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Published in September 2016
Athelstan: The Making of England by Tom Holland. This short biography of the first King of the English includes maps and a genealogical table.
William I: England's Conqueror by Marc Morris. A brief biography of the Norman king whose disastrous coronation was an omen of catastrophes to come.
Henry V: The Conscience of a King by Malcolm Vale. More than just a warrior-king, Henry V was a gifted ruler, acutely conscious of spiritual matters and his subjects' welfare.
Prince Arthur: The Tudor King Who Never Was by Sean Cunningham. This biography of Henry VIII's elder brother, who died young, explores his relationship with his brother and imagines what type of king he might have been.
The Countess: The Scandalous Life of Frances Villiers, Countess of Jersey by Tim Clarke. Mistress of future king George IV, the countess enraged the country and threatened the monarchy, blackening the prince's reputation for posterity.
Mrs Keppel: Mistress to the King by Tom Quinn. A biography of Alice Keppel, who was for many years the lover of King Edward VII, though she managed to avoid the stigma of being a royal mistress.
Britain and Other Countries
Richard II and the Irish Kings by Darren McGettigan. In the late 14th century, England's King Richard II led two expeditions to Ireland. This book tells the story of the encounters between the king and his reluctant Gaelic Irish vassals.
The Sultan and the Queen: The Untold Story of Elizabeth and Islam by Jerry Brotton. After Queen Elizabeth I was excommunicated in 1570, she entered into an unprecedented alliance with the powerful Ottoman sultan Murad III. This marked the beginning of an alignment with Muslim powers not again experienced until the modern age. (Published in the UK as This Orient Isle.)
Mistress of Everything: Queen Victoria in Indigenous Worlds edited by Sarah Carter and Maria Nugent. How indigenous people across Britain's settler colonies incorporated the Queen into their political repertoires during her long reign.
The Captivity of John II, 1356-60: The Royal Image in Later Medieval England and France by Neil Murphy. Analyzes the display of royal power during French king Jean II's four years in English captivity during the Hundred Years War.
Anti-Jewish Riots in the Crown of Aragon and the Royal Response, 1391-1392 by Benjamin R. Gampel. Explores why the royal family's authority failed to protect the Jews during devastating riots in Castile and Aragon.
The Black Prince of Florence: The Spectacular Life and Treacherous World of Alessandro de' Medici by Catherine Fletcher. Born out of wedlock to a maid and Lorenzo de' Medici, Alessandro was ruler of Florence for seven bloody years, 1531 to 1537.
Life in the Georgian Court by Catherine Curzon. Peep behind the shutters of the opulent courts of 18th century Europe at royal scandals, tragedies, and romance.
Roman and Byzantine Empires
Vespasian by Barbara Levick. This biography of the uncharismatic Roman emperor challenges the validity of his good reputation and universally acknowledged achievements.
Anna Komnene: The Life and Work of a Medieval Historian by Leonora Neville. Byzantine princess Anna Komnene is known for two things: plotting to murder her brother to usurp the throne, and writing an epic history of her father. This book re-establishes her identity as an author rather than as a failed conspirator.
Sultan Selim I: The Conqueror of the East by Fatih Akce. Focuses on the life of Selim I, including his struggle for power, his first and second campaigns to the East, and the period of caliphate.
The Black Eunuchs of the Ottoman Empire: Networks of Power in the Court of the Sultan by George Junne. Unlike white eunuchs, African eunuchs had access to sultan's harem. The Chief Black Eunuch had the ear of the sultan and power over a network of spies and informers.
Queen Victoria's Christmas by Jackie French & Bruce Whatley. This picture book tells the story of the first 'traditional' Christmas from the point of view of Queen Victoria's dogs.
Published in August 2016
The Fall of Heaven: The Pahlavis and the Final Days of Imperial Iran by Andrew Scott Cooper. Account of the rise and fall of Iran's glamorous Pahlavi dynasty, written with the cooperation of Empress Farah, Iranian revolutionaries, and former US officials.
Robert the Bruce by Fiona Watson. From disastrous beginnings after he murdered a rival and took the throne of Scotland, Robert I became a military leader of consummate genius.
Queen Elizabeth II by Victoria Arbiter. A brief biography of the monarch who vowed to dedicate her life to service and duty on behalf of her country.
Imaging Stuart Family Politics: Dynastic Crisis and Continuity by Catriona Murray. Children of the royal Stuart dynasty were presented to the public through texts, images and public celebrations, exposing them to intense scrutiny.
Henry the Young King, 1155-1183 by Matthew Strickland. Eldest son of Henry II, Henry the Young King was crowned at 15, during his father's lifetime, to secure the succession. Denied direct rule, he waged war against his father and his brother Richard.
The Divorce of King Lothar and Queen Theutberga by Hincmar of Rheims, translated and annotated by Rachel Stone and Charles West. Written in the 9th century, this is a key source for the first royal divorce scandal of the Middle Ages: King Lothar II of Lotharingia's attempt to rid himself of his queen.
Pleasure and Politics at the Court of France by Louis I. Hamilton. The artistic patronage of French queen Marie de Brabant (1260-1321).
An Infamous Mistress by Joanne Major and Sarah Murden. Biography of 18th-century courtesan Grace Dalrymple Elliott. A mistress of Louis Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, she was imprisoned during the French Revolution. She also had an affair with future British king George IV. (The authors have written a related book, A Right Royal Scandal, set to be published in 2017.)
Royal Rebel by Soma Norodom. The author is a Cambodian princess who was raised in the United States. Returning to Cambodia as an adult in 2010, she became a critic of the government and the royal family.
The Life and Legacy of Constantine: Traditions Through the Ages edited by M. Shane Bjornlie. Essays on how Roman emperor Constantine the Great's memory has been constructed by the human imagination.
Queenship, Gender, and Reputation in the Medieval and Early Modern West, 1060-1600 edited by Zita Eva Rohr and Lisa Benz. A collection of essays that question the propaganda, gossip, and rumor that still characterizes some queens in modern histories.
Crowns and Colonies: European Monarchies and Overseas Empires edited by Robert Aldrich and Cindy McCreery. This collection of essays explores the connections between monarchy and colonialism, with case studies drawn from Britain, France, the Netherlands, Germany and Italy.
The Singing Turk by Larry Wolff. Ottoman Power and operatic emotions on the European stage from the Siege of Vienna to the age of Napoleon.
The End of Tsarist Russia: The March to World War I and Revolution by Dominic Lieven. This book places Russia at the very center of the history of the First World War. New paperback edition.
Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa Gregory. English king Henry VIII's first wife, Katherine of Aragon, forms a special bond with his sisters, Margaret and Mary Tudor, that lasts through betrayals, dangers, loss, and passion.
Marie Antoinette, Phantom Queen by Rodolphe and Annie Goetzinger. In this graphic novel (comic book), a 1930s artist communicates with the ghost of French queen Marie Antoinette.
Nero: Ruthless Roman Emperor by Shalini Saxena. From the History's Most Murderous Villains series for children ages 10 to 13.
Genghis Khan: Fierce Mongolian Conqueror by PV Knight. Biography of the Mongolian nomad who built an empire across three continents. For ages 10 to 13.
Vlad the Impaler: Bloodthirsty Medieval Prince by John Shea. The true story of the brutal 15th century ruler and his fight against the Ottoman Empire. For ages 10 to 13.
Ivan the Terrible: Terrifying Tyrant of Russia by Ryan Nagelhout. Biography of the menacing 16th century prince who became the first tsar of Russia. For ages 10 to 13.
Mary Queen of Scots and All That by Allan Burnett, illustrated by Scoular Anderson. A humorous look at Mary's life, her rivalry with Queen Elizabeth I, and the secret plots that led to her execution.
Books About African Royalty
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