Nothing preordained Elisabeth of Wittelsbach, known as “Sissi”, to become Empress of Austria at the age of seventeen. It was, in fact, despite herself that the young Bavarian duchess, who had always been somewhat rebellious and untamed, was courted by the Emperor of Austria, one of Europe’s most powerful men, whom she finally accepted to marry. Attempting by all means to get away from the Imperial Court, this Hungarian queen of legendary beauty will carry the weight of the Crown of the Habsburgs throughout her adult life. Sissi does not adapt well to the strict etiquette of the imperial life, and the several moments she spends away from her husband are difficult. A romantic liaison with an enemy count will serve as a rare source of comfort for the empress. An unhappy sovereign, Sissi is nevertheless idolized by her people and becomes the main unifying actor of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Alone at the head of a kingdom and hounded by her admirers, she will die a tragic death at the hands of a fanatic.
Political schemes, religious partisanship and unbridled love shake the Royal Court of Scotland at the end of the Stuart dynasty.
Witness to sordid murders, spy for Her Majesty among the Protestants of the infamous preacher John Knox, forced to give up her one true love, thrown out onto the streets then ruthlessly attacked by a drunkard, Charlotte Gray will do everything in her power to remain the sovereign’s lady-in-waiting.
As for the Queen of Scots, she faces turmoil of a completely different kind: prisoner in a castle under the command of her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I of England, Mary Stuart learns that she is the victim of a vast conspiracy and that her English counterpart has ordered her imminent execution.
Despite their hardships, Mary and Charlotte will keep their dignity throughout the storm. The two women will finally find serenity, one in the arms of a man and the other in the arms of God.
Interwoven with historical facts of the era, the thrilling The Captive Queen saga is worthy of the greatest royal intrigues that still fascinate us several centuries later.
Danny Saunders is a true European history enthusiast. He has always been keenly interested in royalty. Danny holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and also pursued communication studies at the university level.
He has worked as a journalist for various written and electronic media.
Of Scottish descent, Danny takes genuine pride in his British roots. The Captive Queen: A Novel of Mary Stuart is his first historical novel.