My Lady Jane birthday cake and present


Not only did I spend my birthday at Sudeley Castle but my wonderful parents bought me a Lady Jane Grey rose and Lady Jane featured on my birthday cake!



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Books 2016 – on sale today – The Black Prince of Florence by Catherine Fletcher


21 April 2016 – The Black Prince of Florence by Catherine Fletcher


(c) Bodley Head

(c) Bodley Head


‘Alessandro de’ Medici is thought to be the first black head of state in the modern West. This is the first biography in two hundred years to tell the story of his spectacular life.

Between 1531 and 1537, Alessandro’s reign as prince of Florence was as magnificently colourful as it was short. The bastard son of a Medici duke and a ‘half-Negro’ maidservant, he was propelled to power at the age of only nineteen after the grandest dynasty of the Italian Renaissance lost its last legitimate heir. Betrothed to the daughter of the Holy Roman Emperor, he faced down bloody family rivalry and enormous hostility from Florence’s oligarchs, who called him a womaniser and tyrant. Yet this real-life counterpart to Machiavelli’s Prince kept his grip on power until he was assassinated during a late-night assignation by his scheming cousin.

From dazzling palaces and Tuscan villas to the treacherous backstreets of Florence and the corridors of papal power, this dramatic biography draws on extensive archival research to overturn our perceptions both of the history of race and of the Italian Renaissance.

From Amazon.co.uk

Further details – Catherine Fletcher

Further details – Amazon.co.uk


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Another book with a Jane link to look forward to…


6th October 2016 – The Lives of Tudor Women by Elizabeth Norton


(c) Head of Zeus

(c) Head of Zeus


‘The turbulent Tudor age never fails to capture the imagination. But what was it actually like to be a woman during this period? This was a time when death in infancy or during childbirth was rife; when marriage was usually a legal contract, not a matter for love, and the education of women was minimal at best. Yet the Tudor century was also dominated by powerful and characterful women in a way that no era had been before. Elizabeth Norton explores the seven ages of the Tudor woman, from childhood to old age, through the diverging examples of women such as Elizabeth Tudor, Henry VIII’s sister who died in infancy; Cecily Burbage, Elizabeth’s wet nurse; Mary Howard, widowed but influential at court; Elizabeth Boleyn, mother of a controversial queen; and Elizabeth Barton, a peasant girl who would be lauded as a prophetess. Their stories are interwoven with studies of topics ranging from Tudor toys to contraception to witchcraft, painting a portrait of the lives of queens and serving maids, nuns and harlots, widows and chaperones.’

From Head of Zeus


Further details – Elizabeth Norton

Further details – Head of Zeus

Further details – Amazon.co.uk


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Books 2016 – on sale today – The Rival Queens: Catherine de’ Medici, Her Daughter Marguerite de Valois, and the Betrayal That Ignited a Kingdom (paperback) by Nancy Goldstone


19 April 2016 – The Rival Queens: Catherine de’ Medici, Her Daughter Marguerite de Valois, and the Betrayal That Ignited a Kingdom (paperback) by Nancy Goldstone


(c) Back Bay Books

(c) Back Bay Books


‘Set in Renaissance France at the magnificent court of the Valois kings, THE RIVAL QUEENS is the history of two remarkable women, a mother and daughter driven into opposition by a terrible betrayal that threatened to destroy the realm.

Catherine de’ Medici, the infamous queen mother of France, was a consummate pragmatist and powerbroker who dominated the throne for 30 years. Her youngest daughter Marguerite, the glamorous ‘Queen Margot’, was a passionate free spirit, the only adversary whom her mother could neither intimidate nor control.

When Catherine forces the Catholic Marguerite to marry her Protestant cousin Henry of Navarre against her will, and then uses her opulent Parisian wedding as a means of luring his Huguenot followers to their deaths, in the notorious St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre of 1572, she creates not only savage conflict within France but also a potent rival within her own family.

Rich in historical detail and vivid prose, Nancy Goldstone’s narrative unfolds as a thrilling historical epic. Treacherous court politics, poisonings, international espionage and adultery form the background to a story whose fascinating array of characters include such celebrated figures as Elizabeth I, Mary, Queen of Scots, and Nostradamus.

From Catherine’s early struggles with her husband’s exquisite mistress, Diane de Poitiers, and her exultant rise to power, through Marguerite’s poignant sacrifice of love and happiness to save her husband’s life, and ultimately to the political awakening that leads to a threat to her very survival, THE RIVAL QUEENS is a dangerous tale of love, betrayal, ambition and the true nature of courage, the echoes of which still resonate.’

From Amazon.co.uk

Further details – Amazon.co.uk

Further details – Nancy Goldstone


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Framlingham Castle added to Tudor Related Places


Finally got round to adding Framlingham Castle to the ‘Tudor Related Places’ section of the website.




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