A century has transformed this bloody scene into romantic tragedy: star-crossed lovers who preferred death together than to be parted by a cold, unfeeling Viennese Court. But Mayerling is also the story of family secrets: incestuous relationships and mental instability; blackmail, venereal disease, and political treason; and a disillusioned, morphine-addicted Crown Prince and a naïve schoolgirl caught up in a dangerous and deadly waltz inside a decaying empire. What happened in that locked room remains one of history’s most evocative mysteries: What led Rudolf and mistress to this desperate act? Was it really a suicide pact? Or did something far more disturbing take place at that remote hunting lodge and result in murder?
Drawing interviews with members of the Habsburg family and archival sources in Vienna, Greg King and Penny Wilson reconstruct this historical mystery, laying out evidence and information long ignored that conclusively refutes the romantic myth and the conspiracy stories.
GREG KING is the author of several internationally published works of history, including The Assassination of the Archduke. He serves as Editor-in-Chief of the European Royal History Journal, and his work has appeared in Majesty Magazine, Royalty Magazine, Royalty Digest, and Atlantis Magazine.
PENNY WILSON is the coauthor (with Greg King) of such histories on late Imperial Russia as The Fate of the Romanovs and The Resurrection of the Romanovs. Her historical work has appeared in Majesty Magazine, Atlantis Magazine, and Royalty Digest.
Louis-Charles, Duc de Normandie, enjoyed a charmed early childhood in the gilded palace of Versailles. At the age of four, he became the dauphin, heir to the most powerful throne in Europe. Yet within five years he was to lose everything. Drawn into the horror of the French Revolution, his family was incarcerated and their fate thrust into the hands of the revolutionaries who wished to destroy the monarchy.
In 1793, when Marie Antoinette was beheaded at the guillotine, she left her adored eight-year-old son imprisoned in the Temple Tower. Far from inheriting a throne, the orphaned boy-king had to endure the hostility and abuse of a nation. Two years later, the revolutionary leaders declared Louis XVII dead. No grave was dug, no monument built to mark his passing.
Immediately, rumors spread that the prince had, in fact, escaped from prison and was still alive. Others believed that he had been murdered, his heart cut out and preserved as a relic. As with the tragedies of England's princes in the Tower and the Romanov archduchess Anastasia, countless "brothers" soon approached Louis-Charles's older sister, Marie-Therese, who survived the revolution. They claimed not only the dauphin's name, but also his inheritance. Several "princes" were plausible, but which, if any, was the real heir to the French throne?
The Lost King of France is a moving and dramatic tale that interweaves a pivotal moment in France's history with a compelling detective story that involves pretenders to the crown, royalist plots and palace intrigue, bizarre legal battles, and modern science. The quest for the truth continued into the twenty-first century, when, thanks to DNA testing, the strange odyssey of a stolen heart found within the royal tombs brought an exciting conclusion to the two-hundred-year-old mystery of the lost king of France.
A hundred years after her sinking, Lusitania remains an evocative ship of mystery. Was she carrying munitions that exploded? Did Winston Churchill engineer a conspiracy that doomed the liner? Lost amid these tangled skeins is the romantic, vibrant, and finally heartrending tale of the passengers who sailed aboard her. Lives, relationships, and marriages ended in the icy waters off the Irish Sea; those who survived were left haunted and plagued with guilt. Now, authors Greg King and Penny Wilson resurrect this lost, glittering world to show the golden age of travel and illuminate the most prominent of Lusitania's passengers. Rarely was an era so glamorous; rarely was a ship so magnificent; and rarely was the human element of tragedy so quickly lost to diplomatic maneuvers and militaristic threats.
In 1956, a stunned world watched as the famous Italian ocean liner Andrea Doria sank after being struck by a Swedish vessel off the coast of Nantucket. Unlike the tragedy of the Titanic, this sinking played out in real time across radios and televisions, the first disaster of the modern age. Audiences witnessed everything that ensued after the unthinkable collision of two modern vessels equipped with radar: perilous hours of uncertainty; the heroic rescue of passengers; and the final gasp as the pride of the Italian fleet slipped beneath the Atlantic, taking some fifty lives with her. Her loss signaled the end of the golden age of ocean liner travel.
Now, Greg King and Penny Wilson offer a fresh look at this legendary liner and her tragic fate. Andrea Doria represented the romance of travel, the possibility of new lives in the new world, and the glamour of 1950s art, culture, and life. Set against a glorious backdrop of celebrity and La Dolce Vita, Andrea Doria's last voyage comes vividly to life in a narrative tightly focused on her passengers – Cary Grant's wife; Philadelphia's flamboyant mayor; the heiress to the Marshall Field fortune; and many brave Italian emigrants – who found themselves plunged into a desperate struggle to survive. The Last Voyage of the Andrea Doria follows the effect this trauma had on their lives, and brings the story up-to-date with the latest expeditions to the wreck.
Drawing on in-depth research, interviews with survivors, and never-before-seen photos of the wreck as it is today, The Last Voyage of the Andrea Doria is a vibrant story of fatal errors, shattered lives, and the triumph of the human spirit.
The murder of the Romanov family in July 1918 horrified the world, and its aftershocks still reverberate today. In Putin's autocratic Russia, the Revolution itself is considered a crime, and its anniversary was largely ignored. In stark contrast, the centenary of the massacre of the Imperial Family was commemorated in 2018 by a huge ceremony attended by the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church.
While the murders themselves have received major attention, what has never been investigated in detail are the various plots and plans behind the scenes to save the family—on the part of their royal relatives, other governments, and Russian monarchists loyal to the Tsar. Rappaport refutes the claim that the fault lies entirely with King George V, as has been the traditional view for the last century. The responsibility for failing the Romanovs must be equally shared. The question of asylum for the Tsar and his family was an extremely complicated issue that presented enormous political, logistical and geographical challenges at a time when Europe was still at war.
Like a modern day detective, Helen Rappaport draws on new and never-before-seen sources from archives in the US, Russia, Spain and the UK, creating a powerful account of near misses and close calls with a heartbreaking conclusion. With its up-to-the-minute research, The Race to Save the Romanovs is sure to replace outdated classics as the final word on the fate of the Romanovs.