Friday, August 10, 2012

New Historical fiction (for fans of Philippa Gregory)

Summer to me is a great time to read historical fiction: big, sweeping epics of days gone by are perfect for sitting on the deck or the beach. In recent years, Phillipa Gregory has become one of the biggest names in historical fiction. Her novels focusing on the women of monarchies in France and England have captivated readers and spawned film adaptations.

Gregory (or her publishers) must also feel that the summer time seems like good Historical fiction reading time, as her latest The Kingmaker's Daughter (M) will be released this August. But she's not the only game in town, and if you're a fan of her writing you might also want to make note of these historical titles which will be hitting shelves this summer.

"No one believed I was destined for greatness. So begins Isabella's story, in this evocative, vividly imagined novel about one of history's most famous and controversial queens--the warrior who united a fractured country, the champion of the faith whose reign gave rise to the Inquisition, and the visionary who sent Columbus to discover a New World. Acclaimed author C. W. Gortner envisages the turbulent early years of a woman whose mythic rise to power would go on to transform a monarchy, a nation, and the world. " - publisher

The Second Empress: a novel of Napoleon's court (M)
by Michelle Moran

“Stunning in form, theme, and plot, Moran's fifth historical novel (after Madame Tussaud) shines a spotlight on the Emperor Napoleon, the love of his life and first Empress Josephine, the family members who clamored to share his spotlight, and Marie-Louise, the Austrian princess who became his second Empress. Narrated from three different perspectives, including that of Napoleon's infamous sister Pauline,her Haitian servant Paul, and Marie-Louise, the novel follows Napoleon from his height of fame in 1809 when he desperately tries to secure his succession by acquiring a second wife until his disastrous invasion of Russia and concluding with his return from exile in Elbaand the Battle of Waterloo.” - Library Journal
by Mary Hart Perry

"Four of the five daughters of England's Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were regal, genteel, and everything a princess should be. But one was rebellious, scandalous, and untamed. This is her story... In the vein of Philippa Gregory, Mary Hart Perry tells the riveting story of an extraordinary woman—a princess who refused to give up on her dreams, including her right to true love." - publisher

And a couple more intriguing titles, albeit less like Gregory's style of historical fiction:

Queen's Lover (M)by Francine du Plessix Gray

With her golden hair, luminous skin, and blue eyes, 19-year-old Dauphine Marie Antoinette captivates Swedish aristocrat Count Axel von Fersen at their first meeting, a masquerade ball at the Paris Opera in 1774. This encounter begins a passionate affair between the Swedish nobleman and the wife of the reclusive prince and soon-to-be king of France, Louis XVI. In this lustrous historical novel, Gray (Lovers and Tyrants) combines authentic communications with von Fersen's own incomplete memoir and the memories of von Fersen's adored sister, Sophie. The author has expertly re-created the world of the French royal family, depicting them in print as they once existed in life: lighthearted, calculating, and complex. VERDICT Gray's subtle treatment of her characters allows them to come alive in this creative account of the French royal family and the French Revolution.” - Library Journal

Wallis: the shadow queen (M)
by Rebecca Dean

Maybe as much for Downton Abbey fans as for Phillipa Gregory.

Two lovers. Two very different lives. One future together that will change history. When debutante Wallis Simpson is growing up, she devotes her teenage daydreams to one man, the future King of England,Prince Edward. But it's Pamela Holtby, Wallis's aristocratic best friend, who mixes within the palace circle. Wallis's first marriage to a dashing young naval pilot is not what she dreamt of; he turns out to be a dominating bully of a man, who punishes her relentlessly. But her fated marriage does open a suprising door, to the world of Navy couriers -- where navy wives are being used to transport messages around the world. This interesting turn of fate takes Wallis from the exuberant social scene in Washington to a China that is just emerging from civil war.

Edward in the meantime is busy fulfilling his royal duties -- and some extra-curricular ones involving married women. Until the day, just before he ascends the throne as Edward VIII, he is introduced to a very special married woman, Wallis Simpson. Was Wallis Simpson really the monster the royal family perported her to be? Or was she an extraordinary woman who led an unimaginable life? A dramatic novel,that crosses continents and provides a unique insight into one of history's most charismatic and multi-faceted women.” - publisher

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Halifax Public Libraries for providing copies of The Wild Princess to your local readers--and for featuring my novel on your blog. It's exciting to know how many people are enjoying this story. Feel free to let me know what you think of it! You can reach me at this Facebook short link: Best wishes, Mary Hart Perry