Every week Tanzanite features upcoming historical fiction and history related non-fiction books that have come to her attention and may be of interest to others. Since she has an out of control TBR pile, so should everyone else!
A CONVENIENT MARRIAGE
Sold into marriage to a man she has never met, whose language she does not speak, whose country she has never visited – Princess Henrietta Maria of France marries Charles I and becomes Queen of England. But it is an England on the brink of cataclysm, a country about to plunge into civil war.
THE SECRET PASSION
Against all odds, the marriage of Charles and Henrietta Maria becomes one of the greatest love matches in history. But in the wings is another man who will lay siege to her heart. Harry Jermyn will shake the royal marriage to its foundations as England itself is torn apart.
An epic on the grand scale, set against one of the great turning points in our history.
The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory. UK release September 15, 2011; US release October 11, 2011.
Jacquetta, daughter of the Count of Luxembourg and kinswoman to half the royalty of Europe, was married to the great Englishman John, Duke of Bedford, uncle to Henry VI. Widowed at the age of nineteen she took the extraordinary risk of marrying a gentleman of her house-hold for love, and then carved out a life for herself as Queen Margaret of Anjou's close friend and a Lancaster supporter - until the day that her daughter Elizabeth Woodville fell in love and married the rival king Edward IV. Of all the little-known but important women of the period, her dramatic story is the most neglected. With her links to Melusina, and to the founder of the house of Luxembourg, together with her reputation for making magic, she is the most haunting of heroines.
Katherine Willoughby – The Woman Who Nearly Became Henry VIII’s Last Queen by Kelly Hart. Non-fiction. This one was originally supposed to be released in 2010, but it has a new UK release date of October 2011.
Katherine Willoughby, Duchess of Suffolk, was a close friend to and lady in waiting to Katherine Parr. In 1546, rumors abounded that Henry VIII wanted to annul his sixth marriage to Katherine Parr. Young, intelligen and devout, Katherine Willoughby would have made an ideal queen.
A Crimson Warning by Tasha Alexander. US and UK release October 25, 2011. (re-posted with cover)
Secrets prove deadly in this new novel from Tasha Alexander featuring Lady Emily Hargreaves. Some very prominent people in London are waking up to find their doorsteps smeared with red paint, the precursor to the revelation of a dark secret – and worse – by someone who enjoys destroying lives
Newly returned to her home in Mayfair, Lady Emily Hargreaves is looking forward to enjoying the delights of the season. The delights, that is, as defined by her own eccentricities—reading The Aeneid, waltzing with her dashing husband, and joining the Women’s Liberal Federation in the early stages of its campaign to win the vote for women. But an audacious vandal disturbs the peace in the capital city, splashing red paint on the neat edifices of the homes of London’s elite. This mark, impossible to hide, presages the revelation of scandalous secrets, driving the hapless victims into disgrace, despair and even death. Soon, all of London high society is living in fear of learning who will be the next target, and Lady Emily and her husband, Colin, favorite agent of the crown, must uncover the identity and reveal the motives of the twisted mind behind it all before another innocent life is lost.
The Winding Road by Cynthia Herrod-Eagles. UK release November 3, 2011.
1925. England is prosperous; the nation has put the war behind it, and hope is in the air. The Jazz Age is in full swing in New York, where Polly Morland is the most feted beauty of the day. But a proposal of marriage from the powerful, enigmatic Ren Alexander takes her by surprise. Her cousin Lennie, expanding his interests from radio to television and talkies, worries that no one knows much about Ren; but his attempts to find out more threaten disaster. In London, the General Strike gives the country another chance to show its stiff upper lip, as everyone turns to and helps out. Emma drives an ambulance again, while Molly runs a canteen, and each unexpectedly finds love, and a new career. But the whirligig is slowing, shadows are gathering over Europe, and the good times are almost over. Morland Place is threatened by the worst disaster of its history, and the Old World reaches out a hand to pluck Polly from the New. The Wall Street Crash brings the fabulous decade to a shattering close, and nothing will ever be quite the same again; but new shoots emerge from the ruins, hope is reborn, and the Morlands prove again that family is everything, and will endure.
Season of Light begins in 1788, in the heady days just before the French revolution, when Paris is fizzing with new ideas about liberty and equality. Asa Ardleigh, the impressionable 19-year-old daughter of a country squire, has traveled to the city with her older sister, Philippa, and Philippa's new husband. In Paris, they are introduced to the literary salon of Madame de Genlis. It is in this salon that Asa meets, and falls in love with, a dashing intellectual and idealist, Didier Paulin. Their affair is curtailed when Asa is forced to return to England, but they continue to write as the storm clouds gather over France and war with England seems imminent. Meanwhile back at home, no one knows of Asa's liaison. Asa's middle sister, Georgina, has met Harry Shackleford, the most eligible man in London that season, and to whom the Ardleigh estate is entailed. After the death of their mother, the Ardleigh girls' father began to drink heavily and now the estate is nearly bankrupt. In Shackleford, Georgina sees not only a fortuitous marriage for her sister, but also the solution to their financial woes. However Asa's accomplishments need some polishing. Georgina therefore employs Madame de Rusigneux, a French Marquise. Asa soon discovers there is more to this woman than meets the eye...
In this highly-anticipated new novel, Diana Gabaldon brings back one of her most compelling characters: the unforgettable Lord John Grey - soldier, gentleman, and no mean hand with a blade. Set in the heart of the eighteenth century, Lord John's world is one of mystery and menace. Diana Gabaldon brilliantly weaves together the strands of Lord John's secret and public lives. Capturing the lonely, tormented, and courageous career of a man who fights for his crown, his honor, and his own secrets, Diana Gabaldon delivers breathtaking human drama, proving once again that she can bring history to life in a way few novelists ever have.
Behind every great ruler lies a betrayal. Eva Stachniak's novel sweeps readers into the passionate, intimate, and treacherous world of Catherine the Great, revealing Russia's greatest monarch from her earliest days in court, where the most valuable currency was the secrets of nobility and the most dangerous weapon to wield was ambition.
Two young women, caught in the landscape of shifting allegiances, navigate the treacherous waters of palace intrigue. Barbara, the narrator, is a servant who will become one of Russia's most cunning royal spies. Sophie is a naive German duchess who will become Catherine the Great. For readers of superb historical fiction, Eva Stachniak captures in glorious detail the opulence of royalty and the perilous loyalties of the Russian court.