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!
The first two were actually released in the UK a few weeks ago, but I just stumbled across them earlier this week so thought I would include them:
Mary Rose by David Loades. Non-fiction. UK release May 10, 2012; US release July 2012.
'A paradise... tall, slender, grey-eyed, possessing an extreme pallor'. The contemporary view of Henry VIII's younger sister, Princess Mary Rose as one of the most beautiful princesses in Europe, was an arresting one. Glorious to behold, this Tudor Princess with her red hair flowing loose to her waist, was also impossible for Henry to control.
She first married the king of France, a match of great importance to Henry's diplomatic plans. He was dead within three months. The talk of the European courts was that the teenage bride had killed the 51-year old Louis XII with her exertions of the king in his bedchamber. She then ran off with her new lover, the great rake of the Tudors era, Charles Brandon. After some uncomfortable arguments with Henry VIII, she was officially sanctioned to marry the Duke of Suffolk in 1515 at Greenwich Palace. Yet Henry remained deeply fond of his sister, he named his greatest warship after her and continued to support Mary despite her ignoring his every request.
David Loades' biography, the first for almost 50 years brings the princess alive once more. Of all Tudor women, this queen of France and later Duchess of Suffolk remains an elusive, enigmatic figure.
Anne Boleyn by Norah Lofts. Non-fiction. UK reissue May 10, 2012; US release July 1, 2012.
Ever since she first appeared in the Tudor court, Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s second queen, has been a mystery and a source of controversy. Even her birth is shrouded in obscurity; both year and place are the subject of debate. Was she beautiful, as those who fell under her spell believed, or was she a rather plain girl blessed with striking eyes and a wealth of black hair?
More mysterious still is the nature of her role in one of the most turbulent times in British history. Henry, who wrote her impassioned love letters and composed songs in her praise, honoured her as no woman was ever honoured before, and finally defied the Pope in order to marry her. Her enemies at the time believed she owed her success to witchcraft, and indeed she bore two ‘devil’s marks’. But was she, in fact, only a hapless pawn, subject to the passions of a notoriously mercurial autocrat? Why was her fall from favour so sudden and complete? Henry’s love changed to a hatred so vicious that he conspired with his chief minister to have her accused of adultery with five men – one her own brother. Four of them went to the block protesting her innocence – and their own.
Renegade by Robyn Young. UK release August 28, 2012.
BORN TO A LINE OF KINGS HE WILL NOT BOW TO A CONQUEROR
King Edward of England marches on Scotland like an avenging tide. One man alone can thwart his ambition to rule all of Britain. Robert Bruce's veins run with the blood of kings, and he burns to fulfil his family's claim to the throne of Scotland.
But on the run through the wilds of Ireland, hunted by a relentless assassin, Robert seems a long way from achieving his destiny. And there are other eyes on Scotland's crown, and old enemies gather against him.
This is a game of conquest, power and treachery, and Robert finds that to survive he must first abandon everything he holds dear. He was always prepared to die on the battlefield - but what else must he sacrifice to keep his hopes alive?
The Kings and Queens of England by David Loades. UK release August 28, 2012.
This is the history of the men and women who have occupied the highest position in English, and later British society. For about a thousand years they were superior lords, the leaders of a nobility which ruled; and for about three hundred years thereafter they were sovereigns, whose servants ruled in their name. Now, with the rise of democracy, they no longer rule. The Queen is a symbol and a social leader, vastly experienced in the ways of the world, and the head of a family which strives to be useful in a modern community. The records of the monarchy vary from one period to another, and many of them are political in nature. However, it is always necessary to remember the human being behind the constitutional facade. This is an attempt to recover their identities. Includes 200 illustrations (150 in colour).