Suitcase Essentials from the Sunday Times Culture
God’s Traitors by Jessie Childs – A vivid, highly original history that sheds light on the suffering of Catholics under Elizabeth I. p. 30.
(c) Faber & Faber
The Hollow Crown by Dan Jones – A racy and vigorous narrative history of the Wars of the Roses. p.31
Event Magazine – The 100 Hottest Summer Books (Mail on Sunday)
Paperbacks – Non-fiction
God’s Traitors by Jessie Childs – We all know Bloody Mary liked to burn Protestants. But Childs focuses on the fate of Catholics in the reign of her sister, Elizabeth I, in this gripping history. p.17
Saturday Review – Summer Books (The Times)
The Rival Queens: Catherine de Medici, her daughter Marguerite de Valois, and the Betrayal that Ignited a Kingdom by Nancy Goldstone
Historians often suspicious of feminine perfection, are apt to equate beauty with frivolity and foolishness. This, perhaps explains the tendency to denigrate Marguerite de Valois (Margot), especially in comparison to her unscrupulous mother, Catherine de Medici. Nancy Goldstone gives this familiar of two queens a new twist by allowing Margot to shine. She argues that her subtlety, dexterity and resilience brought a modicum of stability to turbulent times, thus dampening the ruinous impact of her cruel and exploitative family. Goldstone’s gift is her ability to make human the often cardboard characters of 16th-century France. p. 15
(c) Sky Pony Press
1st July 2015
This fascinating book by Edd Morris starts off with a brief history of the castle: from the Norman invasion of 1066, the motte and bailey, the development of the medieval castle to their decline.
He then looks at nine castles in great detail (Bodiam, Corfe, Dover, Dunstanburgh, Framlingham, Goodrich, Kenilworth, Rochester and Tintagel). For each castle there is a floor plan, lots of amazing photos, a brief history of the castle and notes on any curious features, such as the chimney pots at Framlingham. But what really brings each castle to life is how Morris takes ‘a snapshot of one of the most notable moments in the past.’
For those interested in Tudor history, the notable events at Framlingham and Kenilworth involve the Tudor Queens, Mary I and Elizabeth I. Through the inclusion of Framlingham, this book also has links to Lady Jane Grey, as Framlingham Castle was where Mary Tudor raised her standard against Queen Jane in July 1553.
Read this book before visiting any of the castles included!
1 July – Exploring English Castles: Evocative, Romantic, and Mysterious True Tales of the Kings and Queens of the British Isles by Edd Morris
(c) Sky Pony Press
1st July 2015
‘A guide to some of the most historical and picturesque castles in England for romantics and Anglophiles alike. Castles have shaped England. For almost one thousand years, castles have been the settings of siege and battle, dens of plotting and intrigue, and refuges for troubled kings. Today, the romantic yet ruinous shapes of once grand fortresses stud the English countryside–a reminder of turbulent times past. Exploring English Castles provides readers with a breathtaking tour through the grandest castles of England. It brings ruins to life through true stories of royalty, chivalry, deception, and intrigue, played out within formerly majestic walls. Uncover the secret of Bodiam Castle, Sussex–a fortress seemingly from a fairy tale, built for a knight returning from the Hundred Years’ War. Discover how Mary Tudor, first queen of England, took refuge in Framlingham Castle, Suffolk, overturning a wily plot to deny her the throne. Unearth a delicate love story between Queen Elizabeth I and Robert Dudley, which unfolds against the genteel backdrop of Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire. Filled with evocative photographs, awe-inspiring historical tales, and gentle humor, Exploring English Castles will delight any armchair historian, travel aficionado, or fan of historical fiction.’
Further details – Exploring Castles
(c) Michael Joseph
‘Watch The Lady’ plunges you back into life at the Tudor court, so magnificently depicted by Elizabeth Freemantle in ‘Queen’s Gambit’ and ‘Sisters of Treason.’ Mainly set in the last years of Elizabeth I’s reign, with all the tension of a dying dynasty, we meet Penelope Deveraux, who is forced to marry a man she does not love. Penelope must negotiate life at court, trying to avoid the fate of her mother (who dared to marry the Queen’s favourite), while supporting her brother, the Earl of Essex, as he plays his deadly game with his rival, Robert Cecil. ‘Watch The Lady’ is a fitting end to Fremantle’s fabulous Tudor trilogy.
BBC History Magazine has published the results of the History Hot 100 survey. Lady Jane is number 45.
BBC History Magazine – History Hot 100
Another brilliant article from Christine at the All Things Robert Dudley blog.
A Grand Conspiracy in 1553? – Parliament
The Leicester Mercury reports on the finds at the Bradgate Park dig so far.
Archaeologists find a hoard of historical artifacts at Bradgate Park
18 June 2015 – Watch The Lady by Elizabeth Fremantle
(c) Michael Joseph
‘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.’
Further details – Elizabeth Fremantle
Further details – Amazon.co.uk