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This month’s best historical books

So High a Blood: The Life of Margaret, Countess of Lennox

By Morgan Ring

Bloomsbury, £14.99, 368 pages, hardback


Religion, personal ambition and the relentless desire for an heir: three key forces of the Tudor period are here united in a biography of Margaret Douglas, half-sister of James V of Scotland. Fighting to seize power despite her uncle, Henry VIII, barring his Scottish relatives from the English throne, she used everything at her disposal to achieve her aims. As alliances shifted and Henry struggled to produce the male off spring he so longed for, Douglas emerges a complex, driven character. This is a fresh, very readable take on a period that continues to fascinate.

Margaret was buried in Westminster Abbey alongside Mary, Queen of Scots
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About History Revealed

Follow the rise and fall of France's most infamous dictator, Napoleon, all the way from emperor to exile. Also inside, celebrate 200 years of Jane Austen and discover what life was really like for Ancient Greeks living in Sparta, the civilisation's most brutal city-state. We've also lined up ten of the greatest partnerships in history, from Marks and Spencer to Rolls and Royce, plus meet the man who inspired 007 – Elizabeth I's forgotten spy, John Dee.