24 March, 2016

New History Books 2016

Lots of great historical non-fiction is due out in 2016.

There's a new book about Edward II out on 29 September! Wow. It's called Edward II: The Terrors of Kingship and it's by Professor Chris Given-Wilson, an excellent historian. The blurb sounds pretty awful - "After twenty ruinous years, betrayed and abandoned by most of his nobles and by his wife and her lover, Edward was imprisoned in Berkeley Castle where he was murdered", oh dear - but then, blurbs often have little to do with the actual book (the 'About the Author' on Amazon for my Isabella book says that I 'wrote the first biography of Isabella's husband' - errrm no). This book is part of the Penguin Monarchs series, hence is only 112 pages long.

Professor Given-Wilson's biography of Henry IV came out on 2 February this year.

On 26 May, there's a new book about Edward III by Jonathan Sumption, author of a magnificent series about the Hundred Years War: Edward III: A Heroic Failure. It's also a short Penguin Monarchs book.

Already out since 14 January 2016, a biography of Edward II's brilliant uncle King Alfonso X of Castile and Leon by Simon R. Doubleday, Wise King. Can't wait to read this one. I hope that some day soon someone writes a biography in English of Edward's grandfather Fernando III.

Also already out since January, Mary McGrigor's The Sister Queens, the story of Isabelle and Catherine de Valois, daughters of Charles VI of France, who married Richard II and Henry V respectively. Such an excellent idea for a book.

My friend Kasia's area of expertise: Matthew Strickland's Henry the Young King 1155-1183 is out on 18 May.

Henry the Young King's nephew-in-law the future Louis VIII of France invaded England in 1216 near the end of the reign of Henry's youngest brother King John; to mark the 800th anniversary of the dramatic invasion this year, Catherine Hanley has written a book about Louis, out on 5 April.

Does the world really need yet another book about Richard III? I'm not sure, but we're getting one on 8 September, by Chris Skidmore.

A. J. Pollard's Edward IV: The Summer King is out on 28 July. There's also Edward IV: Glorious Son of York by Jeffrey James, published in September 2015.

And finally, on 1 February next year, there's a new bio of Edward I by Andy King, called Edward I: A Second Arthur?


Katarzyna Ogrodnik-Fujcik said...

Thank you for mentioning Henry biography, Kahryn!!! :)
I'm really interested in the book on Louis VIII. Always a little bit in the shadow(s) of his own father, wife and son, isn't he?:)

Happy Easter to you and your family!

Kathryn Warner said...

Happy Easter, Kasia! :)

sami parkkonen said...

Happy eastern and whoah: that first Edward book sounds a bit scary once again. All those good stories repeated which do not have any real sources from the times but few decades later?

"When the legend is better than the truth, roint the legend."

I think I'll pass that one and stick with yours.

Anerje said...

The Penguin Monarchs series are succinct and are a very basic narrative. I've found them hugely disappointing.

Anonymous said...

Hope that you had a happy Easter! Also, if they ever find proof that Edward II wasn't killed -- or if a best selling fiction writer gets a film or TV contract on a book about him -- I think you will find a huge increase in the number of books about his era.