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10 books of Helen Castor

Skulduggery and Valkyrie are facing a new enemy: Baron Vengeous, who is determined to bring back the terrifying Faceless Ones and is crafting an army of evil to help him. Added to that, Vengeous is about to enlist a new ally (if he can raise it from the dead): the horrible Grotesquery, a very unlikable monster of legend. Once Vengeous is on the loose, dead bodies and vampires start showing up all over Ireland. Now pretty much everybody is out to kill Valkyrie, and the daring detective duo faces its biggest challenge yet. But what if the greatest threat to Valkyrie is just a little closer to home? Look for Scepter of the Ancients

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Now a BBC4 series showing in March 2012. When Edward VI - Henry VIII's longed-­for son - died in 1553, extraordinarily, there was no one left to claim the title King of England. For the first time, all the contenders for the crown were female. In 1553, England was about to experience the 'monstrous regiment' - the unnatural rule - of a woman. But female rule in England also had a past. Four hundred years before Edward's death, Matilda, daughter of Henry I and granddaughter of William the Conquerer, came tantalisingly close to securing her hold on the power of the crown. And between the 12th and the 15th centuries three more exceptional women - Eleanor of Aquitaine, Isabella of France, and Margaret of Anjou - discovered, as queens consort and dowager, how much was possible if the presumptions of male rule were not confronted so explicitly. The stories of these women - told here in all their vivid humanity - illustrate the paradox which the female heirs to the Tudor throne had no . . .

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When Edward VI died in 1553, the extraordinary fact was that there was no one left to claim the title of king of England. For the first time, England would have a reigning queen--­but the question was which one: Katherine of Aragon's daughter, Mary; Anne Boleyn's daughter, Elizabeth; or one of their cousins, Lady Jane Grey or Mary, Queen of Scots. But female rule in England also had a past. Four hundred years before Edward's death, Matilda, daughter of Henry I and granddaughter of William the Conqueror, came tantalizingly close to securing the crown for herself. And between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries three more exceptional women--­Eleanor of Aquitaine, Isabella of France, and Margaret of Anjou--­discovered how much was possible if pre-­sumptions of male rule were not confronted so explicitly--­and just how quickly they might be vilified as "she-­wolves" for their pains. The stories of these women, told here in all their . . .

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(Also published as "Blood and Roses: One Family's Struggle and Triumph During the Tumultuous Wars of the Roses"). The War of the Roses turned England upside down. Between 1455 and 1485 four kings lost their thrones, more than forty noblemen lost their lives on the battlefield or their heads on the block, and thousands of the men who followed them met violent deaths. Yet almost nothing is known about the thoughts and feelings of the people who lived through this bloody conflict. Almost nothing, but not quite. As they made their way in a disintegrating world, a Norfolk family called the Pastons were writing letters - about politics, about business, about shopping, about love and about each other. Using these letters, the oldest surviving family correspondence in English, Helen Castor traces the extraordinary history of the Paston family across three generations. Blood & Roses tells the dramatic, moving and intensely human story of how one family survived one of the most tempestuous . . .

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The Wars of the Roses turned England upside down. Between 1455 and 1485 four kings lost their thrones, more than forty noblemen lost their lives on the battlefield or their heads on the block, and thousands of the men who followed them met violent deaths. Yet almost nothing is known about the thoughts and feelings of the people who lived through this bloody conflict, whether kind of noble, landowner or peasant. Almost nothing, but not quite. As they made their way in a disintegrating world, a Norfolk family called the Pastons were writing letters - about politics, about business, about shopping, about love and about each other. Using these letters, the oldest surviving family correspondence in English, Helen Castor traces the extraordinary history of the Paston family across three generations. Blood & Roses tells the dramatic, moving and intensely human story of how one family survived one of the most tempestuous periods in English history.

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Books of Helen Castor