Monday, November 16, 2020

Nonfiction November 2020: Seeking Royal Recommendations

 
It's Week 3 of Nonfiction November!  This week, hosted by Rennie at What's Nonfiction, is Be/Ask/Become the Expert.  This year, I'm asking for your royal recommendations!  I love reading about royalty in fiction, but I want to branch out and learn more about real-life royalty.  I've read pretty widely about the Tudor dynasty (Henry VIII's wives, Queen Elizabeth, and, tangentially, Mary Boleyn) and earlier this year I read two great nonfiction books about modern British royalty, from interesting perspectives:

   
 
A book I read last year, Princesses Behaving Badly, also inspired my desire to learn more about royalty:


So today, I'm asking for your favorite biographies about royalty - I'm not particular about the country or era, just something that's super interesting and informative!  Thanks in advance!

40 comments:

  1. I would highly recommend The Woman Who Would Be King by Kara Cooney, about Hatshepsut who actually ruled as a female pharaoh and When Women Ruled the World: Six Queens of Egypt also by Kara Cooney 😊

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  2. Books about royalty always intrigue me! I haven't read one in quite some time, though. Princesses Behaving Badly sounds perfect!

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  3. Born to Rule is the story of 5 of Queen Victoria’s granddaughters who also became queens. Victoria and Abdul is also an interesting book about her friendship with an Indian servant.

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    1. Born to Rule sounds amazing, thanks for the rec, Heather!

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  4. This is a great topic! My favorite royals biography is Robert Massie's Catherine the Great. Such a fascinating life and more interesting than any of the myths around her. His Nicholas and Alexandra is also great, it's older but a classic. Secret Lives of the Tsars: Three Centuries of Autocracy, Debauchery, Betrayal, Murder, and Madness from Romanov Russia by Michael Farquhar was really fun and entertaining too -- I really only know the Russian royalty, I've barely read any beyond that, sorry! Although I've heard how good Ninety-Nine Glimpses of Princess Margaret is, kind of a more nontraditional biography as I understood it.

    Princesses Behaving Badly looks good too!

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    1. Russian royalty is fascinating, and something I don't know enough about! Thanks for the recs, Rennie!

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  5. Princesses Behaving Badly sounds really fun!! I can't help you but I hope you get some great suggestions! (I am sure you will!)

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  6. I haven’t read any royalty books in a while, but I recommend Sex With The King and Sex With The Queen. (Haha, that sentence sounds really awkward.) Both books are about arranged marriages and royal affairs.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  7. I hope you get lots of great recommendations. I can't think of a single one! Darn.

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  8. There sure are a lot of royal books out there.

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  9. It’s not a topic I have read anything of, though I am interested in Princesses Behaving Badly, thanks for the rec.

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  10. I recently bought Lady in Waiting, I’m looking forward to it! I haven’t read it but my mum loves reading books by Lady Antonia Fraser, I know my mum was constantly reading her Mary, Queen of Scots book but I believe she’s done books on other historical royals.

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    1. I'll have to look into that, Heather, thanks!

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  11. I'm a Tudorphile, too (as you well know). Are you at all interested in exploring Russian Royalty? If so, start with Nicholas & Alexandra by Robert K. Massie. It will get you hooked on Romanov drama...

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    1. I think the Russians are just as interesting as the Tudors! Rennie above also mentioned this book, so I will definitely have to check it out!

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  12. Make sure you share with us your recommendations! I am definitely interested in hearing what everyone says. I listened to Elizabeth the Queen by Sally Bedell Smith and thought it was a great companion to The Crown. Are you a fan of Downton? I read Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey by the Countess of Carnarvon and really enjoyed it. I also like a lot of Alison Weir's non-fiction books like The Six Wives of Henry VIII. Let us know what you come up with!

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    1. I'm a huge Downton fan, so I will have to check that book out! I should have a post up next week compiling the recommendations! Thanks, Christina!

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  13. I can't help with recommendations, but I am definitely intrigued about the lives of royalty, especially the Tudors. Princesses Behaving Badly seems like a fun read.

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  14. I'm keen to read Catherine the Great by Robert K Massie after binge watching the Great earlier this year.

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    1. I haven't watched that yet, should add it to my list!

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  15. Behaving Badly looks fun! I bet these books are fascinating.

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  16. I don't have any books to recommend but I know Hopewell's Public Library of Life just recommended some about Queen Elizabeth II. Let me see if I can remember when she posted it...

    Here it is! https://hopewellslibraryoflife.wordpress.com/2020/09/22/top-ten-tuesday-books-on-my-fall-2020/

    Princesses Behaving Badly sounds intriguing!

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  17. I read Princesses Behaving Badly a few years ago and loved it. I have Cleopatra on my list by Stacey Schiff.

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  18. I wish I had some great rec’s but I haven’t read that much NF about royalty. The only one that comes to mind The Romanov Sisters by Helen Rappaport.

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  19. What a good topic to choose - plenty of scope when you think about all the countries that could be included as well as the eras.
    My suggestion would be from China - Empress Dowager Cixi written by Jung Chang (author of Wild Swans). This Empress was a very influential figure in Chinese history, introducing changes that transformed a medieval empire into the modern age.

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  20. Ohhh this is such a good topic. I've read quite a lot of Tuor history too, including the Mary Boleyn one. I know you wanted to branch out a bit, but I like reading about Lady Jane Grey. She's always been my favourite royal.

    Otherwise, there's a book about Queen Victoria compiled from the accounts of her servants - Serving Victoria: Life in the Royal Household - and that was really good too!

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    1. Oh, that sounds so interesting, Hanna! Thank you!

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I'm so glad you stopped by, and I would love to hear your thoughts! Comments are always greatly appreciated!