Murder Most Royal

A Novel of the Tudors

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One powerful king. Two tragic queens.

In the court of Henry VIII, it was dangerous for a woman to catch the king’s eye. Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard were cousins. Both were beautiful women, though very different in temperament. They each learned that Henry’s passion was all-consuming–and fickle.

Sophisticated Anne Boleyn, raised in the decadent court of France, was in love with another man when King Henry claimed her as his own. Being his mistress gave her a position of power; being his queen put her life in jeopardy. Her younger cousin, Catherine Howard, was only fifteen when she was swept into the circle of King Henry. Her innocence attracted him, but a past mistake was destined to haunt her.

Painted in the rich colors of Tudor England, Murder Most Royal is a page-turning journey into the lives of two of the wives of the tempestuous Henry VIII.


Look for the Reading Group Guide at the back of this book.


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In this unforgettable novel of Queen Victoria, Jean Plaidy re-creates a remarkable life filled with romance, triumph, and tragedy.

At birth, Princess Victoria was fourth in line for the throne of England, the often-overlooked daughter of a prince who died shortly after her birth. She and her mother lived in genteel poverty for most of her childhood, exiled from court because of her mother’s dislike of her uncles, George IV and William IV. A strong, willful child, Victoria was determined not to be stifled by her powerful uncles or her unpopular, controlling mother. Then one morning, at the age of eighteen, Princess Victoria awoke to the news of her uncle William’s death. The almost-forgotten princess was now Queen of England. Even better, she was finally free of her mother’s iron hand and her uncles’ manipulations. Her first act as queen was to demand that she be given a room—and a bed—of her own.

Victoria’s marriage to her German cousin, Prince Albert, was a blissfully happy one that produced nine children. Albert was her constant companion and one of her most trusted advisors. Victoria’s grief after Prince Albert’s untimely death was so shattering that for the rest of her life—nearly forty years—she dressed only in black. She survived several assassination attempts, and during her reign England’s empire expanded around the globe until it touched every continent in the world.

Derided as a mere “girl queen” at her coronation, by the end of her sixty-four-year reign, Victoria embodied the glory of the British Empire. In this novel, written as a “memoir” by Victoria herself, she emerges as truthful, sentimental, and essentially human—both a lovable woman and a great queen.
A young woman uncovers her family's dark secrets in this mystery and her connection to a famously cursed gemstone in this Victorian gothic thriller from an internationally bestselling author

To secure her inheritance, Jessica Clavering agrees to a marriage of convenience, but will her handsome new husband's desire for her ever surpass his obsession with a famously cursed opal?

Raised in the shadow of her family's financial ruin, Jessica has never felt as though she fit in. When her only friend, an elderly neighbor, offers her the chance at a new life, she's eager to take it. His only condition: she must marry her son, Joss.

The newlyweds inherit a fabled opal mine in Australia. It's only once they arrive on the faraway continent that Jessica starts to uncover her family's dark past and her connection to the Green Flash, an exquisite and spellbinding opal. The stone arouses a dangerous desire in anyone who sees it-even her husband.

Blending historical romance with elements of the paranormal, The Pride of the Peacock is an exhilarating tale from the Queen of Gothic Romance. Fans of Susanna Kearsley, Daphne Du Maurier, and Kate Morton will be spellbound by classic story of an overseas voyage, a cursed opal, and forbidden desire.

Other Titles from Victoria Holt
The India Fan: Drusilla's glamorous neighbors gift her a priceless family heirloom-a beautiful fans with a terrible curse
The Shivering Sands: Caroline Verlaine's sister has gone missing and no one can tell her why. The only option is to go where Roma was last seen-an estate with a deadly history.
The Time of the Hunter's Moon: According to legend, a girl will see her future husband at the time of the hunter's moon. But when the handsome stranger revealed to Cordelia Grant disappears after an all-too-brief encounter, she has to wonder: Was he merely an apparition...or something more?

What readers are saying about The Pride of the Peacock

"The heroine is adventurous, the hero is brooding, and the twists and turns of the story are unexpected, culminating in a surprise but satisfying ending."

"It's suspenseful, full of relationship tales, uplifting, and I had a hard time putting it down!"

"I couldn't put it down. The twist at the end is surprising and reminiscent of Agatha Christie's style. Definitely a classic."

"One of Holt's best books."

"I loved this book. I have read it over and over again-along with every novel ever written by Victoria Holt!"

What reviewers are saying about The Pride of the Peacock

"The mysteries drew me in and kept me guessing right up to the end..."-The Good, the Bad, and the Unread

"This is just story telling at its finest."-Romancing the Book

What everyone is saying about the Queen of Gothic Romance Victoria Holt

"Victoria Holt's writing is captivating"-Bookfoolery

"She spins history with romance and intrigue and always leaves me wanting more."

"Holt's stories are spell binding....page turners."

"I love her books! I have read all of them again and again. She is a wonderful storyteller."

"One of the supreme writers of gothic romance, a compelling storyteller whose gripping novelshave thrilled millions."-RT Book Reviews

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Additional Information

Publisher
Broadway Books
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Published on
Jan 24, 2006
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Pages
480
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ISBN
9780307345394
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Biographical
Fiction / Historical / General
Fiction / Sagas
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Following the tremendous success of her first novel, Innocent Traitor, which recounted the riveting tale of the doomed Lady Jane Grey, acclaimed historian and New York Times bestselling author Alison Weir turns her masterly storytelling skills to the early life of young Elizabeth Tudor, who would grow up to become England’s most intriguing and powerful queen.

Even at age two, Elizabeth is keenly aware that people in the court of her father, King Henry VIII, have stopped referring to her as “Lady Princess” and now call her “the Lady Elizabeth.” Before she is three, she learns of the tragic fate that has befallen her mother, the enigmatic and seductive Anne Boleyn, and that she herself has been declared illegitimate, an injustice that will haunt her.

What comes next is a succession of stepmothers, bringing with them glimpses of love, fleeting security, tempestuous conflict, and tragedy. The death of her father puts the teenage Elizabeth in greater peril, leaving her at the mercy of ambitious and unscrupulous men. Like her mother two decades earlier she is imprisoned in the Tower of London—and fears she will also meet her mother’s grisly end. Power-driven politics, private scandal and public gossip, a disputed succession, and the grievous example of her sister, “Bloody” Queen Mary, all cement Elizabeth’s resolve in matters of statecraft and love, and set the stage for her transformation into the iconic Virgin Queen.

Alison Weir uses her deft talents as historian and novelist to exquisitely and suspensefully play out the conflicts between family, politics, religion, and conscience that came to define an age. Sweeping in scope, The Lady Elizabeth is a fascinating portrayal of a woman far ahead of her time—an orphaned girl haunted by the shadow of the axe, an independent spirit who must use her cunning and wits for her very survival, and a future queen whose dangerous and dramatic path to the throne shapes her future greatness.

BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Alison Weir's Mary Boleyn.
Dangerous court intrigue and affairs of the heart collide as renowned novelist Jean Plaidy tells the story of Katherine Parr, the last of Henry VIII’s six queens.

Henry VIII’s fifth wife, Katherine Howard, was both foolish and unfaithful, and she paid for it with her life. Henry vowed that his sixth wife would be different, and she was. Katherine Parr was twice widowed and thirty-one years old. A thoughtful, well-read lady, she was known at court for her unblemished reputation and her kind heart. She had hoped to marry for love and had set her heart on Thomas Seymour, the dashing brother of Henry’s third queen. But the aging king—more in need of a nurse than a wife—was drawn to her, and Katherine could not refuse his proposal of marriage.

Queen Katherine was able to soothe the King’s notorious temper, and his three children grew fond of her, the only mother they had ever really known. Trapped in a loveless marriage to a volatile tyrant, books were Katherine’s consolation. But among her intellectual pursuits was an interest in Lutheranism—a religion that the king saw as a threat to his supremacy as head of the new Church of England. Courtiers envious of the Queen’s influence over Henry sought to destroy her by linking her with the “radical” religious reformers. Henry raged that Katherine had betrayed him, and had a warrant drawn up for her arrest and imprisonment. At court it was whispered that the king would soon execute yet another wife. Henry’s sixth wife would have to rely on her wits to survive where two other women had perished. . . .


From the Trade Paperback edition.
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