Author Archives: arleigh

review: Royal Pains

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Royal Pains: A Rogue’s Gallery of Brats, Brutes, and Bad Seeds by Leslie Carroll Spanning from the 12th century to the 20th century, a dozen royals–bad in their own special way–are chronicled in this collection of misdeeds, brutality, and (more often than not) insanity. A run-down of the contenders includes such personages as (the given) England’s King John, (the infamous)… Read more »

review: Royal Affairs

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Royal Affairs by Leslie Carroll I read and loved Notorious Royal Marriages earlier this year and immediately went out and purchased its predecessor: Royal Affairs. This compendium of facts and figures on the other women (or men) in the lives of the British royals is just as fast-paced and witty, though with an eye-opening look at the other side of… Read more »

review: Notorious Royal Marriages by Leslie Carroll

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Notorious Royal Marriages by Leslie Carroll In my mind there is a subgenre in the history and biography sections of the bookstore which contains collections of non-fiction tidbits and anecdotes. Notorious Royal Marriages is one such book, and it resides on my bookshelf beside Eleanor Herman’s books and the Uppity Women series. While the latter are more humorous takes on… Read more »

review: Roses Have Thorns by Sandra Byrd

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Roses Have Thorns by Sandra Byrd In the entourage of Swedish Princess Cecelia, Elin von Snakenborg arrives in Elizabethan England after a harrowing months-long voyage, unsure about her future when she finds her dowry and her fiancés affections usurped. However dim her prospects, she shines at court with her quick wit and unflagging devotion to her mistress—qualities not lost on… Read more »

review: Alexa by Eleanor Burford

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Alexa by Eleanor Burford This is the first Eleanor Burford novel I have been able to purchase, due to scarcity and cost, and I am happy to report that not only do I own such a rare novel, but I really enjoyed reading it as well! I didn’t know what to expect with this book, because it’s an earlier work… Read more »

review: Shame the Devil by Debra Brenegan

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Shame the Devil by Debra Brenegan Fanny Fern, 19th Century American literary wit and prolific author, spoke out against inequality through her novels, weekly columns and collections. Though not quite a household name, she was one of the first women to demand a pre-nuptial agreement, started the idea that lead to copyright, and sarcastically coined the phrase, “The way to… Read more »

review: The Lacemaker and the Princess by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

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The Lacemaker and the Princess by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley Isabelle, a lacemaker’s daughter, lives a poor and somewhat miserable life until, delivering lace to a noble at the palace, she is noticed by the queen, Marie Antoinette. It just so happened that Madame Royale, Therese, was in need of a playmate that day — and this Isabelle became, permanently. Isabelle’s… Read more »

review: The Sumerton Women

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The Sumerton Women by D. L. Bogdan Cecily Burkhart is eight years old when she joins the Sumerton household after tragically losing both her parents to illness. Resilient and cheerfully optimistic, her presence brings much needed felicity to the topically common, yet secretive family. As time passes, Cecily learns why the castle is run by a skeleton staff and the… Read more »

review: Secrets of the Tudor Court

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Secrets of the Tudor Court by D. L. Bogdan Mary Howard, daughter of the Duke of Norfolk was just eleven when she was sent to court as a lady-in-waiting to her cousin, Anne Boleyn, who was soon to be Queen of England. The Year is 1530 and Katherine of Aragon is newly banished to a manor in the north while… Read more »

review: Rivals in the Tudor Court

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Rivals in the Tudor Court by D. L. Bogdan An interesting prequel to SECRETS IN THE TUDOR COURT, this story explores the early life of Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk. As a young boy, during the volatile finale of the Wars of the Roses, Thomas is bullied and humiliated repeatedly by his grandfather, the 1st Duke of Norfolk. His… Read more »

review: The Forgotten Queen

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The Forgotten Queen by D. L. Bogdan This is a story of the life of Margaret Tudor, elder sister of England’s Henry VIII, from her childhood before the death of her beloved brother, Arthur, to her life as the “Old Queen” of the Scots decades later. Margaret’s father, Henry VII, impressed upon her the role she was born to play… Read more »

review: Portrait of an Unknown Woman

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Portrait of an Unknown Woman by Vanora Bennett In 2007, I received a beautiful copy of this book. It was an ARC and the cover art was not used on the finished version. Normally when I fall in love with a book that is not its official version, I will buy it once it hits the shelves–but not this one…. Read more »