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Margaret George is the author of several bestselling novels, including The Autobiography of Henry VIII, Mary Queen of Scotland and the Isles, Mary, Called Magdalene and Elizabeth I. She travels widely to research her novels and lives with her husband in Madison, Wisconsin.
Author photo © Alison Kaufman
In part inspired by a desire to redress how Nero “has suffered badly at the hands of popular culture,” as the author notes in the novel’s afterword, this epic, expansive tome about Nero’s transformation from little boy to ruthless ruler is a seamless weave of exceptional research and eloquent storytelling. Nero is but a child when the novel opens and he recalls his earliest memories; wistful recollections of his life with elegant Aunt Butterfly (Lepida) who told him tales of his ancestors, back when he dreamed of driving a chariot, as his father and grandfather had done before him. But Nero’s youthful innocence and inquisitiveness are cut short when Agrippina, the mother he knew nothing of, comes for him. In her charge, young Nero’s life is immediately transformed, and at risk, with cruelty and treachery slithering at every turn, from his uncle Caligula’s attempt to drown him, to his mother’s ruthless desire for power. Enthrallingly told in the young leader’s voice, this novel epitomises the illuminating scope of historical fiction. While fans of this genre, and readers interested in Roman and Greek history, will undoubtedly adore it, I’d also recommend it more widely. It serves up a rich feast of universally resonant themes - power, struggle, survival – and George’s style is as appealingly lucid as it is lyrical. ~ Joanne Owen
Praise for the series 'Carefully researched, vivid, and passionately told, this is the story of a fascinating new Nero' - Madeline Miller 'Gripping' - Barbara Taylor Bradford 'A refreshing and original interpretation of Rome's infamous ruler' - Sunday Express From New York Times bestselling author Margaret George, Emperor Nero: The Splendour Before The Dark is the stunning conclusion to Nero's story. With the beautiful and cunning Poppaea at his side, Nero Augustus commands the Roman Empire, ushering in an unprecedented era of artistic and cultural splendour. Although he has yet to produce an heir, his power is absolute. But in the tenth year of his reign, a terrifying prophecy comes to pass and a fire engulfs Rome, reducing entire swaths of the city to rubble. Rumours of Nero's complicity in the blaze start to sow unrest among the populace - and the politicians . . . For better or worse, Nero knows that his fate is now tied to Rome's - and he vows to rebuild it as a city that will stun the world. But there are those who find his rampant quest for glory dangerous. Throughout the empire, false friends and spies conspire against him, not understanding what drives him to undertake the impossible. Nero will either survive and be the first in his family to escape the web of betrayals that is the Roman court, or be ensnared and remembered as the last radiance of the greatest dynasty the world had ever known.
From New York Times bestselling author Margaret George, Emperor Nero: The Splendour Before The Dark is the stunning conclusion to Emperor Nero's story that began in The Confessions of Young Nero. With the beautiful and cunning Poppaea at his side, Nero Augustus commands the Roman Empire, ushering in an unprecedented era of artistic and cultural splendour. Although he has yet to produce an heir, his power is absolute. But in the tenth year of his reign, a terrifying prophecy comes to pass and a fire engulfs Rome, reducing entire swaths of the city to rubble. Rumours of Nero's complicity in the blaze start to sow unrest among the populace - and the politicians . . . For better or worse, Nero knows that his fate is now tied to Rome's - and he vows to rebuild it as a city that will stun the world. But there are those who find his rampant quest for glory dangerous. Throughout the empire, false friends and spies conspire against him, not understanding what drives him to undertake the impossible. Nero will either survive and be the first in his family to escape the web of betrayals that is the Roman court, or be ensnared and remembered as the last radiance of the greatest dynasty the world had ever known.
In the Roman Empire no one is safe from the sting of betrayal: man, woman - or child. As a boy, Nero's royal heritage becomes a threat to his very life, first when the mad emperor Caligula tries to drown him, then when his great aunt attempts to secure her own son's inheritance. Faced with shocking acts of treachery, young Nero is dealt a harsh lesson: it is better to be cruel than dead. While Nero idealizes the artistic and athletic principles of Greece, his very survival rests on his ability to navigate the sea of vipers that is Rome. Most lethal of all is his own mother, Agrippina, whose only goal is to control the empire. But as her machinations earn her son a title he is both tempted and terrified to assume, Nero's determination to escape her thrall will shape him into the man he was fated to become - an Emperor who became legendary. With impeccable research and captivating prose, The Confessions of Young Nero by Margaret George is the story of a boy's ruthless ascension to the throne. From innocent youth to infamous ruler, his is an epic tale of the lengths to which man will go in the ultimate quest for power and survival.
Sok konyv szuletett a gogos, egoista VIII. Henrikrol: a ferfiurol, aki lerombolta az egyhazat, mert az nem engedelyezte neki, hogy elvaljon; aki hatszor nosult, es ket feleseget lefejeztette; aki kivegeztette a baratjat, Thomas More-t; aki kifosztotta a kolostorokat; aki fiugyermekre, tronorokosre vagyott, es elhanyagolta ket leanyat, Mariat es Erzsebetet; aki vegul kover, betegsegek sujtotta, zullott emberkent halt meg. Nagyszabasu muveben Margaret George most ugy ismertet meg bennunket VIII. Henrik tortenetevel, mintha maga a hajdanvolt uralkodo meselne el nekunk emlekirat formajaban, amelyet a kiraly bizalmat elvezo udvari bolond, Will Somers megjegyzesei tagolnak. A ragyogo meseszovessel, szellemesen, olvasmanyosan megirt regeny szemleletesen tarja elenk a hatalommal jaro oromoket es veszedelmeket, egyszersmind minden eddig latottnal elevenebb kepet ad VIII. Henrikrol.
Famously described as the 'Apostle to the Apostles', after her discovery of Jesus' resurrection, Mary has sparked curiosity, controversy and veneration since her name first appeared in the Gospel of Mark. But who was Mary Magdalene? Was she a prostitute, a goddess, a feminist icon, a church leader or all of these things? Using testaments, letters and narrative Margaret George brings to life one of the most mysterious and controversial characters in the bible, creating an epic that is both immediate and moving. 'Margaret George proves herself to be the very best when it comes to historical fiction. Her new novel is a gripping and moving story' Barbara Taylor Bradford
The New York Times bestselling author of Elizabeth I brilliantly reimagines the story of the most mysterious woman in the Bible.Was Mary Magdalene a prostitute, a female divinity figure, a church leader, or all of those? Biblical references to her are tantalizingly brief, but we do know that she was the first person to whom the risen Christ appearedand the one commissioned to tell others the good news, earning her the ancient honorific, "e;Apostle to the Apostles."e;Today, Mary continues to spark controversy, curiosity, and veneration. In a vivid re-creation of Mary Magdalene's life story, Margaret George convincingly captures this renowned woman's voice as she moves from girlhood to womanhood, becomes part of the circle of disciples, and comes to grips with the divine.While grounded in biblical scholarship and secular research, Mary, Called Magdalene ultimately transcends both history and fiction to become a ';diary of a soul.'
1588. In the height of her power is the legendary Elizabeth Tudor, history's most enigmatic queen. She is the virgin with many suitors; the victor of the Armada who hated war; the jewel-bedecked woman always pinching pennies. Elizabeth's flame-haired cousin, Lettice Knollys, is her bitter rival. In love with Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, and mother to the Earl of Essex, the mercurial nobleman who challenged Elizabeth's throne, Lettice has been intertwined with Elizabeth since childhood. This is a story of two women of fierce intellect and desire: one trying to protect her country and throne; the other trying to regain power and position for her family. Their rivalry soon involves everyone close to Elizabeth - from the famed courtiers who enriched the crown to the legendary poets and playwrights. And, for Elizabeth, to be married to her people meant she must rule as much with her heart as with her head . . .
One of today's premier historical novelists, Margaret George dazzles here as she tackles her most difficult subject yet: the legendary Elizabeth Tudor, queen of enigmathe Virgin Queen who had many suitors; the victor of the Armada who hated war; the gorgeously attired, jewel-bedecked woman who pinched pennies. England's greatest monarch has baffled and intrigued the world for centuries. But what was she really like?In this novel, her flame-haired, look-alike cousin, Lettice Knollys, thinks she knows all too well. Elizabeth's rival for the love of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, and mother to the Earl of Essex, the mercurial nobleman who challenged Elizabeth's throne, Lettice has been intertwined with Elizabeth since childhood. This is a story of Elizabeth and Lettice, two women of fierce intellect and desire, one trying to protect her country, and throne, the other trying to regain power and position for her family.From the Compact Disc edition.
Bestselling novelist, Margaret George, here imagines the story of Helen of Sparta and Troy, one of the most amazing female mythical characters, ancient or modern. A war, which lasted for 10 years, was fought over her and nearly all the stories of the heroic age were bound into her story - a measure of her capacity to galvanise men into action. Using her unique gift for research and recreation, Margaret George brings to life a Helen who was a tantalizing enigma from the very first, flesh and blood certainly, but also immortal, as the daughter of Zeus. Her beauty is so overwhelming and dangerous that, as a child, she is protected from seeing her reflection. Kings and princes compete for her hand in marriage, and she marries Menelaus of Sparta, but before marrying him all her other suitors swear to help bring Helen back should she ever be abducted again. When she falls for Paris of Troy it is assumed that he has taken her by force, when her actions are far more complex. The suitors are obliged to honour their oath and so the Trojan War begins - the most pivotal event in the history of ancient Greece . . . and the tragedy of these individuals. `An epic novel... Margaret George recreates... passions... with extraordinary intensity. If only history lessons had been like this' Cosmopolitan
The mesmerizing story of Queen Cleopatra in her own words - by bestselling novelist Margaret George, author of The Autobiography of Henry VIII and Mary Queen of Scotland and the Isles. Told in the first person - from the young queen's earliest memories of her father's tenuous rule to her own reign over one of the most glittering kingdoms in the world - this is an enthralling saga of ambition and power. It is also a tale of passion that begins when the twenty-one-year-old Cleopatra, desperate to return from exile, seeks out the one man who can help her: Julius Caesar. And it does not end until, having survived the assassination of Caesar and the defeat of the second man she loves, Marc Antony, she plots her own death . . . 'The author's impeccable research brings a long-ago civilization thoroughly to life, and her portraits of Cleopatra, Caesar and Antony are wonderful. A spellbinding book' Barbara Taylor Bradford, book of the year in the Sunday Times
Mary, Queen of Scotland and the Isles is the story of a woman born to rule a nation - and the glorious pageant of love and tragedy that followed in her wake. Mary's beauty inspired poetry - yet her birthright engendered hideous treachery and terrible, bloody murder. This novel is Margaret George's magnificent recreation of the life of one of history's greatest legends. A woman accused of murdering her husband to marry her lover. A woman who became Queen six days after her birth in 1542 - only to be beheaded forty years later on the orders of her cousin, Elizabeth I . . .
This is the story of England's most famous, and notorious, king. The facts of Henry VIII's life and reign were more astonishing, poignant and outlandish than the plot twists of most fiction. Henry's character was complex: he was a charismatic, ardent - and brash - young lover who married six times; a scholar with a deep love of poetry and music; an energetic hunter who loved the outdoors; a monarch whose lack of a male heir haunted him incessantly; and a ruthless leader who would stop at nothing to achieve his desires. His monumental decision to split from Rome and the Catholic Church was one that would forever shape the religious and political landscape of Britain. Combining magnificent storytelling with an extraordinary grasp of the pleasures and perils of power, Margaret George delivers a vivid portrait of Henry VIII and Tudor England and the powerhouse of players on its stage: Thomas Cromwell, Cardinal Wolsey, Thomas More and Anne Boleyn. It is also a narrative told from an original perspective: Margaret George writes from the King's point of view, injecting irreverent comments from Will Somers - Henry's jester and confidant.