Elizabeth of York: The Forgotten Tudor Queen by Amy Licence. Non-fiction. UK release February 28, 2013; US release March 2013.
As Tudors go, Elizabeth of York is relatively unknown. Yet she was the mother of the dynasty, with her children becoming King of England (Henry VIII), Queens of Scotland (Margaret) and France (Mary Rose) and her direct descendants included three Tudor monarchs, two executed queens and ultimately, the Stuart royal family.
Although her offspring took England into the early modern world, Elizabeth's upbringing was rooted firmly in the medieval world, with its courtly and religious rituals and expectations of women. The pivotal moment was 1485. Before that, her future was uncertain amid the turbulent Wars of the Roses, as she was considered as the bride of first one man then another and witnessed the humiliation and murder of her family.
Surviving the blood bath of her uncle's reign, she slipped easily into the role of devoted wife, mother and Queen to Henry VII, venerated ever since for her docility and beauty. Yet was she as placid as history has suggested? In fact, she may have been a deeply cultured and intelligent survivor who learned to walk a difficult path through the twists and turns of fortune. Perhaps she was more of a modern woman than historians have given her credit for.
The Tudor Rose, Princess Mary: Henry VIII’s Sister by Jennifer Kewley Draskau. Non-fiction. UK release May 1, 2013.
The beautiful sister of Henry VIII, the spoiled darling of the court, Princess Mary Rose Tudor was married off to the ailing King of France against her will, and, after his death, had to fight for the right to marry Henry's favourite companion, Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk. After bearing him four children, Mary Rose died in the full flower of her beauty. Her adored husband, too busy to attend her funeral, soon married the 14-year-old fiancee of their only surviving son, who shortly thereafter died of TB.
Her older daughter, Frances, was the mother of the ill-fated Jane Grey, the 'Nine Days Queen.' Her second daughter, Eleanor, was the grandmother of Fernando, 5th Earl of Derby, intended by Henry VIII to inherit the throne after Elizabeth. The Tudor Rose is the previously untold story of Mary Tudor and the role she and her descendants played in Tudor England.
When the deputy commander of Rome's Imperial Security Service is assassinated on the island of Rhodes, Cassius Corbulo swiftly finds himself embroiled in the investigation. Assisted once more by ex-gladiator bodyguard Indavara and servant Simo, his search for the truth is complicated by the involvement of the dead man's headstrong daughter, Annia.
Braving hostile seas, Cassius and his allies follow the assassin's trail south aboard a ship captained by a roguish Carthaginian smuggler and manned by his disparate, dangerous crew. Their journey leads them to the farthest reaches of the empire; to a ruined city where the rules of Roman civilization have long been abandoned, and a deadly battle of wits with a brutal, relentless foe.
Crown of Thistles: The Fatal Inheritance of Mary Queen of Scots by Linda Porter. Non-fiction. UK release August 15, 2013.
From the author’s website: Her new book is about the Tudor-Stewart rivalry and is the story of a divided family of flamboyant kings and queens, cultured courts and tribal hatreds, blood feuds, violent deaths, rape and sexual licence on a breath-taking scale. Here are some of the greatest rulers in our history. At its heart is the greatest prize of all - the joint sovereignty of two kingdoms.