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Forthcoming Books: 2012 edition

For discussions of historical fiction. Threads that do not relate to historical fiction should be started in the Chat forum or elsewhere on the forum, depending on the topic.
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Tanzanite
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Postby Tanzanite » Wed September 21st, 2011, 10:08 pm

Abdication by Juliet Nicolson. US release May 8, 2012.


From critically acclaimed historian Juliet Nicolson comes a glorious debut novel set in 1936 London about secrecy, tumultuous love, and a king and his subjects torn between public duty and private desire. The Second World War looms in a world that dreads another international conflict, and England is full of secrets, not least of which is the affair the newly proclaimed King is having with an American divorcÉe. But not every confidence involves royalty. The lovely young chauffeur May Thomas and the complex Oxford undergraduate Julian Richardson share an undeclared love, while the identity of May’s real father remains mysterious. Mrs. Cage, the housekeeper, desperately tries to keep her Nazi-sympathies hidden, and Evangeline Nettlefold’s ambivalent relationship with her school friend Wallis Simpson threatens to become explosive.

Secrecy, tensions between parent and child, the private tussles of life, and the dilemma of whether or not duty supersedes love, reverberate throughout Abdication, in matters of social conscience, politics, and romance.

A glorious story that brings to mind the film The King’s Speech, as well as the beloved English novels Brideshead Revisited and The Remains of the Day, Abdication is a breathtaking story inspired by a love affair that shook the world at a time when the world was on the brink of war.
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Tanzanite
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Postby Tanzanite » Wed September 21st, 2011, 10:10 pm

Hawk Quest by Robert Lyndon. UK release January 19, 2012 (reposted with cover)

In this sweeping epic set in the aftermath of the Norman Conquest, a rogue French knight named Vallon accepts a dangerous commission: he must travel to the ends of Europe in search of four rare gyrfalcons demanded as ransom for a Norman knight held captive by Seljuk Turks in Anatolia. Accompanied by a young English falconer and a Sicilian scholar, Vallon sets out on a quest that takes him from Iceland to Greenland to Russia and south to Byzantium. On the nine-month journey the company is joined by other adventurers. Together they brave raging seas, icy arctic wastes, treacherous rapids. They fight furious battles against Normans, Vikings and steppe nomads, pit their wits against warlords desperate to steal their precious cargo. And these are not the only perils they face, for among their company is a man who will stop at nothing to prevent them from fulfilling their quest. At more than 200,000 words, Hawk Quest is one of the most vast, utterly thrilling historical adventures ever written.
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Tanzanite
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Postby Tanzanite » Wed September 21st, 2011, 10:12 pm

Thomas Wyatt by Susan Brigdan. Non-fiction. UK release May 17, 2012.


Thomas Wyatt (1503?–1542) was the first modern voice in English poetry. ‘Chieftain’ of a ‘new company of courtly makers’, he brought the Italian poetic Renaissance to England, but was also revered as prophet-poet of the Reformation. His poetry holds a mirror to the secret, capricious world of Henry VIII’s court, and alludes darkly to events which it might be death to describe. In the Tower, twice, Wyatt was betrayed and betrayer.

Aspiring to honesty, he was driven to secrets and lies as an agent of Henry’s crooked diplomacy, and forced to live with the moral and mortal consequences of his complex allegiances. This remarkable new biography is more – and less – than a Life, for Wyatt is so often elusive, in flight, like his Petrarchan lover, into the ‘heart’s forest’. Rather, it is an evocation of Wyatt among his friends, and enemies, at princely courts in England, Italy, France and Spain, or alone in contemplative retreat. Wyatt’s life provides a way of examining a deep questioning at the beginning of the Renaissance and Reformation in England. Above all, Susan Brigden’s kaleidoscopic work is attuned to Wyatt’s dissonant voice and broken lyre, the paradox within him of inwardness and the will to ‘make plain’ his heart, all of which make him exceptionally difficult to know – and fascinating to explore.

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Tanzanite
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Postby Tanzanite » Wed September 21st, 2011, 10:13 pm

City of Fools by Michael Jecks. UK release June 7, 2012.

It’s 1327 and England is in turmoil. Edward II has been removed from the throne and his son installed in his place. Sir Baldwin de Furnshill, tasked with guarding Edward II, has failed and now rides to Exeter to inform the sheriff of the old king’s escape

In Exeter, the sheriff has problems of his own. Overnight, the body of a young maid has been discovered, lying bloodied and abandoned in a dirty alleyway. The city’s gates had been shut against the lawlessness outside, so the perpetrator must still lie within the sanctuary of the town.

When Baldwin de Furnshill arrives, he is tasked with uncovering the truth behind this gruesome murder. But, in a city where every man hides a secret, his task will be far from easy…

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Tanzanite
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Postby Tanzanite » Wed September 21st, 2011, 10:14 pm

The Gilded Lily by Deborah Swift. UK release September 13, 2012.

A Winter of Snow and Ice 1661

Timid Sadie Appleby has always lived in her small village. One night she is rudely awoken by her older and bolder sister, Ella, who has robbed her employer and is on the run. The girls flee their rural home of Westmorland to head for London, hoping to lose themselves in the teeming city. But the dead man's relatives are in hot pursuit, and soon a game of cat and mouse begins. Ella is soon obsessed with the glitter and glamour of city life and sets her sights on flamboyant man-about-town, Jay Whitgift. But nothing is what it seems - not even Jay Whitgift. Can Sadie survive a fugitive's life in the big city? But even more pressing, can she survive life with her older sister Ella?

Set in London's atmospheric coffee houses, the rich mansions of Whitehall, and the pawnshops, slums and rookeries hidden from rich men's view, The Gilded Lily is about beauty and desire, about the stories we tell ourselves, and about how sisterhood can be both a burden and a saving grace.

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Postby Tanzanite » Wed September 21st, 2011, 10:15 pm

"Tanzanite" wrote:Jezebel by Eleanor de Jong. UK release January 5, 2012.

Set against the sweeping backdrop of the ancient Holy Land, Jezebel is a tale of love, loss and deceit - and one woman’s struggle to survive in a land filled with rivals plotting her downfall…


Keep your friends close. And your enemies closer…

Jezebel, a young princess of Tyre, is destined to be married as a pawn in a political game. Determined to rule her own life, she begins an illicit affair when Jehu – a visiting prince – arrives at court. But when Jezebel is told she must marry Ahab, the king of Israel, Jehu believes she has cruelly betrayed him.

Years pass, and each nurses their own secret. Jehu, unable to relinquish his love for Jezebel, grows bitter and twisted. But he is unaware of Jezebel’s greatest secret – that he is father to her eldest son, the heir to Israel’s throne.

As her husband ails, Jezebel gradually assumes control of Israel. But hatred of her is being fanned by firebrand prophet Elijah and the terrifying Elisha. As they plot her downfall, Jehu circles closer and it seems the die has been cast one last time. Can Jezebel finally take control of her own destiny? Or has her time already passed?

An epic tale of love and loss, for fans of The Borgia Bride and the Red Tent.


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Tanzanite
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Postby Tanzanite » Wed September 21st, 2011, 10:17 pm

the next several posts are that I included on my blog a few weeks but forgot to post here... :(

Roger II and the Creation of the Kingdom of Sicily by Graham Loud. Non-fiction. US and UK release January 17, 2012.

This student-friendly volume brings together English translations of the main narrative sources, and a small number of other relevant documents, for the reign of Roger II, the founder of the kingdom of Sicily.


The kingdom created by King Roger was the most centralized and administratively advanced of the time, but its genesis was fraught with difficulty as the king sought to extend his power from the island of Sicily and Calabria into other parts of the south Italian mainland. This struggle, that lasted from 1127 until 1140, is graphically revealed by the two main texts in this book. A number of other texts illuminate key aspects of the reign: the relationship with the papacy, the German invasion of 1137 that came close to toppling the king’s rule, the expansion of Sicilian power into the Abruzzi in 1140, and the law and administration of the kingdom, often seen as a model for the growth of effective government in the twelfth century. Despite the great intrinsic interest of the reign of King Roger, these texts have never appeared in English translation before.

This will be an invaluable resource for students and scholars of medieval Europe.
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Postby Tanzanite » Wed September 21st, 2011, 10:18 pm

Our Man in Rome: Henry VIII and His Renaissance Ambassador by Catherine Fletcher. Non-fiction. UK release February 2, 2012.


The inside story of Henry VIII’s divorce from Catherine of Aragon.

Divorce. Deceit. Diplomacy.

1527. Gregorio 'The Cavalier' Casali is Henry VIII's man in Rome. An Italian freelance diplomat, he charmed his way into the English service before he was twenty. But now he faces an almighty challenge. Henry wants a divorce from Catherine of Aragon, and Casali must persuade Pope Clement VII of his master's case.

Set against the backdrop of war-torn Renaissance Italy, Our Man in Rome weaves together tales from the grubby underbelly of Tudor politics with a gripping family saga to reveal the extraordinary true story behind history's most infamous divorce.

Through six years of cajoling, threats and bribery, Casali lives by his wits. He manoeuvres his brothers into lucrative diplomatic postings, plays off one master against another, dodges spies, bandits and noblemen alike. But as the years pass and Henry's case drags on, his loyalties are increasingly suspected. What will be Casali's fate?

Drawing on hundreds of unknown archive documents, Our Man in Rome reconstructs his tumultuous life among the great and powerful at this turning point for European history. From the besieged Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome to the splendours of Greenwich Palace, we follow his trail in the service of Henry VIII. Lavish ceremony and glamorous parties stand in contrast to the daily strains of embassy life, as Casali pawns family silver to pay the bills, fights off rapacious in-laws and defends himself in the face of Anne Boleyn's wrath.

This vivid and compelling book will make us think anew about Henry, Catherine and the Tudor world.

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Postby Tanzanite » Wed September 21st, 2011, 10:19 pm

"Tanzanite" wrote:The Secret Life of William Shakespeare by Jude Morgan. UK release March 1, 2012.

The greatest writer of them all, brought to glorious life.


How well do you know the man you love? How much do you think you know about Shakespeare? What if they were one and the same? He is an ordinary man: unwilling craftsman, ambitious actor, resentful son, almost good-enough husband. And he is also a genius. The story of how a glove-maker from Warwickshire became the greatest writer of them all is vaguely known to most of us, but it would take an exceptional modern novelist to bring him to life. And now at last Jude Morgan, acclaimed author of Passion and The Taste of Sorrow, has taken Shakespeare's life, and created a masterpiece.


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Postby Tanzanite » Wed September 21st, 2011, 10:20 pm

William Cecil, Ireland and the Tudor State by Christopher Maginn. Non-fiction. US and UK release March 1, 2012.


William Cecil, Ireland, and the Tudor State explores the complex relationship which existed between England and Ireland in the Tudor period, using the long association of William Cecil (1520-1598) with Ireland as a vehicle for historical enquiry. That Cecil, Queen Elizabeth's most trusted advisor and the most important figure in England after the queen herself, consistently devoted his attention and considerable energies to the kingdom of Ireland is a seldom-explored aspect of his life and his place in the Tudor age.

Yet amid his handling of a broad assortment of matters relating to England and Wales, the kingdom of Scotland, continental Europe, and beyond, William Cecil's thoughts regularly turned to the kingdom of Ireland. He personally compiled genealogies of Ireland's Irish and English families and poured over dozens of national and regional maps of Ireland. Cecil served as chancellor of Ireland's first university and, most importantly for the historian, penned, received, and studied thousands of papers on subjects relating to Ireland and the crown's political, economic, social, and religious policies there. Cecil would have understood all of this broadly as 'Ireland matters', a subject which he came to know in greater depth and detail than anyone at the court of Queen Elizabeth I.

Maginn's extended analysis of Cecil's long relationship with Ireland helps to make sense of Anglo-Irish interaction in Tudor times, and shows that this relationship was characterized by more than the basic binary features of conquest and resistance. At another level, he demonstrates that the second half of the sixteenth century witnessed the political, social, and cultural integration of Ireland into the multinational Tudor state, and that it was William Cecil who, more than any other figure, consciously worked to achieve that integration.


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