HISTORICAL BOOK REVIEW SERIES: “Louis XIV: The Real King of Versailles” by Josephine Wilkinson

Louis XIV’s story has all the ingredients of a Dumas classic: legendary beginnings, beguiling women, court intrigue, a mysterious prisoner in an iron mask, lavish court entertainments, the scandal of a mistress who was immersed in the dark arts, and a central character who is handsome and romantic, but with a frighteningly dark side to his character. Louis believed himself to be semidivine. His self-identification … Continue reading HISTORICAL BOOK REVIEW SERIES: “Louis XIV: The Real King of Versailles” by Josephine Wilkinson

HISTORICAL BOOK REVIEW SERIES: “The Five” by Hallie Rubenhold

Five devastating human stories and a dark and moving portrait of Victorian London—the untold lives of the women killed by Jack the Ripper. Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary-Jane are famous for the same thing, though they never met. They came from Fleet Street, Knightsbridge, Wolverhampton, Sweden, and Wales. They wrote ballads, ran coffee houses, lived on country estates, they breathed ink-dust from printing presses … Continue reading HISTORICAL BOOK REVIEW SERIES: “The Five” by Hallie Rubenhold

HISTORICAL BOOK REVIEW SERIES: ‘The King’s Witch’ by Tracy Borman

As she helps to nurse the dying Queen Elizabeth, Frances Gorges longs for the fields and ancient woods of her parents’ Hampshire estate, where she has learned to use the flowers and herbs to become a much-loved healer. Frances is happy to stay in her beloved countryside when the new King arrives from Scotland, bringing change, fear and suspicion. His court may be shockingly decadent, … Continue reading HISTORICAL BOOK REVIEW SERIES: ‘The King’s Witch’ by Tracy Borman

HISTORICAL BOOK REVIEW SERIES: ‘Joan of Arc and The Great Pity of the Land of France’ by Moya Longstaffe

Joan of Arc’s life and death mark a turning point in the destiny both of France and England and the history of their monarchies. ‘It is a great shame,’ wrote Étienne Pasquier in the late sixteenth century, ‘for no one ever came to the help of France so opportunely and with such success as that girl, and never was the memory of a woman so … Continue reading HISTORICAL BOOK REVIEW SERIES: ‘Joan of Arc and The Great Pity of the Land of France’ by Moya Longstaffe

HISTORICAL BOOK REVIEW SERIES: ‘The White King: Charles I, Traitor, Murderer, Martyr’ by Leanda de Lisle

From the New York Times bestselling author and master of narrative nonfiction comes the tragic story of Charles I, his warrior queen, Britain’s civil wars and the trial for his life. Less than forty years after England’s golden age under Elizabeth I, the country was at war with itself. Split between loyalty to the Crown or to Parliament, war raged on English soil. The English … Continue reading HISTORICAL BOOK REVIEW SERIES: ‘The White King: Charles I, Traitor, Murderer, Martyr’ by Leanda de Lisle