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Published in November 2015
Emperor Hirohito and the Pacific War by Noriko Kawamura. Drawing on previously unavailable primary sources, this book traces Japanese emperor Hirohito's actions from the late 1920s to the end of the Second World War. He was by no means a pacifist, but neither did he favor the reckless wars advocated by Japan's military leaders.
The Murder of King James I by Alastair Bellany & Thomas Cogswell. A year after the death of James I, a sensational pamphlet accused the Duke of Buckingham of murdering the king. The allegation would haunt English politics for nearly 40 years.
The Philosopher's English King by Leon Harold Craig. Argues that Shakespeare's history plays present his teaching on the question of who has the right to rule.
Royalty Inc.: Britain's Best-Known Brand by Stephen Bates. Written by the Guardian's former royal correspondent, this book looks at the future of the Commonwealth, the true scale of royal finances, the legacy of Diana, and the problems faced by any heir to the throne.
What a Thing to Say to the Queen by Thomas Blaikie. An illustrated collection of anecdotes about the modern royal family.
Theodora: Actress, Empress, Saint by David Potter. Raised in a family of circus performers, Theodora became empress of the Byzantine empire and one of the dominant political figures of her era, exciting admiration and hatred.
A Day With Marie Antoinette by Hélène Delalex. Featuring personal correspondence, illustrations, and a wealth of unpublished material, this slipcased volume reveals Marie Antoinette, her personal collections, and Versailles.
Queenship and Revolution in Early Modern Europe: Henrietta Maria and Marie Antoinette by Carolyn Harris. The impeachment of England's Queen Henrietta Maria in 1643 and the trial of France's Queen Marie Antoinette in 1793 were also trials of monarchical government that shaped the English Civil Wars and French Revolution.
Tatiana Romanov, Daughter of the Last Tsar: Diaries and Letters, 1913-1918 by Helen Azar and Nicholas B. A. Nicholson. A detail-oriented and observant participant in historical events, Grand Duchess Tatiana left first-hand descriptions of the early years of Russia's involvement in World War I.
Ruling Women, Volume 1: Government, Virtue, and the Female Prince in Seventeenth-Century France by Derval Conroy. An analysis of the debate over government by women in 17th century France.
Ruling Women, Volume 2: Configuring the Female Prince in Seventeenth-Century French Drama by Derval Conroy. Analyzes how queenship is portrayed in over 30 plays published between 1637 and 1691.
Napoleon's Empire: European Politics in Global Perspective edited by Ute Planert. Examines the impact of the Napoleonic era on more than 20 countries, from Western Europe and the Mediterranean, across the Baltic Sea to the Ibero-Atlantic area, and the Ottoman Empire.
The Kingdom of Sicily, 1130-1860 by Louis Mendola. The history of Sicily from its foundation as a multicultural kingdom under the Normans to the end of its baroque monarchy in the 19th century. Includes maps, pedigree charts, chronology, a list of the kings of Sicily, and more.
Dynasties: A Global History of Power, 1300-1800 by Jeroen Duindam. Charts the rise and fall of dynasties, from European, African, Mughal, Ming-Qing and Safavid dynasties to the Ottoman Empire, Tokugawa Japan and Choson Korea.
The Canadian Honours System by Christopher McCreery. This updated, full-color illustrated book recounts the history of Canada's national orders, decorations, and medals.
Royal Apologetic in the Ancient Near East by Andrew Knapp. Examines eight formal defenses of the legitimacy of kings who came to power under irregular circumstances, including Telipinu, Hattushili III, David, Solomon, Hazael, Esarhaddon, Nabonidus, and Darius.
Twice Royal Lady by Hilary Green. A novel about Empress Matilda, daughter of England's King Henry I, and her decision to fight for her rights as her father's heir.
Esther: A Novel by Rebecca Kanner. Trapped in the king of Persia's palace, a Jewish girl does everything in her power to become his queen. But wearing the crown brings a new set of dangers. (Christian fiction.)
Published in October 2015
From She-Wolf to Martyr: The Reign and Disputed Reputation of Johanna I of Naples by Elizabeth Casteen. In 1343 a 17-year-old girl named Johanna ascended the Neapolitan throne. She reigned for nearly 40 years, becoming the most notorious woman in Europe.
Dynasty: The Rise and Fall of the House of Caesar by Tom Holland. The lurid history of Rome's first five emperors: Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero. This is a follow-up to Holland's earlier book Rubicon: The Last Years of the Roman Republic.
Go-Betweens for Hitler by Karina Urbach. How some German aristocrats -- such as the Duke of Coburg, grandson of Queen Victoria -- helped Hitler's secret diplomacy by providing a direct line to their influential contacts, including Britain's Edward VIII.
Daughter of Venice: Caterina Corner, Queen of Cyprus and Woman of the Renaissance by Holly S. Hurlburt. Catherine Cornaro, a Venetian noblewoman, married King James II of Cyprus. After his death, she became regent and then monarch. This study considers the strategies of her reign until her forced abdication in 1489.
Sons and Heirs: Succession and Political Culture in Nineteenth-Century Europe edited by Frank Lorenz Müller and Heidi Mehrkens. Focuses on the role of royal heirs, including their education and accommodation, their ability to overcome succession crises, the consequences of the death of an heir, and their roles during the First World War.
My Hermitage by Mikhail Piotrovsky, translated by Antonina W. Bouis. In a memoir, the Russian museum's longtime director takes the reader on a private tour and tells how the Hermitage survived tsars, wars, and revolutions.
British Royal History
The Princess's Garden: Royal Intrigue and the Untold Story of Kew by Vanessa Berridge. Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha arrived in England aged 16 to marry wild Prince Frederick, eldest son of King George II. Her lifelong association with Kew Gardens changed British gardening forever.
King John: Treachery and Tyranny in Medieval England: The Road to Magna Carta by Marc Morris. King John is familiar as the villain from Robin Hood tales. But was he truly a monster? This biography draws on the king's own letters to bring him to life.
The Growth of Royal Government Under Henry III edited by David Crook and Louise J. Wilkinson. Essays about such topics as 13th century developments in legal and financial administration, the roles of women and the church, and the office of escheator.
The State Visits of Edward VII: Reinventing Royal Diplomacy for the Twentieth Century by Matthew Glencross. Explores the king's revival of active royal diplomacy on the European stage through overseas royal state visits.
Modern British Royalty
Harry: The People's Prince by Chris Hutchins. Biography of the prince who, the author says, overcame "numerous obstacles" and became "an inspirational man who deserves our attention," based in part on interviews with people who know Harry.
Royal Fever: The British Monarchy in Consumer Culture by Cele C. Otnes and Pauline Maclaran. How and why consumers around the world use products, services, and experiences to satisfy their fascination with the British royal family.
A Royal Welcome by Anna Reynolds. An illustrated behind-the-scenes look at royal occasions at Buckingham Palace, from state banquets to garden parties and private audiences.
Women Who Ruled by Claudia Gold. Biographies of 50 women from around the world, including Nefertiti, Zenobia, Theodora, Roxelana, Jane Grey, Cixi, and such modern figures as Golda Meir and Margaret Thatcher.
Kamehameha III by P. Christiaan Klieger. A biography, based on primary source materials, of the Hawaiian kingdom's longest-ruling, most beloved, and most defiant king.
Xerxes: A Persian Life by Richard Stoneman. Xerxes, Great King of the Persian Empire from 486-465 B.C., has gone down in history as an angry tyrant full of insane ambition. This biography presents him from the Persian perspective, showing how his reputation was destroyed by the propaganda of Alexander the Great.
Barbarian Lens: Western Photographers of the Qianlong Emperor's European Palaces by Regine Thiriez. This book offers extremely rare photographs of the Summer Palace, a complex of gardens and palaces that was burned and looted by Western armies in 1860.
Divine Honours for the Caesars: The First Christians' Responses by Bruce W. Winter. Examines evidence of emperor worship and the different ways Christian citizens of the Roman Empire responded to it.
Agnès Sorel: Mistress of Beauty by Princess Michael of Kent. Tells the story of Agnes Sorel, official mistress of King Charles VII of France. This is the second book of the princess's Anjou trilogy; the first book is The Queen of Four Kingdoms, about Yolande of Aragon.
Quicksilver: A Novel by Princess Michael of Kent. The final book of the Anjou trilogy is about merchant Jacques Coeur, who becomes trusted confidante of the Anjou royal family, particularly Yolande, Queen of the Four Kingdoms, and royal mistress Agnes Sorel.
Cleopatra's Shadows by Emily Holleman. A novel that reimagines the beginnings of Cleopatra's epic saga through the eyes of her younger sister, Arsinoe.
A Land Divided by K. M. Ashman. In 1081, Gruffydd ap Cynan, exiled heir to the Welsh kingdom of Gwynedd, unites with Tewdwr, a monarch deposed by traitors.
Who Was Marie Antoinette? by Dana Meachen Rau, illustrated by John O'Brien. From the palaces of Austria to the mirrored halls of Versailles, Marie Antoinette led a charmed life, but her taste for excess ruffled many feathers. For children ages 8 to 12.
Books About African Royalty
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