Here are the list of novels that i have read or will read that are relating to our family history, some books are fictional or non fiction depending on who the author is and what the story is about.. I have to admit some of these novels by authors John Guy and Ron Chernow are making me want to take notes as i read along, which i don’t mind.. I hope you find this list of novels interesting as I find them to be.. Happy Reading 🙂
Elizabeth: The Forgotten Years
Elizabeth was crowned queen at twenty-five, but it was only when she reached fifty and all hopes of a royal marriage were behind her that she began to wield power in her own right. For twenty-five years she had struggled to assert her authority over advisers, who pressed her to marry and settle the succession; now, she was determined not only to reign but to rule. In this magisterial biography, John Guy introduces us to a woman who is refreshingly unfamiliar: at once powerful and vulnerable, willful and afraid. We see her confronting challenges at home and abroad: war against France and Spain, revolt in Ireland, an economic crisis that triggers riots in the streets of London, and a conspiracy to place her cousin Mary Queen of Scots on her throne. For a while she is smitten by a much younger man, but can she allow herself to act on that passion and still keep her throne?
For the better part of a decade John Guy mined long-overlooked archives, scouring handwritten letters and court documents to sweep away myths and rumors. This prodigious historical detective work has enabled him to reveal, for the first time, the woman behind the polished veneer: determined, prone to fits of jealous rage, wracked by insecurity, often too anxious to sleep alone. At last we hear her in her own voice expressing her own distinctive and surprisingly resonant concerns. Guy writes like a dream, and this combination of groundbreaking research and propulsive narrative puts him in a class of his own. (Non-fiction)
The True Life of Mary Stuart: Queen of Scots
In the first full-scale biography of Mary Stuart in more than thirty years, John Guy creates an intimate and absorbing portrait of one of history’s greatest women, depicting her world and her place in the sweep of history with stunning immediacy. Bringing together all surviving documents and uncovering a trove of new sources for the first time, Guy dispels the popular image of Mary Queen of Scots as a romantic leading lady — achieving her ends through feminine wiles — and establishes her as the intellectual and political equal of Elizabeth I.
Through Guy’s pioneering research and superbly readable prose, we come to see Mary as a skillful diplomat, maneuvering ingeniously among a dizzying array of factions that sought to control or dethrone her. Queen of Scots is an enthralling, myth-shattering look at a complex woman and ruler and her time. (Non-fiction)
Killers of the King: The Men Who Dared to Execute Charles I
On August 18, 1648, with no relief from the siege in sight, the royalist garrison holding Colchester Castle surrendered and Oliver Cromwell’s army firmly ended the rule of Charles I of England. To send a clear message to the fallen monarch, the rebels executed four of the senior officers captured at the castle. Yet still, the king refused to accept he had lost the war. As France and other allies mobilized in support of Charles, a tribunal was hastily gathered and a death sentence was passed. On January 30, 1649, the King of England was executed. This is the account of the fifty-nine regicides, the men who signed Charles I’s death warrant. Recounting a little-known corner of British history, Charles Spencer explores what happened when the Restoration arrived. From George Downing, the chief plotter, to Richard Ingoldsby, who claimed he was forced to sign his name by his cousin Oliver Cromwell, and from those who returned to the monarchist cause and betrayed their fellow regicides to those that fled the country in an attempt to escape their punishment, Spencer examines the long-lasting, far-reaching consequences not only for those who signed the warrant, but also for those who were present at the trial and for England itself. A powerful tale of revenge from the dark heart of England’s past, and a unique contribution to seventeenth-century history, Killers of the King tells the incredible story of the men who dared to assassinate a monarch. This book is written by Charles, 9th Earl Spencer (Princess Diana’s brother) (Non-fiction)
The Spencers: A Personal History of an English Family
Best known in recent history for Lady Diana Spencer, who became the Princess of Wales when she married Prince Charles in 1981, the Spencer family has had close ties to English royalty for at least 500 years. Indeed, Diana’s grandfather claimed that “the word Spencer derives from the Norman word for Steward, or Head of Household: ‘Despenser,'” and that their ancestor was steward to the household of William the Conqueror in 1066. While historians have debated both sides of this particular family legend, it is indisputable that from the early 16th century Diana’s forebears had moved beyond their origins as sheep farmers to forge intimate connections with the English court.
In addition to generations of Spencer barons, earls, and dukes, there were politicians and poets, courtiers and clerics, soldiers and scoundrels. There was an earlier Lady Diana Spencer, who nearly married the Prince of Wales in 1730 and who, like the modern Diana, died tragically young. Sir Winston Churchill was a Spencer; for generations his family name was hyphenated as Spencer-Churchill. The history of the family is alive with many other fascinating characters: from Henry Spencer, who gave Charles I the astonishing sum of £10,000 on the eve of the Civil War; through the scandalous society beauty Georgiana Devonshire, daughter of the first Countess Spencer, who sold her kisses for votes in favor of Charles James Fox; to George John, the Second Earl, owner of the greatest private library in Europe and patron of Horatio Nelson.
In many ways the story of the Spencer family is really the story of England-or at least of the English aristocracy. Using archives and documents previously unavailable and incorporating his personal experiences of the family, Charles Spencer offers a fascinating, rich, and illuminating social history. (Non-fiction)
In the first full-length biography of Alexander Hamilton in decades, Ron Chernow tells the riveting story of a man who overcame all odds to shape, inspire, and scandalize the newborn America. According to historian Joseph Ellis, Alexander Hamilton is “a robust full-length portrait, in my view the best ever written, of the most brilliant, charismatic and dangerous founder of them all.”
Few figures in American history have been more hotly debated or more grossly misunderstood than Alexander Hamilton. Chernow’s biography gives Hamilton his due and sets the record straight, deftly illustrating that the political and economic greatness of today’s America is the result of Hamilton’s countless sacrifices to champion ideas that were often wildly disputed during his time. “To repudiate his legacy,” Chernow writes, “is, in many ways, to repudiate the modern world.” Chernow here recounts Hamilton’s turbulent life: an illegitimate, largely self-taught orphan from the Caribbean, he came out of nowhere to take America by storm, rising to become George Washington’s aide-de-camp in the Continental Army, coauthoring The Federalist Papers, founding the Bank of New York, leading the Federalist Party, and becoming the first Treasury Secretary of the United States.Historians have long told the story of America’s birth as the triumph of Jefferson’s democratic ideals over the aristocratic intentions of Hamilton. Chernow presents an entirely different man, whose legendary ambitions were motivated not merely by self-interest but by passionate patriotism and a stubborn will to build the foundations of American prosperity and power. His is a Hamilton far more human than we’ve encountered before—from his shame about his birth to his fiery aspirations, from his intimate relationships with childhood friends to his titanic feuds with Jefferson, Madison, Adams, Monroe, and Burr, and from his highly public affair with Maria Reynolds to his loving marriage to his loyal wife Eliza. And never before has there been a more vivid account of Hamilton’s famous and mysterious death in a duel with Aaron Burr in July of 1804.
Chernow’s biography is not just a portrait of Hamilton, but the story of America’s birth seen through its most central figure. At a critical time to look back to our roots, Alexander Hamilton will remind readers of the purpose of our institutions and our heritage as Americans. (Non-fiction)
The Royal Stuarts: A History of the Family That Shaped Britain
In this fascinating and intimate portrait of the Stuarts, author Allan Massie takes us deep into one of history’s bloodiest and most tumultuous reigns. Exploring the family’s lineage from the first Stuart king to the last, The Royal Stuarts is a panoramic history of the family that acted as a major player in the Scottish Wars of Independence, the Union of the Crowns, the English Civil War, the Restoration, and more.
Drawing on the accounts of historians past and present, novels, and plays, this is the complete story of the Stuart family, documenting their path from the salt marshes of Brittany to the thrones of Scotland and England and eventually to exile. The Royal Stuarts brings to life figures like Mary, Queens of Scots, Charles I, and Bonnie Prince Charlie, uncovering a family of strong affections and fierce rivalries. Told with panache, this is the gripping true story of backstabbing, betrayal, and ambition gone awry. (Non-fiction)