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In 1863, Queen Victoria decreed that Edward, Prince of Wales, should marry Princess Alexandra, daughter of the obscure and unsophisticated heir to the Danish throne. The beauty, grace and charm of Prince Christian’s daughter had prevailed over the Queen’s intense dislike of the Danish royal house, and had even persuaded the embarrassingly difficult Bertie to agree to the match. 

Thus began the fairy-tale saga of a family that handed on its good looks, unaffectedness, and democratic manners to almost every royal house of modern Europe. For, in the year that Alexandra became Princess of Wales, her brother Willie was elected King of the Hellenes ; her father at last succeeded to the Danish throne; her sister Dagmar was soon to become wife of the future Tsar Alexander III of Russia; and her youngest sister Thyra later married the de jure King of Hanover.  

 

A brilliant dual biography of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra. British historian Hough goes beyond their complex personal lives to examine their historical importance as a bridge between the Victorian and the Modern Ages, particularly Edward’s role in positioning Britain on the side of the Allies on the eve of WWI. Illus. Family trees.

The photographs of Queen Alexandra, wife of King Edward VII, provide a unique insight into the lives of the royal families of Europe from the 1880s to the First World War. They also reveal a woman whose personality, humour and talent have sometimes been overlooked, but whose photographs demonstrate her love of people and places, her ready wit and sharp eye for the telling detail and the memorable composition. During her lifetime, Queen Alexandra was well known as a keen photographer, publishing a best-selling book of photographs and incorporating her photographic work into many of her other artistic interests.

Edwardian Britain is the quintessential age of nostalgia, often seen as the last long summer afternoon before the cataclysmic changes of the twentieth century began to take form. The class system remained rigidly in place and thousands were employed in domestic service. The habits and sports of the aristocracy were an everyday indulgence. But it was an age of invention as well as tradition. It saw the first widespread use of the motor car, the first aeroplane and the first use of the telegraph. It was also a time of vastly improved education and the public appetite for authors such as Conan Doyle, Rudyard Kipling and E. M. Forster was increased by greater literacy. There were signs too, of the corner history was soon to turn, with the problematic Boer War hinting at a new British weakness overseas and the drive for Votes for Women and Home Rule for Ireland pushing the boundaries of the social and political landscape. In this major work of history, Roy Hattersley has been given exclusive access to many new documents to produce this magisterial new appraisal of a legendary age.

The folk-memory of Britain in the years before the Great War is of a powerful, contented, orderly and thriving country. She commanded a vast empire. She bestrode international commerce. Her citizens were living longer, profiting from civil liberties their grandparents only dreamt of, and enjoying an expanding range of comforts and pastimes. The mood of pride and self-confidence is familiar from Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance marches, newsreels of George V’s coronation and the London’s great Edwardian palaces.

Yet things were very different below the surface. In The Age of Decadence  contradictions of late-Victorian and Edwardian Britain. It explains how, despite the nation’s massive power, a mismanaged war against the Boers in South Africa created profound doubts about her imperial destiny. How attempts to secure vital social reforms prompted the twentieth century’s gravest constitutional crisis and coincided with the worst industrial unrest in British history. Describes how politicians who conceded the vote to millions more men disregarded women so utterly that female suffragists’ public protest bordered on terrorism. Depicts a ruling class that fell prey to degeneracy and scandal. Analyses a national psyche that embraced the motor-car, the sensationalist press and the science fiction of H. G. Wells, but also the Arts and Crafts of William Morris and the nostalgia of A. E. Housman. And concludes with the crisis that in the summer of 1914 threatened the existence of the United Kingdom – a looming civil war in Ireland.

Anne grows from a delightful child brought up at the court of Edward IV and his queen, Elizabeth Woodville, intimacy and friendship with the family of Richard, Duke of Gloucester. Her life is overturned when her father turns on his former allies, escapes England and invades with an enemy army. Widowed at 14, fatherless, with her mother locked in sanctuary, and her sister a vengeful enemy, Anne faces the world alone. 

But fortune’s wheel turns once again. Anne plots her escape from her sister’s house, finds herself a husband in the handsome young Duke of Gloucester, and marries without permission, in secret. But danger still follows her. She finds that she has a mortal enemy in the most beautiful queen in England. Anne has to protect herself and her precious only son from the treacherous royal court, the deadly royal rival, and even from the driving ambition of her husband – Richard III.

Anne Neville is the heiress and daughter of the greatest powerbroker in the land, Warwick the Kingmaker. Trapped in a deadly tangle of political intrigue, she is a pawn in an uncertain game, used by the houses of Neville, York and Lancaster alike.

In England’s glittering, treacherous court, not all wish to see the Nevilles raised high. The Earl of Warwick’s ambition and pride lead him into an attempt to depose the Yorkist King; his treason forces his family into exile.

Humiliated and powerless in a foreign land, Anne must find the courage and the wit to survive in such a dangerous man’s world.

This book examines the lives and influence of twelve figures, comparing their different approaches to the manipulation and conservation of political power in what is always described as a man’s world. On the contrary, there is strong evidence to suggest that these women had more political impact than those who came after – with the exception of Elizabeth I – right up to the present day. Beginning with Eleanor of Provence, loyal spouse of Henry III, the author follows the thread of Queenship: Philippa of Hainault, Joan of Navarre, Katherine Valois, Elizabeth Woodville, Anne Neville and others, to Henry VII’s Elizabeth of York. These are not marginal figures. Elizabeth was the daughter, sister, niece, wife, and mother of successive Kings of England. As can be seen from the names, several are ostensibly ‘outsiders’ twice over, as female and foreign. With specially commissioned photographs of locations and close examination of primary sources, Dr Steven Corvi provides a new and invigorating perspective on Medieval English (and European) history.

Shakespeare’s enduring image of Richard III’s queen is one of bitterness and sorrow. Anne curses the killer of her husband and father, before succumbing to his marriage proposal, bringing to herself a terrible legacy of grief and suffering an untimely death. Was Anne a passive victim? Did she really jump into bed with the enemy? 

Myths aside, who was the real Anne? As the Kingmaker’s daughter, she played a key role in his schemes for the throne. Brought up in the expectation of a glorious marriage, she was not the passive, manipulated pawn of romantic legend; in fact, she was a pragmatist and a survivor, whose courage and endurance were repeatedly pushed to the limit. In 1483 Anne found herself catapulted into the public eye and sitting on the throne beside Richard. The circumstances of their reign put unprecedented pressure on their marriage; amid rumours of affairs and divorce, Anne died mysteriously, during an eclipse of the sun, just weeks before Richard’s death on the battlefield. This fascinating and elusive woman is shrouded in controversy and unanswered questions. 

The fifteenth century experienced the longest and bloodiest series of civil wars in British history. The crown of England changed hands violently five times as the great families of England fought to the death for the right to rule.

Some of the greatest heroes and villains in history were thrown together in these chaotic years. Yet efforts were made to maintain some semblance of peace and order, as chivalry was reborn, the printing press arrived, and the Renaissance began to flourish. Following on from Dan Jones’s bestselling The PlantagenetsThe Hollow Crown is a vivid and engrossing history of these turbulent times.

From its beginning, the story of Medusa has fascinated and terrified listeners and readers–for what is most compelling in this myth is Medusa’s intrinsic Doubtfulness: the woman who could turn a careless Onlooker to stone has become a symbol of all that is Irresistible. The Medusa Reader is the first major anthology of primary and critical material on this enigmatic figure. Collecting all the essential passages and commentary of Medusa from classical times to pop culture, this collection will appeal to art historians, feminists, classicists, cultural critics, and anyone interested in mythology and the arts.

These are the greatest stories ever told – the labours of Hercules, the voyage of the Argonauts, Theseus and the minotaur, Midas and his golden touch, the Trojan War and Odysseus’s journey home – brought together into one epic and unforgettable story.

Ideal for the first time reader, it can be read as a single page-turning narrative, while full commentaries as well as a comprehensive index of names make it equally valuable for anyone seeking an authoritative and detailed account of the spectacular stories that make up the bedrock of Western literature.

The Greek Myths is a classic among classics, a treasure trove of extraordinary tales and a masterful work of literature in its own right

Rick Riordan, dubbed ‘storyteller of the gods’ by Publishers Weekly, is the author of five New York Times number-one bestselling book series with millions of copies sold throughout the world: Percy Jackson, the Heroes of Olympus and the Trials of Apollo, based on Greek and Roman mythology; the Kane Chronicles, based on Egyptian mythology; and Magnus Chase, based on Norse mythology. Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, Rick’s first novel featuring the heroic young demigod, won the Red House Children’s Book Award and is now a blockbuster film franchise starring Logan Lerman.

The Greek Myths contains some of the most thrilling, romantic and unforgettable stories in all human history. From Achilles rampant on the fields of Troy, to the gods at sport on Mount Olympus, from Icarus flying too close to the sun, to the superhuman feats of Heracles, Theseus and the wily Odysseus, these timeless tales exert a fascination and inspiration that have endured for millennia. There are few people as steeped in the Ancient World as Robin and Kathryn Waterfield, and in their hands the heroism, humour, mystery, sensuality and brutality of the Greek Myths are brought brilliantly to life.

The new National Geographic Treasury of Greek Mythology offers timeless stories of Greek myths in a beautiful new volume. Brought to life with lyrical text by award-winning author Donna Jo Napoli and stunning artwork by award-winning illustrator Christina Balit, the tales of gods and goddesses such as Zeus, Aphrodite, Apollo, and Athena and heroes and monsters such as Helen of Troy, Perseus, and Medusa will fascinate and engage children’s imaginations.

National Geographic completes the book with embellishments of each story: sidebars for each god, goddess, hero, and monster link the myths to constellations, geography, history, and culture to help young readers connect the stories to real life events, people, and places. Sure to dazzle all those intrigued with the fantastic tales of Greek mythology and enchant new readers, this vibrant book will soon become a family keepsake

Once upon a time there were four kings called George who, thanks to a quirk of fate, ruled Great Britain for over a century. Hailing from Germany, these occasionally mad, bad and infamous sovereigns presided over a land in turmoil. Yet what of the remarkable women who were crowned alongside them? From the forgotten princess locked in a tower to an illustrious regent, a devoted consort and a notorious party girl, the queens of Georgian Britain lived lives of scandal, romance and turbulent drama. Whether dipping into politics or carousing on the shores of Italy, Caroline of Ansbach, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and Caroline of Brunswick refused to fade into the background. Queens of Georgian Britain offers a chance to step back in time and meet the women who ruled alongside the Georgian monarchs, not forgetting Sophia Dorothea of Celle, the passionate princess who never made it as far as the throne. From lonely childhoods to glittering palaces, via family feuds, smallpox, strapping soldiers and plenty of scheming, these are the queens who shaped an era.

Excerpt from Memoir of Her Majesty Sophia Charlotte, of Mecklenburg Strelitz, Queen of Great Britain, Shewing, From Faithful Representations and Authentic Documents, That Excellent Lady to Have Been Always as Eminent for Her Virtues and Accomplishments, as Illustrious by Her Birth and High Station

Since the birth of Prince William and Pricess Kate’s daughter Charlotte interest in Queen Charlotte has increased. There are few books about Queen Victoria’s grandmather, despite her influence on British life and culture, bringing the tradition of the Christmas tree to the English speaking world from her native Germany for example. This is the only book currently in print about the life of the wife of King George 3rd after whom so many streets, towns and hospitals are named. She was famously portrayed by actress Helen Mirren in the film “The Madness of King George” This beautiful paperback book written by Friederike Drinkuth and printed in Germany (in English) documents the fascinating life of the girl from a remote town in Pomerania who became Queen of Britian & Ireland over 39 pages with nine colour images and seven black and white

More than a traditional biography, this is a very human tale of some terrible decisions made by a young woman, and of complex individuals attempting to survive in a dangerous hothouse where the odds were stacked against nearly all of them. By illuminating Catherine’s entwined upstairs/downstairs worlds, and bringing the reader into her daily milieu, the author re-tells her story in an exciting and engaging way that has surprisingly modern resonances and offers a fresh perspective on Henry’s fifth wife.

By reinterpreting her life in the context of cultural customs and expectations surrounding sexuality, fertility and family honour, Byrne exposes the limitations of conceptualising Katherine as either ‘whore’ or ‘victim’. His more rounded view of the circumstances in which she found herself and the expectations of her society allows the historical Katherine to emerge.

Katherine has long been condemned by historians for being a promiscuous and frivolous consort who partied away her days and revelled in male attention, but Byrne’s reassessment conveys the mature and thoughtful ways in which Katherine approached her queenship. It was a tragedy that her life was controlled by predators seeking to advance themselves at her expense, whatever the cost.

Drawing upon the rich fund of documentary material from the Tudor period, The Six Wives of Henry VIII shows us a court where personal needs frequently influenced public events and where a life of gorgeously ritualised pleasure was shot through with ambition, treason and violence.

A mere teenager, the vivacious and flirty Catherine Howard was an unsuitable bride for the elderly and fat Henry VIII. Like most of Henry’s wives she had come to his attention at court whilst lady-in-waiting to his fourth wife of only a few months, Anne of Cleves. Henry was soon besotted and came to adore Catherine, his ‘very jewel of womanhood’. His head already turned by the 19 year old, Henry never consummated his marriage to Anne, he divorced her and married for the fifth time on 28 July 1540. 

Lacey Baldwin Smith, one of the finest historians of the Tudor age, narrates the rise and fall of the most tragic of Henry’s queens, the woman who dared to cuckold the king of England.

CATHERINE OF ARAGON: the pious Spanish Catholic who suffered years of miscarriages and failed to produce a male heir… 
ANNE BOLEYN: the pretty, clever, French-educated Protestant whose marriage to Henry changed England forever…
JANE SEYMOUR: the demure and submissive contrast to Anne Boleyn’s radical and vampish style… 
ANNE OF CLEVES: ‘the mare of Flanders’ whose short marriage to the overweight Henry followed a farcical ‘beauty contest’…
CATHERINE HOWARD: the flirtatious teenager whose adulteries made a fool of the ageing king… CATHERINE PARR: the shrewd, religiously radical bluestocking who outlived him…

In this dazzling study, David Starkey gives us a richly textured picture of daily life at the Tudor Court from the woman’s point of view. Above all, he establishes the interaction of the private and the public, and demonstrates how the Queens of Henry VIII were central in determining political policy.

The future seems assured for the new queen and her maid-in-waiting, although Cat would feel more confident if Katherine hadn’t embarked on an affair with one of the king’s favoured attendants, Thomas Culpeper. However, for a blissful year and a half, it seems that Katherine can have everything she wants. But then allegations are made about her girlhood love affairs. Desperately frightened, Katherine recounts a version of events which implicates Francis but which Cat knows to be a lie. With Francis in the Tower, Cat alone knows the whole truth of Queen Katherine Howard – but if she tells, Katherine will die.

Hermes and his Children has become something of a classic among therapists, poets, artists and readers of many callings. Rafael López-Pedraza approaches the soul through myth, pathology, image and the very living of them all. The love and passion of a man fully in his element radiates throughout this unique work, now updated and expanded for this edition.

Hermes is determined to have adventures from the very moment of his unusual birth. With his tumbling brown curls and cheerful fearlessness, he charms his fellow gods: mighty Apollo, mournful Artemis, beautiful Aphrodite, and even the king of the immortals himself, Zeus.

Carried by his winged sandals, Hermes travels all over his magical world, full of fearsome monsters and terrible battles, but never forgets to have fun along the way…

Karl Kerényi presents here a beautiful, authoritative study of the great god Hermes whom the Greeks revered as Guides of Souls. Chapters on Hermes and Night, Hermes and Eros, and Hermes and the goddesses illuminate the complex role of Hermes in classical mythology, while also providing an archetypal background for the guiding of souls in psychotherapy. A vital contribution both to the study of the classics and the therapy of the soul.

Stephen Fry’s magnificent retelling of the greatest myths and legends ever told. 

From the birth of the universe to the creation of humankind, Stephen Fry – who fell in love with these stories as a child – retells these myths for our tragic, comic, fateful age. Witness Athena born from the cracking open of Zeus’s great head and follow Persephone down into the dark realm of Hades. Experience the terrible and endless fate of Prometheus after his betrayal of Zeus and shiver as Pandora opens her jar of evil torments.

The Greek gods are the best and worst of us, and in Stephen Fry’s hands they tell us who we are. Mythos – smart, funny, and above all great fun – is the retelling we deserve by a man who has been entertaining the nation for over four decades.

The mysterious and exciting legends of the gods and heroes in Ancient Greece, from the adventures of Perseus, the labours of Heracles, the voyage of Jason and the Argonauts, to Odysseus and the Trojan wars.

Introduced with wit and humour by Rick Riordan, creator of the highly successful Percy Jackson series.

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