norton Medlicott Medal for Services to History, he lives in London. "... Starkey's is the best study of Henry's wives ever published." -- Evening Standard
An engrossing and revolutionary biography of Isabella of Castile, the controversial Queen of Spain who sponsored Christopher Columbus's journey to the New World, established the Spanish Inquisition, and became one of the most influential female rulers in history.In 1474, when most women were almost powerless, twenty-three-year-old Isabella defied a hostile brother and a mercurial husband to seize control of Castile and Le n. Her subsequent feats were legendary. She ended a twenty-four-generation struggle between Muslims and Christians, forcing North African invaders back over the Mediterranean Sea. She laid the foundation for a unified Spain. She sponsored Columbus's trip to the Indies and negotiated Spanish control over much of the New World. She also annihilated all who stood against her by establishing a bloody religious Inquisition that would darken Spain's reputation for centuries. Whether saintly or satanic, no female leader has done more to shape our modern world. Yet history has all but forgotten Isabella's influence. Using new scholarship, Downey's luminous biography tells the story of this brilliant, fervent, forgotten woman, the faith that propelled her through life, and the land of ancient conflicts and intrigue she brought under her command.
You think you know her story. You've read the Brothers Grimm, you've watched the Disney cartoons, and you cheered as these virtuous women lived happily ever after. But real princesses didn't always get happy endings. Sure, plenty were graceful and benevolent leaders, but just as many were ruthless in their quest for power--and all of them had skeletons rattling in their royal closets. Princess Stephanie von Hohenlohe was a Nazi spy. Empress Elisabeth of the Austro-Hungarian empire slept wearing a mask of raw veal. Princess Olga of Kiev slaughtered her way to sainthood while Princess Lakshmibai waged war on the battlefield, charging into combat with her toddler son strapped to her back. Princesses Behaving Badly offers true tales of all these princesses and dozens more in a fascinating read that's perfect for history buffs, feminists, and anyone seeking a different kind of bedtime story.
NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE
starring Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie
"As enthralling as a detective story." -- New York Times Book Review
Through Guy's pioneering research and superbly readable prose, we come to see Mary as a skillful diplomat, maneuvering ingeniously among a dizzying array of factions that sought to control or dethrone her. It is an enthralling, myth-shattering look at a complex woman and ruler and her time. "The definitive biography . . . gripping . . . a pure pleasure to read." -- Washington Post Book World
First published in 2004 as Queen of Scots
Set against the backdrop of the turbulent thirteenth century, a time of chivalry and crusades, poetry, knights, and monarchs comes the story of the four beautiful daughters of the count of Provence whose brilliant marriages made them the queens of France, England, Germany, and Sicily.
From a cultured childhood in Provence, each sister was propelled into a world marked by shifting alliances, intrigue, and subterfuge. Marguerite, the eldest, whose resolution and spirit would be tested by the cold splendor of the Palais du Roi in Paris; Eleanor, whose soaring political aspirations would provoke her kingdom to civil war; Sanchia, the neglected wife of the richest man in England who bought himself the crown of Germany; and Beatrice, whose desire for sovereignty was so acute that she risked her life to earn her place at the royal table.