Books 2017 – on sale today…


28th April 2017 – Catherine of Braganza: Charles II’s Restoration Queen by Sarah-Beth Watkins


(c) Chronos Books


‘Catherine of Braganza, a Portuguese princess, married Charles II in 1662 and became the merry monarch’s Restoration queen. Yet life for her was not so merry – she put up with the king’s many mistresses and continuous plots to remove her from the throne. She lived through times of war, plague and fire. Catherine’s marriage saw many trials and tribulations including her inability to produce an heir. Yet Charles supported his queen throughout the Restoration, remaining devoted to her no matter what. Outliving her husband, she ended up back in her home country and spent her final days as queen-regent of Portugal.’

From Amazon.co.uk

Further details – Chronos Books

Further details – Amazon.co.uk



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Nicola Tallis to give talk at the BBC History Magazine’s York History Weekend


(c) Joey Menghini


Nicola Tallis will be talking about Lady Jane at the BBC History Magazine’s History Weekend at York in November.

‘Crown of Blood: The Deadly Inheritance of Lady Jane Grey’ was published in the UK by Michael O’Mara last year.


(c) Michael O’Mara Books


Crown of Blood: The Deadly Inheritance of Lady Jane Grey with Nicola Tallis
Sunday 26 November 2017
2-3pm


You can buy tickets via the History Weekend website.

Follow @MissNicolaTal and @HistoryExtra.


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My review of ‘Catherine of Braganza: Charles II’s Restoration Queen’ by Sarah-Beth Watkins


(c) Chronos Books


This short biography of Catherine of Braganza is an interesting, straight forward and fast paced overview of the life of one of England’s less well known queens.

Watkins clearly shows the difficulties faced by a Catholic Queen in a Protestant country and how the childless Catherine dealt with the many mistresses and illegitimate children of Charles II at the restoration court.

Catherine’s struggle to find her place as Queen is set against the dramatic back drop of plots against her, the war against the Dutch, the plague and the great fire of London. It is a great starting point for those wanting to learn more about queenship in this period.


Thank you to Chronos Books for my review copy.



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Leanda de Lisle to give talk at the Ryedale Book Festival


(c) Harper Collins


Leanda de Lisle (historian and author of ‘Tudor: The Family Story’, ‘The Sisters Who Would Be Queen: The Tragedy of Mary, Katherine and Lady Jane Grey’ and ‘After Elizabeth’) will be giving a talk about the Grey sisters at the Ryedale Book Festival.


(c) Haper Press



The talk will take place on Friday 22nd September at St Mary’s Priory, Old Malton, Malton, North Yorkshire.

Further details and tickets will be available next month at the Ryedale Book Festival website.

Follow @LeandadeLisle and @RyedaleBookFest.


(c) Ryedale Book Festival




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Books 2017 – on sale today… – Katherine Howard: The Tragic Story of Henry VIII’s Fifth Queen (paperback) by Josephine Wilkinson



20th April 2017 – Katherine Howard: The Tragic Story of Henry VIII’s Fifth Queen (paperback) by Josephine Wilkinson


(c) John Murray


‘Looming out of the encroaching darkness of the February evening was London Bridge, still ornamented with the severed heads of Thomas Culpeper and Francis Dereham; the terrible price they had paid for suspected intimacy with the queen.

Katherine now reached the Tower of London, her final destination.

Katherine Howard was the fifth wife of Henry VIII and cousin to the executed Anne Boleyn. She first came to court as a young girl of fourteen, but even prior to that her fate had been sealed and she was doomed to die. She was beheaded in 1542 for crimes of adultery and treason, in one of the most sensational scandals of the Tudor age.

The traditional story of Henry VIII’s fifth queen dwells on her sexual exploits before she married the king, and her execution is seen as her just dessert for having led an abominable life. However, the true story of Katherine Howard could not be more different.

Far from being a dark tale of court factionalism and conspiracy, Katherine’s story is one of child abuse, family ambition, religious conflict and political and sexual intrigue. It is also a tragic love story. A bright, kind and intelligent young woman, Katherine was fond of clothes and dancing, yet she also had a strong sense of duty and tried to be a good wife to Henry. She handled herself with grace and queenly dignity to the end, even as the barge carrying her on her final journey drew up at the Tower of London, where she was to be executed for high treason.

Little more than a child in a man’s world, she was the tragic victim of those who held positions of authority over her, and from whose influence she was never able to escape.’

From Amazon.co.uk

Further details – Amazon.co.uk



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Books 2017 – on sale today: The Black Prince of Florence (paperback) by Catherine Fletcher



20th April 2017 – The Black Prince of Florence: The Spectacular Life and Treacherous World of Alessandro de’ Medici (paperback) by Catherine Fletcher


(c) Vintage


‘In The Black Prince of Florence, a dramatic tale of assassination, spies and betrayal, the first retelling of Alessandro’s life in two-hundred years opens a window onto the opulent, cut-throat world of Renaissance Italy.

The year is 1531. After years of brutal war and political intrigue, the bastard son of a Medici Duke and a ‘half-negro’ maidservant rides into Florence. Within a year, he rules the city as its Prince. Backed by the Pope and his future father-in-law the Holy Roman Emperor, the nineteen-year-old Alessandro faces down bloody family rivalry and the scheming hostility of Italy’s oligarchs to reassert the Medicis’ faltering grip on the turbulent city-state. Six years later, as he awaits an adulterous liaison, he will be murdered by his cousin in another man’s bed.

From dazzling palaces and Tuscan villas to the treacherous backstreets of Florence and the corridors of papal power, the story of Alessandro’s spectacular rise, magnificent reign and violent demise takes us deep beneath the surface of power in Renaissance Italy – a glamorous but deadly realm of spies, betrayal and vendetta, illicit sex and fabulous displays of wealth, where the colour of one’s skin meant little but the strength of one’s allegiances meant everything.’

From Amazon.co.uk

Further details – Amazon.co.uk



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