Sunday weekTanzanite highlights books that will be
released during the upcoming week. She
hopes you will find something you will enjoy!
Apologies for the lack of posts lately. I've been hit with a couple of health issues and with doctor's appointments, tests and procedures, I haven't felt much like blogging or even reading. Since I missed last week's new books, I've included them with this weeks. Hopefully things will return to normal shortly.
The Unfaithful Queen by Carolly Erickson. US release September 18, 2012 (UK release September 13, 2012).
Amid the turbulent, faction-ridden late reign of the fearsome Henry, eager high-spirited Catherine Howard caught the king's eye—but not before she had been the sensual plaything of at least three other men. Ignorant of her past, seeing only her youthful exuberance and believing that she could make him happy, he married her—only to discover, too late, that her heart belonged to his gentleman usher Tom Culpeper.
As the net of court intrigue tightens around her, and with the Tudor succession yet again in peril because of Prince Edward's severe illness, Queen Catherine struggles to give the angry, bloated and impotent king a son. But when her relations turn against her, she finds herself doomed, just as her cousin Anne Boleyn was, to face the executioner.
The Unfaithful Queen lays bare the dark underbelly of the Tudor court, with its sugared rivalries and bitter struggles for power, where a girl of noble family could find herself sent to labor among the turnspits in the kitchens or—should fortune favor her—be exalted to the throne.
The Black Count by Tom Reiss. Non-fiction. US release September 18, 2012; UK release September 20, 2012.
Here is the remarkable true story of the real Count of Monte Cristo – a stunning feat of historical sleuthing that brings to life the forgotten hero who inspired such classics as The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers.
The real-life protagonist of The Black Count, General Alex Dumas, is a man almost unknown today yet with a story that is strikingly familiar, because his son, the novelist Alexandre Dumas, used it to create some of the best loved heroes of literature.
Yet, hidden behind these swashbuckling adventures was an even more incredible secret: the real hero was the son of a black slave -- who rose higher in the white world than any man of his race would before our own time.
Born in Saint-Domingue (now Haiti), Alex Dumas was briefly sold into bondage but made his way to Paris where he was schooled as a sword-fighting member of the French aristocracy. Enlisting as a private, he rose to command armies at the height of the Revolution, in an audacious campaign across Europe and the Middle East – until he met an implacable enemy he could not defeat.
The Black Count is simultaneously a riveting adventure story, a lushly textured evocation of 18th-century France, and a window into the modern world’s first multi-racial society. But it is also a heartbreaking story of the enduring bonds of love between a father and son.
Thomas Wyatt: The Heart's Forest by Susan Brigden. Non-fiction. US and UK release September 20, 2012.
Thomas Wyatt (1503-1542) was the first modern voice in English poetry. 'Chieftain' of a 'new company of courtly makers', he brought the Italian poetic Renaissance to England, but he was also revered as prophet-poet of the Reformation. His poetry holds a mirror to the secret, capricious world of Henry VIII's court, and alludes darkly to events which it might be death to describe.
In the Tower, twice, Wyatt was betrayed and betrayer. This remarkably original biography is more - and less - than a Life, for Wyatt is so often elusive, in flight, like his Petrarchan lover, into the 'heart's forest'. Rather, it is an evocation of Wyatt among his friends, and his enemies, at princely courts in England, Italy, France and Spain, or alone in contemplative retreat.
Following the sources - often new discoveries, from many archives - as far as they lead, Susan Brigden seeks Wyatt in his 'diverseness', and explores his seeming confessions of love and faith and politics. Supposed, at the time and since, to be the lover of Anne Boleyn, he was also the devoted 'slave' of Katherine of Aragon. Aspiring to honesty, he was driven to secrets and lies, and forced to live with the moral and mortal consequences of his shifting allegiances. As ambassador to Emperor Charles V, he enjoyed favour, but his embassy turned to nightmare when the Pope called for a crusade against the English King and sent the Inquisition against Wyatt. At Henry VIII's court, where only silence brought safety, Wyatt played the idealized lover, but also tried to speak truth to power. Wyatt's life, lived so restlessly and intensely, provides a way to examine a deep questioning at the beginning of the Renaissance and Reformation in England. Above all, this new biography is attuned to Wyatt's dissonant voice and broken lyre, the paradox within him of inwardness and the will to 'make plain' his heart, all of which make him exceptionally difficult to know - and fascinating to explore.
The Purple Shroud by Stella Duffy. US release September 25, 2012 (was released in the UK in July 2012).
Theodora: Actress, Empress, Whore, Stella Duffy's chronicle of this amazing woman's early years, delighted readers with its exquisite blend of historical detail and vivid storytelling. Now, The Purple Shroud chronicles Theodora at the height of her power, bringing the ancient world alive in another unforgettable, epic saga.
Theodora and Justinian have been crowned Emperor and Empress, but ruling an empire is no easy task. The two factions of Christianity are still battling for dogmatic supremacy, the Empire's borders are not secure, and Theodora worries about the ambitions of Justinian's two best generals. But the most pressing concern is close to home: Constantinople's two factions, the Blues and the Greens, are beginning to unite in their unhappiness with rising taxes. When that unhappiness spills over into all-out violence, thousands are killed (including someone very close to Theodora) and many of the City's landmarks are destroyed, including Theodora's beloved Hagia Sophia. In the aftermath of the riots, Theodora guides Justinian in gaining back the love and trust of the people, her unerring instinct for what the people want proving invaluable. Justinian promises to rebuild the Hagia Sophia to be even more spectacular than before. Theodora comes to realize that being the Augusta is simply another role she must play, though the stakes are much higher and there is no offstage. It's a role she was born to play.
The Queen's Promise by Lyn Andrews. UK release September 27, 2012.
From bestselling author Lyn Andrews comes a compelling historical epic set at the endlessly fascinating Tudor court about the most infamous woman of the age - Anne Boleyn - and the man who loved her before she became queen.
From the moment Henry Percy, future Earl of Northumberland, glimpses the beautiful Anne Boleyn he is captivated and quickly proposes marriage Anne has been taught to use her charms to her advantage and to secure her family's position of power at court. She sees that Henry Percy's affection is sincere and agrees to marry him.
But a match of the heart has no place in a world where marriage is a political manoeuvre. Torn apart, the lovers are exiled to separate ends of the kingdom. For Henry a lifetime of duty awaits, while he remains true to the only woman he will ever love. But he is not the only man to be bewitched by Anne. And when King Henry VIII determines to make her his queen, the course of history is changed for ever...
1356: Go With God and Fight Like the Devil by Bernard Cornwell. UK release September 27, 2012 (will be released in the US in January 2013).
Go with God and Fight Like the Devil. A fascinating hero and the pursuit of a sword with mythical power - this is the remarkable new novel by Britain’s master storyteller, which culminates at the Battle of Poitiers in 1356.
The Hundred Years War rages on and the bloodiest battles are yet to be fought. Across France, towns are closing their gates, the crops are burning and the country stands alert to danger. The English army, victorious at the Battle of Crécy and led by the Black Prince, is invading again and the French are hunting them down.
Thomas of Hookton, an English archer known as Le Bâtard, is under orders to seek out the lost sword of St Peter, a weapon said to grant certain victory to whoever possesses her. As the outnumbered English army becomes trapped near the town of Poitiers, Thomas, his men and his sworn enemies meet in an extraordinary confrontation that ignites one of the greatest battles of all time.