Adult Booklists


Renaissance Europe

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A Saint, More or Less
by Henry Grunwald Details
Nicole Tavernier, a peasant newly arrived in Paris in 1594, wanders the streets of Paris claiming to work miracles with her healing. She joins the household of Barbe Acarie, a devout Catholic woman. They band together to cure the sick and bring hope back to a country torn by religious wars. When word of Nicole's accomplishments reaches King Henry of Navarre, Barbe starts doubting her charge's talents and begins to discredit her.
As Above, So Below
by Rudy Rucker Details
In sixteen chapters, each of which is preceded by one of his subject's master-works, science fiction author Rucker illustrates key episodes in the life of Peter Bruegel, the Flemish painter who flourished in sixteenth-century Brussels and Antwerp (in modern-day Belgium).
My Father Had a Daughter: Judith Shakespeare's Tale
by Grace Tiffany Details
Judith Shakespeare grows up in the countryside around Stratford, while her father's life revolves around the London stage. When her twin brother Hamnet drowns, Judith blames herself. She is horror-stricken after reading a draft of her father's latest play, Twelfth Night, which seems to make light of the event. She travels to London in male garb, hoping to sabotage the play, but instead finds herself falling in love with the theatrical.
The Agony and the Ecstasy: a Biographical Novel of Michelangelo
by Irving Stone Details
n the mid- to late twentieth century, Irving Stone wrote a number of successful biographical novels, predominantly featuring artists and the struggles they encountered during the creative process. His work about Italian Renaissance painter/sculptor Michelangelo is one of his best. Not only is the story intensely personal, but in its realistic portrait of society in Renaissance-era Florence and Rome, it reaches near-epic status.
The Master of All Desires
by Judith Merkle Riley Details
Queen Catherine de Medici, determined to discover the secret of her husband's attraction to his mistress Diane de Poitiers, seeks out the Master of All Desires, the disembodied head of a magus who grants all wishes asked of him. Noastradamus, the court astrologer, knows that these wishes can backfire on the giver and wants to warn his queen of the danger.
The Queen of Subtleties
by Suzannah Dunn Details
Anne Boleyn writes a long letter to her daughter, Elizabeth, explaining some of the decisions she made in her life. Lucy Cornwallis, confectioner to Henry VIII, dreams of romance with Mark Smeaton, a handsome court musician involved in Anne's downfall. Lucy relates her own story as she watches the king fall in love with Anne.
The Rose Without a Thorn
by Jean Plaidy Details
Katherine Howard is forced to abandon her true love, Thomas Culpepper, when she attracts the attention of Henry VIII. Her promiscuous past catchs up to her after the becomes the king's fifth wife.
The Serpent Garden
by Judith Merkle Riley Details
If a marriage between Henry VIII's younger sister Mary and the elderly king of France takes place, it is due primarily to the efforts of miniature painter Susanna Dallet, even though women aren't eligible for membership in the painters' guild. Arriving in France as part of Princess Mary's entourage, Susanna doesn't realize she brings with her a manuscript that conceals secrets of the French court.
The Wild Irish
by Robin Maxwell Details
The Irish Rebellion against the English in the sixteenth century is largely unknown today, making it prime material for historical novelists. Maxwell has based her novel on the rebellion, fictionalizing the events leading up to a historic meeting between Grace O'Malley, pirate queen and rebel leader, and Queen Elizabeth herself at London's Greenwich Castle in 1593.
by Grace Tiffany Details
William Shakespeare leaves his wife Anne at home in Stratford with their three children, though not without some guilt. He heads to London to make his fortune at the theater. Will grows in confidence and fame, transforming from starving actor to witty playwright. As his star rises, he attracts the attention of Queen Elizabeth and the enmity of handsome player Christopher Marlowe.
Updated 10/13/2011
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