This Month's New Releases


December 3

With the Heart of a King: Elizabeth I of England, Philip II of Spain, and the Fight for a Nation's Soul and Crown by Benton Rain Patterson (Kindle Edition)

Philip II of Spain, the most powerful monarch in sixteenth-century Europe and a ferocious empire-builder, was matched against the dauntless queen of England, Elizabeth I, determined to defend her country and thwart Philip's ambitions.  Philip had been king of England while married to Elizabeth's half-sister, Bloody Mary Tudor, a devout Catholic.  After Mary's untimely death, he courted Elizabeth, the new queen, and proposed marriage to her, hoping to build a permanent alliance between his country and hers and return England to the Catholic fold.  Lukewarm to the Spanish alliance and resolute against a counterreformation, Elizabeth declined his proposal.

When under her guidance England's maritime power grew to challenge Spain's rule of the sea and threaten its rich commerce, Philip became obsessed with the idea of a conquest of England and the restoration of Catholicism there, by fire and sword.  Elizabeth—bold, brilliant, defiantly Protestant—became his worst enemy.

In 1586 Philip began assembling the mighty Spanish Armada, and in May 1588 it sailed from Lisbon.  With superior seamanship and strategies, Elizabeth's navy defeated and drove off the Spanish fleet.  Forced to retreat around the northern coast of Ireland and Scotland, Philip's ships ran into violent storms that wreaked havoc.  It was the rivalry's climactic event.

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Elizabeth of York: A Tudor Queen and Her World by Alison Weir (Hardcover)

Many are familiar with the story of the much-married King Henry VIII of England and the celebrated reign of his daughter, Elizabeth I. But it is often forgotten that the life of the first Tudor queen, Elizabeth of York, Henry’s mother and Elizabeth’s grandmother, spanned one of England’s most dramatic and perilous periods. Now New York Times bestselling author and acclaimed historian Alison Weir presents the first modern biography of this extraordinary woman, whose very existence united the realm and ensured the survival of the Plantagenet bloodline...

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December 8

Atlas of Early Modern Britain, 1485-1715 by Christopher Daniell

The Atlas of Early Modern Britain presents a unique visual survey of British history from the end of the Wars of the Roses through to the accession of George I in 1715.

Featuring 117 maps, accompanied throughout by straightforward commentary and analysis, the atlas begins with a geographical section embracing England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales and providing clear orientation for the reader. It then focuses separately on the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, dividing its coverage of each into four key themes:

  • Geography and Counties – Outlining in detail how Britain’s geography was shaped during the period;
  • Politics and War - the main campaigns, rebellions and political changes in each century;
  • Religion - including denominational concentrations, diocesan boundaries and witch trials;
  • Economy and Culture –charting Britain’s wealthiest towns, the locations of Britain’s houses of aristocracy and the effects of The Great Fire of London

The broad scope of the atlas combines essential longer-term political, social, cultural and economic developments as well as key events such as the Spanish Armada, the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the Civil War and the Glorious Revolution. Its blend of clear visual aids and concise analysis represents an indispensable background and reference resource for all students of the early modern period.

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December 10

Richard III: From Contemporary Chronicles, Letters and Records by Keith Dockray

No English king has suffered wider fluctuations of reputation than Richard III, perhaps the most controversial ruler England has ever had. Vilified by critics as a ruthless master of intrigue and a callous murderer, he has been no less extravagantly praised by defenders of his reputation against Tudor and Shakespearian charges of tyranny.

Richard III: From Contemporary Chronicles, Letters and Records, by its presentation of contemporary and near contemporary sources, enables the reader to get behind the mythology and gain a more realistic picture of the king. An invaluable collection of the primary sources presented clearly and concisely, it demonstrates just why Richard has remained an enigma for so long. Established as an essential part of the literature on Richard III since its first publication under the title Richard III: A Reader in History, this new edition has been completely revised and considerably expanded to offer an indispensable source book for historians, students and the general reader. Also, this up to date edition includes a chapter in relation to the exciting discovery of Richard III’s skeleton that was found under a car park in Leicester.

The genesis of this book came from a summary guide produced by Keith Dockray for all of his second year undergraduate students. Upon this foundation has been built an accessible and enjoyable history of this fascinating king, as seen by those who knew him at the time. (From Fonthill Media).

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December 11

The Queen's Agent: Francis Walsingham at the Court of Elizabeth I by John Cooper

Elizabeth I came to the throne at a time of insecurity and unrest. Rivals threatened her reign; England was a Protestant island, isolated in a sea of Catholic countries. Spain plotted an invasion, but Elizabeth's Secretary, Sir Francis Walsingham, was prepared to do whatever it took to protect his queen and country. He ran a network of agents across England and Europe who provided him with information about invasions or assassination plots. He encouraged Elizabeth to make war against the Catholic Irish rebels and oversaw the execution of Mary Queen of Scots.

The Queen's Agent is a story of secret agents, cryptic codes, and ingenious plots, set in a turbulent period of England's history. It is also the story of a man devoted to his queen, sacrificing his every waking hour to save the threatened English state.

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December 19

The Life of Henry, Third Earl of Southampton, Shakespeare's Patron by Charlotte Carmichael Stopes

Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton (1573-1624) is widely regarded as the subject of Shakespeare's sonnets, and the two narrative poems Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece are both dedicated to him. Originally published in 1922, this book used the limited available material concerning Southampton to provide a biographical account of his life and connections with Shakespeare. The text was written by Charlotte Carmichael Stopes (1840-1929), a renowned Shakespearean scholar, literary critic and campaigner for women's rights. Illustrative figures and addenda are also contained. This book will be of value to anyone with an interest in the life of Southampton, Shakespeare and literary criticism.

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December 5

His Dark Lady by Victoria Lamb

London, 1583. William Shakespeare has declared Lucy Morgan the inspiration for his work. But what is he hiding from his muse?

Meanwhile, Lucy has her own secrets to conceal. Tempted by love, the lady-in-waiting also bore witness to the one marriage forbidden by the queen.

England is in peril. Queen Elizabeth's health is deteriorating, her throne under siege. She needs a trusted circle of advisors.but who can she turn to when those closest have proved disloyal? And just how secure is Lucy's fate, now she has learned the dangerous art of keeping secrets?

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Click the following links to view November's Non-Fiction and Fiction releases.

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