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A thought-provoking, authoritative biography of one of history’s most maligned rulersLouis XVI of France, who was guillotined in 1793 during the Revolution and Reign of Terror, is commonly portrayed in fiction and film either as a weak and stupid despot in thrall to his beautiful, shallow wife, Marie Antoinette, or as a cruel and treasonous tyrant. Historian John Hardman disputes both these versions in a fascinating new biography of the ill-fated monarch. Based in part on new scholarship that has emerged over the past two decades, Hardman’s illuminating study describes a highly educated ruler who, though indecisive, possessed sharp political insight and a talent for foreign policy; who often saw the dangers ahead but could not or would not prevent them; and whose great misfortune was to be caught in the violent center of a major turning point in history.H
Part biography, part cultural history, The Creation of Anne Boleyn is a fascinating reconstruction of Anne’s life and an illuminating look at her afterlife in the popular imagination. Why is Anne so compelling? Why has she inspired such extreme reactions? What did she really look like? Was she the flaxen-haired martyr of Romantic paintings or the raven-haired seductress of twenty-first-century portrayals? (Answer: neither.) And perhaps the most provocative questions concern Anne’s death more than her life.
From the private world of a beloved queen, a story of intimacy, espionage, rumor, and subterfugeQueen Elizabeth I acceded to the throne in 1558, restoring the Protestant faith to England. At the heart of the new queen’s court lay her bedchamber, closely guarded by the favored women who helped her dress, looked after her jewels, and shared her bed.Elizabeth’s private life was of public concern. Her bedfellows were witnesses to the face and body beneath the makeup and raiment, as well as to rumored dalliances with such figures as Earl Robert Dudley.
Warriors of Godis the rich and engaging account of the Third Crusade (1187-1192), a conflict that would shape world history for centuries and which can still be felt in the Middle East and throughout the world today. Acclaimed writer James Reston, Jr., offers a gripping narrative of the epic battle that left Jerusalem in Muslim hands until the twentieth century, bringing an objective perspective to the gallantry, greed, and religious fervor that fueled the bloody clash between Christians and Muslims.A
The riveting true story of mother-and-daughter queens Catherine de’ Medici and Marguerite de Valois, whose wildly divergent personalities and turbulent relationship changed the shape of their tempestuous and dangerous century.Set in magnificent Renaissance France, this is the story of two remarkable women, a mother and daughter driven into opposition by a terrible betrayal that threatened to destroy the realm.Catherine de’ Medici was a ruthless pragmatist and powerbroker who dominated the throne for thirty years.
THE THREE EDWARDS, third in Thomas B. Costain’s survey of Britain under the Plantagenets, covers the years between 1272 and 1377 when three Edwards ruled England. Edward I brought England out of the Middle Ages. Edward II had a tragic reign but gave his country Edward III, who ruled gloriously, if violently."A thrilling narrative. . .history told with all the interest found only in a great novel." (Salt Lake City Tribune)A History of the Plantagenets includes THE CONQUERING FAMILY, THE MAGNIFICENT CENTURY, THE THREE EDWARDS and THE LAST PLANTAGENETS.
A rousing and authoritative new biography of the notorious King John, by Wall Street Journal bestselling author Marc Morris. King John is familiar to everyone as the villain from the tales of Robin Hood―greedy, cowardly, despicable, and cruel. But who was the man behind the legend? Was he truly a monster, or a capable ruler cursed by bad luck? In this new book bestselling historian Marc Morris draws on contemporary chronicles and the king’s own letters to bring the real King John vividly to life.J
Extravagant, whimsical, and hot-tempered, Elizabeth was the epitome of power, both feared and admired by her enemies. Dubbed the "pirate queen" by the Vatican and Spain’s Philip II, she employed a network of daring merchants, brazen adventurers, astronomer philosophers, and her stalwart Privy Council to anchor her throne—and in doing so, planted the seedlings of an empire that would ultimately cover two-fifths of the world.In The Pirate Queen, historian Susan Ronald offers a fresh look at Elizabeth I, relying on a wealth of historical sources and thousands of the queen’s personal letters to tell the thrilling story of a visionary monarch and the swashbuckling mariners who terrorized the seas to amass great wealth for themselves and the Crown.
The Mongol queens of the thirteenth century ruled the largest empire the world has ever known. Yet sometime near the end of the century, censors cut a section from The Secret History of the Mongols, leaving a single tantalizing quote from Genghis Khan: “Let us reward our female offspring.” Only this hint of a father’s legacy for his daughters remained of a much larger story. The queens of the Silk Route turned their father’s conquests into the world’s first truly international empire, fostering trade, education, and religion throughout their territories and creating an economic system that stretched from the Pacific to the Mediterranean.
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