Weekly Roundup: ABBA Reunion, Henry VII’s Six Wives, Jane Austen Problems & King Arthur Facts

Welcome to today’s Weekly Roundup! We’ve gathered a bunch of stories from around the internet that we hope you’ll find as interesting as we did. If you like the stories and you want to learn more about the topics you’ll find here, check out our list of related books at the bottom of this post!

Read on for stories from Royals Week at HistoryExtra, ABBA’s first performance together in 30 years, problems any Jane Austen heroine can relate to, and more!

  • It’s Royals Week on HistoryExtra, and they’ve posted a ton of interesting pieces on Britain’s monarchs. Here are a few of our favorites:
    • 8 places associated with Henry VIII’s wives

      “…Henry VIII’s six wives and the intimate details of their relationships with the king continue, 500 years later, to fascinate. But while places such as Hampton Court Palace and the Tower of London are at the top of the list for anyone wanting to learn more about these women, there are, say Natalie Grueninger and Sarah Morris, several other locations worth adding.”

    • Joan of Kent: a perfect princess?

      “An English noblewoman with a controversial marital history, Joan of Kent (1328–85) was an unconventional bride for a future king of England. Penny Lawne examines the life of the medieval princess…”

    • 8 things you (probably) didn’t know about King Arthur

      1) The once and future king: Arthur, sometimes known as ‘the king that was and the king that shall be’, is recognised all over the world as one of the most famous characters of myth and legend. Yet, if he existed at all (which few scholars agree upon), he would not have been a king, but the commander of an elite force of fighting men. Furthermore, he would have lived more than 500 years before medieval legends suggest.”

    • 12 facts about the Stuarts

      “They immediately succeeded the Tudors, and reigned over some of the most monumentally changeable times in British history – civil war, rebellion, the beheading of a king, plague outbreaks, a disastrous fire and a successful foreign invasion. Yet the Stuarts remain a largely overlooked dynasty”

  • This week, ABBA performed together for the first time in 30 years at a private gala marking 50 years since the first time songwriting partners Ulvaeus and Andersson originally met. Read about it from TODAY: ABBA sings together onstage for the first time in 30 years

    “The Swedish pop group, comprised of Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad (the first letters of their names form the band’s name), actually sang a song as a group for the first time since 1986 at a private gathering over the weekend.”

  • Something from BuzzFeed Books that the Elizabeth Bennett in all of us can relate to: 22 Struggles That Are Way Too Real For Jane Austen Heroines

    1. Your mother will never let you forget how single you are.


In the Footsteps of the Wives of Henry VIII
9781445642918This guidebook takes a fresh perspective on the tale of Henry VIII’s six wives, by taking you on a journey through a selection of manors, castles, and palaces that played host to Henry’s unforgettable queens. Explore the Alhambra Palace in Spain, childhood home of Katherine of Aragon; stand in the very room at Acton Court, where Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII publicly dined; walk the cobbled grounds of Hampton Court Palace, which bore witness to both triumph and tragedy for Jane Seymour; visit Dusseldorf in Germany, birthplace of Anne of Cleves; travel to Gainsborough Old Hall in Lincolnshire, where Henry VIII and Catherine Howard rested on their way to York in 1541 and wander the picturesque gardens and paneled rooms of Sizergh Castle in Cumbria, where Katherine Parr spent time in mourning, after the death of her first husband.
Each location is covered by an accessible and informative narrative, which unearths the untold tales and documents the artifacts, as well as providing practical visitor information based on our first-hand experiences of visiting each site. Accompanied by an extensive range of images, including family trees, maps, photographs and sketches, this book brings you closer than ever before to the women behind the legends, as it takes you on your own personal and illuminating journey in the footsteps of the six wives of Henry VIII.

Joan of Kent
9781445655277Immortalized by the chronicler Froissart as the most beautiful woman in England and the most loved, Joan was the wife of the Black Prince and the mother of Richard II, the first Princess of Wales and the only woman ever to be Princess of Aquitaine. The contemporary consensus was that she admirably fulfilled their expectations for a royal consort and king’s mother. Who was this ‘perfect princess’?
In this first major biography, Joan’s background and career are examined to reveal a remarkable story. Brought up at court following her father’s shocking execution, Joan defied convention by marrying secretly aged just twelve, and refused to deny her first love despite coercion, imprisonment and a forced bigamous marriage. Wooed by the Black Prince when she was widowed, theirs was a love match, yet the questionable legality of their marriage threatened their son’s succession to the throne. Intelligent and independent, Joan constructed her role as Princess of Wales. Deliberately self-effacing, she created and managed her reputation, using her considerable intercessory skills to protect and support Richard. A loyal wife and devoted mother, Joan was much more than just a famous beauty.

King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table
9781782743743Here lies entombed the renowned King Arthur in the island of Avalon.
Inscription found at Glastonbury in the late 12th century
King Arthur most probably never existed and if he did we know precious little about him, and yet he is one of the most famous Britons, while Excalibur and Camelot are perhaps the world’s best known sword and castle, and Hollywood doesn’t tire of returning to the world of Arthurian romance – another major movie is to be released in 2016. So, what’s the truth behind King Arthur? How did the legends take hold? And why have they endured for so long?
Long before the Marvel Universe there was the universe of Arthurian romance and King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table examines the fact and the fiction behind Arthur, Lancelot, Merlin, Guinevere, Galahad, among others, as well as the quest for the Holy Grail. Beginning in the 12th century, the book explores what factual basis there is for the tales and how the characters, stories and motifs developed through histories, epic poems and prose tellings. The book also charts the revived interest in Arthurian romance in the 19th century and considers how the tales still hold the popular imagination today.
Illustrated with more than 180 color and black-and-white artworks and photographs and maps, King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table is an expertly written account of where literature, mythology, and history meet.

The Stuarts in 100 Facts
9781445647302Discover the history behind the facts.

The Stuart era encompasses the whole of the seventeenth century and beyond, with seven monarchs and a civil war that changed Britain forever.

Many statements are made about this turbulent period in history, but what are the stories behind them? Which are true and which are merely beliefs that have grown into fact?

Andrea Zuvich takes us on a tour of this fascinating era, condensing over 100 years of turmoil into easy bitesize sections. She examines some of the most important aspects and events of the period, from the deaths of kings to the discovery of new worlds and the dangers of drinking orange juice.

Agnetha Faltskog
9781781555217Her iconic blonde looks, stunning voice and songs of loneliness and melancholy have endeared her to millions, yet Agnetha Fältskog remains an enigmatic and distant figure. From her success as a teenage singer and songwriter in Sweden in the late 1960’s to her years of global superstardom with pop giants ABBA and beyond, Agnetha has fascinated generations of fans. Her beaming smile graced record sleeves, television screens and magazine covers around the world yet never quite managed to conceal her natural shyness and vulnerability. Agnetha Fältskog—The Girl With The Golden Hair is the first full-length biography dedicated to the life and career of the one of the most beloved and successful performers in music history. Charting Agnetha’s journey from her early days fronting a local dance band in the small industrial city of Jönköping, through her decade as one of the most famous and popular singers in the world, and the years of self-imposed exile that followed until her surprising and successful comeback in 2013, Agnetha Fältskog—The Girl With The Golden Hair will delight her many legions of fans and any readers with an interest in the history of popular music.

Jane Austen: Love is Like a Rose
9781781554425Whereas many aspects of Jane Austen’s life are well known and documented, others are shrouded in mystery. This was not as a result of any action on her part. It was principally because of the actions of her sister Cassandra, who, after Jane’s death, deliberately destroyed numerous letters sent by her to family and friends. Jane’s family and friends have alluded to the fact that, at the turn of the 17-18th century, she fell in love with a person whose identity has remained a mystery. Is it possible, after a passage of more than two centuries, and despite the fact that Cassandra destroyed letters written by Jane at the time in question, for this mystery lover to be identified? The answer is yes. Barrington Court in Somersetshire is one of the National Trust’s most prestigious properties, and evidence is produced for the very first time that this property was Jane’s inspiration for ‘Kellynch Hall’, home of Sir Walter Elliot in Persuasion.


9781906230074 9781906230098
Persuade Me 
9781906931216When do you let your heart rule your head? When it comes to love, Anna Elliot is stuck in the past. No one can compare to Rick Wentworth, the man she gave up ten years ago at the insistence of her disapproving family. What if she’s missed her only chance for real happiness? Since Anna broke his heart, Rick has moved on – or so he thinks. Out in Australia, he’s worked hard to build a successful career – and a solid wall around his feelings. The words ‘forgive and forget’ aren’t in Rick’s vocabulary. The word ‘regret’ is definitely in Anna’s. So, when they meet again on his book tour of England, it’s an opportunity for closure. But memories intrude – the pure sensuality of what they once shared, the pain of parting … And she has to deal with another man from her past, while his celebrity status makes him the focus of unwanted attention. With Anna’s image-obsessed family still ready to interfere and Rick poised to return to Australia, can she persuade him to risk his heart again? This contemporary retelling of Jane Austen’s last completed novel is the second book in Juliet Archer’s Darcy & Friends series, offering fresh insights into the hearts and minds of Austen’s irresistible heroes.


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