also known as: Diamond Jubilee, Jubilee, Queen, Queen Elizabeth, royal biography.
Throughout history, people have been fascinated by royalty. From the tragedy of Marie Antoinette to the excitement of the Tudors, there is a wealth of history to explore.
Books for Adults
As well as books on current royals why not have a look at our
range of books on historical royals. From Ancient Egypt to
Henry VIII and regency romances you are sure to find something you
Read about royals from all over the world in a
range of different time periods, including:
Richard III has been brought into the
spotlight again when his remains were found in a carpark. He
was King of England for two years, from 1483 until his death in
1485 in the Battle of Bosworth Field. Richard III was the last king
of the House of York and the last of the Plantagenet
dynasty. His death ended
the War of the Roses.
Catherine seized power from her husband
in 1762 and went on to occupy the Russian throne for 34 years. In
the process, she turned her new empire from peripheral pariah to
European great power. Formidably (and self-) educated, she was
extremely hard-working, with a commitment to ideas and a
charismatic personality. She also flouted the conventions of female
rule by consorting openly with twelve successive favourites, each
younger than the last. The fact that Catherine was a woman in a
position of absolute power generated both the highest admiration
and the most vicious satire.
reign was one of the most dramatic and important of the entire
Middle Ages, leading to war and conquest on an unprecedented scale,
and leaving a legacy of division between the peoples of Britain
that has lasted from his day to our own. Edward I is familiar to
millions as 'Longshanks', conqueror of Scotland and nemesis of Sir
William Wallace ('Braveheart'). Yet this story forms only the final
chapter of the king's astonishingly action-packed life. He
raised the greatest armies of the English Middle Ages, and summoned
the largest parliaments; notoriously, he expelled all the Jews from
On his accession to the throne, aged
just seventeen, after the tumultuous rule of his father, Henry
VIII provided England with hope of a new beginning. Nobody
could have foreseen how radical Henry's rule would prove to be.
Often overshadowed by the bloody saga of his six marriages, his
reign has left a lasting legacy. An absolute monarch, Henry's quest
for fame was as obsessive as any modern celebrity. His fierce
battles against Papal authority mark one of the most dramatic and
defining moments in the history of Britain. The Tudor regime was
viewed by many as rule by usurpers and the dark shadows of the Wars
of the Roses often threatened to tear England apart.
Still a controversial figure - as well
as a celebrated one - Marie Antoinette's dramatic life-story
continues to arouse mixed emotions. To many people, she is still
'la reine mechante', whose extravagance and frivolity helped to
bring down the French monarchy; her indifference to popular
suffering epitomised by the (apocryphal) words: 'let them eat
cake'. Others are equally passionate in her defence: to them,
she is a victim of misogyny. Marie Antoinette remains one of the
genuinely romantic and ill-treated characters in history.
In 1837, Victoria came to the throne at
the age of 18, a pretty girl, not five feet tall, to preside over
what was, perhaps, the most momentous period in British history.
During the 64 years of her reign, she saw thrones fall, empires
crumble, new continents explored and mapped, while her own country
became the most powerful, richest and most highly developed nation
in the world. Victoria is known for her love of food and gossip,
her strange relationships with her Indian and Scottish servants,
and her influence on the manners, morals and outlook of the age to
which she gave her name.
Married at sixteen. A queen at
twenty-five. Declared insane and locked up by the men she adored.
Juana "la Loca" was the last true queen of Spain. Juana -
daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella and sister to Catherine of
Aragon - was a woman ruled by her passions. Her arranged marriage
to Philip the Fair of Flanders began as a fairytale romance when,
despite never having met before their betrothal, they fall
desperately in love. She was never meant to be more than his
consort and mother to his heirs; but, after tragedy decimated her
family, she found herself heiress to the throne of Spain.
This is a story studded with
extraordinary achievements and historic moments, from the building
of the pyramids and the conquest of Nubia, through Akhenaten's
religious revolution, the power and beauty of Nefertiti, the glory
of Tutankhamun's burial chamber, and the ruthlessness of Ramesses,
to Alexander the Great's invasion, and Cleopatra's fatal
entanglement with Rome. As the world's first nation-state, the
history of Ancient Egypt is above all the story of the attempt to
unite a disparate realm and defend it against hostile forces from
within and without.
A woman who won the love of
a king and ascended to royalty by virtue of her beauty, Elizabeth
fought tenaciously for the success of her family -- her daughter
who would one day unite the warring dynasties, and her two sons
whose eventual fate has confounded historians for centuries: the
Princes in the Tower. An active player in the power struggles that
surrounded her, she made hard and courageous choices, always trying
to protect those whom she loved.
Orchid is chosen as a lower-ranking concubine of the Emperor
she enters the erotically charged and ritualised Forbidden City.
But beneath its immaculate facade lie whispers of murders and
ghosts, and the thousands of concubines will stoop to any lengths
to bear the Emperor's son. Orchi trains herself in the art of
pleasuring a man, bribes her way into the royal bed, and seduces
the monarch, drawing the attention of dangerous foes. Little does
she know that China will collapse around her, and that she will be
its last Empress.
Romulus to Augustus, a succession of leaders took Rome from a
small fortified hilltop to the greatest empire of
antiquity. These were the builders of Rome -
superstitious, brutal and utterly uncompromising, but often men of
great honour and principle. They could stoop to the depths of
depravity, but could also be unflinchingly, even suicidally, brave.
Some, such as Tarquin the Proud, Julius Caesar and Pompey are well
known. Others are less familiar - men like Licinius Crassus, a kind
father and a loving husband, who captured slaves in their
thousands. Or Cato the Censor, upright and
Books for Children and Young Adults
Books for Younger Children
We even have picture books for little royals in training.