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Leanda deLisle

The myths that surround the ultimately tragic rule of Charles I mask the realities of a courageous and uxorious king who fell foul of a bitter struggle between two sides of English Protestantism.

Lady Margaret Douglas, a favourite of Henry VIII, negotiated the shady politics and shifting alliances of the courts of four Tudor monarchs. Leanda de Lisle tells the story of the ‘progenitor of princes’, whose grandson, James VI of Scotland, became the first Stuart king of England.

According to the will of Henry VIII, it was the younger sister of the ill-fated Lady Jane Grey who would follow Elizabeth I to the throne of England. Yet few now know of the short, passionate and dangerous life of Katherine Grey, writes Leanda de Lisle.

At court, the twelve days of Christmas were a time for politics, intrigue and manoeuvre as well as for merry-making. Leanda de Lisle explores the mixed feelings induced in a courtier embroiled in the great affairs of the day, by two very different Christmases, just twelve months apart.