Step into Englands history
Vikings to Virgin
In history, to be an English king and to be murdered was no more than a hazard of the job and there has been a vast number of kings where this has actually been the case. The story of the kings and queens of England is a wonderful drama, and many were not averse to the odd assassination or two by poisoning, starving, burning, imprisonment and an old favourite, beheading. Many have died 'under suspicious circumstances' because the entire truth will never be fully known.
There were some monarchs who ruled for years and there were some who ruled for only a few months. There were also some who should never have ruled at all. Yet this group shares one thing in common. In their own lifetimes, they were the most powerful and brutal individuals in the land. Their stories span for fifteen hundred years, full of lust, betrayal, heroism, murder, cruelty and mysteries.
This is the first book in a trilogy covering the Vikings, Normans, Plantagenets, Lancasters, Yorks and Tudors. It begins with a race of people who were struggling to survive and finishes with a comet blazing across the London sky heralding the end of Bloody Mary's reign.
Virgin to Victoria
After the death of her sister, 'Bloody Mary', England had high hopes for Elizabeth when she came to the throne. The 25-year-old ascended the throne as the third queen to rule in her own right and she attended her first council exuding an air of quiet confidence, even though she was inheriting a bankrupt nation torn apart by religious discord. It was chaotic.
Despite her amazing legacy and despite what her father, Henry VIII, had desired above all else, Elizabeth failed England in one vital point. She never married and did not leave an heir to the Tudor dynasty. By making that one fateful decision, she left the path open for the arrogant Stuarts in Scotland to take over and life would never be the same.
'Virgin to Victoria' travels in time through Elizabeth's amazing life, through the confusion of the Stuart dynasty, through the devastation of a Civil War led by Oliver Cromwell, through battles for the throne and through the turbulent and discordant Hanover dynasty with their intricate family squabbles.
Queen Victoria did not ask to be Queen. It was thrust upon her by the accident of birth and then by a succession of accidents that removed all others who stood between her and the throne. She assumed it reluctantly and, at first, incompetently. Parliament was sure the 18-year-old could be relied upon to leave the job of running the country to the professionals.
Victoria to Vikings
At the heart of our present are the stories of our past. In ages gone by, many monarchs died while they were still young. There were battles and diseases and many were simply overthrown. But the days of regal engagement in hand-to-hand combat are over and the line of succession has a good ageing prospect these days.
One of the most famous monarchs in history is Queen Victoria and her passing brought an end to an amazing era. She could be demanding, rude and frequently fled public duties for the solitude of Scotland. But she loved fiercely and her people loved her in return. Under her reign, England achieved a greatness it had never known before.
'Victoria to Vikings' spans from this great queen to another one - Queen Elizabeth II. Ours is the era of the longest living monarch in history and her ancestry is incredible. But walking two steps behind her, stalwart and loyal, stands Prince Philip, the strawberry to her champagne, and with him comes his own amazing Viking heritage.