Unlike his father, the Black Prince, or his namesake, King Richard the Lionheart, Richard II never really wanted to be king. But the mantle of royalty is thrust upon his shoulders at age 11, at a time when England is racked by unrest and class warefare. A leader as unexpected as he is inexperienced, young Richard must find a way to triumph over a fierce conflict more destructive than any foreign enemy.
Richard's love for his wife, Anne of Bohemia, gave him the strength to outwit the schemes of his enemies and govern as he saw fit, providing England with years of properity under his reign. But when tragedy strikes, Richard begins to loose the common touch by which he had ruled so brilliantly, and begins a downward spiral from which his detractors would derive strength...
Immigrants by Howard Fast - $3.82
In this sweeping journey of love and fortune, master storyteller Howard Fast recounts the rise and fall of a family of roughneck immigrants determined to make their way in America at the turn of the century. Quick to ascend from the tragic depths of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, Dan Lavette becomes the head of a powerful shipping empire and establishes himself among the city's cultural elite. But when he finds himself caught in a loveless marriage to the daughter of San Francisco's richest family, a scandalous love affair threatens to destroy the empire Dan has built for himself.
The first of a compelling family saga, The Immigrants is a fast-paced, emotional novel that captures the wide range of relationships among immigrant families during the tumultuous events that defined the early twentieth century in America.
1858: Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant and the War They Failed to See by Bruce Chadwick - $2.99
1858 explores the events and personalities of the year that would send the America's North and South on a collision course culminating in the slaughter of 630,000 of the nation's young men, a greater number than died in any other American conflict. The record of that year is told in seven separate stories, each participant, though unaware, is linked to the oncoming tragedy by the central, though ineffective, figure of that time, the man in the White House, President James Buchanan.
The seven figures who suddenly leap onto history's stage and shape the great moments to come are: Jefferson Davis, who lived a life out of a Romantic novel, and who almost died from herpes simplex of the eye; the disgruntled Col. Robert E. Lee, who had to decide whether he would stay in the military or return to Virginia to run his family's plantation; William Tecumseh Sherman, one of the great Union generals, who had been reduced to running a roadside food stand in Kansas; the uprising of eight abolitionists in Oberlin, Ohio, who freed a slave apprehended by slave catchers, and set off a fiery debate across America; a dramatic speech by New York Senator William Seward in Rochester, which foreshadowed the civil war and which seemed to solidify his hold on the 1860 Republican Presidential nomination; John Brown's raid on a plantation in Missouri, where he freed several slaves, and marched them eleven hundred miles to Canada, to be followed a year later by his catastrophic attack on Harper's Ferry; and finally, Illinois Senator Steven Douglas' seven historic debates with little-known Abraham Lincoln in the Illinois Senate race, that would help bring the ambitious and determined Lincoln to the Presidency of the United States.
As these stories unfold, the reader learns how the country reluctantly stumbled towards that moment in April 1861 when the Southern army opened fire on Fort Sumter.
Independence: The Struggle to Set America Free by John Ferling - $3.99
No event in American history was more pivotal-or more furiously contested-than Congress's decision to declare independence in July 1776. Even months after American blood had been shed at Lexington and
Concord, many colonists remained loyal to Britain. John Adams, a leader of the revolutionary effort, said bringing the fractious colonies together was like getting "thirteen clocks to strike at once."
Other books have been written about the Declaration, but no author has traced the political journey from protest to Revolution with the narrative scope and flair of John Ferling. Independence takes readers from the cobblestones of Philadelphia into the halls of Parliament, where many sympathized with the Americans and furious debate erupted over how to deal with the rebellion. Independence is not only the story of how freedom was won, but how an empire was lost.
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The Darling Strumpet by Gillian Bagwell - £2.62
From her beginnings as a humble oyster seller, Nell Gwynn’s dazzling rise to fame has gone down in history. Step into the tumultuous world of Restoration England, and join Nell on her journey from courtesan, to famed actress to King’s mistress in a novel that is as captivating as Nelly herself.She sold her innocence…and captured the heart of a king.London, 1660Growing up in the bawdy atmosphere of 17th century Covent Garden, Nell Gwynn is little more than a girl when she enters the world of the courtesan. But Nell learns the hard way that to be at the mercy of unscrupulous men is no life at all.With London’s theatres flourishing, Nell seizes an opportunity to change her luck and takes a job selling oranges at The King’s Playhouse on Drury Lane.It isn’t long before Nell takes centre-stage herself and her saucy wit and ambitious temperament soon catch the eye of the young King Charles II. But can she keep him enthralled when the country’s finest Ladies are vying for his attentions at court?Nell Gwynn was a darling of the people and the most famous courtesan of her age. You too will find it impossible to resist her in The Darling Strumpet.
The epic story of the queen who founded the Tudor dynasty, told through the eyes of her loyal nursemaid.
When her own first child is tragically still-born, the young Mette is pressed into service as a wet-nurse at the court of the mad king, Charles VI of France. Her young charge is the princess, Catherine de Valois, caught up in the turbulence and chaos of life at court.
Mette and the child forge a bond, one that transcends Mette’s lowly position.
But as Catherine approaches womanhood, her unique position seals her fate as a pawn between two powerful dynasties. Her brother, The Dauphin and the dark and sinister, Duke of Burgundy will both use Catherine to further the cause of France.
Catherine is powerless to stop them, but with the French defeat at the Battle of Agincourt, the tables turn and suddenly her currency has never been higher. But can Mette protect Catherine from forces at court who seek to harm her or will her loyalty to Catherine place her in even greater danger?
Alexander murders, bribes and betrays to establish his dynasty. No one is immune. Rome is a hotbed of accusation and conspiracy. Every day, the River Tiber is full of new bodies.
Sancha de Aragon, daughter of King Alfonso II of Naples, arrives in Rome newly wed to Alexander’s youngest son, Jofre. Their marriage protects Naples against the ambitions of the French King Louis and gains Spanish support for the Borgias. But Rome is very different to her beloved Naples.
The debauchery of the Borgia inner-circle is notorious: every lust is indulged and every indiscretion overlooked. Sancha is no innocent: she possesses an indomitable spirit which allows her to survive in the snake-pit, but her ancestors once rivalled the Borgias in cruelty and Sancha’s greatest fear is that blood will out.
Lucrezia Borgia’s vicious jealously stings Sancha at first, but gradually the two young women develop a cautious friendship. Lucrezia, adored by her father but used ruthlessly as a political tool, seems deceptively innocent and sympathetic, and their bond strengthens when Lucrezia is married to Sancha’s treasured brother, Alfonso. But when Sancha falls in love with Cesare Borgia, her husband’s enigmatic older brother, she has no idea of how bizarre and internecine are the family's true ties. Alexander is rather more than an indulgent father; Lucrezia not the innocent she appears; and Cesare’s ambition burns wildly. The only safe relationship with the Borgias is none at all: as Sancha, her brother and Naples are soon to discover…
From Jeanne Kalogridis, critically acclaimed author of The Borgia Bride, Painting Mona Lisa and The Devil’s Queen, comes another irresistible historical novel about a countess whose passion and willfulness knew no bounds: Caterina Sforza.
Daughter of the Duke of Milan and wife of the conniving Count Girolamo Riario, Caterina Sforza was the bravest warrior Renaissance Italy ever knew. She ruled her own lands, fought her own battles, and openly took lovers whenever she pleased.
Her remarkable tale is told by her lady-in-waiting, Dea, a woman knowledgeable in reading the ‘triumph cards’ – the predecessor of modern-day Tarot. As Dea tries to unravel the truth about her husband’s murder, Caterina single-handedly holds off invaders who would steal her title and lands. However, Dea’s reading of the cards reveals that Caterina cannot withstand a third and final invader – none other than Cesare Borgia, son of the corrupt Pope Alexander VI, who has an old score to settle with Caterina. Trapped inside the Fortress at Ravaldino as Borgia’s cannons pound the walls, Dea reviews Caterina’s scandalous past and struggles to understand their joint destiny, while Caterina valiantly tries to fight off Borgia’s unconquerable army.
When 12-year-old Katherine Howard comes to live in the Duchess of Norfolk's household, poor relation Cat Tilney is deeply suspicious. The two girls couldn't be more different: Cat, watchful and ambitious; Katherine, interested only in clothes and boys. Their companions are in thrall to Katherine, but it's Cat in whom Katherine confides and, despite herself, Cat is drawn to her. Summoned to court at 17, Katherine leaves Cat in the company of her ex-lover, Francis, and the two begin their own, much more serious, love affair.
Within months, the king has set aside his Dutch wife Anne for Katherine. 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.
Dublin 1934: Detective Stefan Gillespie arrests a German doctor and encounters Hannah Rosen desperate to find her friend Susan, a Jewish woman who had become involved with a priest, and has now disappeared.
When the bodies of a man and woman are found buried in the Dublin mountains, it becomes clear that this case is about more than a missing person. Stefan and Hannah trace the evidence all the way across Europe to Danzig.
In a strange city where the Nazi Party are gaining power, Stefan and Hannah are inching closer to the truth and soon find themselves in grave danger…