Standalone Novels In Publication Order
- The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette (2005)
- The Last Wife of Henry VIII (2006)
- The Secret Life of Josephine (2007)
- The Tsarina’s Daughter (2008)
- The Memoirs of Mary Queen of Scots / Mary Queen of Scots (2009)
- Rival to the Queen (2010)
- The Favored Queen (2011)
- The Unfaithful Queen (2011)
- The Spanish Queen (2013)
Non-Fiction Books In Publication Order
- The Records of Medieval Europe (1971)
- The Medieval Vision (1976)
- Civilization and Society in the West (1978)
- Bloody Mary (1978)
- Josephine (1980)
- Royal Panoply (1980)
- Great Harry (1980)
- The First Elizabeth (1983)
- Mistress Anne / Anne Boleyn (1984)
- Our Tempestuous Day (1986)
- Bonnie Prince Charlie (1989)
- To the Scaffold (1991)
- Great Catherine (1994)
- Her Little Majesty (1997)
- Arc of the Arrow (1998)
- Alexandra (2000)
- Lilibet (2004)
- The Girl from Botany Bay (2004)
- Brief Lives of the English Monarchs (2007)
Standalone Novels Book Covers
Non-Fiction Book Covers
Carolly Erickson Books Overview
Imagine that, on the night before she is to die under the blade of the guillotine, Marie Antoinette leaves behind in her prison cell a diary telling the story of her life from her privileged childhood as Austrian Archduchess to her years as glamorous mistress of Versailles to the heartbreak of imprisonment and humiliation during the French Revolution. Carolly Erickson takes the reader deep into the psyche of France’s doomed queen: her love affair with handsome Swedish diplomat Count Axel Fersen, who risked his life to save her; her fears on the terrifying night the Parisian mob broke into her palace bedroom intent on murdering her and her family; her harrowing attempted flight from France in disguise; her recapture and the grim months of harsh captivity; her agony when her beloved husband was guillotined and her young son was torn from her arms, never to be seen again. Erickson brilliantly captures the queen s voice, her hopes, her dreads, and her suffering. We follow, mesmerized, as she reveals every detail of her remarkable, eventful life from her teenage years when she began keeping a diary to her final days when she awaited her own bloody appointment with the guillotine.
Author of The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette
Courageous, attractive, romantic, intelligent, Catherine Parr became the sixth wife of Henry VIII. Her story, as Carolly Erickson re creates it, is page turning drama: from the splendors of the Field of the Cloth of Gold to the gory last years of the outsize King Henry, when heads rolled and England trembled, Catherine bestrode her destiny and survived to marry her true love.
Catherine Parr attracted the king’s lust and, though much in love with the handsome Thomas Seymour, was thrown into the intrigue filled snake pit of the royal court. While victims of the king s wrath suffered torture and execution, Catherine persevered until, at last, she came within the orbit of the royal fury. King Henry toyed with her, first ordering her arrested, then granting her clemency. She managed to evade execution, but she knew that the king had his wandering eye fixed on wife number seven.
She was spared by his death and married the attractive but dangerously unbalanced Seymour. Her triumph was shadowed by rivalry with the young Princess Elizabeth, whose lands and influence the lecherous Seymour coveted. Catherine won the contest, but at great cost.
In The Last Wife of Henry VIII, critically acclaimed author Carolly Erickson brings this dramatic story of survival and redemption to life.
The bestselling author of The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette and The Last Wife of Henry VIII returns with an enchanting novel about one of the most seductive women in history: Josephine Bonaparte, first wife of Napoleon. Born on the Caribbean island of Martinique, Josephine had an exotic Creole appeal that would ultimately propel her to reign over an empire as wife of the most powerful man in the world. But her life is a story of ambition and danger, of luck and a ferocious will to survive. Married young to an arrogant French aristocrat who died during the Terror, Josephine also narrowly missed losing her head to the guillotine. But her extraordinary charm, sensuality, and natural cunning helped her become mistress to some of the most powerful politicians in post-Revolutionary France. Soon she had married the much younger General Bonaparte, whose armies garnered France an empire that ran from Europe to Africa and the New World and who crowned himself and his wife Emperor and Empress of France. He dominated on the battlefield and she presided over the worlds of fashion and glamor. But Josephine’s heart belonged to another man–the mysterious, compelling stranger who had won her as a girl in Martinique.
From the bestselling author of The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette comes a dramatic novel and powerful love story about the last Russian imperial family. It is 1989 and Daria Gradov is an elderly grandmother living in the rural West. What neighbors and even her children don t know, however, is that she is not who she claims to be the widow of a Russian immigrant of modest means. In actuality she began her life as the Grand Duchess Tatiana, known as Tania to her parents, Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra. And so begins the latest entrancing historical entertainment by Carolly Erickson. At its center is young Tania, who lives a life of incomparable luxury in pre Revolutionary Russia, from the magnificence of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg to the family’s private enclave outside the capital. Tania is one of four daughters, and the birth of her younger brother Alexei is both a blessing and a curse. When he is diagnosed with hemophilia and the key to his survival lies in the mysterious power of the illiterate monk Rasputin, it is merely an omen of much worse things to come. Soon war breaks out and revolution sweeps the family from power and into claustrophobic imprisonment in Siberia. Into Tania s world comes a young soldier whose life she helps to save and who becomes her partner in daring plans to rescue the imperial family from certain death.
In this dramatic, compelling fictional memoir Carolly Erickson lets the courageous, spirited Mary Queen of Scots tell her own story and the result is a novel readers will long remember. Born Queen of Scotland, married as a young girl to the invalid young King of France, Mary took the reins of the unruly kingdom of Scotland as a young widow and fought to keep her throne. A second marriage to her handsome but dissolute cousin Lord Darnley ended in murder and scandal, while a third marriage to the dashing, commanding Lord Bothwell, the love of her life, gave her joy but widened the scandal and surrounded her with enduring ill repute. Unable to rise above the violence and disorder that swirled around her, Mary plucked up her courage and escaped to England only to find herself a prisoner of her ruthless, merciless cousin Queen Elizabeth. Here, in her own riveting account, is the enchanting woman whose name still evokes excitement and compassion and whose death under the headsman’s axe still draws forth our sorrow. In The Memoirs of Mary Queen of Scots, Carolly Erickson provides another in her series of mesmerizing historical entertainments, and takes readers deep into the life and heart of the sixteenth century s most fascinating woman.
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Last Wife of Henry VIII comes a novel about the bitter rivalry between Queen Elizabeth I and her fascinating cousin, Lettice Knollys, for the love of one extraordinary man. Powerful, dramatic and full of the rich history that has made Carolly Erickson’s novels perennial bestsellers, this is the story of the only woman to ever stand up to the Virgin Queen her own cousin, Lettie Knollys. Far more attractive than the queen, Lettie soon won the attention of the handsome and ambitious Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, a man so enamored of the queen and determined to share her throne that it was rumored he had murdered his own wife in order to become her royal consort. The enigmatic Elizabeth allowed Dudley into her heart, and relied on his devoted service, but shied away from the personal and political risks of marriage. When Elizabeth discovered that he had married her cousin Lettie in secret, Lettie would pay a terrible price, fighting to keep her husband s love and ultimately losing her beloved son, the Earl of Essex, to the queen s headsman. This is the unforgettable story of two women related by blood, yet destined to clash over one of Tudor England s most charismatic men.
From The New York Times bestselling author of The Last Wife of Henry VIII comes a powerful and moving novel about Jane Seymour, third wife of Henry VIII, who married him only days after the execution of Anne Boleyn and ultimately lost her own life in giving him the son he badly needed to guarantee the Tudor successionBorn into an ambitious noble family, young Jane Seymour is sent to Court as a Maid of Honor to Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII’s aging queen. She is devoted to her mistress and watches with empathy as the calculating Anne Boleyn contrives to supplant her as queen. Anne s single minded intriguing threatens all who stand in her way; she does not hesitate to arrange the murder of a woman who knows a secret so dark that, if revealed, would make it impossible for the king to marry Anne. Once Anne becomes queen, no one at court is safe, and Jane herself becomes the object of Anne s venomous rage when she suspects Jane has become the object of the king s lust. Henry, fearing that Anne s inability to give him a son is a sign of divine wrath, asks Jane to become his next queen. Deeply reluctant to embark on such a dangerous course, Jane must choose between her heart and her loyalty to the king. Acclaimed biographer and bestselling novelist Carolly Erickson weaves another of her irresistible historical entertainments about the queen who finally gave Henry VIII his longed for heir, set against the excitement and danger of the Tudor Court.
This exceptionally readable book describes how medieval men and women perceived their world, and how their vision of it colored their ideas about natural and supernatural occurrences and their attitudes about land and property, government, the role of women, crime, lawlessness, and outlaws.
Mary I was the first queen to rule England 1553 58 in her own right. She was known as Bloody Mary for her persecution of Protestants in a vain attempt to restore Roman Catholicism in England. The daughter of King Henry VIII and the Spanish princess Catherine of Aragon, Mary as a child was a pawn in England’s bitter rivalry with more powerful nations, and was later regularly offered for marriage to potential allics. Mary’s life was radically altered by her father’s marriage to Anne Boleyn. Henry had planned for some time to divorce Catherine in order to marry Anne Boleyn, claiming that, since Catherine had been his deceased brother’s wife, her union with Henry was incestuous. As the Pope refused to recognise Henry’s right to divorce Catherine, Henry broke with Rome and established the Church of England. Anne Boleyn, the new queen, bore the King a daughter, Elizabeth the future queen, forbade Mary access to her parents, stripped her of her title of princess, and forced her to act as lady in waiting to the infant Elizabeth. Mary never saw her mother again. Even after Henry remarried, Mary was not able to free herself of the epithet of bast*ard, and her movements were severely restricted. Mary went on to win the throne when the odds were overwhelmingly against her. With her unique blend of scholarship and literary distinction, Carolly Erickson brings Mary Tudor to life in one of her most masterly and compelling books.
In 1804, when Josephine Bonaparte knelt before her husband, Napoleon, to receive the imperial diadem, few in the vast crowd of onlookers were aware of the dark secrets hidden behind the imperial fa ade. To her subjects, she appeared to vet hew most favored woman in France: alluring, wealthy, and with the devoted love of a remarkable husband who was the conqueror of Europe. In actuality, Josephine‘s life was far darker, for her celebrated allure was fading, her wealth was compromised by massive debt, and her marriage was corroded by infidelity and abuse. Josephine‘s life story was as turbulent as the age an era of revolution and social upheaval, of the guillotine, and of frenzied hedonism. With telling psychological depth and compelling literary grace, Carolly Erickson brings the complex, charming, ever resilient Josephine to life in this memorable portrait, one that carries the reader along every twist and turn of the empress’s often thorn*y path, from the sensual richness of her childhood in the tropics to her final lonely days at Malmaison.
From medieval conqueror to Renaissance autocrat to Victorian Empress to modern melodrama, Royal Panoply is the story of some of the most fascinating people in world history. With her trademark blend of probing scholarship, lively prose, and psychological insight, Carolly Erickson focuses on each monarch’s entire life from the puny, socially awkward Charles I, to the choleric, violent William the Conqueror, to the well meaning, deeply affectionate Queen Anne, who was so heavy she had to be carried to her coronation. Royal Panoply recaptures the event filled, often dangerous, always engaging lives of England s kings and queens, set against the backdrop of a thousand years of Britain s past.
St. Martin’s Griffin is proud to reissue acclaimed biographer Carolly Erickson’s lives of the Tudor monarchs. In this full scale popular biography of Henry VIII, Carolly Erickson re creates the extravagant life and times of one of history’s most complex and fascinating men. Based on voluminous records of the period, the story of Henry’s life covers his troubled youth, his triumphant early reign, and his agonizing old age. Against the lively backdrop of the Tudor world, with all its splendors and squalors, Carolly Erickson gives us an unforgettable and human portrait of Henry VIII.
In this remarkable biography, Carolly Erickson brings Elizabeth I to life and allows us to see her as a living, breathing, elegant, flirtatious, diplomatic, violent, arrogant, and outrageous woman who commands our attention, fascination, and awe.
With the special skill for which she is acclaimed, Carolly Erickson electrifies the senses as she evokes with total fidelity the brilliant colors of Elizabethan clothing and jewelry, the texture of tapestries, and even the close, perfumed air of castle rooms. Erickson demonstrates her extraordinary ability to discern and bring to life psychological and physical reality.
As Maureen Quilligan wrote in the New York Times Book Review of The First Elizabeth, Anne Boleyn ‘was a real victim of the sexual scandals her brilliant daughter escaped, and a subject Ms. Erickson’s sensitivity to sexual and political nuance should well serve.’ Indeed, Carolly Erickson could have chosen no more fascinating and appropriate a subject. Alluring and profoundly enigmatic, Anne Boleyn has eluded the grasp of historians for centuries.
Through her extraordinarily vivid re creation of this most tragic chapter in all Tudor History, Carrolly Erickson gives us unprecedented insight into the singuarlity of Anne Boleyn’s life, the dark and overwhelming forces that shaped her errant destiny, and the rare, tumultuous times in which she lived.
Bonnie Prince Charlie is celebrated in Scotland as the Young Pretender, Charles Stuart, the hero whose claim to the British throne divided the kingdom and shook the opulent monarchies of continental Europe In this compelling and absorbing biography, Carolly Erickson brings all her masterly skills to bear in telling the story of the motley band of Highland rebels who challenged George III and embraced Bonnie Prince Charlie as their last hope. She tells the story of their crushing defeat, chronicling with bone chilling accuracy the massacre at Culloden, where women wailed through the silent spring night after the battle, identifying corpses of their loved ones. Erickson follows Charles after the disaster, homeless but seldom friendless, as he lived out his picaresque life on the continent. Tormented by his own inner demons, the boy hero gradually became an irascible, misogynistic old man, closeted with his memories of the windswept moors of Scotland, still clinging to the belief that he was meant to be king.
One of history’s most misunderstood figures, Marie Antoinette represents the extravagance and the decadence of pre Revolution France. Yet there was an innocence about Antoinette, thrust as a child into the chillingly formal French court. Married to the maladroit, ill mannered Dauphin, Antoinette found pleasure in costly entertainments and garments. She spent lavishly while her overtaxed and increasingly hostile subjects blamed her for France’s plight. In time Antoinette matured into a courageous Queen, and when their enemies finally closed in, Antoinette followed her inept husband to the guillotine in one last act of bravery. In To the Scaffold, Carolly Erickson provides an estimation of a lost Queen that is psychologically acute, richly detailed, and deeply moving.
From the moment the fourteen year old Princess Sophia of Anhalt Zerbst agreed to marry the heir to the Russian throne, she was mired in a quicksand of intrigue. Precociously intelligent, self confident, and attractive but with a stubborn, wayward streak, Sophia withstood a degree of emotional battering that would have broken a weaker spirit until at last she emerged, triumphant over her many enemies, as Empress Catherine II of Russia. Her achievements as empress were prodigious. She brought vast new lands under Russian rule. She raised the prestige of Russia in Europe. She began the process of imposing legal and political order on the chaos she inherited from her predecessors. Yet few historical figures have been so enthusiastically vilified as Catherine the Great. Whispers that she had ordered her husband’s murder grew to murmurs that she was an immoral woman and finally to shouts that she was a depraved, lust crazed nymphomaniac. With deft mastery of historical narrative and an unsurpassed ability to make the past live again, Carolly Erickson uncovers the real woman behind the tarnished image an indomitable, feisty, often visionary ruler who, in an age of caveats and constraints, blithely went her own way. Great Catherine reveals the complexities of this great ruler’s nature, her craving for love, her insecurities, the inevitable sorrows and disappointments of a strong empress who dared not share her power with any man yet longed to be led and guided by a loving consort. Great Catherine is a fresh portrait of an infamous historical figure, one that reveals how Catherine’s flawed triumph guaranteed her posthumous fame and enhanced the might and renown of Russia for generations to come.
A multilayered portrait of Queen Victoria describes the life and reign of a monarch who ruled for sixty four years, offering a very human portrait of a woman who lost her beloved husband and went on to carry out her duties as mother, grandmother, and queen of England.
More and more, we are coming to realize that, along with our bodies, we have souls eternal, immaterial essences that accompany us throughout life. From birth to death, while our bodies drive themselves, our minds learn and plan, and our hearts experience love, joy, pain and loss, our souls are alive too, and at work though the nature and scope of that work may not always be apparent. Like the flight of a divinely guided arrow, each of our lives follows its own arc, and it is up to each of to discern its path. With thought provoking paradigms as well as exercises and questions to lead us, Erickson offers seekers at all levels a guide to uncovering our own unique paths. Employing the methods that have proven so successful in her seminars on writing spiritual autobiographies, Carolly Erickson shows us how to take a spiritual inventory and how to recognize the often elusive tracks of the spirit as it works within us. Whether we are on a new spiritual quest or looking to deepen our faith, we will all be the richer for Arc of the Arrow, a catalyst for self knowledge and for a heightened awareness of the divine within, and a practical guide to mapping the course of our spiritual lives.
Tsarina Alexandra hauntingly beautiful, melancholy, obsessed with the occult was blamed by her contemporaries for the downfall of the Romanovs. But her true nature has eluded previous biographers. Using archival material unavailable before the fall of the Soviet Union, acclaimed historian Carolly Erickson’s masterful study brings to life the full dimensions of the Empress’s singular psychology: her childhood bereavement, her long struggle to marry Nicholas, the anguish of her pathological shyness, and her increasing dependence on a series of occult mentors, the most notorious of whom was Rasputin. With meticulous care, Erickson has crafted an intimate and richly detailed portrait of an enigmatic historical figure. Unfolding against the turbulent backdrop of Russian history in the last decades before the Revolution of 1917, this engrossing biography draws the reader in to Alexandra‘s isolated, increasingly troubled interior world. In these pages, the tsarina ceases to be a remote historical figure and becomes a character who lives and breathes. Intimate, rich in detail, carefully researched and informed by a generous imagination, Erickson’s page turning account of Alexandra and her times is a gem of biographical storytelling, as vivid and hard to put down as an enthralling novel.
In Lilibet, master biographer Carolly Erickson turns her skill at writing un put downable narrative to telling the remarkable story of Elizabeth II, Queen of England. With her customary psychological insight, historian Erickson traces the queen’s gilded but often thorn*y path from her overprotected girlhood to her ascension to the throne at twenty five to her personal and national difficulties as queen. Lilibet shows us an Elizabeth we thought we knew but shows her in a different light: as a small, shy woman with a sly and at times raucous sense of humor, a woman who appears stiff in public, but in private enjoys watching wrestling on TV. A woman most at home among her horses and dogs. And a woman long annealed to heartbreak and sorrow, who has presided over the decline of Great Britain and the decline in prestige of her own Windsor dynasty. Far from being a light, gossipy treatment of a celebrity, Lilibet tells the queen’s story from her point of view, letting the reader relive Elizabeth’s long and eventful life with all its splendid ceremonies, momentous responsibilities and family clashes. Through it all we glimpse, as never before, the strong and appealing sovereign who has ruled over her people for half a century and more, a ruler of immense wealth, international esteem and high character whose daily life is grounded in the bedrock of common sense.
Acclaim for Carolly Erickson’Carolly Erickson is one of the most accomplished and successful historical biographers writing in English.’ The Times Literary Supplement The First Elizabeth’Even more readable and absorbing than the justly praised works of Tuchman and Fraser. A vivid and eminently readable portrait of history’s favorite Tudor.’ The New York Times Book Review’A masterpiece of narrative, a story so absorbing it is as hard to put down as a fine novel.’ Los Angeles Times Book ReviewAlexandra’Gifted…
Erickson excels.’ Chicago TribuneJosephine’An intimate, richly detailed, and candid portrait…
Erickson s scholarly insights combine superbly with a mastery of period manners more often found in the best historical fiction.’ Kirkus ReviewsMistress Anne’Carolly Erickson is a most admirable biographer, and this book is highly enjoyable as well as being reliable and acute; indeed, it is popular historical biography at its best.’ The Times London