The tragedy of four accidental rivals to a throne, three of them children?by different mothers?of a much-married despot, seems to lose none of its drama by frequent retelling. Along with the royal siblings, Weir (The Six Wives of Henry VIII) includes their cousin, the doomed Lady Jane Grey. Guiltless of the intrigues committed in the name of religion, power and property, Queen Jane was forced at 15 to reign for nine days in a futile attempt to block the accession of the fanatically Catholic Princess Mary. The 300 burnings for heresy during the five years Mary ruled were eclipsed statistically by the hangings and beheadings for conspiracy and treachery. In the 11 years between the death of Henry VIII and the survival of his adroit daughter Elizabeth into the succession in 1558, rapacity had at least as much to do with the turbulence and the terror as religion. So many ennobled miscreants grasped for land, loot and legitimacy that readers will need a scorecard to match their names with their new titles. Weir adds nothing fresh to the story, but her sweeping narrative, based on contemporary chronicles, plays out vividly against the colorful backdrop of Tudor England.
Eleanor of Aquitaine (1122-1204) is arguably the most important and admired female figure in medieval European history. Captive Queen tells the epic and dramatic tale of this strong and remarkable woman who held her own in a male-dominated world. Eleanor was queen first to Louis VII of France and then to Henry II of England. Her lands comprised half of what is now France, making her the greatest heiress in Europe. The transfer of that landed inheritance, first to France and then to England, set the pattern of European diplomacy and warfare for the next four centuries. Her marriage to Henry II of England, which is the focus of Captive Queen, was one of the most passionate and tempestuous in history. Both Eleanor and Henry were larger-than-life, charismatic characters. Eleanor was a true daughter of the south of France, raised in a society in which women were valued more highly than elsewhere, and morals were lax. She grew up imbued with the culture and poetry of the troubadours, and her beauty was famous. Eleanor’s reputation was notorious, in her own lifetime and increasingly thereafter. She was a sensual woman with little regard for the moral precepts of her day, and she had adulterous affairs with several men, including her uncle and her future father-in-law. Many of the romantic or sinister legends that have attached themselves to Eleanor’s name center upon her rival, Henry’s mistress, Rosamund de Clifford. In this novel, Alison Weir has made creative use of those legends. Eleanor bore eleven children—among them Richard the Lion Heart, renowned as the greatest crusader in Christendom, and the notorious King John, who was forced to sign the Magna Carta. The book’s title derives from the fact that Eleanor was a captive in her marriage, loving and hating Henry at the same time. Later on, having dealt him a bitter betrayal, she would become his captive in very truth. Ultimately, Captive Queen is a searing psychological odyssey, an intense exploration of the character and motives of an extraordinary woman.
'George III is alleged to have married secretly, on 17th April, 1759, a Quakeress called Hannah Lightfoot, daughter of a Wapping shoemaker, who is said to have borne him three children. Documents relating to the alleged marriage, bearing the Prince's signature, were impounded and examined in 1866 by the Attorney General. Learned opinion at the time leaned to the view that these documents were genuine. They were then placed in the Royal Archives at Windsor; in 1910, permission was refused a would-be author who asked to see them. If George III did make such a marriage when he was Prince of Wales, before the passing of the Royal Marriages Act in 1772, then his subsequent marriage to Queen Charlotte was bigamous, and every monarch of Britain since has been a usurper, the rightful heirs of George III being his children by Hannah Lightfoot, if they ever existed.' From Britain's Royal Families Britain's Royal Families is a unique reference book. It provides, for the first time in one volume, complete genealogical details of all members of the royal houses of England, Scotland and Great Britain - from 800AD to the present. Here is the vital biographical information relating not only to each monarch, but also to every member of their immediate family, from parents to grandchildren. Drawing on countless authorities, both ancient and modern, Alison Weir explores the royal family tree in unprecedented depth and provides a comprehensive guide to the heritage of today's royal family.
England's Tower of London was the terrifying last stop for generations of English political prisoners. A Dangerous Inheritance weaves together the lives and fates of four of its youngest and most blameless: Lady Katherine Grey, Lady Jane's younger sister; Kate Plantagenet, an English princess who lived nearly a century before her; and Edward and Richard, the boy princes imprisoned by their ruthless uncle, Richard III, never to be heard from again. Across the years, these four young royals shared the same small rooms in their dark prison, as all four shared the unfortunate role of being perceived as threats to the reigning monarch. Weaving together their lives and fates into a dark mystery of thwarted love and ruthless ambition, Alison Weir has written the most suspenseful, large-scale novel of her career.
Saucy pickpocket Simone Dougherty relies on her nimble fingers and quick mind to work Londonâ??s streets. However, using her wits to survive in the East End is one thing. Using her wits to pose as the wife of the attractive Lord Temple Wellington is another thing altogether. Especially when her rebellious heart refuses to listen to reason. Restless and bored with the life heâ??s carved out for himself, black sheep Lord Temple Wellington determines to turn over a new leaf. Somehow he never imagined embarking on a new life would involve marriage to a fetching thief with a penchant for trouble. A thief with mysteries of her own. When Temple unexpectedly becomes the new Earl of Leavenby, will both his and Simoneâ??s dark pasts rise up to haunt them? Or are they strong enough together to fight for their happiness?
Threatened with an unwanted marriage, Lady Josceline Woodsby escapes London to take a position as a country governess. When she discovers the job is no longer available, Josceline vows she will do anything to avoid returning to her previously dismal life - even if it means coercing the ruthless Captain Sharrington into providing her with employment. Spurned by a father he never knew and sent off to sea at a very young age, Christopher Sharrington leaves a promising naval career determined to make his own mark on society as owner of a shipping enterprise. The only problem is, hiring the alluring Lady Woodsby as governess for children he doesn’t even have, is definitely not part of his future plans. Josceline soon realizes Christopher is under the mistaken impression her social connections will help him attain his dream. Will he cast her out when he determines she is more a hindrance than a help? And what of the devastating secret he harbors? Will it destroy any chance they have of building a future together? "Westerling delivers with a hunky rogue hiding a dark secret, a plucky heroine who can think on her feet, and a million reasons why they can't be together. Add easy-to-read, snappy writing, a palpable setting that immerses the reader in another time with its own set of rules, and this story becomes a perfect escape for a summer day.
Where the eye sees the brushstroke, the heart sees the truth. At thirty-five, Gabriella “Ella” Graham is a successful portrait artist in London. She captures the essential truth in each of her subjects’ faces—a tilt of the chin, a glint in the eye—and immortalizes it on canvas. But closer to home, Ella finds the truth more elusive. Her father abandoned the family when she was five, and her mother has remained silent on the subject ever since. Ella’s sister, Chloe, is engaged to Nate, an American working in London, but Ella suspects that he may not be so committed. Then, at Chloe’s behest, Ella agrees to paint Nate’s portrait. From session to session, Ella begins to see Nate in a different light, which gives rise to conflicted feelings. In fact, through the various people she paints—including an elderly client reflecting on her life and a woman dreading the prospect of turning forty—Ella realizes that there is so much more to a person’s life than what is seen on the surface. And as her portraits of Nate and the others progress, they begin to reveal less about their subjects than about the artist herself.
A sparkling novel by the bestselling author of THE VERY PICTURE OF YOU and A VINTAGE AFFAIR. Everyone likes radio reporter Minty – she’s so terribly nice. But being nice doesn’t save her from being jilted at the very altar by her attractive but domineering fiancé Dominic. Ditched rather than hitched, a shocked Minty takes stock, and, on her husbandless honeymoon, she vows to become just a little less ‘nice’, and sets out on a Quest for the Self, in which she will finally learn how to say ‘No’. But Dominic’s devastating desertion has left her with an unhealed wound, which opens up again when Minty stumbles upon the real reason for Dominic’s dreadful defection. Faced with the ugly truth, she prepares to move on, let go, and learn how to say ‘Yes’ once more.
The fourth sparkling novel from the bestselling author of THE TRIALS OF TIFFANY TROTT, THE MAKING OF MINTY MALONE and OUT OF THE BLUE has Rose, a prickly agony aunt, fall for the charms of Theo, accountant by day, astronomer by night. who soon has her starry-eyed. But the starcross'd lovers have many obstacles to overcome on the path of true love. Agony aunt Rose has more than a few thorns digging in her side at present. Her seven-month marriage is in tatters, the bills are mounting up at an alarming rate and to top it off, she's being plagued by a stalker who seems to know rather a lot about the mysterious circumstances of her birth. It's usually Rose who dishes out the advice, but now she must rely on her wacky friends to come up with some solutions.They suggest she advertise for a lodger and at first, geeky accountant Theo seems the perfect choice for the now resolutely single Rose. However, she becomes intrigued by her new housemate's fascination with astronomy and he soon has her starry-eyed. But the path of true love never did run smooth, and the starcross'd lovers face stiff opposition in many forms, including the increasingly deranged stalker who is intent on getting Rose's attention by fair means or foul... **
Faith Smith's sunny life just got a little bit cloudy... Faith Smith, AM-UK!'s face of the morning weather, is used to delivering the forecast. But this surprisingly unglam celeb is not used to being told the forecast - especially when it concerns her own marriage. After years of wedded bliss, there isn't much about her husband, Peter, that this thirty-five-year-old doesn't know. In fact, her quiet family life seems almost too comfy...until a casual remark from Faith's ultra-glam best friend plants a seed of doubt that takes root and strangles all sense of Faith's contentedness. Faith begins to assess everything about her mild life - snippets of conversation, Peter's surprising new look, the attentions of a handsome new acquaintance and the small fire burning inside her, licking at the possibility that, out of the blue, her life is about to change....