Anne Somerset - Ladies in Waiting - Orion Publishing Group

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds

Ladies in Waiting

From the Tudors to the Present Day

By Anne Somerset

  • Paperback
  • £9.99

A history of court life from Henry VIII to Elizabeth II, as seen through the eyes of its ladies-in-waiting.

'Provides a wealth of juicy anecdotal material about five centuries of court life from Henry VIII to Elizabeth II' NEW YORK TIMES

For centuries the most beautiful, able and aristocratic women in England competed for positions at court. Some were drawn by the prospect of political power. Lucy, Countess of Carlisle, for instance, succeeded in acquiring the confidence of Charles I's French wife, Henrietta Maria, only to betray the Queen to her enemies in Parliament. Some ladies-in-waiting became royal mistresses, such as the rapacious Lady Castlemaine who amassed a fortune and flaunted her hold over Charles II. Others came to court to find husbands only to discover that they were denied permission to marry by their sovereign.

Drawing on an enormous variety of sources including the diaries of such shrewd onlookers as Lady Anne Clifford, Lady Cowper and Fanny Burney, Anne Somerset provide a guide to the character, profligate or pious, of each court.

Biographical Notes

Anne Somerset was born in 1955 and read history at King's College London. In 1980, her first book, The Life and Times of William IV, was published in Weidenfeld & Nicolson's Kings and Queens of England series. This was followed by Ladies-in-Waiting: From the Tudors to the Present Day; a biography of Elizabeth I; Unnatural Murder: Poison at the Court of James I; and The Affair of the Poisons: Murder, Infanticide and Satanism at the Court of Louis XIV.Queen Anne: The Politics of Passion, a biography of England's last Stuart monarch, was awarded the 2013 Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography.

Until his death in 2011, Anne Somerset was married to the artist Matthew Carr. She lives in London with her daughter.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781474608015
  • Publication date: 19 Oct 2017
  • Page count: 352
  • Imprint: W&N
Anne Somerset's gossipy Ladies in Waiting provides a wealth of juicy anecdotal material about five centuries of court life from Henry VIII to Elizabeth II — NEW YORK TIMES
Extraordinarily enjoyable ... Colourful and entertaining ... A Naughty Knickers version of our island story — Auberon Waugh, DAILY MAIL
A pleasing account of the upper-class ladies who slaved, suffered and starved in royal service — SUNDAY TIMES
An extremely informative and well-documented study that ... because it is full of odd episodes and graphic portraits, will make admirable bedside reading — SUNDAY TELEGRAPH
Lady Anne writes with perception, wit, candour and a confident authority — Hugh Montgomery Massingberd, THE SPECTATOR
From four centuries of courtly life and love, Anne Somerset has compiled a sparkling history, lucidly written and of impeccable scholarship — COUNTRY LIFE
This is scholarly yet splendid stuff. — THE TIMES
W&N

Mary Queen Of Scots

Antonia Fraser
Authors:
Antonia Fraser

'Reads like an engrossing novel' Sunday TimesAn infant queen. A teenage widow. Beautiful, flamboyant Mary Queen of Scots had a formidable intellect but her political sense - formed at the absolute court of France - plunged her country into a maelstrom of intrigue, marriage and murder that triggered one of the most turbulent periods of history - and her untimely end.

W&N

The Favourite

Ophelia Field
Authors:
Ophelia Field

Sarah Churchill, 1st Duchess of Marlborough, was the glamorous and controversial subject of hundreds of satires, newspaper articles and publications both during her lifetime and after her death. Tied to Queen Anne by an intimate friendship, Sarah hoped to wield power equal to that of a government minister. When their relationship soured, she blackmailed Anne with letters revealing their intimacy and accused her of perverting the course of national affairs by keeping lesbian favourites - including Sarah's own cousin Abigail Masham.Sarah was a compulsive and compelling writer, narrating the major events of life at Blenheim Palace and at court with herself often centre-stage. Attacked for traits that might have been applauded in a man, she was also capable of inspiring intense love and loyalty, deeply committed to her principles and to living what she believed to be a virtuous life. This biography brings Sarah Churchill's own voice, passionate and intelligent, back to life, and casts a critical eye over images of the Duchess handed down through art, history and literature. Here is an unforgettable portrait of a woman who cared intensely about how we would remember her.

W&N

The Story of Britain

Roy Strong
Authors:
Roy Strong

THE CLASSIC HISTORY OF BRITAIN, FULLY UPDATEDRoy Strong has written an exemplary introduction to the history of Britain, as first designated by the Romans. It is a brilliant and balanced account of successive ages bound together by a compelling narrative which answers the questions: 'Where do we come from?' and 'Where are we going?'Beginning with the earliest recorded Celtic times, and ending with the present day of Brexit Britain, it is a remarkable achievement. With his passion, enthusiasm and wide-ranging knowledge, he is the ideal narrator. His book should be read by anyone, anywhere, who cares about Britain's national past, national identity and national prospects. Richly enjoyable, The Story of Britain will inform and enlighten readers as to how we arrived at where we are today - and why.

W&N

The King and the Catholics

Antonia Fraser
Authors:
Antonia Fraser

'Utterly gripping and consistently witty' Damian Thompson, Literary Review'An absolutely splendid book' A. N. Wilson, The Spectator The story of Catholic Emancipation begins with the violent Anti-Catholic Gordon Riots in 1780, fuelled by the reduction in Penal Laws against the Roman Catholics harking back to the sixteenth century. Some fifty years later, the passing of the Emancipation Bill was hailed as a 'bloodless revolution'. Had the Irish Catholics been a 'millstone', as described by an English aristocrat, or were they the prime movers? While the English Catholic aristocracy and the Irish peasants and merchants approached the Catholic Question in very different ways, they manifestly shared the same objective. Antonia Fraser brings colour and humour to the vivid drama with its huge cast of characters: George III, who opposed Emancipation on the basis of the Coronation Oath; his son, the indulgent Prince of Wales, who was enamoured with the Catholic Maria Fitzherbert before the voluptuous Lady Conyngham; Wellington and the 'born Tory' Peel vying for leadership; 'roaring' Lord Winchilsea; the heroic Daniel O'Connell. Expertly written and deftly argued, The King and Catholics is also a distant mirror of our times, reflecting the political issues arising from religious intolerance.

W&N

Daughters of the Winter Queen

Nancy Goldstone
Authors:
Nancy Goldstone
W&N

Yorkshire

Richard Morris
Authors:
Richard Morris

Yorkshire, it has been said, is 'a continent unto itself', a region where mountain, plain, coast, downs, fen and heath lie close. By weaving history, family stories, travelogue and ecology, Richard Morris reveals how Yorkshire took shape as a landscape and in literature, legend and popular regard.We descend into the county's netherworld of caves and mines, and face episodes at once brave and dark, such as the part played by Whitby and Hull in emptying Arctic waters of whales, or the re-routing of rivers and destruction of Yorkshire's fens. We are introduced to discoverers and inventions, meet the people who came and went, encounter real and fabled heroes, and discover why, from the Iron Age to the Cold War, Yorkshire has been such a key place in times of tension and struggle.In a wide-ranging and lyrical narrative, Morris finds that for as far back as we can look Yorkshire has been a region of unique presence with links around the world.

W&N

Unnatural Murder: Poison In The Court Of James I

Anne Somerset
Authors:
Anne Somerset

'Wonderfully dramatic ... Probably the juiciest court scandal of the past 500 years' Christopher Hudson, Daily Mail'A sordid yet fascinating story' Antonia Fraser, The TimesIn the autumn of 1615 the Earl and Countess of Somerset were detained on suspicion of having murdered Sir Thomas Overbury. The arrest of these leading court figures created a sensation. The young and beautiful Countess of Somerset had already achieved notoriety when she had divorced her first husband in controversial circumstances. The Earl of Somerset was one of the richest and most powerful men in the kingdom, having risen to prominence as the male 'favourite' of England's homosexual monarch, James I.In the coming weeks it was claimed that, after sending Sir Thomas Overbury poisoned tarts and jellies, the Somersets had finally killed him by arranging for an enema of mercury sublimate to be administered. In a vivid narrative, Anne Somerset unravels these extraordinary events, which were widely regarded as an extreme manifestation of the corruption and vice that disfigured the court during this period. It is, at once, a story rich in passion and intrigue and a murder mystery, for, despite the guilty verdicts, there is much about Overbury's death that remains enigmatic. Infinitely more than a gripping personal tragedy, the Overbury murder case profoundly damaged the monarchy, and constituted the greatest court scandal in English history.

W&N

Richard III

Chris Skidmore
Authors:
Chris Skidmore
W&N

Gainsborough

James Hamilton
Authors:
James Hamilton
W&N

Emigrants

James Evans
Authors:
James Evans

AN EVENING STANDARD NO. 1 BESTSELLER'Marvellously engaging' THE TIMES'Brisk, informative and eye-opening' DAILY TELEGRAPHDuring the course of the seventeenth century nearly 400,000 people left Britain for the Americas, most of them from England. Crossing the Atlantic was a major undertaking, the voyage long and treacherous. There was little hope of returning to see the friends and family who stayed behind. Why did so many go? A significant number went for religious reasons, either on the Mayflower or as part of the mass migration to New England; some sought their fortunes in gold, fish or fur; some went to farm tobacco in Virginia, a booming trade which would enmesh Europe in a new addiction. Some went because they were loyal to the deposed Stuart king, while others yearned for an entirely new ambition - the freedom to think as they chose. Then there were the desperate: starving and impoverished people who went because things had not worked out in the Old World and there was little to lose from trying again in the New. EMIGRANTS casts light on this unprecedented population shift - a phenomenon that underpins the rise of modern America. Using contemporary sources including diaries, court hearings and letters, James Evans brings to light the extraordinary personal stories of the men and women who made the journey of a lifetime.

W&N

The Witches

Stacy Schiff
Authors:
Stacy Schiff

'An oppressive, forensic, psychological thriller: J.K. Rowling meets Antony Beevor, Stephen King and Marina Warner ... Schiff's writing is to die for' THE TIMESIt began in 1692, over an exceptionally raw Massachusetts winter, when a minister's niece started to scream and convulse. It ended less than a year later, but not before panic had infected the entire colony, nineteen men and women had been hanged, and a band of adolescent girls had brought Massachusetts to its knees.Vividly capturing the dark, unsettled atmosphere of seventeenth-century America, Stacy Schiff's magisterial history draws us into this anxious time. She shows us how quickly the epidemic of accusations, trials, and executions span out of control. Above all, Schiff's astonishing research reveals details and complexity that few other historians have seen.

W&N

Catherine the Great and Potemkin

Simon Sebag Montefiore
Authors:
Simon Sebag Montefiore
W&N

The Rival Queens

Nancy Goldstone
Authors:
Nancy Goldstone

'A gripping tale of royal feuds and divided kingdoms' - AMANDA FOREMANParis, 1572. Catherine de' Medici, the infamous queen mother of France, is a consummate pragmatist and powerbroker who has dominated the throne for thirty years. Her youngest daughter, Marguerite, the glamorous 'Queen Margot', is a passionate free spirit, the only adversary whom her mother can neither intimidate nor fully control. When Catherine forces the Catholic Marguerite to marry the Protestant Henry of Navarre, she creates not only savage conflict within France but also a potent rival within her own family. Treacherous court politics, poisonings, international espionage and adultery form the background to a extraordinary story about two formidable queens, featuring a fascinating array of characters including such celebrated figures as Elizabeth I, Mary, Queen of Scots and Nostradamus.

W&N

Labouring Men

Eric Hobsbawm
Authors:
Eric Hobsbawm
W&N

Empire of the Deep

Ben Wilson
Authors:
Ben Wilson

The bestselling complete history of the British Navy - our national story through a different prism.The story of our navy is nothing less than the story of Britain, our culture and our empire. Much more than a parade of admirals and their battles, this is the story of how an insignificant island nation conquered the world's oceans to become its greatest trading empire. Yet, as Ben Wilson shows, there was nothing inevitable about this rise to maritime domination, nor was it ever an easy path. EMPIRE OF THE DEEP: THE RISE AND FALL OF THE BRITISH NAVY also reveals how our naval history has shaped us in more subtle and surprising ways - our language, culture, politics and national character all owe a great debt to this conquest of the seas. This is a gripping, fresh take on our national story.

W&N

Perilous Question

Antonia Fraser
Authors:
Antonia Fraser

The two-year revolution that totally changed how Britain is governed.Internationally bestselling historian Antonia Fraser's new book brilliantly evokes one year of pre-Victorian political and social history - the passing of the Great Reform Bill of 1832, an eventful and violent year that featured riots in Bristol, Manchester and Nottingham.The time-span of the book is from Wellington's intractable declaration in November 1830 that 'The beginning of reform is beginning of revolution' to 7 June 1832, when William IV reluctantly assented to the Great Reform Bill, under the double threat of the creation of 60 new peers in the House of Lords and the threat of revolution throughout the country. Wider themes of Irish and 'negro emancipation' underscore the narrative.The book is character driven; we learn of the Whig aristocrats prepared to whittle away their own power to bring liberty to the country, the all-too-conservative opposition who included the intransigent Duchess of Kent and Queen Adelaide and finally the 'revolutionaries' like William Cobbett, author of Rural Rides.These events led to a total change in the way Britain was governed, a two-year revolution that Antonia Fraser brings to vivid dramatic life.

W&N

Disraeli

Douglas Hurd, Edward Young
Authors:
Douglas Hurd, Edward Young
W&N

Bolivar

Marie Arana
Authors:
Marie Arana
W&N

The Antonia Fraser Collection

Antonia Fraser
Authors:
Antonia Fraser

Nine ebooks from the bestselling historian Antonia Fraser, shedding light on some of the most fascinating and controversial people and events of European history.MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTSMary, Queen of Scots passed her childhood in France and married the dauphin to become queen of France at the age of sixteen. Widowed less than two years later, she returned to Scotland as queen after an absence of thirteen years.CROMWELLNo Englishman has made more impact on the history of his nation than Oliver Cromwell; few have been so persistently maligned in the folklore of history. The central purpose of Antonia Fraser's book is the recreation of his life and character, freed from the distortions of myth and Royalist propaganda.KING CHARLES IISpanning his life both before and after the Restoration, Antonia Fraser's lively and fascinating biography captures all the vitality of the man and the expansiveness of the age.THE WEAKER VESSELAn expert on the period, Antonia Fraser brings to life the many and various women she has encountered in her considerable research: governesses, milkmaids, fishwives, nuns, defenders of castles, courtesans, countesses, witches and widows.THE WARRIOR QUEENSWarrior Queens are those women who have both ruled and led in war. It examines how Antonia Fraser's heroines have held and wrestled the reins of power from their (consistently male) adversaries.THE SIX WIVES OF HENRY VIIIThe six wives of Henry VIII: Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anna of Cleves, Katherine Howard and Catherine Parr. They may have been victims of Henry's obsession with a male heir, but they were not willing victims. THE GUNPOWDER PLOTDramatically recreating the conditions and motives that surrounded the fateful night of 5 November 1605, she unravels the tangled web of religion and politics that spawned the plot.MARIE ANTOINETTEAntonia Fraser examines her influence over the king, Louis XVI, the accusations and sexual slurs made against her, her patronage of the arts which enhanced French cultural life, her imprisonment, the death threats made against her, her trial and her eventual execution by guillotine in 1793.LOVE AND LOUIS XIVAntonia Fraser brilliantly explores the relationships which existed between the Sun King and the women in his life.

W&N

That Woman

Anne Sebba
Authors:
Anne Sebba