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Aug 3, 2009

Mailbox Monday~Embrassingly Large Mailbox Exhibits Profound Obsession~Fatten Up your TBR List!

Welcome to The Burton Review Mailbox Monday Mailbox Monday 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. Here's what I received during the last week:

For Review:
"Dear Lilly" by Peter Greyson "From Father to Daughter: The Truth about Life, Love, and the World We Live In" DEAR LILLY

"A father offers his advice, opinions, and the many useful stories gleaned from his past experiences in order to help his belved daughter not only survive, but thrive in the dangerous and unpredictable world of young adulthood. From the pen of a former abused child, drug addict, womanizing frat boy. Greyson's style sparkles with a youthful enthusiasm that will capture your heart and provide boundless inspiration."
This looks like a perfect Teen Read, so if you are a Young Adult Reviewer and would also like to review this one, let me know, and I'll send it to you when I am through with it.

Joyously for my TBR pile, that is the only book I received specifically for reviewing purposes this week.
I then purchased a bunch of books from Alibris, and the following represents most of that purchase. A few were from Paperbackswap. Filling up the empty bookcase my hubby prepared for me! And since this is one huge list, less pics of course, except for the ones I am extremely boucing off the wall excited about.

First off, on the Biblical side, then onwards to the old obsession of anything Royalty.
"The Gilded Chamber: A Novel of Queen Esther" by Rebecca Kohn "The story of Esther and how she saved her people is one of the most romantic in all literature. It might be too much to say that The Gilded Chamber has gone the Bible one better, but Rebecca Kohn certainly takes us into places the Old Testament never dreamed of, not only to the secret world of the court and the bedchamber, but the sphere of war, politics, and intrigue as well. A triumph of historical imagination and a must-read for lovers - and lovers of Jewish history."- Steven Pressfield, author of Last of the Amazons and Gates of Fire"

"Queenmaker: A Novel of King David's Queen" by India Edghill Queenmaker
"The only woman in the Bible who is noted to have loved a man, Queen Michal was King David's childhood sweetheart, his first wife, and daughter of his great friend and greater enemy, King Saul. Married to and then abandoned by David at age 14, Michal is forced to marry him again and become his first queen ten years later. Thrown into transition and turmoil, Queen Michal resists the ambition and greed that have become integral to David's personality and kingship. Acting nobly as his queen, but refusing to compromise her soul, Michal is drawn in friendship to the women in the king's court. Among his concubines and mistresses is Bathsheba, who becomes the mother of David's son, Solomon. In Queenmaker, Michal emerges as a wise and loving woman whose female family sustains her and establishes the spiritual foundation of the entire kingdom.Queenmaker depicts in unforgettable detail the characters of one of the greatest periods in Biblical history-their public deed and private thoughts-and gives readers the court of the kings as only a woman could see it."

"Six Wives: The Queens of Henry VIII" by David Starkey .. I had once gotten the huge hardcover from the Library and plodded through some of it... but now I couldn't resist the great deal on the book. I don't know if I'll read it in the near future, but it'll be here if I want to read about one wife in particular anyway. David Starkey definitely sees himself as an expert on the subject. "No one in history had a more eventful career in matrimony than Henry VIII. His marriages were daring and tumultuous, and made instant legends of six very different women. In this remarkable study, David Starkey argues that the king was not a depraved philanderer but someone seeking happiness -- and a son. Knowingly or not, he elevateda group of women to extraordinary heights and changed the way a nation was governed.
Six Wives is a masterful work of history that intimately examines the rituals of diplomacy, marriage, pregnancy, and religion that were part of daily life for women at the Tudor Court. Weaving new facts and fresh interpretations into a spellbinding account of the emotional drama surrounding Henry's six marriages, David Starkey reveals the central role that the queens played in determining policy. With an equally keen eye for romantic and political intrigue, he brilliantly recaptures the story of Henry's wives and the England they ruled."

"Edward VI (the English Monarchs Series)" by Jennifer Loach "This new {2002} biography of Edward VI, the boy king who died at 15 after ruling England for only six years, reveals for the first time his significant personal impact on the history of his country. Jennifer Loach portrays Edward as healthy and vigorous (contrary to previous views), precocious, highly educated, and decisive, and she details the dramatic context in which his reign played out."

"Ungrateful Daughters: The Stuart Princess Who Stole Their Father's Crown" by Maureen Waller "In 1688, the birth of a Prince of Wales ignited a family quarrel and a revolution. James II’s drive towards Catholicism had alienated the nation and his two staunchly Protestant daughters by his first marriage, Mary and Anne. They are the ‘ungrateful daughters’ who usurped their father’s crown and stole their brother’s birthright.Seven prominent men sent an invitation to William of Orange---James’s nephew and son-in-law---to intervene in English affairs. But it was the women, Queen Mary Beatrice and her two stepdaughters, Mary and Anne, who played a key role in this drama. Jealous and resentful of her hated stepmother, Anne had written a series of malicious letters to her sister Mary in Holland, implying that the Queen’s pregnancy was a hoax, a Catholic plot to deny Mary her rightful inheritance.Betrayed by those he trusted, distraught at Anne’s defection, James fled the kingdom. Even as the crown descended on her head, Mary knew she had incurred a father’s curse. The sisters quarreled and were still not speaking to each other when Mary died tragically young. Anne did nothing to deserve her father’s forgiveness, declaring her brother an outlaw with a price on his head. Acclaimed historian Maureen Waller recreated the late Stuart era in a compelling narrative that highlights the influence of three women in one of the most momentous events in English history. Prompted by religious bigotry and the emotion that beset any family relationships, this palace coup changed the face of the monarchy, and signaled the end of a dynasty."

"Sex With Kings: Five Hundred Years of Adultery, Power, Rivalry, and Revenge" by Eleanor Herman "Sex With KingsThroughout the centuries, royal mistresses have been worshiped, feared, envied, and reviled. They set the fashions, encouraged the arts, and, in some cases, ruled nations. Eleanor Herman's Sex with Kings takes us into the throne rooms and bedrooms of Europe's most powerful monarchs. Alive with flamboyant characters, outrageous humor, and stirring poignancy, this glittering tale of passion and politics chronicles five hundred years of scintillating women and the kings who loved them... from Madame de Pompadour to Camilla Parker-Bowles."

"Christina, Queen of Sweden: the Restless Life of a European Eccentric" by Veronica Buckley; 2004 - 370 pages; "She was born on a bitterly cold December night in 1626 and, in the candlelight, mistakenly declared a boy. On her father's death six years later, she inherited the Swedish throne. She was tutored by Descartes, yet could swear like the roughest soldier. She was painted a lesbian, a prostitute, a hermaphrodite, and an atheist; in that tumultuous age, it is hard to determine which was the most damning label. She was learned but restless, progressive yet self-indulgent; her leadership was erratic, her character unpredictable. Sweden was too narrow for her ambition. No sooner had she enjoyed the lavish celebrations of her officialcoronation at twenty-three than she abdicated, converting to Catholicism (an act of almost foolhardy independence and political challenge) and leaving her cold homeland behind for an extravagant new life in Rome. Christina, Queen of Sweden, longed fatally for adventure..." (See the rest of the overview)

"Mistress Anne" by Carolly Erickson; Touted as the first major biography of Anne Boleyn upon its original release in 1984. "Through her extraordinarily vivid re-creation of this most tragic chapter in all Tudor History, Carrolly Erickson gives us unprecedented insight into the singuarlity of Anne Boleyn's life, the dark and overwhelming forces that shaped her errant destiny, and the rare, tumultuous times in which she lived."

And no order is complete without Plaidy! Bought some Plaidy's for my Special Jean Plaidy/Holt bookcase:
"The Princess of Celle" (Georgian Saga 1) by Jean Plaidy "This book is a damned good bodice-ripper-full of lust, passion, jealousy and intrigue in the Court of Hanover. Unfortunately, the beautiful princess is not rescued by her handsome lover but is imprisoned by her loathsome husband who goes on to become King George I of England. The story of the beautiful, tragic Sophia Dorothea is well told by this artful translator of historic biography."

"The Road to Compiegne" (French Revolution Series) by Jean Plaidy "No longer the well-beloved, Louis XV is becoming ever more unpopular - the huge expense of his court and decades of costly warfare having taken their toll. As the discontent grows, Louis seeks refuge in his extravagances and his mistress, the powerful Marquise de Pompadour. Suspicions, plots and rivalry are rife as Louis' daughters and lovers jostle for his attention and their own standing at Court. Ignoring the unrest in Paris, Louis continues to indulge in frivolities. But how long will Paris stay silent when the death of the Marquise de Pompadour leads to yet another mistress influencing the King?"

"The Heart of the Lion" (Plantagenet 3) by Jean Plaidy "Henry II was dead and his son Richard had come to the throne. He had vowed to win back Jerusalem for the Christian world and was ready to place his Kingdom in jeopardy to fulfill that vow even though his treacherous brother John was casting covetous eyes on the crown. Richard's life was one fantastic adventure after another, but this is not merely an account of full-blooded adventure; it is also the revelation of the strange nature of England's most romantic King. Here is the color and splendor of an age when chivalry and cruelty went side by side. It is inhabited by the shrewd King of France who was tormented by the emotions aroused in him by his natural enemy; Berengaria, Richard's Queen, who could never hold the place in his life for which she longed; Joanna his sister who adored and yet defied him; Prince John, his violent and treacherous brother; aged Queen Eleanor living on as vital as ever. And dominating them all was the fearless, romantic monarch who, the world said, had the heart of a lion."

"The King's Favorite: a Novel of Nell Gwyn and King Charles II" by Susan Holloway Scott "The acclaimed author of Duchess and Royal Harlot (and now The French Mistress) returns with the unforgettable story of a king’s last love and London’s darling… Nell Gwyn has never been a lady, nor does she pretend to be. Blessed with impudent wit and saucy beauty, she swiftly rises from the poverty of Covent Garden to become a sensation in the theater. Still in her teens, she catches the eye of King Charles II, and trades the stage for Whitehall Palace—and the role of royal mistress. Even though she delights the king, she must learn to negotiate the cutthroat royal court, where ambition and lust for power rule the hearts of all around her. For beneath her charm and light-heartedness, Nell has her own ambition—to become no less than the king’s favorite."

"Born to Rule: Five Reigning Consorts, Granddaughters of Queen Victoria" By Julia P. Gerladi "This lively page-turner covers the 100-year period between the birth of Queen Maud of Norway in 1869 and the death of Queen Victoria Eugenie of Spain in 1969. Suffering only from the inevitable repetition and melodramatic foreshadowing caused by the five-in-one setup of this biography, Gelardi's book features liberal quotations from fascinating correspondence and diaries that reveal both the intimate and the public faces of the women featured. Tales of the girls' romances and weddings spice up the early pages, followed by descriptions of marital relationships, childbirths and the early seeds of conflict-both personal and political. World War I and the Bolshevik revolution dominate the third part of the book, after which Gelardi describes the poignant twilight years of the four granddaughters who lived past the end of the Great War. Lurking behind these stories is the legacy of Queen Victoria, the cruelty of Kaiser Wilhelm in Germany and the specter of hemophilia. It is Marie, "Missy," who plays the favorite in the book, just as she did as Queen of Romania. More than the others, she inherited her grandmother's will, charisma, generosity and political acumen, along with the ability to adapt to changing times and circumstances. The granddaughters were "raised in an era where responsibility, commitment, sacrifice and duty before self were elevated as the highest ideals and embodied admirably by their grandmother," but the era that encompassed their rule would see the decline in monarchy throughout Europe as citizens of various countries came to believe that it was not the divine will of God that appointed their leaders, but the will-wise or foolish-of the people."

"The Lost Prince: The Survival of Richard of York" by David Baldwin

That said photo of Richard of York... all that we know of him.. But this book brings up the topic of a bastard of Richard III (of which there were many)? I just have to read what this author has to say.

"On December 22, 1550 an old bricklayer named Richard Plantagenet was buried at Eastwell in Kent. Unusually for a bricklayer, he had been able to read Latin and, when pressed, he had claimed to be a natural son of King Richard III and to have met him the day before the Battle of Bosworth. Yet had he simply been Richard III's bastard he would have been styled “of Gloucester” or given the name of his birthplace. Richard III openly acknowledged and provided for his other bastards. Why did he not do the same for Richard Plantagenet? Most tellingly, where is the evidence that Prince Richard actually died? In an original and intriguing scenario, David Baldwin argues that while some elements of Richard Plantagenet's story may be authentic, it is possible that he dared not reveal his real identity: Richard, Duke of York, the rightful king. David Baldwin has searched contemporary documents to unearth the clues that underpin his theory and has visited all the places associated with Richard Plantagenet. In doing so, he has opened up an entirely new line of investigation and exonerated Richard III of the greatest of the crimes imputed to him. Dead princes were a potential embarrassment, but a living prince would have been a real danger and a closely guarded secret, not only in Richard's reign but in the reigns of Henry VII and Henry VIII."

Yup that's 15 books, and I even got two late arrivals from my purchase that I am saving for next week's post because this one just wore me out!!!

Stay Tuned for The White Queen by Phillippa Gregory giveaway which posts later today!