Jun 14, 2010

Mailbox Monday

Please don't steal my images!Mailbox Monday is a weekly meme that is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page.

We share what books that we found in our mailboxes last week. And I am adding what I purchased, swapped, etc. Sometimes I get too lazy and don't share everything, but that's my little secret.

Last week I was too lazy to post a mailbox, so some from this post is being saved for next week so you don't get overloaded with this stack. =)

Some interesting finds at HalfPrice books that I adopted this week are:

Beloved Emma by Flora Fraser
"From her humble beginnings as the daughter of a countryside blacksmith, Emy Lyon went on to claim the undying love of naval hero Admiral Nelson, England’s most famous native son. She served as model and muse to eighteenth-century Europe’s most renowned artists, and consorted with kings and queens at the royal court of Naples. Yet she would end her life in disgraced exile, penniless and alone. In this richly drawn portrait, Flora Fraser maps the spectacular rise and fall of legendary eighteenth-century beauty Emma, Lady Hamilton—as she came to be called—a woman of abundant affection and overwhelming charm, whose eye for opportunity was rivaled only by her propensity for overindulgence and scandal. Wonderfully intimate and lavishly detailed, Beloved Emma brings to life the incomparable Lady Hamilton and the politics, passions, and enchantments of her day."

Royal Blood: Richard III and the Mystery of the Princes by Bertram Fields
Notoriously immortalized by Shakespeare and historians, he is history's most infamous royal villain: Richard III, king of England from 1483 to 1485. Crazed with power and paranoia, he is generally supposed to have killed the youthful Prince of Wales and the aged Henry VI, drowned his brother in a vat of wine, poisoned his wife, and, worst of all, murdered his two young nephews, the older of whom was the rightful king--a reign of terror ending only with his own cowardly death on the blood-soaked field of battle.

But is all this true? Modern revisionists, citing the unreliability of Shakespeare's sources and the political agenda of historians in Richard's own day, have offered a far different portrait. A brave and valiant soldier, a loyal brother, and an intelligent, able king popular with his subjects and defeated only through treachery, their Richard is the victim of a deliberate campaign of slander devised by his Tudor successors to the throne.

In this comprehensive, meticulously researched book, renowned litigator Bertram Fields outlines and evaluates the arguments of both sides, sifting through five hundred years of legend to apply his highly successful courtroom techniques to the available evidence. Clearing away the dust of time, Fields reconstructs one of the most dramatic and turbulent episodes in history, analyzing the motives and machinations of the many players and emerging with the most definitive account yet of this most fascinating figure--and a powerful argument against acquiescing to common belief.

George III: A Personal History by Christopher Hibbert
A radical reassessment of King George III from the lively and prolific pen of a master.
Rather than reaffirming King George III's reputation as, alternately, a tyrant, a country bumpkin, and a lunatic, Christopher Hibbert portrays him not only as a competent ruler during most of his reign but also as a patron of the arts and sciences, a man of wit and intelligence who greatly enhanced the reputation of the British monarchy until he was stricken with a rare hereditary disease.
Teeming with court machinations, sexual intrigues, and familial conflicts, George III opens a window on the tumultuous, rambunctious, revolutionary eighteenth century. It is sure to alter our understanding of this fascinating, complex, and very human king who so strongly shaped England's -and America's-destiny.

Elizabeth I by Anne Somerset
Glitteringly detailed and engagingly written, the magisterial Elizabeth I brings to vivid life the golden age of sixteenth-century England and the uniquely fascinating monarch who presided over it. A woman of intellect and presence, Elizabeth was the object of extravagant adoration by her contemporaries. She firmly believed in the divine providence of her sovereignty and exercised supreme authority over the intrigue-laden Tudor court and Elizabethan England at large. Brilliant, mercurial, seductive, and maddening, an inspiration to artists and adventurers and the subject of vicious speculation over her choice not to marry, Elizabeth became the most powerful ruler of her time. Anne Somerset has immortalized her in this splendidly illuminating account.

From Paperbackswap:
Isis by Douglas Clegg
If you lost someone you loved, what would you pay to bring them back from the dead?

Old Marsh, the gardener at Belerion Hall, warned the Villiers girl about the old ruins along the sea-cliffs. “Never go in, miss. Never say a prayer at its door. If you are angry, do not seek revenge by the Laughing Maiden stone or at the threshold of the Tombs. There be those who listen for oaths and vows? What may be said in innocence becomes flesh and blood in such places.”

She was born Iris Catherine Villiers. She became Isis.

From childhood until her sixteenth year, Iris Villiers wandered the stone-hedged gardens and the steep cliffs along the coast of Cornwall near her ancestral home. Surrounded by the stern judgments of her grandfather--the Gray Minister--and the taunts of her cruel governess, Iris finds solace in her beloved older brother who has always protected her. But when a tragic accident occurs from the ledge of an open window, Iris discovers that she possesses the ability to speak to the dead...

Be careful what you wish for, it just may find you.
For Review:
Mary Tudor: England's First Queen by Anna Whitelock
Originally issued in 2009, will be available in the USA September 2010 by Random House Publishing
(picture is the earlier edition)
In the summer of 1553, against all odds, Mary Tudor was the first woman to be crowned Queen of England. Anna Whitelock's absorbing debut tells the remarkable story of a woman who was a princess one moment, and a disinherited bastard the next. It tells of her Spanish heritage and the unbreakable bond between Mary and her mother, Katherine of Aragon; of her childhood, adolescence, rivalry with her sister Elizabeth and finally her womanhood. Throughout her life Mary was a fighter, battling to preserve her integrity and her right to hear the Catholic mass. Finally, she fought for the throne. The Mary that emerges from this groundbreaking biography is not the weak-willed failure of traditional narratives, but a complex figure of immense courage, determination and humanity.

Shadow of the Swords by Kamran Pasha (June 2010)
An epic saga of love and war, Shadow of the Swords tells the story of the Crusades—from the Muslim perspective.
Saladin, a Muslim sultan, finds himself pitted against King Richard the Lionheart as Islam and Christianity clash against each other, launching a conflict that still echoes today.

In the midst of a brutal and unforgiving war, Saladin finds forbidden love in the arms of Miriam, a beautiful Jewish girl with a tragic past. But when King Richard captures Miriam, the two most powerful men on Earth must face each other in a personal battle that will determine the future of the woman they both love—and of all civilization.

Richly imagined, deftly plotted, and highly entertaining, Shadow of the Swords is a remarkable story that will stay with readers long after the final page has been turned.