No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.
New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…Find out more
Lisa Hilton is the critically acclaimed author of 'Athenais: The Real Queen of France' and 'Mistress Peachum's Pleasure'. She was educated at Oxford University, and presently lives in Central London.
'I know I have but the body of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart of a king, and of a king of England, too.' Lisa Hilton's majestic biography of Elizabeth I, 'The Virgin Queen', provides vibrant new insights on a monarch who continues to compel and enthral readers. It is a book that challenges readers to reassess Elizabeth's reign, and the colourful drama, scandal and intrigue to which it is always linked. Lisa Hilton uses new research in France, Italy, Russia and Turkey to present a fresh interpretation of Elizabeth as a queen who saw herself primarily as a Renaissance prince, delivering a very different perspective on Elizabeth's emotional and sexual life, and upon her attempts to mould England into a European state. Elizabeth was not an exceptional woman but an exceptional ruler, and Hilton redraws English history with this animated portrait of an astounding life. Her biography maps Elizabeth's dramatic journey from timid, newly crowned queen to one of the most powerful and vivid monarchs ever to rule England.
ITALY, 1492. Five-year-old Mura is a strange and bewitching child. Daughter of a Nordic mother and Spanish father, she has been tutored in both Arabic learning and the ancient mythology of the north. But when her widower father is taken by the Inquisition, Mura is sold to a Genoese slaver. In the port of Savona, Mura's androgynous looks and unusual abilities fetch a high price. She is bought as a house slave for the powerful Medici, arriving in Florence as the city prepares for war against the French. When the family are forced to flee, Mura finds herself gifted to the notorious Lioness of Romagna, Countess Caterina Sforza. Beautiful, ruthless and intelligent, the Countess is fascinated by Mura's arcane knowledge. As the Lioness educates her further in the arts of alchemy, potions and poisons, Mura becomes a potent weapon in the Machiavellian intrigues of the Renaissance court...
A dual-time story set in occupied France and modern day, where a girl confides in an elderly neighbour and learns of wartime secrets. Beautifully written and quite mesmerising.
A well written and highly readable account of 20 Medieval queens, usually passed over in the history books, but who have their own fascinating stories to tell. The book flows very well especially when you consider the amount of subject matter and you won’t feel bogged down in detail as each queen gets about 20 pages. A fascinating insight in to the all to often overlooked women who supported the Kings of England.
The bestselling author and historian Lisa Hilton picks up the mythical 'City of Ladies' where the medieval writer Christine de Pisan left off, continuing a conversation about gender and greatness that began more than six hundred years ago. In 1405 Christine de Pisan took up the pen to defend her maligned sex. Her book, The City of Ladies, was built around preserving women's reputations from the slights and misunderstandings of history. In it the author is visited by three spirits - Justice, Rectitude and Reason - who guide her in sifting through countless lives, in search of worthy citizens. Over 600 years later, the historian and novelist Lisa Hilton picks up the book and promptly falls asleep, only to be visited by three great women from history: Cleopatra, Lucrezia Borgia and Catherine the Great. And they aren't happy. Having found themselves barred from the original 'City of Ladies', they want to know why. And isn't it time, they ask, for a new author to take up the pen? What follows is a reassessment of the past, in which deeds and reputations, rumours and reality are held up to the light, and history is wrested back from the distortions of misogyny.
A definitive portrait of one of the most compelling monarchs England has ever had: Elizabeth I. 'We are a prince from a line of princes.' Lisa Hilton's majestic biography of Elizabeth I, 'The Virgin Queen', uses new research to present a fresh interpretation of Elizabeth as a queen who saw herself primarily as a Renaissance prince, delivering a very different perspective on her emotional and sexual life, and upon her attempts to mould England into a European state. Elizabeth was not an exceptional woman but an exceptional ruler, and this book challenges readers to reassess her reign, and the colourful drama, scandal and intrigue to which it is always linked.
A new biographical portrait that casts the queen as she saw herself-not as an exceptional woman, but as an exceptional rulerQueen Elizabeth I was all too happy to play on courtly conventions of gender when it suited her "e;weak and feeble woman's body"e; to do so for political gain. But in Elizabeth, historian Lisa Hilton offers ample evidence of why those famous words should not be taken at face value. With new research out of France, Italy, Russia, and Turkey, Hilton's fresh interpretation is of a queen who saw herself primarily as a Renaissance prince and used Machiavellian statecraft to secure that position.A decade since the last major biography, this Elizabeth breaks new ground and depicts a queen who was much less constrained by her femininity than most treatments claim. For readers of David Starkey and Alison Weir, it will provide a new, complex perspective on Elizabeth's emotional and sexual life. It's a fascinating journey that shows how a marginalized, newly crowned queen, whose European contemporaries considered her to be the illegitimate ruler of a pariah nation, ultimately adapted to become England's first recognizably modern head of state.
The dramatic love story of two extraordinary individuals--Nancy Mitford and free French commander Gaston Palewski--living in extraordinary times.';Oh, the horror of love!' Nancy Mitford once exclaimed to her sister Diana Mosley.Elegant and intelligent, Nancy was a reknowned wit and a popular author. Yet this bright, waspish womangave her heart to a well-known philanderer who went on to marry another woman. Was Nancy that unremarkablethinga deluded loveror was she a remarkable woman engaged in a sophisticated love affair?Gaston Palewski was a Free French commander and one of the most influential politicians in post-war Europe.She supported him throughout his tumultuous career and he inspired some of her best work, includingThe Pursuit of Love.Lisa Hilton's provocative and emotionally challenging book reveals how, with discipline, gentleness, anda great deal of elegance, Nancy Mitford and Gaston Palewski achieved an affair of the heart.
The compelling love story of two extraordinary individuals - Nancy Mitford and Free French commander Gaston Palewski - living in extraordinary times. 'Oh, the horror of love!' Nancy Mitford once exclaimed. Elegant and intelligent, Nancy was a reknowned wit and a popular author. Yet this bright, waspish woman, capable of unerring emotional analysis in her work gave her heart to a well-known philanderer who went on to marry another woman. Was Nancy that unremarkable thing - a deluded lover - or was she a remarkable woman engaged in a sophisticated love affair? Gaston Palewski, was the Free French commander and one of the most influential politicians in post-war Europe. His and Nancy's mutual life was spent amongst the most exciting, powerful and controversial figures in the centre of reawakening Europe. She supported him throughout his tumultuous career and he inspired some of her best work, including The Pursuit of Love. Lisa Hilton's provocative book reveals how, with discipline, gentleness and a great deal of elegance, Nancy Mitford and Gaston Palewski achieved a very adult ideal.
The resplendent sex symbol of the splendid century'... The reign of Athenais de Montespan as principal mistress of Louis XIV corresponds with the most glorious period of the Grand Siecle. Athenais was 'the true Queen of France', symbol of a dazzling French culture in the seventeenth century. As a lover, she risked the disgrace of double adultery to conduct an affair which scandalized Europe; as a patron she supported many of the leaders of the cultural renaissance including Moliere and Racine; as a mother she is the ancestor of most of the royal houses of Europe. The greatest beauty of her day, Athenais lived her life publicly and sensationally until accusations of witchcraft forced her from power in the 'Affair of the Poisons', a mystery which remains unsolved. She fascinates not only because she achieved power at a time when it was denied to most women, but because she achieved that power through her manipulation of a prescribed role.