The Death of Elizabeth I: Remembering and Reconstructing the Virgin Queen. US and UK release August 31, 2010. The death of Queen Elizabeth I in 1603 was greeted by an outpouring of official proclamations, gossip-filled letters, tense diary entries, diplomatic dispatches, and somber sermons. English poets wrote hundreds of elegies to Elizabeth, and playwrights began bringing her onto the stage. This book uses these historical and literary sources, including a maid of honor’s eyewitness account of the explosion of the Queen’s corpse, to provide a detailed history of Elizabeth’s final illness and death, and to show Elizabeth’s subjects—peers and poets, bishops and beggars, women and men—responding to their loss by remembering and reconstructing their Queen.
Medieval Intrigue: Royal Murder and Regnal Legitimacy by Ian Mortimer. UK release September 5, 2010; US release November 5, 2010. Ian Mortimer considers some of the key questions in Medieval history and rethinks the nature of historical evidence. In this important new work Ian Mortimer examines some of the most controversial questions in medieval history, including whether Edward II was murdered, his possible later life in Italy, the weakness of the Lancastrian claim to the throne in 1399, and the origins of the idea of the royal pretender. Central to this book is his groundbreaking approach to medieval evidence. He explains how an information-based method allows a more certain reading of a series of texts. He criticises existing modes of arriving at consensus and outlines a process of historical analysis that ultimately leads to questioning historical doubts as well as historical facts, with profound implications for what we can say about the past with certainty. This is an important work from one of the most original and popular medieval historians writing today.
Lucrezia: The Triumph of Love by John Graham. UK release September 6, 2010. Much has been written about the Borgias, and interest in their exploits hasn’t waned in more than 500 years. Here, Lucrezia Borgia gives her own account of the events that shaped her life through scandal, tragedy and triumph.
Lucrezia Borgia starts life as the illegitimate daughter of Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia, who bribes his way to the papal throne in 1492 as Pope Alexander VI. To help swing the election in his favour, he agrees to wed 12-year-old Lucrezia into the ruling house Milan, but this alliance soon becomes superfluous to the Borgias, and Lucrezia’s sinister brother Cesare drives away her husband by threatening him with death. Plans by her father and brother to marry her again, this time into the ruling house of the Kingdom of Naples, are put at risk by a liaison between Lucrezia and a chamberlain in her father’s household. Cesare has her lover murdered, but her new marriage makes Lucrezia blissfully happy, and produces a legitimate son. Cesare, however, is still not content to let his sister be, and his alliance with France against Naples results in the murder of her second husband. Lucrezia leaves Rome heartbroken and mired in scandal, but eventually accepts a third marriage to the heir apparent to the Duchy of Ferrara. Away from the pressures of her father and brother, she begins to chart a new life in which she learns much about herself and the many forms that love may take: sensual, sacred, platonic, and familial. From this she matures as a person and eventually delivers heirs to the house of d’Este to emerge triumphant.