“These Are a Few of my Favorite Things: 5 of my favorite novels I’d recommend in a heartbeat. 

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Slammerkin by Emma Donoghue.

This novel is my all time favorite for many reasons. It’s got everything I look for in a novel! Sex, murder, intrigue… it’s not a happy story,  then again I love to read and write unhappy things.

Our main character, Mary is not likable and that’s what I love about her. She’s constantly messing up even when she has a light at the end of the tunnel and a chance to redeem herself. Mary is so young when the events of the novel take place and one could attribute her troubles to her age but in truth, she is an arrogant, greedy girl.

The novel is set in London and on the outskirts of the city. It discusses prostitution and the struggles of the lower class.

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The Wideacre Trilogy by Philippa Gregory.

Move over The Other Boleyn Girl, Gregory’s debut novel is one to pick up and not miss!

As with Slammerkin, the wiseacre trilogy discusses sensitive subjects such as incest, murder, and the occult. It’s a fabulously told tale which keeps you on the edge of your seat. The main character is Beatrice Lacey and once again we have an unlovable protagonist. She’s greedy and vain yet you can’t stop reading. Beatrice, like Mary from slammerkin, had a chance to redeem herself but she does not and only continues her behavior.

This leads to a series of events crashing down around herself and others. It’s a great read and if you can stomach raunchy incest sex scenes then it’s definitely worth your time.

 

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Leonardo’s Swans by Karen Essex

This novel was one I picked up on a whim and ended up loving. The two women featured, Isabella and Beatrice are as different as two sisters can be. Their rivalry is marked by marriage and although the sisters both make great marriages there is more to be had. Jealousy, adultery, love and more fill the pages of this historical fiction novel.

 

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Cleopatra’s Daughter Series by  Stephanie Dray

This series surprised me a lot. At first, I thought it a young adult book but by the time I got to the third novel I was definitely convinced it was not.

Octavian’s obsession with Selene is the center I would say of the novel. There is so much sexual tension between them and to some, this could be a trigger as she is so young.

I believe it is a great series and for those who love Cleopatra, this insight into her daughter is worth the read!

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The Borgia Bride by Jeanne Kalogridis

If you know anything about the Borgias you know that a novel about them will be raunchy as hell and fun to read. In this novel, our main character is Sancha of Aragon. Most books I have read are from Lucrezia’s perspective so this was a breath of fresh air. I enjoyed her loveless marriage to Joffre and affair with Cesare. Sancha has relations with all three brothers. In real life, this was said to be true.

This novel has a lot of sex. Rape and underage included. It contains boatloads of adultery and murder so definitely not for the faint of heart. I think I finished it in a day. It’s a pretty quick read which keeps you interested the whole time cause you feel like you need to continue to the end of this fascinating woman’s life.

 

 

Honorable Mentions

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The Wise Woman By Philippa Gregory

A riveting tale of witchcraft and lust…

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Duchess of Milan By Michael Ennis

Cousin rivalry, sexual intrigue and more…

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Empress of Rome Series By Kate Quinn

Ancient Rome at its finest with corrupt Emperors…

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Diaries of the Family Dracula By Jeanne Kalogridis

The story behind the Dracula family descendants.

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The Lost Queen By Norah Lofts

George III’s sister Caroline and her disastrous marriage to Christain of Denmark.

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The Prince and the Quakeress By Jean Plaidy

George III and Hannah Lightfoot. A person favorite and basis for what I wrote my novel on.

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The Russian Concubine series By Kate Furnivall

A Russian woman and Chinese man fall hopelessly in love despite the events going on around them.

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Empress Orchid and The Last Empress by Anchee Min

Cixi from minor concubine to Empress…

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Four Sisters All Queens by Sherry Jones

The four sisters of Provance have their voices heard in this gripping novel…

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The Dark Queen Series by Susan Carroll

Catherine de Medici and her flying squad of witchcraft and poison center around this long series of sisters.

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Roma by Steven Saylor

Short story collection of Roman families from the start to the fall…

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Nefertiti by Michelle Moran

The beautiful Egyptian queen comes to life…

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Katherine by Anya Seton

Mistress and wife?

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The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

An exciting biblical refering novel about Dinah, daughter of Jacob and Leah.

“Bound to Serve and Obey” A List of Ten Royal Daughters You Probably Didn’t Read About in a Textbook. 

Within The King’s Secret Daughter,  we explore the possibility of George III’s illegitimate daughter, but what about other daughters of history? In this segment, I will discuss ten daughters of royalty who, like Anna, rebelled against society.
 

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1. Cleopatra Selene

40BC -6BC

As they only daughter of Cleopatra, Selene was quite a prize in Rome after the fall of Egypt. She was take in by her father’s ex-wife Octavia and raised within her household. Selene was eventually married to a king herself. Juba II was granted Mauritania where the royal couple reigned and Selene birthed two children. It is unknown exactly when she died but her husband took another wife around 6BC so this is widely accepted. Selene is the only known descendant of Cleopatra to have an issue, therefore making her an important figure on her own.

 

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2. Julia the Elder 

39BCE-14CE

Julia was the only child of Augustus, Emperor of Rome. She was forced to marry three times and conducted many love affairs. She was headstrong and within her descendants, she includes many Roman emperors. Her scandals and intelligence mark her as one of the great women of Rome at the time.

 

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3. Alys of France 

1160-1220

Alys was the daughter of Louis VII of France and his second wife Constance of Castile. At a time she was contracted to marry Richard, son of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine. Eleanor was the first wife of Alys father making this marriage arrangement all the stranger. Alys was brought to the English court but instead of marrying Richard, she found herself under the spell of his father Henry II. This angered her father and she was promptly married off to a lesser man since she was now unacceptable for a Prince. It is said she bore children from the king but is still yet to be proven.

 

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4. Margaret Tudor 

1489-1541

As the daughter of Henry VII, it was Margaret’s role to help her father secure the newly founded Tudor dynasty. Her marriage with James IV  of Scotland would do just this. She was a child geode but managed to bear James an heir. He does while she was still young and Margaret contracted into a scandalous marriage with Archibald Douglass who betrayed her. She divorced him and remarried to Henry Stewart, but this marriage proved unhappy also. When Margaret died, she left behind her son who was the father of the famous Mary queen of scots. Mary’s son would become the first king of both Scotland and England, uniting the land forever.

 

 

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5. Elisabeth of Valois 

1545-1568

Elisabeth was the daughter of the notorious Catherine de Medici and Henry II of France. She was married off young to Phillip II of Spain and became his third wife. She bore him two children before dying at the tender age of twenty-three. It was said that their match was a love match and Phillip was so distraught at her death he almost did not get remarried. During their marriage, he gave up his mistresses and focused on her. Due to her death of smallpox at a young age, we will never know how she would have made an impact on Spain it’s growing tensions through the world.

 

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6. Jahanara Begun

1614-1681

Jahanara was the eldest and most favored daughter of Shah Jahan and his favorite wife Mumtaz Mahal. After her mother died, Jahanara became the first woman of the court. During the war of succession, she stood by her brother Dara Shikoh until his defeat. She eventually supported Aurangzeb who would be the one to succeed his father. Jahanara was her father’s caretaker until his death. She never married. Considered very beautiful, she was badly burnt in a fire in 1644 leaving her slightly disfigured. She held power both within her father and brothers making her the most powerful woman in India.

 

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7. Elizabeth Queen of Bohemia 

1596-1662
Elizabeth was the daughter of James I of England. She was married to Fredrick v elector of Palatine. Through her daughter Sophie, she is the grandmother of George I of England making her a key figure in England’s history.

 

 

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8. Henrietta Duchess of Orleans 

1644-1670

The daughter of Charles I and sister of Charles II, Henrietta lived through the regicide of her father and restoration of her older brother. Minette, she was lovingly called, fled to France with her mother and eventually married king Louis Xiv’s brother Phillipe Duke of Orleans. Her mother wanted her to marry Loud and on truth, it would have been better for them both. loud soon caught himself in love with his brother’s wife and she is said to have become his lover. Phillipe was a known homosexual, and although he and his wife had an issue, it is known during her short life he neglected her greatly. Henrietta proved to be a skilled diplomat between Loud and her brother. Unfortunately, before anything was set in stone she died leaving her brother heartbroken.

 

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9. Caroline Mathilda
1751-1775

Caroline was the daughter of the prince of wales and brother of George III. Her grandfather was George II. She was married young to Christian VII of Denmark who was mad. She dutifully gave birth to two children but took a lover Doctor Johann Struensee. This resulted in his death and her divorce from Christian. Caroline was banished and imprisoned for the rest of her life. She died at the age of twenty-three only a small time into her sentence.

 

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10. Princess Sophia of Great Britain

1777-1848

Sophia was the daughter of George III and his queen Charlotte. George was close to his daughters and did not allow them to marry. It is said that Sophia gave birth to a son by Thomas Garth. A lowly born man. It is said she visited the boy secretly. She grew up and never married, eventually becoming blind.

 

To read more on daughters of King’s be sure to check out The King’s Secret Daughter by K.M. Ellis