Tudor vs. Stuart: Queen Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots, two icons of British history. Jane Dunn dives into their parallel stories, contrasting their upbringing, style of rule, and ultimate fate. Despite the fact that the two women were related, that they were both reigning monarchs of neighboring countries, and that one held the other in prison for nearly twenty years, they never once met face-to-face. This palpable absence created a tension between them that affected their lives and their policies. Dunn draws on scores of letters between Elizabeth and Mary as well as contemporary historical sources, and crafts a work of nonfiction that reads like an epic saga.
Read if you enjoyed: Eleanor of Aquitaine by Alison Weir, Marie Antoinette by Antonia Fraser
Look for Elizabeth and Mary at Multnomah County Library.
West with the Night is the memoir of a truly unique life. Beryl Markham was born in England but raised from infancy in Kenya, where she became a pioneering racehorse trainer and pilot. The book, a record of her youth and early adulthood, was first published in 1942, and Ernest Hemingway said of it in a letter to another friend, “But this girl, who is to my knowledge very unpleasant and we might even say a high-grade b—-, can write rings around all of us who consider ourselves as writers.” There are some questions about the veracity of her memoir, but frankly, who cares? It’s one of the most beautiful books you will ever read.
Read if you enjoyed: Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen; Wind, Sand, and Stars by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Look for West with the Night at Multnomah County Library.