Happy Friday! This weekend, we’re brushing up on our royal history. Check out the history and scandals of royal lives with these #FridayReads selections.
Dark History of the Kings & Queens of England
Despite its reputation as the longest established and most admired in Europe, the story of the English monarchy is punctuated by an ongoing roster of scandals, murders, betrayals, plots, treasons and general mayhem. Since 1066, England has seen three civil wars, six monarchs have been murdered or executed, the throne of England has been usurped four times, and won in battle three times. From the “accidental” murder of William II in 1100, through the excesses of Richard III, Henry VIII and “Bloody” Mary, to the conspiracies surrounding the death of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997, this accessible and immensely enjoyable book highlights the true personalities and real lives of the individuals honored with the crown of England – and those unfortunate enough to cross their paths.
King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table
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 Pocket Guide to Royal Scandals
A must-buy book for everyone interested in history and skeletons in the regal cupboards. Discover fascinating facts about lust, greed, murder, envy – and just plain stupidity. Read King Henry VIII’s scurrilous letters to Anne Boleyn (thought he was interested in her mind? Think again). Whilst King Charles II was known as the Merry Monarch and Queen Elizabeth I’s nickname, the Virgin Queen was rumored to be a misnomer, there was a darker side to the royal family, including murder and regicide – was Queen Victoria’s son really Jack the Ripper or did her surgeon do it?
History will come alive with this fact-filled book.
Queen Victoria and the European Empires
This latest book from John Van der Kiste, the eminent historian of European royalty, is an account of Queen Victoria’s personal and political relationships with the empires, or to be more exact, the Kings and Queens, Emperors, Empresses and their families of France, Germany, Austria and Russia. Victoria had close connections with the royal houses of Germany long before the King of Prussia became the German Emperor in 1871, and with the exiled former Emperor and Empress of the French and their son, the Prince Imperial, after the fall of the French Empire in 1870. Van der Kiste deftly weaves together the various strands of the relationships—including the close family marriage ties—to provide a fascinating picture of European royalty in the last two thirds of the nineteenth century.