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
In one of the most famous romances of the twentieth century, Europe's most eligible bachelor, Prince Rainier of Monaco, and America's most beautiful movie star, the Academy Award-winning actress Grace Kelly, fell in love and married against the backdrop of the closest thing the modern world has to a magical kingdom, the French Riviera's Principality of Monaco.Told with affection and humor, and written with the unprecedented cooperation of Prince Rainier III and his children, Prince Albert, Princess Caroline, and Princess Stephanie, Grace of Monaco takes readers beneath the surface glitz and glamour of Monte Carlo for a never-to-be-forgotten portrait of the House of Grimaldi.
From the Modern Library's new set of beautifully repackaged hardcover classics by Robert K. Massie--also available are Nicholas and Alexandra and The RomanovsAgainst the monumental canvas of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe and Russia unfolds the magnificent story of Peter the Great, crowned co-tsar at the age of ten. The acclaimed author of Catherine the Great, Robert K. Massie delves deep into the life of this captivating historical figure, chronicling the pivotal events that shaped a boy into a legend--including his "incognito" travels in Europe, his unquenchable curiosity about Western ways, his obsession with the sea and establishment of the stupendous Russian navy, his creation of an unbeatable army, his transformation of Russia, and his relationships with those he loved most: Catherine, the robust yet gentle peasant, his loving mistress, wife, and successor; and Menshikov, the charming, bold, unscrupulous prince who rose to wealth and power through Peter's friendship. Impetuous and stubborn, generous and cruel, tender and unforgiving, a man of enormous energy and complexity, Peter the Great is brought fully to life. The Modern Library of the World's Best Books
Peter the Great
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize "Enthralling . . . as fascinating as any novel and more so than most."--The New York Times Book Review
Nicholas and Alexandra
"A magnificent and intimate picture . . . Not only the main characters but a whole era become alive and comprehensible."--Harper's
"Riveting . . . unfolds like a detective story."--Los Angeles Times Book Review
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.
From the moment of her ascension to the throne in 1952 at the age of twenty-five, Queen Elizabeth II has been the object of unparalleled scrutiny. But through the fog of glamour and gossip, how well do we really know the world's most famous monarch? Drawing on numerous interviews and never-before-revealed documents, acclaimed biographer Sally Bedell Smith pulls back the curtain to show in intimate detail the public and private lives of Queen Elizabeth II, who has led her country and Commonwealth through the wars and upheavals of the last sixty years with unparalleled composure, intelligence, and grace. In Elizabeth the Queen, we meet the young girl who suddenly becomes "heiress presumptive" when her uncle abdicates the throne. We meet the thirteen-year-old Lilibet as she falls in love with a young navy cadet named Philip and becomes determined to marry him, even though her parents prefer wealthier English aristocrats. We see the teenage Lilibet repairing army trucks during World War II and standing with Winston Churchill on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on V-E Day. We see the young Queen struggling to balance the demands of her job with her role as the mother of two young children. Sally Bedell Smith brings us inside the palace doors and into the Queen's daily routines--the "red boxes" of documents she reviews each day, the weekly meetings she has had with twelve prime ministers, her physically demanding tours abroad, and the constant scrutiny of the press--as well as her personal relationships: with Prince Philip, her husband of sixty-four years and the love of her life; her children and their often-disastrous marriages; her grandchildren and friends. Praise for Elizabeth the Queen "An excellent, all-embracing new biography."--The New York Times " An] imposing, yet nimbly written, biography that] dwarfs the field . . . a most satisfying and enjoyable read, one to be savored at length."--Minneapolis Star Tribune "Fascinating . . . After sixty years on the throne, the monarch of Britain is better known for her poker face than for sly wit or easy charm. Yet in biographer Sally Bedell Smith's Elizabeth the Queen, Her Majesty sparkles with both."--More " A] smart and satisfying book."--Los Angeles Times