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Staff blog

Non-Fic Picks: Reliving Royalty

While there's still royalty positioned throughout the world- think Queen Elizabeth II, Prince William, and Kate Middleton- monarchies are becoming a thing of the past.  However, this month's non-fic picks transcends both space and time from Imperial Russia to the late 1970's in the United States to give you the opportunity to meet royal elite as well as provide a taste of what the world was like during those times. 

The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra by Helen Rappaport

Using the personal diaries and letters of the Russian Grand Duchesses- Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia- Rappaport captures the genuine essence of these young, royal women.  Once considered the most talked about and idolized social elite in the twentieth century world, the Grand Duchesses are often perceived as sentimentalized and idealized due to their untimely deaths.  However, The Romanov Sisters illuminates the girls’ individualized voices while giving readers a taste of Imperial Russia.  In a compelling manner, Rappaport highlights the Duchesses wit, intelligence, perception, and familial love through the harsh circumstances of the Russian Revolution.      

The Queen’s Bed: An Intimate History of Elizabeth’s Court by Anna Whitelock

Enter Queen Elizabeth I’s bedchamber and meet the women who were responsible for her daily upkeep.  From closely guarding her rooms to helping the queen dress, bathe, and look after her jewels, Whitelock delves into the lives of these often overlooked attendants.  Often friends and confidants, but sometimes spies and potential assassins, these women knew all aspects of Queen Elizabeth I’s life including her health, intimate activities, and fertility.  With Queen Elizabeth I’s body representing the entire English and Irish nations, these devoted and dutiful women had some of the most important positions in the country.

The Creation of Anne Boleyn: A New Look at England’s Most Notorious Queen by Susan Bordo

Vixen.  Martyr.  Adulteress.  Feminist.  These are a few of the many stereotypes that describe Anne Boleyn, King Henry VIII’s second wife.  In the age-old battle of fact versus fiction, The Creation of Anne Boleyn dissects history, culture, and biography to examine various aspects surrounding the mythology behind this fascinating woman and compares them to what we actually know.  Told in three parts, Bordo reviews Anne, charts the changes in her representation, and reviews the cultural developments behind them.  Rather than simply providing an entertaining and provocative biography, this title illustrates the evolution of culture and how it impacts history. 

Elvis & Ginger: Elvis Presley’s Fiancee and Last Love Finally Tells Her Story by Ginger Alden

And what is royalty without Elvis Presley, the King of Rock and Roll?  In her book Elvis and Ginger, Ginger Alden, one of Presley’s great loves and fiancée sheds light on the intimate details of Presley’s life.  Well recognized as a pop star and music phenomenon, Alden provides a different viewpoint on the King from his enduring love and loyalty to his family and friends to his humble perception of himself.  After being ostracized by Presley’s family, friends, and fans alike after his death, Alden finally tells her side of the story.     



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