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Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Happy St. George's Day!

Happy St. George's Day!

Special offer on the Kindle version of my novel, Most Beautiful Princess, based on the life of Grand Duchess Elizabeth of Russia, running today for 24 hours from 8 a.m. P.S.T. 

The book will be available to American readers for just 99 cents - a saving of over $8 ; and, all being well, a similar reduction will be available for readers in the UK.





Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna

As tomorrow, 23rd April, is the feast of St. George - patron of both England & Russia - I am running a special offer on the Kindle version of my novel, Most Beautiful Princess, based on the life of Grand Duchess Elizabeth of Russia. For 24 hours from 8 a.m. P.S.T. the book will be available to American readers for just 99 cents - a saving of over $8 ; and, all being well, a similar reduction will be available for readers in the UK.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

The Enclosures & Children at Work


 The Fields Laid Waste - Available on Easter Sunday for only 99 cents on Kindle!

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Easter Offer

As a special offer for Easter, on Easter Sunday, 20th April, between 12.00 a.m. and 11 p.m. P.S.T., my historical novel, THE FIELDS LAID WASTE will be available for Kindle readers in the U.S. and hopefully the U.K. for just 99 cents! Please feel free avail yourself of this Easter offer!

Monday, 14 April 2014

The Truth About Queen Victoria

I am partway through a fascinating book, “Censoring Queen Victoria” by Yvonne M. Ward, which tells of the two men who were chosen to edit the earliest editions of Queen Victoria’s letters – and clearly, you could not have chosen two less appropriate characters! These two men, Esher and Benson, in the sway of Edward VII, had no understanding whatsoever of women, and certainly no understanding of the Queen, and therefore omitted virtually all her maternal references to her children, which show her concern for them, concentrating instead on the men who played an important role in her life. In fact, so misogynistic were they that they more or less reduced the important role she played not only within her own family but also in the country at large to something quite minor. It is a fascinating book, which I highly recommend! My own forthcoming book, in which I aim to demonstrate that, far from being tyrannical, neglectful or cruel parents, Victoria and Albert were forward-thinking and in many ways ahead of their time, will soon be available. With this and the fascinating ‘Censoring Queen Victoria’, I sincerely hope that the era of constantly criticising Albert and Victoria is drawing to an end and making way for a more realistic and accurate picture of these well-meaning and imaginative parents!

Monday, 7 April 2014

The Crimson Field

What a brilliant opening episode to the new BBC Drama series “The Crimson Field” – a story of the volunteer nurses in the First World War. So little has been presented in the past about these women, many of whom came from backgrounds that left them ill-prepared (but then who could be prepared for such horror?) for the work they were about to undertake. I had never thought before of the resentment felt towards these volunteers by the trained nurses who were already working in the field, and the entire programme rather reminded me of the amazing work of the little-known Marie Simon, a woman from Dresden who overcame a great deal of opposition from the military authorities to establish female nurses in the base hospitals during the Franco-Prussian War. History is written by the victors, but much of history was, in the past, also written by men who often overlooked the part played by courageous women in major events. This series looks set to be absolutely enthralling – thank you to the writers, the actors and to the BBC for such a wonderful programme!

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Thank you!

Thank you so much to every single one of the lovely people who bought "Queen Victoria's Granddaughters" yesterday! Thanks to you, the book made it to Number 8 in Amazon's overall rankings and well over 2,000 copies were sold in the first few hours alone. I am deeply grateful to everyone who bought it, and to everyone who has previously bought it or any of my other books (or who will in the future). It is a very beautiful experience to know people are reading your words and I deeply appreciate every reader.

Thank you so very much!

Friday, 4 April 2014

Special Offer on Queen Victoria's Granddaughters

Available Here
Today for one day only Amazon is holding a promotion of my book 'Queen Victoria's Granddaughters 1860-1918' for Kindle readers in the UK...Only 99p - do please avail yourself of this opportunity!

Thursday, 3 April 2014

A Lovely Description of the Empress Frederick

I just received a wonderful gift of an original article from the Strand Magazine from 1895, which is an interview with Empress Frederick (Vicky) about her beautiful home at Kronberg (as in the previous post). Every one of the books on the library shelves, it says, was placed there only after the Empress had read it, and there is, too, a wonderful description not only of the many charitable works she carried out virtually unnoticed but also of her appearance and voice.
“Her Imperial Majesty’s appearance is not now so familiar in England as that of other members of the Royal Family; and, in my opinion, photographs do not do justice to her. She possesses a charming geniality of expression and a particularly kindly look about the eyes in which respect she resembles the Prince of Wales. When moved by the recital of some sorrow or trouble, sympathy imparts great pathos to her voice – at all times a pleasant tone.”

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Vicky's Former Home at Kronberg

Following the untimely death of her husband, German Emperor Frederick III, Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter Vicky purchased a home for herself, Villa Schonberg in Kronberg in the Taunus Mountains, and was later presented with the old Schloss Kronberg by her son, Kaiser Wilhelm II. An aesthete and avid collector of art and furniture, Vicky delighted in her new home, filling it with beautiful artistic treasures. Today, the property remains in the hands of her descendants but is now a luxury hotel, which clearly, from these images and descriptions maintains the sort of atmosphere which Vicky created and would still deeply appreciate. What a wonderful experience it must be to stay there, taking tea in the library, which is still filled with her books...

Sheer and utter beauty!

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Albert & Alice

The more I learn about Prince Albert, the more I admire this amazing man, and I was delighted to have been able to write about him for the wonderful Royal Central site:
Also, today, Amazon Kindle in the UK and Europe is carrying out a promotion of Alice, The Enigma, so if you are interested it is a very good time to purchase a copy!

Thursday, 13 March 2014

May They Do The Right Thing!

It would be unthinkable if anyone killed in an accident had to be buried where he/she died. Great lengths are gone to to have the bodies of soldiers killed overseas repatriated and yet Richard III, England’s last Plantagenet king is to be buried in Leicester?
Today the High Court will decide on that ruling and I trust the right thing will be done and the case for Richard to be buried in York will be re-opened.
1.  Richard was Lord of the North.
2   He lived, loved and was loved in Yorkshire.
3   York remained loyal to him to the end.
4   He paid for chapels/chantries in York..a sure sign he wished to be buried there.
5   His beloved son is buried in Yorkshire
6   His present day descendants wish him to be buried here.
6   The decision to inter him in Leicester was reached by secret agreement but Richard was King of England and the people of England have a right to make the decision. Secret agreements, after all, led to the First World War and host of other evils!
7    Richard belongs to Yorkshire and had no ties with Leicester where his body was mutilated after death. 

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Jacquot & Other Interesting Donkeys & Friends

A couple of weeks ago The Guardian  reviewed a new book, which looks very interesting, about Queen Victoria's life in Aix-Le-Bains, speaks of the donkey, Jacquot, which the Queen adopted:

Guardian Article

Jacquot was only one of several donkeys who became members of the extended family of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, as a very interesting article from 'The Idler' shows.

It is quite strange that people even now speak of the humble donkey as though this beautiful creature is somehow a sort of second-rate horse or something, when you consider the strength and serenity as well as the nobility of donkeys. It is virtually impossible to look at a donkey or spend any time with one without feeling instantly calmed and receiving an awareness that there is something far more supernaturally powerful here than mere flesh and bone. I cannot for the life of me think why G.K. Chesterton should describe the donkey as 'the devil's walking parody' or speak of the 'monstrous head or sickening cry' of these incredibly beautiful animals:

and I would like to draw more attention to the late Elizabeth Svendsen, whose wonderful work continues in The Donkey Sanctuary  wherein rescued donkeys work with children with disabilities or difficulties and produce amazing results.

"The Donkey Sanctuary was founded in 1969 by Dr Elisabeth Svendsen MBE. It is only through her amazing devotion to donkeys and hard work that the Sanctuary grew to the international charity it is today. Over 50 million donkeys and mules exist in the world. Many need care and protection from a life of suffering and neglect, whilst others have a vital role to play in human survival and happiness; they are at the heart of everything we do here at The Donkey Sanctuary."

I am sure that, had Queen Victoria been alive to see the Donkey Sanctuary's foundation, she would have been eager to have given it Royal Patronage! 

Sunday, 23 February 2014

A Radio Interview with Helen Azar

Helen Azar, author of the "The Diary of Olga Romanov Royal Witness to the Russian Revolution", who kindly agreed to be interviewed here last summer, has recently been interviewed by Peter Sullivan on his radio programme. It is a very interesting interview, which can be  listened to, here:

Radio Interview

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Why Did He Wait?

I believe that the First World War was started for the specific purpose of overthrowing the Russian, German & Austro-Hungarian monarchies/autocracies, and, despite the self-righteous response of Britain to the invasion of Belgium, certain members of the British Government, in league with other shady characters, were eager to find an excuse to participate in the war.
Shortly before the invasion of Belgium, the German Ambassador asked Sir Edward Grey (Britain’s Foreign Minister pictured here) if Britain would intervene if Belgian neutrality were compromised. Grey refused to answer in the affirmative.
Rudolf Steiner, in a series of lectures, The Karma of Untruthfulness, given in 1916, makes a very valid point about subsequent events:
"On 2 August the King of Belgium requested the intervention of England, that is, he requested England to intervene with Germany. The Belgian King saw it as a matter of course that England should negotiate with Germany about the neutrality of Belgium. Initially, England did nothing. She waited a whole day while Sir Edward Grey spoke to his Parliament in London. In doing so he concealed the conversation he had had with the German ambassador. Not a word did he breathe about it. If he had mentioned it, the whole session in Parliament would have taken a different course!
So after the discussion with the German ambassador had taken place, and after the King of Belgium had requested the intervention of England, everything paused in England, nothing was done. What was everybody waiting for? They were waiting for the violation of Belgium's neutrality to be accomplished! As long as it remained unaccomplished, matters could still have taken a course along which it would not happen. Powerful forces were working against it happening and it was hanging by a silken thread. If the request of the Belgian King had been fulfilled quickly enough, if England had intervened, it is questionable whether the violation of neutrality would have taken place. But when did Grey intervene? On the fourth, when the German armies had already set foot on Belgian soil! Why did he wait, even after the request of the King of Belgium? These are questions which have to be asked."