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Staff Picks - Royal Reads (Fiction & Non-Fiction)

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Untold Story (FICTION)
by Monica Ali
Imagines what Princess Diana’s fate might have been had she not died in 1997.

The Uncommon Reader (FICTION)
by Alan Bennett
Obliged to borrow a book when her corgis stray into a library, the Queen discovers a passion for reading, setting the palace upon its head.

The Queen’s Lover (FICTION)
by Vanora Bennett
Catherine de Valois, widow of Henry V, finds both strength and kinship with her childhood friend, Owain Tudor.

The Secret Soldier (FICTION)
by Alex Berenson
CIA operative John Wells goes undercover in Saudi Arabia & Lebanon to find conspirators bent on tearing down the monarchy of King Abdullah.

Royal Flush (MYSTERY)
by Rhys Bowen
Lady Georgiana becomes companion to a divorcee intent on seducing the Prince of Wales.

The Virgin Queen’s Daughter
by Ella Chase
Young Elinor de Lacey – the purported daughter of Elizabeth and her married guardian, Thomas Seymour – is sent to become a lady-in-waiting to the Queen, her mother.

Death of Kings (FICTION)
by Bernard Cornwell
As King Alfred the Great lays dying, the fate of the Angles, Saxons and Vikings hangs in the balance.

Excalibur
by Bernard Cornwell
Describes King Arthur's final battle with Mordred, who has summoned the power of the gods to help his evil cause.

1356 (FICTION)
by Bernard Cornwell
Through the ingenious planning of Edward, the Black Prince, the English army defeated the French at the Battle of the Poitiers and captured French King John II.

Alexandria (FICTION)
by Lindsey Davis
In A.D. 77, Marcus Didius Falco, agent to Emperor Vespasian, investigates the mysterious death of the head librarian of world-famous Alexandria.

Master & God (FICTION)
by Lindsey Davis
Inspired by the life of 1st century Roman emperor Domitian.

Goodnight Sweet Prince (MYSTERY)
by David Dickinson
When the dissolute Prince of Wales is threatened with another scandal in 1892, Lord Powerscourt tries to discover who blackmailed & then murdered the prince’s equally dissolute son.

The Red Queen (FICTION)
by Margaret Drabble
An Oxford student reads the 200-year-old memoir of a Korean crown princess she receives from an anonymous sender.

The Favored Queen (FICTION)
by Carolly Erickson
A tale inspired by the life of Jane Seymour, the third wife of King Henry VIII of Britain.

The Memoirs of Mary Queen of Scots (FICTION)
by Carolly Erickson
The courageous, spirited Mary Queen of Scots tells her own story.

Elizabeth I (FICTION)
by Margaret George
Growing up with her cousin Elizabeth I, Lettice Knollys competes against the queen for the love of Robert Dudley.

Helen of Troy
by Margaret George
Married to Spartan king Menelaus, beautiful Helen falls in love with Trojan prince Paris, with whom she flees to Troy, with devastating consequences.

The Last Queen (FICTION)
by C. W. Gortner
A portrait of the last queen of Spanish blood to inherit the throne chronicles the troubled and turbulent life of Juana of Castile, daughter of Queen Isabel and King Ferdinand.

The Red Queen (FICTION)
by Philippa Gregory
Determined to see her son Henry on the English throne, pious Margaret Beaufort arranges politically advantageous marriages.

The White Queen (LARGE PRINT)
by Philippa Gregory
Elizabeth Woodville catches the eye of newly crowned boy king Edward V and her two sons become the central figures in a mystery that has confounded historians for centuries: the missing princes in the Tower of London. 

Mistress of the Sun (FICTION)
by Sandra Gulland
An eccentric young woman's love for a wild white stallion tempts her into using an ancient magic that overshadows her subsequent life and leads to her affair with the charismatic Louis XIV.

When Gods Die: a Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery (MYSTERY)
by C. S. Harris
In Brighton, England in 1811, the wife of an aging marquis is found dead in the arms of the Prince Regent.

Queen of Kings (FICTION)
by Maria Headley
Desperate to resurrect Antony after his suicide, Cleopatra strikes a bargain with Sekhmet, goddess of death and destruction.

Freddy and Fredericka (FICTION)
by Mark Helprin
Ridiculed by the British press, Prince of Wales Freddy & his wife are sent to colonize the barbaric land of America, during which they engage in an art theft and a wayward presidential election.

The Book of Eleanor (FICTION)
by Pamela Kaufman
Eleanor of Aquitaine reflects on her turbulent life in the political and cultural spotlight as the wife of two powerful kings.

Dark Angels (FICTION)
by Karleen Koen
Ambitious young Alice Verney risks everything for pride & status as she deals with the political intrigues, private passions, & shifting alliances of the Restoration court of King Charles II.

Lavinia (FICTION)
by Ursula Le Guin
In The Aeneid, Vergil's hero fights to claim the king's daughter, Lavinia, with whom he is destined to found an empire. 

Empress Orchid (FICTION)
by Anchee Min
A fictional portrait of the last empress of China.

Fool (FICTION)
by Christopher Moore
Pocket, King Lear's fool, sets out to straighten out the mess the mad king has made of the kingdom and the royal family, only to discover the truth about his own heritage.

The Heretic Queen (FICTION)
by Michelle Moran
Raised an outcast in the court of ancient Egypt, Princess Nefertari is uncertain of her future until the heir to the throne, the future Rameses the Great, falls in love with her.

Nefertiti (FICTION)
by Michelle Moran
Raised far from the Egyptian court, beautiful & ambitious Nefertiti becomes wife of the radical new pharaoh, Amunhotep.

Daughter of Ireland (FICTION)
by Juilene Osborne-McKnight
Christianity collides with pagan Celtic myth in a portrait of Cormac mac Art, ancient King of Ireland destined to lead his people to the one true God, and Aislinn ni Sorar, a visionary druid priestess.

Prophecy (MYSTERY)
by S. J. Parris
When several of Elizabeth I’s maids of honor are found dead, astrologer John Dee and investigator Giordano Bruno try to discover if someone in the queen’s own court is responsible.

Time and Chance (FICTION)
by Sharon Kay Penman
Recreates the tumultuous marriage of Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry II, a tale filled with love, ambition, betrayal & murder.

Buckingham Palace Gardens (MYSTERY)
by Anne Perry
When scandal threatens the monarchy after a guest turns up dead after one of the debauched stag parties of Edward, the Prince of Wales, the Palace calls in Thomas Pitt to solve the murder.

The King’s Secret Matter (FICTION)
by Jean Plaidy
Henry VIII plots to divorce his first wife and marry Anne Boleyn.

The Enchantress of Florence (FICTION)
by Salman Rushdie
A traveler from Italy arrives at the court of Emperor Akbar, lord of the Mughal empire, and entertains him with a story about Akbar's great aunt, Qara Kz, the Enchantress of Florence.

The Princes of Ireland (FICTION)
by Edward Rutherfurd
Recreates such events as the mission of St. Patrick, the Viking invasion and the trickery of Henry II that led to England’s establishment in Ireland.

The True Memoirs of Little K (FICTION)
by Adrienne Sharp
Inspired by the life of the prima ballerina and her affair with the last czar.

Troubled Waters (SCIENCE FICTION)
by Sharon Shinn
Zoe Ardelay, chosen to become the king's fifth wife, is a coru prime ruled by the elemental sign of water and, after unlocking the secrets of the royal family, she must decide how to use her power to rise above the intrigue of the court.

Bathsheba (FICTION)
by Jill Eileen Smith
With her devout husband away fighting the king's wars, Bathsheba succumbs to King David's charm.

H.R.H. (FICTION)
by Danielle Steel
Princess Christianna is determined not to return to the stiff, formal lifestyle of her father’s court and persuades him to allow her to volunteer for the Red Cross in East Africa.

The System of the World (FICTION)
by Neal Stephenson
In a power struggle between the throne-seeking Tories and Whigs in early 18th-century England, Daniel Waterhouse teams up with friend Isaac Newton to hunt down a shadowy group.

The Pigeon Pie Mystery (MYSTERY)
by Julia Stuart
Moving to Queen Victoria’s reputedly haunted Hampton Court Palace, Indian princess Alexandrina is befriended by 3 eccentric widows before her faithful lady’s maid is wrongly accused of murder.

Give Me Back My Legions! (FICTION)
by Harry Turtledove
An epic battle pits 3 Roman legions against Teutonic barbarians and a Roman politician against a prince of the Cherusci.

A Dangerous Inheritance (FICTION)
by Alison Weir
Inspired by the life of Jane Grey’s sister Katherine, interweaves the tragic story of her imprisonment in the Tower of London with the fates of 3 other innocent political prisoners.

Innocent Traitor (FICTION)
by Alison Weir
A fictional portrait of Lady Jane Grey, the great-niece of Henry VIII, follows her turbulent life against the backdrop of Tudor power politics and religious upheaval, from her youth, to her nine-day reign as Queen of England, to its tragic aftermath.

Fort at River’s Bend (FICTION)
by Jack Whyte
After an assassination attempt, Merlyn Britannicus takes his young nephew Arthur to a derelict Roman fort, where he and a group of warrior friends teach the innocent Arthur the skills and responsibilities demanded of a king.

NON-FICTION

The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England (942.03092 P713)
by Dan Jones
The Plantagenet royal dynasty traces its first king's inheritance of a violence-stricken realm through the family's growth of a powerful empire that stretched from Scotland to Jerusalem.

Shooting Victoria: Madness, Mayhem and the Rebirth of the British Monarchy (941.081 V645)
by Paul Murphy
From a hunchbacked dwarf to a paranoid poet assassin, a history of Victorian England as seen through the numerous assassination attempts on Queen Victoria.

The Life of David (222.4092 D249)
by Robert Pinsky
Profiles one of the most important and complex figures of the Old Testament, describing the eventful life, triumphs, failures, divine destiny, and influence of the poet, warrior, and king.

A Treasury of Royal Scandals: The Shocking True Stories of History’s Wickedest, Weirdest, Most Wanton Kings, Queens, Tsars, Popes and Emperors  (920.02)
by Michael Farquhar
Profiles the lives and convoluted relations of notorious rulers including Catherine the Great, King George III, and Joanna the Mad.

Tutankhamen: The Search for an Egyptian King (932.01409 T966)
by Joyce Tyldesley
A portrait of King Tutankhamen, shedding new light on his importance & enduring power.

Cleopatra: A Life (932.02109 C628)
by Stacy Schiff
The Pulitzer Prize-winner brings to life the most intriguing woman in the history of the world: Cleopatra. Though her life spanned fewer than forty years, it reshaped the contours of the ancient world.

Babylon: Mesopotamia and the Birth of Civilization (935)
by Paul Kriwaczek
Traces their rise from a loose federation to a monarchy to ancient Sumerian civilization, with its tales of the Great Flood and the epics of semi-divine heroes such as Gilgamesh.

Caesar: Life of a Colossus (937.05092 C128)
by Adrian Goldsworthy
Examines the complexity of Caesar's character in an incisive portrait that shows why his political and military leadership continues to resonate 2,000 years following his death.

Alexander of Macedon: 356-323 B.C. (938.07 A374)
by Peter Green
Looks at the background, life, & military leadership of this ruler of the ancient world.

Behind the Palace Doors: Five Centuries of Sex, Adventure, Vice, Treachery & Folly from Royal Britain (941.0099)
by Michael Farquhar
Offers a secret history of the scandals and intrigue surrounding the British royal family, from Henry VIII to Queen Elizabeth II and the other members of the House of Windsor of the 21st century.

In Triumph’s Wake: Royal Mothers, Tragic Daughters, and the Price They Paid for Glory (940.099)
by Julia Gelardi
Compares the lives of Queen Isabella and Catherine of Aragon, Empress Maria Theresa and Marie Antoinette, and Queen Victoria and the Empress Frederick.

Sex With Kings: 500 Years of Adultery, Power, Rivalry, and Revenge (940.099)
by Eleanor Herman
A five-century history of royal courtesan life offers insight into the experiences of some of Europe's most famous and influential royal mistresses, including the Marquise de Pompadour, Madame du Barry, and Camilla Parker-Bowles.

Royal Pains: A Rogue’s Gallery of Brats, Brutes, and Bad Seeds (940.099)
The most infamous, capricious, and insatiable bluebloods of Europe.

Queen Victoria (941.08109 V645)
by Giles St. Aubyn
Recreates the Queen’s relationships with her family, her ministers, and her servants.

The King’s Speech: (941.08409)
by Mark Logue
The life of the Australian speech therapist who helped King George VI, overcome a speech disorder and lead his people during World War II.

That Woman: The Life of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor (941.08409 W766)
by Anna Sebba
The story of the American divorcee notorious for seducing a British king off his throne.

Prince Charles: The Passions & Paradoxes of an Improbable Life (941.085 CHARLES)
by Sally Bedell Smith
Presents a revelatory portrait of the heir to the British throne that offers new insights into his lonely childhood, intellectual quests, entrepreneurial pursuits, and marriages.

Remembering Diana: A Life in Photographs (941.085 DIANA)
Twenty years after her death, a collection of over one hundred photographs traces the life and work of Lady Diana Spencer, from her childhood and youth to royal duties and advocacy work.

Royal Sisters: Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret (941.085 EDWARDS)
by Annie Edwards
The royal sisters had no choice in their historic positions, but behind the palace gates and within the all-too-human confines of their personalities, they displayed tremendous individuality and suffered the usual symptoms of sibling rivalry.

William and Harry (941.08509)
by Katie Nicholl
Presents a dual portrait of the young princes of England, describing their lives as modern princes, their complex relationship with their father, and William’s struggle with his destiny as the future king of England.

Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch (941.08509 E433)
by Sally Smith
A tribute to the life and enduring reign of Elizabeth II draws on numerous interviews & previously undisclosed documents to juxtapose the queen’s public and private lives.

Her Majesty: Queen Elizabeth II and Her Court (941.08509 E433)
by Robert Hardman
Celebrates the occasion of Queen Elizabeth II's diamond jubilee with the inside story of England's longest-reigning queen and her achievements.

Prince Phillip: (941.08509 P549)
by Philip Eade
Chronicles the first 30 years of Philip's life from his childhood in Greece, France, Nazi Germany, and Britain to his marriage to Queen Elizabeth.

England Under the Norman and Angevin Kings, 1075-1225 (942.02)
by Robert Bartlett
This vivid account of the politics, religion, and culture of England in the century and a half after the Norman Conquest.

Eleanor of Aquitaine (942.031 E38)
by Alison Weir
One of the most influential women of the Middle Ages due to her marriages to Louis VII of France & Henry II of England, and her later efforts to secure the throne of England for her sons.

Princes in the Tower (942.046)
by Alison Weir
Offers a solution to the mystery of the fate of the boy king Edward V & his younger brother, who were believed killed by their uncle, Richard III.

Henry VIII : The King and His Court (942.052 H521)
by Alison Weir
Examines the king's influence on the laws, culture, and politics of his kingdom.

Elizabeth’s Women: Friends, Rivals, and Foes Who Shaped the Virgin Queen (942.05509 E433)
by Tracy Borman
Examines Queen Elizabeth I through the eyes of the women who shaped her life.

The King’s Mistresses: The Liberated Lives of Marie Mancini, Princess Colonna, and Her Sister Hortense, Duchess of Mazarin (944.03309)
by Elizabeth Goldsmith
The little-known story of two spirited sisters who flaunted every social convention of 17th century Europe in their determination to live independently.

Marie Antoinette: (944.03509 M334)
by Antonia Fraser
Describes the life of Marie Antionette from her betrothal as a 14-year-old girl to the future King Louis XVI, life in the French court, to her courage when sent to the guillotine.

Josephine: (944.05092 J83)
by Carolly Erickson
Napoleon’s much envied & ultimately tragic wife, her origins on the island of Martinique to her crowning as Empress in 1804 and subsequent fall from grace.

Chronicle of the Russian Tsars (947.0099)
A collection of biographical essays traces the history of Russia's tzars from 1462 to 1917.

Catherine the Great: (947.06309 C363)
by Robert K. Massie
Presents a reconstruction of the 18th century empress's life that covers her efforts to engage Russia in the cultural life of Europe, her creation of the Hermitage, & her numerous scandalous romantic affairs.

The Secret History of the Mongol Queens: How the Daughters of Genghis Khan Rescued His Empire (950.20922)
by Jack Weatherford
A history of the ruling women of the Mongol Empire, revealing their struggle to preserve a nation that shaped the world.

Chronicle of the Chinese Emperors (951)
by Ann Paludan
Traces the history of China from 221 B.C. through 1911 A.D., describing the political & social challenges, contributions of each ruler.

Lost Kingdom: Hawaii’s Last Queen, the Sugar Kings and America’s First Imperial Adventure (996.902 L728)
by Julia Flynn Siler
Examines the nineteenth-century clash between the native Hawaiians and the expanding capitalist powers of America, Britain, and France, centering on Lili'uokalani, the last queen of Hawaii.