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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 » Tue November 15th, 2011, 5:47 pm

The Norman Conquest by Marc Morris. Non-fiction. UK release May 3, 2012.

An epic tale, with violence at its heart, and a triumph of narrative
History.

The Norman Conquest starts with the most decisive battle in English
history and continues with dramatic rebellions and their ruthless
suppression, eventually resulting in the creation of the English nation.The
repercussions of the Conquest are with us still.

The book begins with the Saxon kings, specifically Edward the Confessor,
and shows how England was in constant conflict as the English fell prey to
both Vikings and Normans. In the north, King Harold destroys his Viking
namesake at the battle of Stamford Bridge but immediately has to hurry
south to confront William of Normandy at Hastings. His defeat, and the
destruction of the Anglo-Saxon warrior caste, leads inexorably to William’s
forceful occupation of an unwilling country, and this is the ruthless story
Marc Morris tells. It is a drama crammed with intrigue, bloodshed and
betrayal, featuring vivid, almost deranged characters: Edward the Confessor,
who spurns his queen in their marriage bed to spite her family, even though
it spells the end of his own dynasty; the heroic King Harold, the hero of
Stamford Bridge and the last Saxon king, who perjures himself, betrays his
brother and puts aside his wife in his bid for the throne; William the
Bastard, later known as the Conqueror, who assembles the mightiest
invasion fleet in the Middle Ages and after unexpected success almost
destroys the country he has won.

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Tanzanite
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Postby Tanzanite » Tue November 15th, 2011, 5:48 pm

Castle by Marc Morris. Non-fiction. UK reissue May 3, 2012.

From the acclaimed author of A Great and Terrible King and The
Norman Conquest, a seminal book on the history of Britain’s castles
Castle is a wide-ranging history of some of the most magnificent buildings
in Britain. It explores many of the country’s most famous and best-loved
castles, as well as some little-known national treasures. The story begins in
the 11th century, when castles were introduced to Britain, and ends in the
17th century, when they were largely abandoned. It is, in some respects, an
epic tale, driven by characters like William the Conqueror, ‘Bad’ King John
and Edward I, who, by building and besieging castles, shaped the fate of
the nation. At the same time, however, it is a more homely story, about the
adventures, struggles and ambitions of lesser-known individuals, and how
every aspect of their lives was wrapped up in the castles they built. As Marc
Morris shows, there is more to castles than drawbridges and
battlements, portcullises and arrow-loops.

Be it ever so grand or ever so humble, a castle is first and foremost a home.
It may look tough and defensible on the outside, but on the inside, a castle
is all about luxury and creature comforts. Inside real castles, we do not
necessarily find cannons and suits of armour, but we do discover great halls,
huge kitchens, private chambers and chapels - all rooms which were once
luxurious and lavish, and which made these buildings perfect residences for
their owners.

To understand castles - who built them, who lived in them, and why - is to
understand the forces that shaped medieval Britain.

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Tanzanite
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Postby Tanzanite » Tue November 15th, 2011, 5:49 pm

The Last Caesar by Henry Venmore-Rowland. UK release May 10, 2012.

A remarkable historical fiction debut, telling the story of the brutal and bloody power struggle that followed the suicide of Nero - a period in Roman history that came to be called ‘The Year of the Four Emperors’...

AD 68. The tyrant emperor Nero has no son and no heir. Suddenly there’s the very real possibility that Rome might become a Republic once more. But the ambitions of a few are about to bring corruption, chaos and untold bloodshed to the many.
Among them is a hero of the campaign against Boudicca, Aulus Caecina Severus. Caught up in a conspiracy to overthrow Caesar’s dynasty, he commits treason, raises a rebellion, faces torture and intrigue - all supposedly for the good of Rome. The boundary between the good of Rome and self preservation is far from clear, and keeping to the dangerous path he’s chosen requires all Severus’ skills as a cunning soldier and increasingly deft politician.

And so Severus looks back on the dark and dangerous time history knows as the Year of the Four Emperors, and the part he played - for good or ill - in plunging the mighty Roman empire into anarchy and civil war...

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Tanzanite
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Postby Tanzanite » Tue November 15th, 2011, 5:50 pm

Fourteenth Century England by Mark Ormrod. Non-fiction. UK release May 17, 2012.

This collection represents the fruits of new research, by both established and young scholars, on the politics, society and culture of England and its dependencies in the fourteenth century. Drawing on a diverse range of documentary, literary and material evidence, the studies offer a range of methods, from micro-history and prosopography to the study of institutions, texts and events. The early fourteenth century provides a particular focus of interest, with studies contributing new reflections on the personnel of parliament, the household of Edward II, the politics of Edward III's minority, and reactions to the great famine of 1315-22 and the Black Death of 1348-9. The wars with Scotland and France give the opportunity for significant new assessments of international diplomacy, the role of the mariner in the logistics of war, English loyalties in Gascony and the pious practices of medieval knights. Richly textured with personal and local detail, these new studies provide numerous insights into the lives of great and small in this tumultuous period of medieval history. W. Mark Ormrod is Professor of Medieval History at the University of York. Contributors: Benoît Grévin, Alison K. McHardy, J.S. Hamilton, Guilhem Pépin, Eliza Hartrich, Phil Bradford, J.S. Bothwell, Craig Lambert, Andrew Ayton, Graham St John, Christopher Phillpotts.

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Tanzanite
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Postby Tanzanite » Tue November 15th, 2011, 5:50 pm

The Borgia Mistress by Sara Poole. US release May 22, 2012.

From the author of Poison and The Borgia Betrayal, comes a new historical thriller, featuring the same intriguing and beautiful heroine: Borgia court poisoner, Francesca Giordano. Mistress of death Francesca Giordano—court poisoner to the House of Borgia—returns to confront an ancient atrocity that threatens to extinguish the light of the Renaissance and plunge the world into eternal darkness. As the enemies of Pope Alexander VI close in and the papal court is forced to flee from Rome, Francesca joins forces with her lover, the brilliant and ruthless Cesare Borgia to unravel a conspiracy that strikes at the heart of Christendom. But when a shattering secret from her past imperils her precarious hold on sanity, only Francesca’s own courage and resolve can draw her back from the brink of madness to save all she values most.

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Tanzanite
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Postby Tanzanite » Tue November 15th, 2011, 5:51 pm

The Devil’s Army by James Wilde. UK release May 24, 2012.

1067 - The Battle of Hastings has been lost and the iron gauntlet of William the Bastard slowly throttles the life out of England. The length and breadth of the country, villages are burned and men, women and children put to the sword as the brutal new King attempts to impose his cruel will upon the unruly nation.

One man stands in the way of the Norman duke’s savage campaign: Hereward, warrior, master tactician, and the last hope of the English. As adept at slaughter as the imposter who sits on the throne, he has vowed to meet blood with blood and fire with fire.
In a Fenlands fortress of water and wild wood, his resistance is simmering. His army of outcasts grows by the day - a devil’s army that comes with the mists and the night and leaves only bones in its wake.

But William is not one to be cowed. Under the command of his ruthless deputy, Ivo Taillebois - known and feared as ‘the Butcher’ - the invaders will do whatever it takes to crush these rebels, even if it means burning all England to the ground.

Here then is the tale of the bloodiest rebellion England has ever known...the beginning of an epic battle that will echo down the years...

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Tanzanite
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Postby Tanzanite » Tue November 15th, 2011, 5:52 pm

The Eagle in the Sand: Siege of Malta by Simon Scarrow. UK release May 24, 2012.

1565; In its hour of greatest need, Malta must rely upon the ancient Knights of the Order of St John for survival. Bound by the strongest ties: of valour, of courage and of passion, the Knights must defend their island against ferocious and deadly Ottoman attack.

For Sir Thomas Barrett, summoned by the Order and compelled by loyalty - to the Knights, to his honour and to his Queen - returning to the besieged island means revisiting a past he had long since lain to rest. As the beleaguered Knights grapple to retain control, decade-old feuds will be reawakened, intense passions rekindled and deadly secrets revealed.

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Tanzanite
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Postby Tanzanite » Tue November 15th, 2011, 5:53 pm

A Dangerous Inheritance by Alison Weir. UK release May 24, 2012 (reposted with publisher summary)

The year is 1562. Lady Catherine Grey, cousin of Elizabeth I, has just been arrested along with her husband Edward. Their crime is to have secretly married and produced a child who might threaten the Queen’s title. Alone in her chamber at the Tower of London, Catherine hears ghostly voices, echoes, she thinks, of a crime committed in the same room where she is imprisoned.

The story flashes back to 1483 and another Catherine - Kate Plantaganet - bastard daughter of Richard III. She has heard terrible rumours of the death of the young deposed Edward V and his brother (the Princes in the Tower) but loyalty to her father prevents her believing them. After his death at Bosworth, she is viewed with suspicion by Henry VII’s court, even more so when she becomes pregnant.

Catherine, too, is pregnant, a friendly warder having sneaked Edward into her room. She finds documents relating to Kate’s life and gets swept up both in Kate’s story and the mystery of the Princes, which she realises Kate never solved. Kate dies in childbirth and it is left to Catherine to discover the truth about the Princes.

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Tanzanite
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Postby Tanzanite » Tue November 15th, 2011, 5:53 pm

The Venetian Contract by Marina Fiorato. UK release June 7, 2012 (reposted with cover)
In 1576, five years after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Lepanto, a ship slips unnoticed into Venice bearing a deadly cargo. A man, more dead than alive, disembarks and staggers twoards the Piazza San Marco. He brings a gift to Venice from the Turkish Sultan. Within days the city will be infected with bubonic plague - and the Turks will have their revenge.

For months the plague wreaks havoc on Venice. In despair, the Doge summons the architect Andrea Palladio and offers him a commission: the greatest church of his career, an offering to God so magnificent that Venice will be saved. Palladio's own life is in danger too, and it will require all the skills of Dr Annibale Cason, the city's finest plague doctor, to keep him alive. But what Dr Cason has not counted on is the other passenger who disembarked from the Turkish ship - a young and beautiful harem doctor whose skills will more than match his own.
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Tanzanite
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Location: Northern Virginia
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Postby Tanzanite » Tue November 15th, 2011, 5:54 pm

Mistress of Empires by Kate Williams. Non-fiction. UK release June 7, 2012.

An account of the extraordinary life of Josephine Bonaparte, the charming and promiscuous socialite who stole Napoleon’s heart. Josephine de Beauharnais began as a kept woman of Paris and became the most powerful woman in France. She was no beauty, her teeth were rotten, and she was six years older than her husband, but one twitch of her skirt could bring running the man who terrorized Europe.

She was born in Martinique in June 1763, and came to France as a young wife. Pretty and flirtatious, she reveled in the Ancient Regime. Then, as France burned, and the Revolution was followed by the Terror, she survived terrible imprisonment. Her husband died and her health was wrecked forever. Afterwards, she and other survivors tried to forget the pain in wild debauchery, clutching at the sensual pleasures that they had come so close to losing forever. Glamorous, stylish and a mistress of erotic arts, she understood that her only asset was her body and she became a mistress and courtesan to rich men.

As she passed thirty, Josephine realized that her star was beginning to wane. She had to secure her future - and the men who kept her were too jaded for love. And so she turned her eye to a small, stocky, Corsican soldier, six years her junior and bursting with rude spirit. Society tolerated him for his bravery but laughed at him behind his back. No one could believe it when the stylish, feted Josephine began encouraging his advances. They were bound together by a scorching erotic fascination. He would gallop home to be with her, burst into her room, toss her into bed, and write long paeans of praise while he was away to her ‘little black forest’. With her, he became the greatest man in Europe, the Supreme Emperor. But her inability to give him a son finally tore them apart.

This is a searing story of sexual obsession, war, heartbreak, affairs, devastating love, plots and murder and politics - in a world that was being altered forever…
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