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British Royal Family Fiction

The Uncommon ReaderPrince George of Cambridge was born July 22nd, 2013. He is a great-grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II. Following his grandfather, Prince Charles, and father, Prince William, he is third in the line of succession to the British throne. The birth of the future king created excitement and jubilation in England and renewed interest in the British Monarchy throughout the world.

While the library has several nonfiction titles pertaining to Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, Lady Diana, the Duchess of York and other members of British Royal Family, see below for several fiction novels that include members of the British Monarchy, both past and present.

 

 


The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
British screenwriter and novelist Bennett has written a wry and unusual story about the subversive potential of reading. Bennett posits a theoretical situation in which Queen Elizabeth II becomes an avid reader, and the new ideas she thus encounters change the way she thinks and reigns. Coming upon a traveling library near Buckingham Palace, Elizabeth, who almost never reads, decides to take a look. Mostly out of politeness, she begins to borrow from the library via a kitchen page. As she begins to view reading as her "duty," a way "to find out what people are like," she is exposed to  sophisticated books and ideas that criticize society. (summary provided by Library Journal)

 

Mrs. Queen Takes the Train by William Kuhn
One day after lunch, Queen Elizabeth II breaks routine and disappears, the only clues to her whereabouts a Scottish railway timetable on her computer screen and a cheddar cheese. The queen has been feeling a bit depressed and she goes to the Mews to see her favorite horse. Next, she makes her way to a shop in Jermyn Street, where the horse's favorite cheese is sold. Then she boards a train for Edinburgh to pay a visit to the former royal yacht Britannia, a reminder of happier days. The idea of the queen wandering about on her own would constitute an emergency, so her dresser, her butler, a lady-in-waiting, and an equerry all follow after her, hoping to shield her from the press. (summary provided by Booklist)


Wolf Hall by Hilary Mandel
Mantel fictionalizes the life and times of Thomas Cromwell, crafty architect of Henry VIII's annulment from Catherine of Aragon, the execution of Sir Thomas Moore, Henry's schism with the Church of Rome, and the Reformation. Delving deeply into the psychology of the man behind the throne, she paints a portrait of a brilliant schemer, bullied by his blacksmith father determined to rise above his circumstances by dint of his own wits and the strength of his own resolve. Mantel's Cromwell is not an unsympathetic character; in fact, readers will be surprised that he is presented in a far more favorable light than the sainted Thomas Moore. (summary provided by Booklist)

 

Innocent Traitor by Alison Weir
Weir makes her historical fiction debut with this novel set in the time of Henry VIII. Weir's heroine is Lady Jane Grey, whose ascension to the English throne was briefly and unluckily promoted by opponents of Henry's Catholic heir, Mary. As Weir tells it, Jane's parents, the Marquess and Marchioness of Dorset, groom her from infancy to be the perfect consort for Henry's son, Prince Edward, entrusting their daughter to a nurse's care while they attend to affairs at court. Jane relishes lessons in music, philosophy and literature, but struggles to master courtly manners as her mother demands. Not even the beheadings of Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard deter parental ambition. (summary provided by Publisher's Weekly)

 

A Rescue for a QueenA Rescue For a Queen by Fiona Buckley
Ursula Blanchard, reluctant spy and loyal lady-in-waiting to her half sister, Queen Elizabeth I, returns in a new adventure steeped in personal and political intrigue. The recently widowed Ursula travels the Continent, escorting her ward to the Netherlands to meet a potential suitor. Of course, the queen's wily spymaster, Sir William Cecil, is quick to get involved, commissioning Ursula to investigate banker Roberto Ridolfi, a relative of the would-be groom. As is usually the case, the specter of Elizabeth's rival, Mary, Queen of Scots, hovers in the background, and Ursula's old nemesis, the exiled Countess of Northumberland, rears her spiteful head. (summary provided by Booklist)

 

I, ElizabethI, Elizabeth by Rosalind Miles
Publicly declared a bastard at the age of three, daughter of a disgraced and executed mother, last in the line of succession to the throne of England, Elizabeth I inherited an England ravaged by bloody religious conflict, at war with Spain and France, and badly in debt. When she died in 1603, after a forty-five- year reign, her empire spanned two continents and was united under one church, victorious in war, and blessed with an overflowing treasury. What's more, her favorites--William Shakespeare, Sir Francis Drake, and Sir Walter Raleigh--had made the Elizabethan era a cultural Golden Age still remembered today. But for Elizabeth the woman, tragedy went hand in hand with triumph.

 

The Constant PrincessThe Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory
As youngest daughter to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, Catalina, princess of Wales and of Spain, was promised to the English Prince Arthur when she was three. She leaves Spain at 15 to fulfill her destiny as queen of England, where she finds true love with Arthur (after some initial sourness) as they plot the future of their kingdom together. Arthur dies young, however, leaving Catalina a widow and ineligible for the throne. Before his death, he extracts a promise from his wife to marry his younger brother Henry in order to become queen anyway, have children and rule as they had planned, a situation that can only be if Catalina denies that Arthur was ever her lover. (summary provided by Publisher's Weekly)

 

Royal EscapeRoyal Escape by Georgette Heyer
A considerable amount of research went into this story about Charles II, who had been smuggled to safety in France as a young boy. In 1650, the young man returns to Scotland and attempts to forge an alliance with Presbyterian Covenant forces to reclaim his father's throne. All his plans come to ruin in 1651, when the Scottish army is defeated at the Battle of Worcester by the English under Oliver Cromwell. Charles, disguised as a servant, is forced to flee for his life and spends 40 days roaming the English countryside in search of a way to get back to France. (summary provided by Library Journal)