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Jefferson's Daughters: Three Sisters, White and Black, in a Young America by Catherine Kerrison: A Book Review

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Jefferson's Daughters: Three Sisters, White and Black, in a Young America
Author: Catherine Kerrison
Genre: Nonfiction, History, Biography
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: 2018
Pages: 334
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: The remarkable untold story of Thomas Jefferson’s three daughters—two white and free, one black and enslaved—and the divergent paths they forged in a newly independent America.

     Thomas Jefferson had three daughters: Martha and Maria by his wife, Martha Wayles Jefferson, and Harriet by his slave Sally Hemings. In Jefferson’s Daughters, Catherine Kerrison, a scholar of early American and women’s history, recounts the remarkable journey of these three women—and how their struggle to define themselves reflects both the possibilities and the limitations that resulted from the American Revolution.

     Although the three women shared a father, the similarities end there. Martha and Maria received a fine convent school education…

Anne Boleyn: Fatal Attractions by G. W. Bernard: A Book Review

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Anne Boleyn: Fatal Attractions
Author: G. W. Bernard
Genre: Nonfiction, History, Biography
Publisher: Yale University Press
Release Date: 2010
Pages: 256
Source: My School Library
Synopsis: In this groundbreaking new biography, G. W. Bernard offers a fresh portrait of one of England’s most captivating queens. Through a wide-ranging forensic examination of sixteenth-century sources, Bernard reconsiders Boleyn’s girlhood, her experience at the French court, the nature of her relationship with Henry, and the authenticity of her evangelical sympathies. He depicts Anne Boleyn as a captivating, intelligent, and highly sexual woman whose attractions Henry resisted for years until marriage could ensure legitimacy for their offspring. He shows that it was Henry, not Anne, who developed the ideas that led to the break with Rome. And, most radically, he argues that the allegations of adultery that led to Anne’s execution in the Tower could be close to the truth.

My Review: The story of Anne Boleyn’s fal…

Catherine of Aragon: The Spanish Queen of Henry VIII by Giles Tremlett: A Book Review

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Catherine of Aragon: The Spanish Queen of Henry VIII
Author: Giles Tremlett
Genre: Nonfiction, History, Biography
Publisher: Walker Books
Release Date: 2010
Pages: 448
Source: Personal Collection
Synopsis: The youngest child of the legendary monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, Catherine of Aragon (1485-1536) was born to marry for dynastic gain. Endowed with English royal blood on her mother's side, she was betrothed in infancy to Arthur, Prince of Wales, eldest son of Henry VII of England, an alliance that greatly benefited both sides. Yet Arthur died weeks after their marriage in 1501, and Catherine found herself remarried to his younger brother, soon to become Henry VIII. The history of England-and indeed of Europe-was forever altered by their union.

     Drawing on his deep knowledge of both Spain and England, Giles Tremlett has produced the first full biography in more than four decades of the tenacious woman whose marriage to Henry VIII lasted twice as long (twenty-four years) …

Aphra Behn: A Secret Life by Janet Todd: A Book Review

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Aphra Behn: A Secret Life
Author: Janet Todd
Genre: Nonfiction, History, Biography
Publisher: Bloomsbury Reader
Release Date: 2017
Pages: 544
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: 'All women together ought to let flowers fall upon the tomb of Aphra Behn; for it was she who earned them the right to speak their minds,' said Virginia Woolf. Yet that tomb, in Westminster Abbey, records one of the few uncontested facts about this Restoration playwright, poet of the erotic and bisexual, political propagandist, novelist and spy: the date of her death, 16 April 1689. For the rest secrecy and duplicity are almost the key to her life. She loved codes, making and breaking them; writing her life becomes a decoding of a passionate but playful woman.

     In this revised biography, Janet Todd draws on documents she has rediscovered in the Dutch archives, and on Behn's own writings, to tell a story of court, diplomatic and sexual intrigue, and of the rise from h…

Blog Tour: Cover Reveal of Beautiful Invention: A Novel of Hedy Lamarr by Margaret Porter

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Beautiful Invention: A Novel of Hedy Lamarr by Margaret PorterPublication Date: October 16, 2018
Gallica Press
Paperback & eBook

Genre: Historical Biographical Fiction

Synopsis: “But I don’t regret anything. I learned a lot.” —Hedy Lamarr

     An ambitious teenaged Austrian actress of Jewish heritage, Hedwig Kiesler is tainted by her nudity in the art film Ecstasy. A hasty marriage to a munitions mogul is her refuge from scandal, but it cannot survive his jealousy and possessiveness—or her discovery he supplies arms to Hitler’s regime. Hedy flees husband and homeland for Hollywood, where Louis B. Mayer transforms her into an icon of exotic glamour. Professional success clashes with her personal life as marriage and motherhood compete with the demands of studio and stardom.

     Roused to action by the atrocities of World War II, Hedy secretly invents a new wireless technology intended for her adopted country’s defense—and unexpectedly changes the world.
About the Author     MARGARET PORT…

Queens of Georgian Britain by Catherine Curzon: A Book Review

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Queens of Georgian Britain
Author: Catherine Curzon
Genre: Nonfiction, History, Biography
Publisher: Pen and Sword History
Release Date: 2017
Pages: 240
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: Once upon a time there were four kings called George who, thanks to a quirk of fate, ruled Great Britain for over a century. Hailing from Germany, these occasionally mad, bad and infamous sovereigns presided over a land in turmoil. Yet what of the remarkable women who were crowned alongside them?

     From the forgotten princess locked in a tower to an illustrious regent, a devoted consort and a notorious party girl, the queens of Georgian Britain lived lives of scandal, romance and turbulent drama. Whether dipping into politics or carousing on the shores of Italy, Caroline of Ansbach, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and Caroline of Brunswick refused to fade into the background.

Queens of Georgian Britain offers a chance to step back in time and meet the women who ruled …

Blog Tour: Willa of the Wood by Robert Beatty

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Willa of the Wood
Author: Robert Beatty
Pub. Date: July 10, 2018
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
Pages: 384
Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, Audible, B&N, iBooks, TBD

Synopsis: From #1 New York Times bestselling author Robert Beatty comes a spooky, thrilling new series set in the magical world of Serafina.

     Move without a sound. Steal without a trace.

     Willa, a young nightspirit of the Great Smoky Mountains, is her clan's best thief. She creeps into the homes of day-folk in the cover of darkness and takes what they won't miss. It's dangerous work — the day-folk kill whatever they do not understand. But when Willa's curiosity leaves her hurt and stranded in a day-folk man's home, everything she thought she knew about her people — and their greatest enemy — is forever changed.

About Robert:
    Robert Beatty is the author of the #1 New York Times best selling Serafina Series published by Disney-Hyperion, a spooky mystery-thriller about a b…