Books to look forward to in 2016


1 August 2016 – The French Queen of England: Margaret of Anjou and the Wars of the Roses by Susan Higginbotham

Further details – Amazon.co.uk


1 September 2016 – King Francis I of France by Leonie Frieda

Further details – Amazon.co.uk


3 October 2016 – The Nevills of Middleham: England’s Most Powerful Family in the Wars of the Roses by KL Clark

Further details – Amazon.co.uk


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17/18 December 1553


Jane is given permission to walk in the Queen’s garden at the Tower


‘The fortress would become in rapid succession her palace, her prison, her scaffold – and her tomb.’ (p.299, Jones)



On the 17th of December 1553, the Privy Council granted Lady Jane Dudley permission to walk in the Queen’s garden at the Tower of London.

Eric Ives writes that ‘not until 17/18 December was she given ‘the liberty of the Tower’ so that she could walk in the queen’s garden.’ (p.214, Ives)

Leanda de Lisle describes how, ‘It was bliss for Jane to walk in the crisp winter air after months spent in her dark rooms in the Tower. From 18th December she had the freedom to walk in the Queen’s garden.’ ( p. 138, de Lisle)


See Location



From the Acts of the Privy Council:

At Westminster, the xvij of December, 1553

‘A letter to the Lieutenant of the Towre, willing hym at convenient tymes by his discreation to suffer the late Duke of Northumbreland’s children to have the libertie of walke within the gardeyn of the Tower, and also to minister the like favour to the Ladye Jane and Doctour Cranmer, upon suggestion that diverse of them be and have byn evill at ease in their bodyes for want of ayre.’ (p. 379, Acts of the Privy Council)


The author of ‘The Chronicle of Queen Jane and of Two Years of Queen Mary, and Especially of the Rebellion of Sir Thomas Wyat’ wrote:

‘The xviijth day, the lady Jane had the libertie of the Tower, so she might walk in the queens garden and on the hille; and the lorde Robert and lorde Gilford the liberty of the leds in the Bell Tower…’ (p.3, Gough)



Location

The Tower of London is in central London on the north bank of the Thames.


From The Anne Boleyn Files

From The Anne Boleyn Files


h marks the Queen’s Gallery and Garden.



Sources

Dasent, J.R (ed) (1892) Acts of the Privy Council of England volume 4 – 1552-1554, pp. 379. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/source.aspx?pubid=1179&sp=3&pg=379 Date accessed: 17 December 2013

De Lisle, L. (2010) The Sisters Who Would Be Queen: The Tragedy of Mary, Katherine and Lady Jane Grey, HarperPress.

Ives, E. (2009) Lady Jane Grey: A Tudor Mystery, Wiley-Blackwell.

Jones, N. (2011) Tower: An Epic History of the Tower of London, Windmill Books

Nichols, J. G (ed) (1850) The Chronicle of Queen Jane and of Two Years of Queen Mary and Especially of the Rebellion of Sir Thomas Wyatt, Written by a Resident in the Tower of London, Llanerch Publisher

The Anne Boleyn Files

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More Books to look forward to in 2015


7 May 2015 – Joan of Arc (Paperback) by Helen Castor

‘We all know the story of Joan of Arc. A peasant girl who hears voices from God. A warrior leading an army to victory, in an age that believes women cannot fight. The Maid of Orléans, and the saviour of France. Burned at the stake as a heretic at the age of just nineteen. Five hundred years later, a saint. Her case was heard in court twice over. One trial, in 1431, condemned her; the other, twenty-five years after her death, cleared her name. In the transcripts, we hear first-hand testimony from Joan, her family and her friends: a rare survival from the medieval world. What could be more revealing? But all is not as simple as it seems, because this is a life told backwards, in hindsight – a story already shaped by the knowledge of what Joan would become.
In Joan of Arc: A History, Helen Castor tells this gripping story afresh: forwards, not backwards, setting this extraordinary girl within her extraordinary world where no one – not Joan herself, nor the people around her, princes, bishops, soldiers or peasants – knew what would happen next.’

From Amazon.co.uk

Further details – Helen Castor

Further details – Amazon.co.uk


15 March – The Family of Richard III by Michael Hicks

‘The Wars of the Roses were quarrels within the Plantagenet family, of which Richard’s dynasty, the house of York was one branch. The house of York won the first war, with Richard’s elder brother becoming king as Edward IV. In 1483, after decades of family infighting, there was a sudden violent resolution following Edward IV’s death. Richard III claimed to be his brother’s heir, the Yorkist establishment refused and shared in Richard’s destruction. With the recent discovery of Richard III’s skeleton and his reburial in Leicester Cathedral, Professor Michael Hicks, described by BBC HISTORY MAGAZINE as ‘the greatest living expert on Richard III’ reassesses the family ties and entrails of his wayward and violent family. Many thousands of descendants of Richard survive, some more interested in their linage than others, and the book will conclude with an analysis of Richard’s DNA and his ‘family’ as it exists today.’

From – Amazon.co.uk

Further details – Amazon.co.uk


28 March – Inside the Tudor Court (Paperback) by Lauren Mackay

‘The reports and despatches of Eustace Chapuys, Spanish Ambassador to Henry VIII’s court from 1529 to 1545, have been instrumental in shaping our modern interpretations of Henry VIII and his wives. As a result of his personal relationships with several of Henry’s queens, and Henry himself, his writings were filled with colourful anecdotes, salacious gossip, and personal and insightful observations of the key players at court, thus offering the single most continuous portrait of the central decades of Henry’s reign. Beginning with Chapuys’ arrival in England, in the middle of Henry VIII’s divorce from Katherine of Aragon, this book progresses through the episodic reigns of each of Henry’s queens. Chapuys tirelessly defended Katherine and later her daughter, Mary Tudor, the future Mary I. He remained as ambassador through the rise and fall of Anne Boleyn, and reported on each and every one of Henry’s subsequent wives – Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard, and Katharine Parr – as well as that most notorious of ministers Thomas Cromwell. He retired in 1545, close to the end of Henry VIII’s reign. In approaching the period through Chapuys’ letters, Lauren Mackay provides a fresh perspective on Henry, his court and the Tudor period in general.’

Further details

Further details – Lauren Mackay

Further details – Amazon.co.uk


14 April 2015 – The Story of the Tower of London by Tracy Borman

‘This book reveals the fascinating stories, dramatic events and colorful characters that make up the Tower of London’s remarkably long and varied history. Written from a social perspective, it presents a fresh appraisal of this world-famous site and sets it apart from any other available book. It offers a comprehensive history of the fortress, from its Roman origins right up to the present day. With over 200 color illustrations and a comprehensive and chronological narrative divided into thematic chapters, it conveys brilliantly the many and varied stories which make up the Tower’s history from the menagerie and royal mint to the roll call of its famous prisoners. The story of the Tower of London is, in many respects, the story of England. When building work began on the fortress, the capital was little more than a small town with no more than 10,000 inhabitants. Almost 1,000 years later, the fortress still stands as a symbol of royal power, pomp and ceremony, tradition, heritage, military might, treachery and torture. Its myriad roles are reflected in the complex series of buildings that make up this formidable, magnificent fortress an iconic site that still attracts millions of visitors from across the world each year.’

From Amazon.co.uk

Further details – Tracy Borman

Further details – Amazon.co.uk


9 June 2015 – Watch The Lady (Paperback) by Elizabeth Fremantle

‘The daughter of the Queen’s nemesis, Penelope Devereux, arrives at court blithely unaware of its pitfalls and finds herself in love with one man, yet married off to another. Bestowed with beauty and charm she and her brother, The Earl of Essex, are drawn quickly into the aging Queen’s favour. But Penelope is saddled with a husband who loathes her and chooses to strike out, risking her reputation to seek satisfaction elsewhere. But life at the heart of the court is not only characterised by the highs and lows of romance, there are formidable factions at work who would like to see the Devereux family brought down. It seems The Earl of Essex can do no wrong in the eyes of the Queen but as his influence grows so his enemies gather and it is Penelope who must draw on all her political savvy to prevent the unthinkable from happening.

Told from the perspective of Penelope and her brother’s greatest enemy the politician Cecil, this story, wrought with love, hatred and envy, unfolds over two decades in which we see the last gasps of Elizabeth’s reign, and the deadly scramble for power in a dying dynasty.’

From ElizabethFremantle.com

Further details – Elizabeth Fremantle

Further details – Amazon.co.uk


16 July 2015 – The Boleyn Reckoning (Paperback) by Laura Andersen

A choice to forever change the course of history.

While English soldiers prepare for the threat of invasion, William Tudor struggles with his own personal battles: he still longs for his childhood friend. But Minuette has married William’s trusted advisor, Dominic, in secret – an act of betrayal that puts both their lives in danger. Meanwhile, with war on the horizon, Princess Elizabeth must decide where her duty really lies: with her brother or her country…’

From – Amazon.co.uk

Further details – Laura Andersen

Further details – Amazon.co.uk


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Books of the Year – Event (Mail on Sunday)


Congratulations to Helen Castor who has an Event (Mail on Sunday) Book of the Year.


History-Makers


Joan of Arc by Helen Castor


‘In 1429, a 17-year-old girl dressed as a boy arrived at the court of Charles VII of France claiming to be God’s emissary and swearing that she could save France. There have been numerous biographies of Joan of Arc before, but Castor brings a fresh perspective. She’s careful to set the story in its proper historical and political context – Joan herself doesn’t appear until 80 pages in. Then, by drawing on a great many contemporary sources, Castor shows how Joan’s life, and her cause, gained such dramatic momentum. The result is as authoritative as it is readable.’

p. 25 (Event, December 7th 2014)


(c) Faber & Faber

(c) Faber & Faber


Lucy Worsley also picks ‘Joan of Arc’ as her book of the year.

‘What was life like in medieval times? We have surviving buildings everyday items, and treasures to tell us, but medieval people often feel like strangers, hidden from view by their lack of literacy. In Joan of Arc, Helen Castor has brought back to life the 15th century’s most famous woman: peasant, visionary and saintly heroine of the French people. And she has done so with a true historian’s care.’

p. 30 (Event, December 7th 2014)


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Lady Jane mentioned in BBC History Magazine articles


Lady Jane is briefly mentioned in two articles in the Christmas 2014 issue of BBC History Magazine.

‘Who was the real Edward VI?’ by Stephen Alford and ‘Mary: Queen Against the Odds’ by Anna Whitelock.

The article by Anna Whitelock also includes a close up of the ‘Streatham’ portrait of Jane, currently on display at the National Portrait Gallery.

BBC History Magazine – Christmas 2014

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News about Elizabeth Fremantle’s new book…


Elizabeth Fremantle has announced details of the last book in her Tudor Trilogy. ‘Watch the Lady’ will be published in June 2015.


(c) Paola Pieroni

(c) Paola Pieroni


‘The daughter of the Queen’s nemesis, Penelope Devereux, arrives at court blithely unaware of its pitfalls and finds herself in love with one man, yet married off to another. Bestowed with beauty and charm she and her brother, The Earl of Essex, are drawn quickly into the aging Queen’s favour. But Penelope is saddled with a husband who loathes her and chooses to strike out, risking her reputation to seek satisfaction elsewhere. But life at the heart of the court is not only characterised by the highs and lows of romance, there are formidable factions at work who would like to see the Devereux family brought down. It seems The Earl of Essex can do no wrong in the eyes of the Queen but as his influence grows so his enemies gather and it is Penelope who must draw on all her political savvy to prevent the unthinkable from happening.

Told from the perspective of Penelope and her brother’s greatest enemy the politician Cecil, this story, wrought with love, hatred and envy, unfolds over two decades in which we see the last gasps of Elizabeth’s reign, and the deadly scramble for power in a dying dynasty.’

From ElizabethFremantle.com


You can find further information at Elizabeth Fremantle’s website – Elizabeth Fremantle – Watch the Lady


The other books in the trilogy are ‘Queen’s Gambit’ and ‘Sisters of Treason.’

(c) Penguin

(c) Penguin

(c) Penguin

(c) Penguin


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Books of the Year – Saturday Review (The Times)


Congratulations to Elizabeth Fremantle, Jessie Childs and Helen Castor who all have Saturday Review Books of the Year.


History


God’s Traitors: Terror and Faith in Elizabethan England by Jessie Childs

(c) Bodley Head

(c) Bodley Head


‘Jessie Childs has explored the religious tumult of Elizabethan England through the experiences of the Catholic family, the Vauxes of Harrowden Hall: the result is a gripping tale of spies and skulduggery, of casuistry and unshakeable belief, of torture, martyrdom, courage and the ferocious collision and confusion of politics and religion. God’s Traitors is thought-provoking and timely, at a moment when the British state is once again beset by fear of religious fanaticism.’

p.5 (Saturday Review, December 6th 2014).


Biography


Joan of Arc: A History by Helen Castor

(c) Faber & Faber

(c) Faber & Faber


‘In 1428 a 17-year-old peasant girl appears at the French court and demands to speak with the king. The voice of God has told her to save France. And off to battle Joan the Maid goes, becoming the figurehead of a messianic crusade to liberate her homeland from its English occupiers. Castor, a Cambridge historian, ferrets away in the documents of time, carefully separating fact from myth. The story that emerges, after Castor has freed the warrior-saint from propaganda, both modern and old, is still utterly extraordinary.’

p.6 (Saturday Review, December 6th 2014).


Historical Fiction


Sisters of Treason by Elizabeth Fremantle

(c) Penguin

(c) Penguin


‘More Tudors. But even those jaded by the dynasty that launched a thousand novelists will find much that is fresh in Fremantle’s work. Katharine and Mary Grey are the younger sisters of Lady Jane Grey. The book starts with Jane’s execution and follows her sisters’ battle to survive the bloody religious turmoil of Queen Mary’s reign. This is powerful writing; the girls’ fears and passions burn through then pages. Mary Grey, the misformed, plain sister, is forced to dandle on the ageing Queen’s knee like an outwardly placid doll. Her inner fury lingers long after the last page is turned.’

p.14 (Saturday Review, December 6th 2014)


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Books 2014 that also featured Lady Jane:


An Illustrated Introduction to the Tudors (Paperback) by Gareth Russell


(c) Amberley Publishing

(c) Amberley Publishing


‘The six monarchs of the Tudor dynasty are phenomenally well known. Henry VII succeeded in ending the Wars of the Roses, Henry VIII formed the Church of England and famously married six times: Katherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard and Katherine Parr. His three children, Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I, would all ascend to the throne, as would his great-niece Lady Jane Grey. Between them they ruled for an eventful 118 years. This easy-to-follow introduction to the Tudors follows the major events and personalities of the age.’

From Amazon.co.uk

Further details – Amazon.co.uk

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Books 2014: on sale today


4 December – Edward VI (Penguin Monarchs): The Last Boy King by Stephen Alford


(c) Allen Lane

(c) Allen Lane


‘ Edward VI, the only son of Henry VIII, became king at the age of nine and died wholly unexpectedly at the age of fifteen. All around him loomed powerful men who hoped to use the child to further their own ends, but who were also playing a long game – assuming that Edward would long outlive them and become as commanding a figure as his father had been.

Stephen Alford’s wonderful book gives full play to the murky, sinister nature of Edward’s reign, but is also a poignant account of a boy learning to rule, learning to enjoy his growing power and to come out of the shadows of the great aristocrats around him. England’s last child monarch, Edward would have led his country in a quite different direction to the catastrophic one caused by his death.’

From Amazon.co.uk


Further details – Amazon.co.uk


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Congratulations to Jessie Childs…


‘God’s Traitors: Terror and Faith in Elizabethan England’ by Jessie Childs has been picked as a History Read of the Year in both the Sunday Times and the Daily Telegraph.


(c) Bodley Head

(c) Bodley Head



You can read the Daily Telegraph’s review here:

Chtistmas Books 2014: best history books to read


From the Sunday Times Culture:

‘For those families who had remained loyal to their Catholic faith, Elizabethan England could be a terrifying world of suspicion and persecution. And although Childs’s book scrupulously avoids taking sides, she brings her subject alive through the story of one family; the Vauxes of Harrowden Hall, whole religion made them deeply suspect in a country haunted by fears of Catholic terrorism. The result is a splendidly evocative portrait, not just of a family, but of an anxious, even paranoid age.’

Sunday Times Culture, p.39.
30 November 2014


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