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Published in February 2015
Born to Be King: Prince Charles on Planet Windsor by Catherine Mayer. This biography shows the "skullduggery and unintentional comedy of court life."
Highgrove: An English Country Garden by H.R.H. The Prince of Wales and Bunny Guinness, photos by Marianne Majerus. Takes readers on a tour of the organic gardens at Prince Charles's estate, Highgrove, describing the thinking behind each planting, lessons learned from trial and error, and future plans.
A Queen of a New Invention: Portraits of Lady Jane Grey Dudley, England's Nine Days Queen by J. Stephan Edwards. Analyzes 29 surviving portrait-images said to depict Jane, and discusses a handful of additional lost paintings.
The Playboy Princes: The Apprentice Years of Edward VII and VIII by Peter J. Beer. This dual biography offers a portrait of men living for the moment, knowing that a later life of solemn duty beckons.
The Tragedy of King Christophe by Aimé Césaire, translated by Paul Breslin and Rachel Ney. A play about Henri Christophe, a former slave who declared himself king in 1811 and ruled the northern part of Haiti until 1820.
The Marriage Game by Alison Weir. Young Queen Elizabeth I's relationship with the dashing -- and married -- Robert Dudley inspires whispers in her court. Matters take a dark turn when his wife is found dead.
The Accidental Empress: A Novel by Allison Pataki. Fifteen-year-old Elisabeth, known as Sisi, travels to the Habsburg Court with her older sister, who is betrothed to the young emperor, but Franz Joseph declares his intention to marry Sisi instead.
Published in January 2015
Lady Katherine Knollys: The Unacknowledged Daughter of King Henry VIII by Sarah-Beth Watkins. Biography of Mary Boleyn's first child. Although unacknowledged as the king's daughter, she was given prime appointments as maid of honour to Anne of Cleves and Katherine Howard.
Wolsey: The Life of King Henry VIII's Cardinal by John Matusiak. Biography of Thomas Wolsey, a man of contradictions and extremes whose meteoric rise was followed by a descent into desperation as he attempted to satisfy the master whose ambition ultimately broke him.
Kings Over the Water: The Saga of the Stuart Pretenders by Theo Aronson. For well over a century, four Stuarts laid claim to the British crown. The first was James II, deposed in 1688 by his daughter; then came James III (the Old Pretender) and his son, Charles III (Bonnie Prince Charlie); finally, there was Henry IX (the Cardinal King) who died in 1807. Reprint edition.
Queen Victoria's Grandsons (1859-1918) by Christina Croft. Born into eight very different families, Queen Victoria's grandsons were connected through the tiny Queen for whom their happiness was a constant preoccupation.
Queen Victoria and the Bonapartes by Theo Aronson. Queen Victoria was completely bowled over by Napoleon III's quiet charm and buccaneer looks. His wife, Empress Eugenie, became almost an honorary member of the British royal family. (Reprint edition.)
Royal Love Stories by Gill Paul. The tales behind the real-life romances of Europe's kings and queens.
The Charmed Circle: Joseph II and the Five Princesses, 1765-1790 by Rebecca Gates-Coon. In late 18th-century Vienna, five aristocratic women achieved social preeminence and acclaim as close associates of Emperor Joseph II.
The Prussian Princesses: The Sisters of Kaiser Wilhelm II by John Van der Kiste. A biography of Kaiser Wilhelm II's younger sisters, Victoria, Sophie and Margaret. One married an adventurer who left her to die in poverty, one married a future king but died in exile, and one saw her family become victims of theft at the end of the Second World War.
The Royal Touch: Sacred Monarchy and Scrofula in England and France by Marc Bloch, translated by J. E. Anderson. Explores the belief that kings had the power to cure people from all strands of society from illness and disease. Reprint edition; first published in 1973.
Darius in the Shadow of Alexander by Pierre Briant, translated by Jane Marie Todd. The first book ever devoted to the historical memory of Alexander the Great's enemy Darius III, who ruled over a Persian Empire that stretched from the Mediterranean to the Indus River.
Imagining Xerxes: Ancient Perspectives on a Persian King by Emma Bridges. Xerxes, the Persian king who invaded Greece in 480 BC, was portrayed as an enslaving aggressor or as an exotic product of a luxurious court. This book examines the earliest representations of the king, and the ways in which his image was revisited and adapted over time.
Sophia: Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary by Anita Anand. Born in 1876, Sophia Duleep Singh was the daughter of Duleep Singh, exiled maharaja the kingdom of the Sikhs. Sophia was raised a genteel Englishwoman, but joined the struggle for Indian independence and the fight for female suffrage.
Destiny: A Novel of Napoleon & Josephine by Bertram Fields. The brilliant young general Napoleon Bonaparte finds himself desperately in love with a beautiful and promiscuous Creole woman.
The Song of King Gesar: A Novel by Alai, translated by Howard Goldblatt and Sylvia Li-chun Lin. An English translation of Tibet's founding myth, written by a winner of the Mao Dun Prize, China's top literary award.
Esther: Royal Beauty by Angela Hunt. Hadassah, a Jewish orphan, is forcibly taken to the palace of Persian ruler Xerxes. She wins his heart, but keeps her ethnic identity secret until the time comes to take a stand for her people. (Christian fiction.)
King John and Magna Carta by L. Du Garde Peach. The story of England's King John and the momentous events of his reign, illustrated with 24 full-page pictures.
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