By the King's Design by Christine Trent. US and UK release January 31, 2012.
Annabelle "Belle" Stirling inherited the family draper shop from her late father, only to have it sabotaged by her ne'er-do-well brother, Wesley. Belle travels to London to seek redress, and while there, the Prince Regent, future King George IV, commissions her to provide fabrics for his Royal Pavilion. As Belle's renown spreads, she meets handsome cabinetmaker Putnam Boyce, but worries that marriage will mean sacrificing her now flourishing shop. When Wesley plots to kidnap the newly crowned King, Belle finds herself entangled in a duplicitous world of shifting allegiances, where every choice could have unexpected consequences for her future, her safety, and her kingdom...
Autumn 1386. Hildegard of Meaux - a Cistercian Abbess with a keen instinct for crime solving - is accompanying the Archbishop of York, Alexander Neville, to London for the opening of Parliament amid much civic unrest. While packing to leave, the Archbishop's saucier is found brutally murdered in the ale vat, and it emerges that the culprit must be one of the Archbishop's party. The journey from York to London is fraught with more deadly surprises, and it becomes clear to Hildegard that this sinister plot may also involve King Richard, and those looking to depose him at all costs. Traitors, murderers, noblemen and madmen come together to create a puzzling scheme that only Hildegard can solve, digging up past grudges, new weapons and a mysterious friar. The most recent instalment in the highly acclaimed Hildegard of Meaux series, A Parliament of Spies paints a vivid picture of medieval London, where loyalty and treason are very difficult to identify.
The history books have cast Katherine of Aragon, the first queen of King Henry VIII of England, as the ultimate symbol of the Betrayed Woman, cruelly tossed aside in favor of her husband’s seductive mistress, Anne Boleyn. Katherine’s sister, Juana of Castile, wife of Philip of Burgundy and mother of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, is portrayed as “Juana the Mad,” whose erratic behavior included keeping her beloved late husband’s coffin beside her for years. But historian Julia Fox, whose previous work painted an unprecedented portrait of Jane Boleyn, Anne’s sister, offers deeper insight in this first dual biography of Katherine and Juana, the daughters of Spain’s Ferdinand and Isabella, whose family ties remained strong despite their separation. Looking through the lens of their Spanish origins, Fox reveals these queens as flesh-and-blood women—equipped with character, intelligence, and conviction—who are worthy historical figures in their own right.
When they were young, Juana’s and Katherine’s futures appeared promising. They had secured politically advantageous marriages, but their dreams of love and power quickly dissolved, and the unions for which they’d spent their whole lives preparing were fraught with duplicity and betrayal. Juana, the elder sister, unexpectedly became Spain’s sovereign, but her authority was continually usurped, first by her husband and later by her son. Katherine, a young widow after the death of Prince Arthur of Wales, soon remarried his doting brother Henry and later became a key figure in a drama that altered England’s religious landscape.
Ousted from the positions of power and influence they had been groomed for and separated from their children, Katherine and Juana each turned to their rich and abiding faith and deep personal belief in their family’s dynastic legacy to cope with their enduring hardships. Sister Queens is a gripping tale of love, duty, and sacrifice—a remarkable reflection on the conflict between ambition and loyalty during an age when the greatest sin, it seems, was to have been born a woman.
It is the darkest hour of the darkest Age. King Arthur is dead, killed by his wicked nephew, Mordred. Saxon invaders rampage across the land and forces of evil are gathering. The path to the throne lies open to Arthur's only remaining flesh and blood - Mordred. But there is one with a better claim than Mordred - Arthur's secret child. Brought by Merlin to enchanted Avalon as a baby and raised there for protection, the king's heir must take up a vital quest: to search for the four magical Lights with the power to restore Arthur's soul to his body. Introducing Rhianna Pendragon: unlikely princess and Camelot's last hope.
The first biography to show what Richard III was really like. Not many people would claim to be saints, or alternatively, consider themselves entirely without redeeming qualities. Some are unquestionably worse than others, but few have been held in greater infamy than Richard Plantagenet, afterwards Duke of Gloucester and, later still, King Richard III. Richard's character has been besmirched as often as it has been defended, and the arguments between his detractors and supporters still rage after several centuries. Was he a ruthless hunchback who butchered his way to the throne, a paragon of virtue who became a victim of Tudor propaganda, or (as seems more likely) something in between? Some would argue that a true biography is impossible because the letters and other personal documents required for this purpose are simply not available; but David Baldwin has overcome this by an in-depth study of his dealings with his contemporaries. The fundamental question he has answered is 'what was Richard III really like'.
The inside story of Henry VIII's divorce from Catherine of Aragon.
1527. Gregorio 'The Cavalier' Casali is Henry VIII's man in Rome. An Italian freelance diplomat, he charmed his way into the English service before he was twenty. But now he faces an almighty challenge. Henry wants a divorce from Catherine of Aragon, and Casali must persuade Pope Clement VII of his master's case.
Set against the backdrop of war-torn Renaissance Italy, Our Man in Rome weaves together tales from the grubby underbelly of Tudor politics with a gripping family saga to reveal the extraordinary true story behind history's most infamous divorce.
Through six years of cajoling, threats and bribery, Casali lives by his wits. He manoeuvres his brothers into lucrative diplomatic postings, plays off one master against another, dodges spies, bandits and noblemen alike. But as the years pass and Henry's case drags on, his loyalties are increasingly suspected. What will be Casali's fate?
Drawing on hundreds of unknown archive documents, Our Man in Rome reconstructs his tumultuous life among the great and powerful at this turning point for European history. From the besieged Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome to the splendours of Greenwich Palace, we follow his trail in the service of Henry VIII. Lavish ceremony and glamorous parties stand in contrast to the daily strains of embassy life, as Casali pawns family silver to pay the bills, fights off rapacious in-laws and defends himself in the face of Anne Boleyn's wrath.
The first book on the Crusades to pay focus on the real backdrop and catalyst of the First Crusade from a talented and gifted debut historian.
In 1096, an expedition of extraordinary scale and ambition set off from Western Europe on a mass pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Three years later, after a journey which saw acute hardship, the most severe dangers and thousands of casualties, the knights of the First Crusade found themselves storming the fortifications and capturing the Holy City from its Muslim overlords. Against all the odds, the expedition had returned Jerusalem to Christian hands.
With its themes of the rise of the papacy, the confrontation between Christianity and Islam, the evolution of the concept of holy war, of knightly piety and religious devotion, the First Crusade is one of the best-known and most written-about events in history.
Yet this fascinating and innovative study, Peter Frankopan shifts the paradigm and asks vital questions that have never been posed before. Why was there an overwhelming desire to liberate Jerusalem in the mid-1090s, given that the city had been taken by the Muslims nearly 500 years earlier? What were the causes of the Crusade in the east which provoked such an overwhelming response in the west? What role was played by the Byzantine emperor in Constantinople in the genesis and execution of the expedition? In short, why was there a First Crusade?
Rather than concentrating on the pope and the knights of western Europe who have dominated the history of the First Crusade for centuries, Frankopan focuses on Constantinople and the Byzantine Empire. He brilliantly restores the Emperor Alexios I Komnenos to the heart of the story, with a series of catastrophic events in the mid-1090s serving to paint a compelling and strikingly original picture of the expedition to Jerusalem that will change our understanding of the Crusades as a whole.