3.1.2011 I am The Chosen King, Helen Hollick
"Hollick (A Hollow Crown) constructs a magnificent epic in this unabashedly pro-Saxon recounting of a turning point in English history. Twenty-two years before the Battle of Hastings, Harold Godwinesson lives happily with his wife in the turbulent era of Edward the Confessor, but as a member of the most powerful noble family in England, Harold is drawn into a political drama that will eventually lead him to assume the rule of England as the last of the Saxon kings. While Edward's Norman associates stir resentment in England, an enemy is consolidating his position across the channel: the ruthless William, duke of Normandy, who considers himself heir to Edward's throne. Hollick's enormous cast and meticulous research combine to create a convincing account of the destructive reign of the hapless Edward and the internecine warfare that weakens England as William prepares to invade. Thanks to Hollick's masterful storytelling, Harold's nobility and heroism enthrall to the point of engendering hope for a different ending to the famous battle of 1066".
"A rich, compelling historical novel-and a mystery of royal intrigue. In a city-state known for magnificence, where love affairs and conspiracies play out amidst brilliant painters, poets and musicians, the powerful and ambitious Alfonso d'Este, duke of Ferrara, takes a new bride. Half of Europe is certain he murdered his first wife, Lucrezia, the luminous child of the Medici. But no one dares accuse him, and no one has proof-least of all his second duchess, the far less beautiful but delightfully clever Barbara of Austria.
At first determined to ignore the rumors about her new husband, Barbara embraces the pleasures of the Ferrarese court. Yet wherever she turns she hears whispers of the first duchess's wayward life and mysterious death. Barbara asks questions-a dangerous mistake for a duchess of Ferrara. Suddenly, to save her own life, Barbara has no choice but to risk the duke's terrifying displeasure and discover the truth of Lucrezia's death-or she will share her fate".
"From the author of The Queen's Mistake comes the untold story of King Henry VIII's first well-known mistress.
As the beautiful daughter of courtiers, Elizabeth "Bessie" Blount is overjoyed when she secures a position as maid of honor to Katherine of Aragon. But when she captures the attention of the king himself, there are whispers that the queen ought to be worried for her throne".
"A story of huge emotional power set against the road to Magna Carta and the fight to bring a tyrant king to heel. The privileged daughter of one of the most powerful men in England, Mahelt Marshal's life changes dramatically when her father is suspected by King John. Her brothers become hostages and Mahelt is married to Hugh Bigod, heir to the earldom of Norfolk. Adapting to her new life is hard, but Mahelt comes to love Hugh deeply; however, defying her father-in-law brings disgrace and heartbreak. When King John sets out to subdue the Bigods, Mahelt faces a heartbreaking battle, fearing neither she, nor her marriage, is likely to survive the outcome ..."
"In 1492, when Ferdinand and Isabella expel the Jews from Spain, six year old Esther Sarfati finds herself travelling to Rome to join her father, a successful banker who has helped his fellow Spaniard, Rodrigo Borgia, finance his bid for the Papacy. Nine years later, as Pope Alexander VI, he repays the favour by offering Esther a place in the household of his daughter, Lucrezia, who is about to marry Alfonso d'Este, heir to the Duchy of Ferrara. Against her own better judgement, but in accordance with her father's wishes for her future, Esther converts to Christianity and enters Lucrezia's service as lady-in-waiting. Flattered by Lucrezia's favour, seduced by the friendship of her cousin, Angela Borgia and swept off her feet by Lucrezia's glamorous and dangerous brother, Cesare, she is drawn into a web of intrigue and deceit which will test her heart to its utmost and burden her with secrets she must carry to her grave. Set against the glittering background of the court of Ferrara in the early sixteenth century, this is the heart-breaking story of what happens to an innocent abroad in the world of the Borgias".
"The author of Notorious Royal Marriages presents some of history's boldest, baddest, and bawdiest royals. The bad seeds on the family trees of the most powerful royal houses of Europe often became the most rotten of apples: über-violent autocrats Vlad the Impaler and Ivan the Terrible literally reigned in blood. Lettice Knollys strove to mimic the appearance of her cousin Elizabeth I and even stole her man. And Pauline Bonaparte scandalized her brother Napoleon by having a golden goblet fashioned in the shape of her breast.
Chock-full of shocking scenes, titillating tales, and wildly wicked nobles, Royal Pains is a rollicking compendium of the most infamous, capricious, and insatiable bluebloods of Europe".
"Two sisters change the course of a nation by forsaking the King—their own father.
England is on the verge of revolution. Antagonized by the Catholicism of King James II, the people plot to drive him from the throne. But at the heart of the plot is a deep betrayal: the defection of the daughters James loves, Mary and Anne.
Both raised Protestant according to the wishes of England, the sisters support Protestant usurper William of Orange, Mary's husband, who lusts after the British crown. Passive Queen Mary is subservient to her husband's wishes, while Anne is desperate to please her childhood friend Sarah Churchill, a bold and domineering woman determined to subdue Anne, the queen-to-be, and rule England herself.
Intrigue and political drama run high as the sisters struggle to be reconciled with each other--and with the haunting memory of the father they have exiled".
"Spanning 500 years of British history, a revealing look at the secret lives of some great (and not-so-great) Britons, courtesy of one of the world’s most engaging royal historians
Beleaguered by scandal, betrayed by faithless spouses, bedeviled by ambitious children, the kings and queens of Great Britain have been many things, but they have never been dull. Some sacrificed everything for love, while others met a cruel fate at the edge of an axman’s blade. From the truth behind the supposed madness of King George to Queen Victoria’s surprisingly daring taste in sculpture, Behind the Palace Doors ventures beyond the rumors to tell the unvarnished history of Britain’s monarchs, highlighting the unique mix of tragedy, comedy, romance, heroism, and incompetence that has made the British throne a seat of such unparalleled fascination".
• stories covering every monarch, from randy Henry VIII to reserved Elizabeth II
• historical myths debunked and surprising “Did you know . . . ?” anecdotes
• four family trees spanning every royal house, from the Tudors to the Windsors
3.1.2011 The Tudors: The Complete Story of England's Most Notorious Dynasty, G.J. Meyer
"For the first time in decades, here, in a single volume, is a fresh look at the fabled Tudor dynasty, comprising some of the most enigmatic figures ever to rule a country. Acclaimed historian G. J. Meyer reveals the flesh-and-bone reality in all its wild excess.
In 1485, young Henry Tudor, whose claim to the throne was so weak as to be almost laughable, crossed the English Channel from France at the head of a ragtag little army and took the crown from the family that had ruled England for almost four hundred years. Half a century later his son, Henry VIII, desperate to rid himself of his first wife in order to marry a second, launched a reign of terror aimed at taking powers no previous monarch had even dreamed of possessing. In the process he plunged his kingdom into generations of division and disorder, creating a legacy of blood and betrayal that would blight the lives of his children and the destiny of his country.
The boy king Edward VI, a fervent believer in reforming the English church, died before bringing to fruition his dream of a second English Reformation. Mary I, the disgraced daughter of Catherine of Aragon, tried and failed to reestablish the Catholic Church and produce an heir. And finally came Elizabeth I, who devoted her life to creating an image of herself as Gloriana the Virgin Queen but, behind that mask, sacrificed all chance of personal happiness in order to survive.
The Tudors weaves together all the sinners and saints, the tragedies and triumphs, the high dreams and dark crimes, that reveal the Tudor era to be, in its enthralling, notorious truth, as momentous and as fascinating as the fictions audiences have come to love".
3.1.2011 Where Shadows Dance: A Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery by C. S. Harris
"Sebastian St. Cyr proves his courage once again, with murder and marriage-in a brand new historical mystery. Sebastian St. Cyr finds himself in the realm of international intrigue when he investigates the murder of a foreign office diplomat-a murder his reluctant bride-to-be, Hero Jarvis, knows something about. And when a second body is found, Sebastian must race to unmask a ruthless killer who is now threatening Hero's life-and the life of their unborn child".
3.1.2011 A Murderous Procession (Mistress of the Art of Death Series #4) by Ariana Franklin
"Adelia is back in this thrilling fourth installment of the Mistress of the Art of Death series.
In 1176, King Henry II sends his daughter Joanna to Palermo to marry his cousin, the king of Sicily. Henry chooses Adelia Aguilar, his Mistress of the Art of Death, to travel with the princess and safeguard her health. But when people in the wedding procession are murdered, Adelia and Rowley must discover the killer's identity . . . and whether he is stalking the princess or Adelia herself".
3.1.2011 Alice in Zombieland by Lewis Carroll and Nickolas Cook
"Can Alice escape Zombieland before the Dead Red Queen catches up to her? When little Alice falls asleep, she finds herself in an undead nightmare of rotting flesh and insanity. Following a talking rat, she ventures further into this land of zombies and monsters. There's also something else troubling poor Alice: her skin is rotting and her hair is falling out. She's cold and there's the haunting feeling that if she remains in Zombieland any longer, she might never leave and forever be caught between life and death. Have a seat at the table for the Tea Party of your life and explore the wondrous adventure that is Zombieland".
3.15.2011 The Lady and the Poet by Maeve Haran
"Set against the sumptuousness and intrigues of Queen Elizabeth I’s court, this powerful novel reveals the untold love affair between the famous poet John Donne and Ann More, the passionate woman who, against all odds, became his wife. Ann More, fiery and spirited daughter of the Mores of Loseley House in Surrey, came to London destined for a life at the court of Queen Elizabeth and an advantageous marriage. There she encountered John Donne, the darkly attractive young poet who was secretary to her uncle, the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal. He was unlike any man she had ever met—angry, clever, witty, and in her eyes, insufferably arrogant and careless of women. Yet as they were thrown together, Donne opened Ann’s eyes to a new world of passion and sensuality. But John Donne—Catholic by background in an age when it was deadly dangerous, tainted by an alluring hint of scandal—was the kind of man her status-conscious father distrusted and despised. The Lady and the Poet tells the story of the forbidden love between one of our most admired poets and a girl who dared to rebel against her family and the conventions of her time. They gave up everything to be together and their love knew no bounds".
It's Venice, 1600. A dangerous place for free-thinkers and gamblers alike and Choradino da Mosto is both. Once the student of Giordano Bruno - newly tried and executed in Rome - Choradino is already being watched. When he is finally arrested he is offered a harsh choice: to remain in gaol or become a spy for the Republic. All eyes are on England, where an ageing Elizabeth has yet to name her successor. The Venetian authorities have intercepted coded messages from the Queen's magician, John Dee. They know Dee is chasing a mysterious manuscript - rumoured to have been brought back from Macedonia centuries before by Marco Polo. Choradino is charged with finding - and destroying - the heretical text before it falls into the hands of the Protestants. Choradino has no choice but to follow his orders. But as he joins a ship bound for Korcula, he discovers another cipher running beneath Dee's code. And the whisper of a secret which could strike at the very heart of the English court..."