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Colm Chase

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The Rival Queens: Catherine de' Medici, her daughter Marguerite de Valois, and the Betrayal That Ignited a Kingdom
The Rival Queens: Catherine de' Medici, her daughter Marguerite de Valois, and the Betrayal That Ignited a Kingdom
by Nancy Goldstone
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.60

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The story of a truly dysfunctional family, 28 Jun. 2015
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The fascinating story of a totally dysfunctional royal family headed by a despotic mother. This is a very enjoyable and easy to read introduction to the times of Catherine de Medici and her family. Married to a king who preferred his mistress and mother of successively disastrous kings (Francis ll, Charles lX, and Henry lll) perhaps Catherine de Medicis most serious flaw was her persecution of her youngest daughter Marguerite (la Reine Margot) who was forced to marry the protestant King of Navarre (subsequently Henry lV of France) as a political tool by her mother despite her dedication to the catholic church. Her treatment by her mother and two of her brothers and her survival through the wars of religion of the period reads like a plot from a soap opera rather than a history of the kingdom of France. Another easy reading page turner from this author.


England, Arise: The People, the King and the Great Revolt of 1381
England, Arise: The People, the King and the Great Revolt of 1381
by Juliet Barker
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting insight into a troubled time, 20 Jun. 2015
I enjoy Juliet Barkers writing and have enjoyed other books by this author. I think overall she does a good job of tying together a number of very different regional uprisings, but it does come over in places as a little disjointed and dare I say over long. It is also interesting that the taking of the Tower of London and the execution of the archbishop that followed is given limited coverage whilst other regional uprisings appear to be given more detail.


Yankee Candle 6 x Mixed Scent Wax Potpourri Tart Melts (Spring 2015)
Yankee Candle 6 x Mixed Scent Wax Potpourri Tart Melts (Spring 2015)
Offered by Yankee Aroma Direct Ltd
Price: £8.90

4.0 out of 5 stars Great way to introduce yourself to the Yankee range, 30 May 2015
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Great way to get to try a selection of fragrances before purchasing a larger Yankee candle. Please don't be like me and expect the wax to diminish when you light it - yes I can be that stupid sometimes - it just looses its scent over time. If you want to get the spent wax out of your meltwarmer, light a candle underneath it for a short time and the whole of the spent wax comes back out in a block - saves you having to chisel it out !


Eleanor of Aquitaine - The Mother Queen of the Middle Ages
Eleanor of Aquitaine - The Mother Queen of the Middle Ages
by Desmond Seward
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.91

2.0 out of 5 stars Great book- but purchasers beware this came out in the seventies and is a new format of an old favourite, 30 May 2015
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I accept that it was my error, but it really annoys me that books can be re-printed in totally different formats after being out of print for a few years. Yes I should have checked more thoroughly before purchasing, but I always keep an eye out for new releases and this one from 2014 caught my attention. Sadly I already have the book in a totally different format from back in the seventies so was very disappointed


Wolsey: The Life of King Henry VIII's Cardinal
Wolsey: The Life of King Henry VIII's Cardinal
by John Matusiak
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.59

5.0 out of 5 stars A great Tudor statesman well represented in a very readable book, 30 May 2015
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This is a good easy to read summary of a self made man who is perhaps remembered for the wrong reasons. The story of Thomas Wolsey has an air or inevitability about it in terms of his fall given the king that he served, but it is amazing what an Ipswich lad was able to achieve through wits and sheer hard work. Cardinal, archbishop, bishop and abbott all at the same time. You are left feeling a little sorry for a man who allowed himself to get a little too big for his boots only to fall like several other great statesmen of the time. As always the book contained some aggravating errors - for example Wolsey was never made abbott of Salisbury as the author suggests partly because the cathedral in Salisbury was collegiate and not monastic - but apart from that this is a very enjoyable book


The Swan King: Ludwig II of Bavaria
The Swan King: Ludwig II of Bavaria
by Christopher McIntosh
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.69

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A well written biography of an extraordinary man, 15 May 2015
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This was a most enjoyable read about a very interesting if troubled life, and left me wanting to find out more (always a good sign). I was saddened to see how this extraordinary man was misunderstood by the world during his lifetime to the point of being deposed and possibly taking his own life (although this is one of the mysteries of history that may never be solved). His connection with the wonderful palaces he built in Bavaria and the incredible music of Wagner have left us an incredible legacy. A great if tragic figure.


In Search of Alfred the Great: The King, the Grave, the Legend
In Search of Alfred the Great: The King, the Grave, the Legend
by Edoardo Albert
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £20.00

3.0 out of 5 stars A quick life summary with an even briefer bit of archeaology at the end, 7 May 2015
Like another reviewer I purchased this book hoping to find out more about the excavation of Alfred remains having just visited the ruins at Hyde and have to admit to being a bit disappointed. There appears to be some current fascination in unearthing and claiming the remains of long lost kings following the recent discovery of Richard lll in Leicester. At the cathedral in Winchester they are busy trying to literally piece together the remains of a number of kings and bishops who's bones were scattered at the time of the commonwealth. It looks as if each cathedral is trying to claim a king pilgrimage now that saints pilgrimages are no longer possible. This book adds little in terms of details of the search for Alfreds remains and is fairly scanty in its detail about the king. It was good quick read but left me wanting more detail and certainly more information about the forensic investigation. Who will they dig up next I wonder?


The Greatest Knight: The Remarkable Life of William Marshal, the Power Behind Five English Thrones
The Greatest Knight: The Remarkable Life of William Marshal, the Power Behind Five English Thrones
by Thomas Asbridge
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.00

5.0 out of 5 stars The amazing story of a self made man, 2 May 2015
A very well written easy read which I found extremely informative. Thomas Asbridge writes accessible history and makes it a real page turner. This is the story of a quite remarkable self made man who served five kings and was hostage to a seventh in his childhood. When you realise that these were Angevin kings and that one of them was John this makes for a fascinating story of survival and loyalty. Strongly recommended


Henry VIII's Last Love: The Extraordinary Life of Katherine Willoughby, Lady-in-Waiting to the Tudors
Henry VIII's Last Love: The Extraordinary Life of Katherine Willoughby, Lady-in-Waiting to the Tudors
by David Baldwin
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.00

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book but the title is a little misleading with regard to the content and does not reflect this amazing womans story, 26 April 2015
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I enjoyed this book but felt it was a little light on content in some areas. This is the life of an extremely interesting woman but the title I think is a little misleading. There is from what I can see no real evidence that she would have been Henry's next wife if he had decided to do away with Katherine Parr. Far more interesting to me was her life with Brandon and Bertie and her escape to Poland during the reign of queen Mary.


King John: Treachery, Tyranny and the Road to Magna Carta
King John: Treachery, Tyranny and the Road to Magna Carta
by Marc Morris
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting read let down a bit by the ordering of the chapters, 26 April 2015
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I am a big fan of Marc Morris and whilst I enjoyed the book the early chapters where we jump to and fro in Johns history just did not work for me. It was however a wll written book and a useful addition for me to the information I knew about this enigmatic and misguided king


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