90 books like The Quest for Queen Mary

By James Pope-Hennessey,

Here are 90 books that The Quest for Queen Mary fans have personally recommended if you like The Quest for Queen Mary. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Queen: A Biography of Elizabeth II

William Kuhn Author Of Mrs Queen Takes the Train

From my list on the modern British monarchy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an American who was taken by his parents to live in England for a year when he was a kid of eleven. The accents? The traditions? The school uniforms? All the traffic tangled up for a day because the Queen was riding to the State Opening of Parliament? It frightened me. It repelled me. I ended up loving it. I wrote my PhD thesis on the Victorian monarchy. A substantial part of all three of my first nonfiction books are about it. My novel on the current Queen of England has been a bestseller. It’s all about setting out to master what first strikes you as incomprehensible.

William's book list on the modern British monarchy

William Kuhn Why did William love this book?

This is another biography of the current queen that shows how the monarchy works. It differs from Sarah Bradford’s biography. Pimlott was a historical expert on the labour party during the twentieth century. He brought to his book all the skepticism about the crown that people on the political left traditionally have in Britain. Perhaps surprisingly, then, he comes out admiring Elizabeth II. He sticks much more narrowly than Bradford does to political crises in which the queen had some noted or decisive influence.

By Ben Pimlott,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Queen as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"There will be no better biography of Elizabeth II as a figure of state until her official one appears-and perhaps not even then."-The Independent. "One of the many merits of Ben Pimlott's superbly judicious biography of Elizabeth II is that it understands this connection between monarchy and masses, and carefully evokes its political importance."-The New York Times Book Review. "The best all-around study of the Queen so far, showing understanding as well as amused irony."-Sunday Telegraph. Written by Ben Pimlott, considered Britain's most respected political biographer, The Queen brings us the most authentic life yet of the reigning monarch. For…


Book cover of Elizabeth: A Biography of Britain's Queen

William Kuhn Author Of Mrs Queen Takes the Train

From my list on the modern British monarchy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an American who was taken by his parents to live in England for a year when he was a kid of eleven. The accents? The traditions? The school uniforms? All the traffic tangled up for a day because the Queen was riding to the State Opening of Parliament? It frightened me. It repelled me. I ended up loving it. I wrote my PhD thesis on the Victorian monarchy. A substantial part of all three of my first nonfiction books are about it. My novel on the current Queen of England has been a bestseller. It’s all about setting out to master what first strikes you as incomprehensible.

William's book list on the modern British monarchy

William Kuhn Why did William love this book?

In the guise of a biography of the current queen, this is one of the best books on the modern British monarchy as an institution. Sarah Bradford talked to all the palace insiders, an amazing feat given how touchy and protective everyone around the queen is. Bradford has the best sense of the strengths of the current queen and her weaknesses.  Because Elizabeth II is now the longest-reigning monarch in British history, she epitomizes most of the advantages and disadvantages of the institution in her own single lifetime.  You will find out which of the episodes from Netflix’s The Crown are all made up, and which are close to the truth.

By Sarah Bradford,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Elizabeth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A court insider's portrait of Elizabeth II and her eventful and turbulent reign journeys beyond the facade of Buckingham Palace to answer questions about the scandal-ridden royals, relationships among members of her family, her personal beliefs, and future prospects for the House of Windsor. Tour.


Book cover of The Diana Chronicles

William Kuhn Author Of Mrs Queen Takes the Train

From my list on the modern British monarchy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an American who was taken by his parents to live in England for a year when he was a kid of eleven. The accents? The traditions? The school uniforms? All the traffic tangled up for a day because the Queen was riding to the State Opening of Parliament? It frightened me. It repelled me. I ended up loving it. I wrote my PhD thesis on the Victorian monarchy. A substantial part of all three of my first nonfiction books are about it. My novel on the current Queen of England has been a bestseller. It’s all about setting out to master what first strikes you as incomprehensible.

William's book list on the modern British monarchy

William Kuhn Why did William love this book?

This is a third book which appears to be a biographical account of Diana Spencer’s life in the royal family. It really focuses on the interaction between the monarchy and the press. The two are in a relationship that is sometimes acrimonious and sometimes symbiotic. It’s impossible to understand how the media establishment and the monarchy function without reading Brown’s book. She was herself the editor of major magazines on both continents. For a while, she ran Vanity Fair and later The Daily Beast. She was married to a prominent newspaperman who held prominent roles in London and New York. She knows what she’s talking about.

By Tina Brown,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Diana Chronicles as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

_____________________________________________
The 20th Anniversary Edition of Tina Brown's definitive behind-the-scenes insight into the life of Diana Princess of Wales, as depicted in the hit Netflix series The Crown, with a brand new introduction by Andrew Marr.
_____________________________________________
More than twenty years after her death, Princess Diana remains a mystery. Was she "the people's princess," who electrified the world with her beauty and humanitarian missions? Or was she a manipulative, media-savvy neurotic who nearly brought down the monarchy?

In this commemorative edition, which includes a new introduction by Andrew Marr, The Diana Chronicles parts the curtains on Diana's troubled time in…


Book cover of Royal Bounty: The Making of a Welfare Monarchy

William Kuhn Author Of Mrs Queen Takes the Train

From my list on the modern British monarchy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an American who was taken by his parents to live in England for a year when he was a kid of eleven. The accents? The traditions? The school uniforms? All the traffic tangled up for a day because the Queen was riding to the State Opening of Parliament? It frightened me. It repelled me. I ended up loving it. I wrote my PhD thesis on the Victorian monarchy. A substantial part of all three of my first nonfiction books are about it. My novel on the current Queen of England has been a bestseller. It’s all about setting out to master what first strikes you as incomprehensible.

William's book list on the modern British monarchy

William Kuhn Why did William love this book?

This is the first history that details how the late nineteenth-century monarchy became an engine of philanthropy. As kings and queens were sidelined, or reduced to insignificance, in political transactions, they increased their role in assisting non-profit institutions that contributed to the public good. They gave their patronage, for example, to hospitals, veterans’ associations, and civic charities. This gave the royal family an outsized influence in the do-good world, and this itself increased the respect in which the monarchy was held by people of all parties. Frank Prochaska is an American historian of Great Britain, so he brings a healthy objectivity to literature about royalty that is sometimes too credulous and deferential.

By Frank Prochaska,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Royal Bounty as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As the constitutional importance of the monarchy has declined, the British royal family has forged a new and popular role for itself as patron, promoter, and fund-raiser for the underprivileged and the deserving. This book-the first to study the evolution of the "welfare monarchy"-tells the story of the royal family's charitable and social work from the eighteenth century to the present.

Drawing on previously unused material from the Royal Archives, Frank Prochaska shows that the monarchy's welfare work has raised its prestige and reaffirmed its importance at the same time that it has brought vitality and success to a vast…


Book cover of Queen Mary

Robert Lacey Author Of Majesty: Elizabeth II and the House of Windsor

From my list on about the Queen.

Why am I passionate about this?

Robert Lacey is credited with changing the way that people read and write about the British monarchy. In 1977 his tell-it-how-it-is Majesty: Elizabeth II and the House of Windsor overturned the clichés of the traditional ‘royal book’, hitherto the preserve of ex-nannies and obsequious court correspondents. As a Cambridge-trained historian of the first Elizabethan age – his biographies Robert, Earl of Essex and Sir Walter Ralegh won critical acclaim – the young journalist added the investigative techniques of his work on the Sunday Times to portray the monarchy in a fresh and analytical fashion. Robert is today Historical Consultant to the Netflix TV series The Crown.

Robert's book list on about the Queen

Robert Lacey Why did Robert love this book?

The wittiest of royal biographers, James Pope-Hennessy listed the three consuming passions of Queen Mary (1867-1953) as the British Monarchy, Windsor Castle, and collecting dolls’ house furniture. She was also dedicated to the coaching of her granddaughter Elizabeth as a future Queen. The old Queen’s excursions with the "Little Princesses," Elizabeth and Margaret, to London’s art galleries and museums, were the closest the two girls came to serious education. So read this book if you want to understand Elizabeth II as a child. It remains possible to detect Queen Mary’s reserve and occasional severity in the dutiful style of her eldest granddaughter to this day.  

By James Pope-Hennessy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Queen Mary as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The official biography of Queen Mary, grandmother of the current Queen, originally commissioned in 1959 - with a new foreword by Hugo Vickers.

When Queen Mary died in 1953, James Pope-Hennessy was commissioned to write an official biography of her - unusual for a Queen Consort. Queen Mary's life, contrary to popular belief, was essentially dramatic, and she played a far more important and influential role in the affairs of the British monarchy than her public image might have otherwise suggested. Using material from the Royal Archives, private papers and Queen Mary's personal diaries and letters, Pope-Hennessy's biography was a…


Book cover of The Last Queen: Elizabeth II's Seventy Year Battle to Save the House of Windsor

Robert Lacey Author Of Majesty: Elizabeth II and the House of Windsor

From my list on about the Queen.

Why am I passionate about this?

Robert Lacey is credited with changing the way that people read and write about the British monarchy. In 1977 his tell-it-how-it-is Majesty: Elizabeth II and the House of Windsor overturned the clichés of the traditional ‘royal book’, hitherto the preserve of ex-nannies and obsequious court correspondents. As a Cambridge-trained historian of the first Elizabethan age – his biographies Robert, Earl of Essex and Sir Walter Ralegh won critical acclaim – the young journalist added the investigative techniques of his work on the Sunday Times to portray the monarchy in a fresh and analytical fashion. Robert is today Historical Consultant to the Netflix TV series The Crown.

Robert's book list on about the Queen

Robert Lacey Why did Robert love this book?

From the Windsors’ Nazi leanings in the 1930s to the perceived chilliness of the royal family following the death of Diana in 1997, Clive Irving chronicles every detail in this analysis of the modern monarchy – while never losing respect for its most adroit exponent, Queen Elizabeth II. As founder of the renowned Insight team of the London Sunday Times that exposed Profumo and Philby, Irving directs his sharpest focus on the Crown’s relations with the tabloid media. But his book went to publication prior to the horse-loving Queen’s humorous reaction to Harry and Meghan’s notorious 2021 encounter with Oprah Winfrey – Her Majesty named her fastest new racing foal “Interview”. 

By Clive Irving,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Last Queen as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A timely and revelatory new biography of Queen Elizabeth (and her family) exploring how the Windsors have evolved and thrived, as the modern world has changed around them.

 Clive Irving’s stunning new narrative biography The Last Queen probes the question of the British monarchy’s longevity.  In 2021, the Queen Elizabeth II finally appears to be at ease in the modern world, helped by the new generation of Windsors. But through Irving’s unique insight there emerges a more fragile institution, whose extraordinarily dutiful matriarch has managed to persevere with dignity, yet in doing so made a Faustian pact with the media.…


Book cover of The Temptation of Elizabeth Tudor: Elizabeth I, Thomas Seymour, and the Making of a Virgin Queen

Sylvia Barbara Soberton Author Of Ladies-in-Waiting: Women Who Served Anne Boleyn

From my list on by Tudor historians.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an author, researcher, and historian writing about Tudor women. As a woman myself, I’m naturally interested in what life was like for those who came before me, and I’m very passionate about writing the lesser-known, forgotten women back into the historical narrative of the period. We all know about Henry VIII’s six wives, his sisters, and daughters, but there were other women at the Tudor court whose stories are no less fascinating.

Sylvia's book list on by Tudor historians

Sylvia Barbara Soberton Why did Sylvia love this book?

I love everything by Elizabeth Norton, but this book is one of my all-time favourites.

It tells the story of Elizabeth I’s life before she became queen; the spotlight is on her short stay in the household of Katherine Parr and Thomas Seymour. Fast-paced and evocative, it reads like a thriller.

It’s a narrative based on primary source material, printed and archival, describing the events between Henry VIII’s death in January 1547 and Thomas Seymour’s execution in March 1549.

This book is a lesson in how to create an immersive historical narrative while staying true to the primary sources. An inspiration.

By Elizabeth Norton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Temptation of Elizabeth Tudor as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

England, late 1547. King Henry VIII Is dead. His fourteen-year-old daughter Elizabeth is living with the king's widow, Catherine Parr, and her new husband, Thomas Seymour. Seymour is the brother of Henry VIII's third wife, the late Jane Seymour, who was the mother to the now-ailing boy King. Ambitious and dangerous, Seymour begins and overt flirtation with Elizabeth that ends with Catherine sending her away. When Catherine dies a year later and Seymour is arrested for treason soon after, a scandal explodes. Alone and in dreadful danger, Elizabeth is threatened by supporters of her half-sister, Mary, who wishes to see…


Book cover of Queen Victoria

Sue Woolmans Author Of The Assassination of the Archduke: Sarajevo 1914 and the Romance That Changed the World

From my list on 19th/20th century royal history.

Why am I passionate about this?

It’s not the dates or Acts of Parliament that inspire my love of history. It’s the people and their personalities - the Kings, Queens, Princes, and Princesses. They shape their times - but also build palaces, collect art, wear jewellery, patronise composers - it’s a far more wide-ranging subject than you would think. I have been studying, researching, and writing Royal history for many years - travelling the world to follow in the footsteps of Monarchs. Or in the case of my absolute history hero, Franz Ferdinand - weeping at the spot where he was assassinated - not just for him but for all who died in the First World War.

Sue's book list on 19th/20th century royal history

Sue Woolmans Why did Sue love this book?

This was the first Royal history book I ever read and it hooked me into the world of Queen Victoria and her descendants.

It is a classic, standard biography of Victoria - an excellent overview of her life as a woman in a man’s world, her marriage and her widowhood. Many biographies since have dissected various aspects of Victoria’s life without giving a good general telling of her story. But this is what Elizabeth Longford does - with a writing style that flows and is so so easy to read.

It is “warts and all” -  Victoria was not the easiest of characters, had steaming rows with Albert, was dictatorial as a mother, and a professional widow. I came away feeling as though I knew Victoria.

More importantly, this book made me want to find out more about her family, and royal history in general. It influenced me so much…

By Elizabeth Longford,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Queen Victoria as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'The truth was stranger than any of the fictions that have since been offered to explain her away'

Drawing upon Queen Victoria's previously unpublished journals, Elizabeth Longford's classic biography recalls the contrasts and curiosities of an earlier era with exquisite detail - and transforms the queen from a severe, time-worn effigy into a human being who loved, feared and fumed.

Longford probes the contradictions of a woman who wore a bonnet instead of a crown at her Golden Jubilee and yet was recognised always as both dignified and formidable. She chronicles both the Queen's public life and her emotional travails,…


Book cover of The Lady in the Tower: The Fall of Anne Boleyn

Natalia Richards Author Of The Falcon's Flight

From my list on Tudor that are informative and imaginative.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m Natalia Richards and I have written two novels on Anne Boleyn. My passion for Tudor stuff began over 50 years ago after watching the film Anne of the Thousand Days. I’d always loved the Tudors and by the 1980’s had a go at writing a novel about her. Sadly, it descended into a bodice ripper. It was a first try though, and I still have it if ever I want a good laugh. It took me until the new millennium to start seriously writing and I’m sure there is not a single book out there that I have not read about Anne! 

Natalia's book list on Tudor that are informative and imaginative

Natalia Richards Why did Natalia love this book?

I read this book many years ago as it covers the imprisonment and execution of Queen Anne Boleyn.

With its immense detail, it is one of the few books you need to read on this later period of Anne's life. Best of all, the author has reassessed the evidence and done away with romantic misconceptions. It is therefore an utterly reliable resource. The storytelling is superb, easy to read, and, again, hard to put down.

I return to it again and again for reference material but it still makes a gripping holiday read.

By Alison Weir,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Lady in the Tower as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Nearly five hundred years after her violent death, Anne Boleyn, second wife to Henry VIII, remains one of the world's most fascinating, controversial, and tragic heroines. Now acclaimed historian and bestselling author Alison Weir has drawn on myriad sources from the Tudor era to give us the first book that examines, in unprecedented depth, the gripping, dark, and chilling story of Anne Boleyn's final days.

The tempestuous love affair between Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn scandalized Christendom and altered forever the religious landscape of England. Anne's ascent from private gentlewoman to queen was astonishing, but equally compelling was her shockingly…


Book cover of The Life of Elizabeth I

Kevin O'Connell Author Of Bittersweet Tapestry

From my list on fascinating women of 16th and 18th century Europe.

Why am I passionate about this?

Whilst I was born in America, growing up in an old Irish family with a long history and a powerful sense of its past, I learnt a great deal of Irish, British, and European (especially French) history from an early age – proving valuable in both of my careers – one, as an international business lawyer, the other as a full-time writer of historical fiction. As a result of a “very Irish” numinous connection with the Gaelic poet, Eileen O’Connell, I frequently find myself drawn to books about strong, courageous, and memorable women – particularly those who lived in interesting times, such as the tumultuous days of Sixteenth and Eighteenth-Century Europe.  

Kevin's book list on fascinating women of 16th and 18th century Europe

Kevin O'Connell Why did Kevin love this book?

It’s wonderful to have the opportunity to recommend this particular work of Alison Weir. A brilliant historian, she – by means of both traditional, meticulously-researched biographies, as well as in her historical fiction offerings –  chronicles many aspects, and a number of personages of Tudor England in all of its – and their – colourfully untidy turbulence. 

Her account of Elizabeth I’s life is amongst her best. I especially appreciate the skillful way in which Weir continuously “introduces” the reader to Elizabeth, as the compelling figure she is – fascinatingly intricate, brilliant, and annoyingly contradictory. Just when one seems to understand her – Weir drops yet another paradox – as the reader learns that this supposedly staunchly Protestant daughter of Henry VIII maintained most aspects of orthodox Roman Catholic practices – including a crucifix – in her private chapel royal.

By Alison Weir,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Life of Elizabeth I as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Elizabeth the Queen begins as the young Elizabeth ascends the throne in the wake of her sister Mary's disastrous reign - both a woman and a queen, Elizabeth's story is an extraordinary phenomenon in a patriarchal age.

From Elizabeth's intriguing, long-standing affair with Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, to her dealings - sometimes comical, sometimes poignant - with her many suitors, her rivalry with Mary, Queen of Scots, and her bizarre relationship with the Earl of Essex, thirty years her junior, here, in rich, vivid and colourful detail, Alison Weir helps us comes as close as we shall ever get…


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