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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Off With Their Heads! - Books of Last Days

Sometimes you just want to read a book that is about a small segment of someone's life. In this case, the last days of someone. Here is a list of books that cover the last period of our historical figures lives or relate to them in some way. I haven't read most of these, so don't hold me to it. If you have any other suggestions, please let me know!

The Lady in the Tower: The Fall of Anne Boleyn by Alison Weir – NF examines the last 4 months of her life

The Lady in the Tower by Jean Plaidy – Anne looking back on her life while in the Tower

The Rose Without a Thorn by Jean Plaidy – Katherine looking back on her life while in Tower

The Captive Queen of Scots by Jean Plaidy – the life of Mary from captivity in Lochleven castle until the end

The Trial of Mary Queen of Scots: A Brief History with Documents by Jayne Elizabeth Lewis – NF focuses on the treason trial and execution of Mary

The Road from Versailles: Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, and the Fall of the French Monarchy by Munro Price – NF examines politics of the Revolution and the family’s failed attempt to escape France

Flaunting Extravagant Queen by Jean Plaidy – follows Marie Antoinette from her marriage to her death

Nine Days a Queen: The Short Life and Reign of Lady Jane Grey by Ann Rinaldi – YA – Jane retells her tale from beyond the grave

A Coffin for King Charles: The Trial and Execution of Charles I by C. V. Wedgewood – NF – Trial and execution

The Trial of Charles I: A Documentary History by David Lagomarsino – NF – Documentary account and first hand retelling of trial

The King’s Trial: Louis XVI vs. The French Revolution by David P. Jordan – NF – looks at Louis XVI from when he surrenders his crown until his execution

Regicide and Revolution: Speeches at the Trial of Louis XVI by Michael Walzer – NF – speeches

Copyright © 2010 by The Maiden’s Court


  1. I'm not morbid, but I like to read about the last days of a historical person. There's a special sort of honesty and opennes present in such novels and that is what I appreciate. Everything seems more poignant. You made a great list. I know all of the novels from the list, but I have only read "The Captive Queen of Scots" by Plaidy. I really need to find more time for these historical novels.

  2. Irena - I own a few of these, but I think the only one I have read is The Rose Without A Thorn by Jean Plaidy. Sometimes I think you learn the most about a person when they don't have anything more to lose.

  3. I have read Rinaldi's NINE DAYS A QUEEN. It is well done and suitable for anyone. Since it is for the younger set, many of the issues aren't explored in depth. They are covered and explained well enough. I like the details of her everyday life.
    She was just a child used by everyone around her for their own purposes and advancement. I don't think she had much say about any of the paths her life took. She was just kind of pushed or pulled wherever they wanted her.

  4. Library Pat - I love Rinaldi's works! I read so many of them when I was in high school but I think Nine Days a Queen came out after. I'm glad to hear that it was a good book - at least it gives the younger crowd a start on what happened.


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