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Books by Linda Porter
The fact that the English Civil War led to the execution of King Charles I in January 1649 is well known, as is the restoration of his eldest son as Charles II eleven years later. But what happened to the king's six surviving children is far less familiar. Casting new light on the heirs of the doomed king and his unpopular but indefatigable Catholic queen, Henrietta Maria, acclaimed historian Linda Porter brings to life their personalities, legacies, feuds and rivalries for the first time. As their calm and loving family life was shattered by war, Elizabeth and Henry were used as pawns in the parliamentary campaign against their father; Mary, the Princess Royal, was whisked away to the Netherlands as the child bride of the Prince of Orange; Henriette Anne's redoubtable governess escaped with the king's youngest child to France where she grew up under her mother's thumb and eventually married the cruel and flamboyant Philippe d'Orleans. When their 'dark and ugly' brother Charles eventually succeeded his father to the English throne after fourteen years of wandering, he promptly enacted a vengeful punishment on those who had spurned his family, with his brother James firmly in his shadow. A tale of love and endurance, of battles and flight, of educations disrupted, the lonely death of a young princess and the wearisome experience of exile, Royal Renegades charts the fascinating story of the children of loving parents who could not protect them from the consequences of their own failings as monarchs and the forces of upheaval sweeping England.
- RRP £9.99
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The struggle between the fecund Stewarts and the barren Tudors is generally seen only in terms of the relationship between Elizabeth I and her cousin, Mary Queen of Scots. But very little has been said about the background to their intense rivalry. Here, Linda Porter examines the ancient and intractable power struggle between England and Scotland, a struggle intensified during the reigns of Elizabeth and Mary's grandfathers. Henry VII aimed to provide stability when he married his daughter, Margaret, to James IV of Scotland in 1503. But he must also have known that Margaret's descendants might seek to rule the entire island. Crown of Thistles is the story of a divided family, of flamboyant kings and queens, cultured courts and tribal hatreds, blood feuds, rape and sexual licence on a breath-taking scale, and violent deaths. It also brings alive a neglected aspect of British history - the blood-spattered steps of two small countries on the fringes of Europe towards an awkward unity that would ultimately forge a great nation. Beginning with the unlikely and dramatic victories of two usurping kings, one a rank outsider and the other a fourteen-year-old boy who rebelled against his own father, the book sheds new light on Henry VIII, his daughter, Elizabeth, and on his great-niece, Mary Queen of Scots, still seductive more than 400 years after her death.
- RRP £14.99
A striking and sympathetic portrait of England's first Queen, Mary I - whose character has been vilified for over 400 years. Instead of the bloodthirsty bigot of Protestant mythology, Mary Tudor emerges from the pages of this deeply-researched biography as a cultured renaissance princess, a courageous survivor of the violent power struggles that characterised the reigns of her father, Henry VIII, and brother Edward VI. The author does not belittle Mary's burning of heretics, which earned her the subriquet 'Bloody Mary', but she also had many endearing personal qualities and talents, not least the courage of leadership she showed in facing down Northumberland's rebellion. A well-balanced and readable biography of Mary I is long overdue.
- RRP £10.99
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