The Stuart Vampire

Having had the immense pleasure of interacting with Andrea Zuvich, author of The Stuart Vampire through social media. I read her other book, His Last Mistress, last year, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. So when offered the chance to read and review The Stuart Vampire, I jumped at it. So I am pleased to offer a short review of it!
The story starts in a tavern, with an odd couple telling their unbelievable story to a reporter. The man claims to be the long dead Henry Stuart, Duke of Gloucester, and his wife. However, Henry died in 1660 of smallpox and was buried in Westminster Abbey. Or did he?
Henry states that the night he died, he was visited by a Vampiress, Griselda, who turned the Duke from a life of splendor at the court of his brother, King Charles II, to being a servant of darkness. Griselda is happy to be a concubine of the devil, but is looking for a companion to live out the ages with. Henry is reluctant to accept and tries to fight back against his new dark life. From there, he wrestles with the demon within him as Griselda is summoned to a council of Vampire elders to answer for her actions. Henry is then left to grow accustomed to his new body, while he discovers the sad lives of a forgotten village.
The author runs a successful blog and Facebook page, The Seventeenth Century Lady , and specializes in the Stuart family. Her knowledge of the period and the family really shines through. Andrea has a deep passion for this area of history, and it shows in the details. She is able to reference both the places and historical figures that the characters would have interacted with, including cameos by children of Charles II and England’s own Witchfinder General.
I’m not big on historical fiction these days, as I usually find the real stories to be much more engaging. That being said, I enjoyed the book. It was a short read, as I finished it in just a couple days. A tad of a guilty pleasure for me, as I’m mostly into NF these days (except for A Song of Ice and Fire series, sue me). If you’re interested, you should know that it is a vampire story, so there is blood and death; however I found none of it to be gratuitous. There is a little bit of romance, too, for those of us who are hopeless lovers.
In short, I would recommend this book for those of you who enjoy a good story with a scary element; or a good read on the Stuart family.
“The Stuart Vampire” by Andrea Zuvich is available for Kindle through Amazon US and UK. You can also check her site, http://www.andreazuvich.com, for more on the fascinating 17th century!
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February 27th

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Events:
1594 – Henry III of Navarre is crowned as King of France. As King Henry IV of France, he would be popular with the people, for attempting to end the French Wars of religion. He was also the first French king from the House of Bourbon.

1898 – A gunman shoots at King George I of the Hellenes and his daughter Princess Marie. The assassination attempt would be unsuccessful and bolster his popularity.

No major birthdays.

No major deaths.

September 1st

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Events:
1532 – Henry VIII creates Anne Boleyn Marquess of Pembroke, in her own right, in anticipation of their marriage, which happened the following year.

Birthdays:

1651 – Natalya Naryshkina is born into a minor noble family. However, in early 1671, she was catapulted to the front of Russian politics when she wed Tsar Alexis I. She would bear him three children, including the future Emperor Peter the Great. The Tsarina remained active in politics until 1676, when she was widowed. She lived at the court of her stepson, Feodor III, until his death 1682, and her son, Peter, was put forth as the ten-year-old Tsar. Natalya was put forth as regent, but was replaced by her stepdaughter, Sofia Alekseyevna, and sent away from court, while her son was named co-Tsar with his brother Ivan. When Peter assumed control of his government 1689, she returned to his court until her death in 1694.

1711 – William IV, Prince of Orange, and first hereditary stadtholder of the Netherlands. His father died just 6 six weeks before he was born, so he ruled under a regency until 1731. William married Princess Anne, the daughter of King George II of Britain. Popular with the people, he ended the indirect taxation, which made a small amount of people very rich. Dying early, at age 40, he was succeeded by his son, William V.

1878 – Princess Alexandra of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha is born in Germany, as the daughter of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, and his wife, Russian Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna. She was a grandchild of both Queen Victoria of Great Britain, and Alexander II of Russia. “Sandra” spent her childhood in Britain and Malta, where her father was stationed, but moved to Germany permanently when her father succeeded to the Ducal throne of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. In 1896, she was married to Prince Ernst of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, and they would later have five children. After her father’s death in 1900, she served as regent briefly for her cousin, Charles Edward, the underage Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Prior to World War II, she was a supporter of the Nazi party, but she died at age 63 in 1942, without seeing the end of the war.

Deaths:
1751 – The indomitable “Sun King” of France, Louis XIV died at age 76. Born in 1638, he was the son of Louis XIII, whom he succeeded in 1643. His reign of 72 years is the longest in French history. Louis oversaw the building of the Palace at Versailles, and turned it into the center of his court and government. He firmly believed in the Divine Right of Kings, and ruled as an absolute ruler, after consolidating power when reaching majority. France was also a leading military power in Europe during his reign. He had 6 children by his first wife, Maria Theresa of Spain, and may have married again after Maria’s death, to Francoise d’Aubigne, although the marriage was never announced or made public. His son and grandson, both named Louis, had predeceased the King, leaving as heir the five-year-old Louis XV as king.

Have an awesome day!

August 31st

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Events:
1314 – King Haakon V Magnusson of Norway moves the capitol of the country from Bergen to Oslo, where the capitol remains today.

Birthdays:
1880 – The future Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands is born at The Hague. She was the only child of King William III and Queen Emma, and became Queen in her own right in 1890, with her mother as regent. She came to majority in 1898, and married Henry of Mecklenburg-Schwerin in 1901. She would give birth to one surviving daughter, Juliana, but suffer several miscarriages. In 1948, she abdicated in favor of her daughter, Juliana, after a reign of 58 years, making Wilhelmina the longest serving Dutch monarch.

Deaths:
1158 – Sancho III of Castile died after just one year of rule. He was the eldest surviving son of King Alfonso VII of Leon and Castile and Berengaria of Barcelona. His death was sudden, while he was in his early 20′s but left a young son as his successor, Alfonso VIII of Castile.

1422 – King Henry V of England died suddenly of possibly dysentery. He was only 35 years old, and was on military campaigns in France. He is known for his military battles during the Hundred Years War, namely the Battle of Agincourt. Henry had been king since the death of his father, Henry IV, in 1413. The heir to the throne was Henry’s only child with Catherine of Valois, a nine-month-old baby boy, now Henry VI of England.

1997 – Tragedy struck in Paris, when Diana, Princess of Wales, was involved in a car crash while traveling with her companion, Dodi Fayed. Diana, Dodi, and the driver were all killed. She was 36 years old, and the former wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, whom she divorced the previous year. She was survived by two sons, Princes William and Harry. After her divorce, she had continued her charity work, and was widely mourned by the people.

August 30th

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No major events.

Birthdays:
1334 – Peter I of Castile is born to Alfonso XI of Castile and Maria of Portugal. He would be king twice, first from 1350 until 1366, then again from 1367 until 1369. His reign was interrupted by his half-brother, Henry of Trastamara, the future Henry II. Because of the civil wars, Peter is remembered as both the Cruel, and the Just, by the opposing sides of the war.

1808 – Princess Ludovika of Bavaria is born in Munich. She was the daughter of Maximilian I Joseph, King of Bavaria, and Karoline of Baden. Ludovika married the Duke in Bavaria, her cousin, Maximilian Joseph. They had ten children, and Ludovika lived out her days in Munich, dying in 1892.

1813 – Princess Mathilde Caroline of Bavaria is born as a daughter of King Ludwig I of Bavaria. She married a Hessian Grand Duke, also named Ludwig, in 1833. They would have no children, and Mathilde died in 1862.

1842 – Alexandra Alexandrovna is born in St. Petersburg Russia to Tsar Alexander II and Tsarina Maria Alexandrovna. She was the couple’s first child, and was doted on by her parents. Sadly at age 6, she caught infant meningitis, and died suddenly. Her mother would cry at the mention of her name for years to come.

1870 – Princess Alexandra of Greece is born as a daughter of King George I of Greece and Queen Olga. She was a sister of King Constantine I, and is thus an aunt of Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, husband of Queen Elizabeth II. She married at age 19, to Russian Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich, son of Tsar Alexander II. It was a happy marriage and they would have two children. But during her second pregnancy, she fell, and went into a coma after delivering the child, and died a few days later. She was 21 years old.

1917 – Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich of Russia is born in Finland. He was a descendant of Alexander II of Russia, and his family has escaped the Russian Revolution. After the executions of the Romanov family, he was a claimant of the Imperial titles of the Tsars until his death in 1992.

1946 – The future Queen Anne-Marie of Greece is born in Copenhagen. She is the daughter of King Frederick IX of Denmark and Queen Ingrid, and her elder sister is the current Danish Queen, Margarethe II. In 1964, she married Constantine II of Greece, and they ruled until Greece was declared a Republic in 1973. She currently resides in the UK.

Deaths:
1483 – Louis XI of France died at age 60. He had been King since 1461, after the death of his father, Charles VII. As king he fought with the Burgundians but also technically ended the Hundred Years War, with the Treaty of Picquigny. After crushing rebellions, he was able to strengthen royal power and the French Economy.

August 29th

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Events:
1756 – Frederick the Great of Prussia attacks Saxony, starting what’s called the Seven Years War, over territorial disputes with the neighboring German nations and Austria.

1825 – The Kingdom of Portugal officially recognizes the independence of Brazil. In 1822, Brazil would declare itself its own empire.

1968 – Crown Prince Harald of Norway married Sonja Haraldsen, after dating in secret for nine years. She was not of royal status, so there was concern of a scandal. The couple rule today as King Harald V and Queen Sonja.

Birthdays:
1729 – Maria Anna Sophia of Saxony is born to King Augustus III of Poland and Maria Josepha of Austria. She was one of 15 children, and the sister of Frederick Christian, Elector of Saxony, Queen Maria Amalia of Spain, and French Dauphine Maria Josepha. This makes Maria Anna the aunt of French Kings Louis XVI, Louis XVIII, and Charles X. In 1747, she married the Elector of Bavaria, Maximilian III Joseph. The marriage was childless, and Maximilian died in 1777, but Maria would outlive him by 20 years, remaining in her adopted homeland.

Deaths:
1526 – King Louis II of Hungary, Croatia, and Bohemia died while fighting the Ottomans during the Battle of Mohacs. He had been king for ten years, after the death of his father, Vladislaus II. Louis was only twenty at the time of his death, and was childless, in his marriage.

Enjoy your day!

August 28th

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Events:
1619 – Ferdinand II is elected Holy Roman Emperor, succeeding his childless cousin, Matthias. Under his rule, the Thirty Years War would start.

1913 – Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands officially opened the Peace Palace in The Hague. The concept of diplomats and philanthropists (including Andrew Carnegie). It is the home of the International Court of Justice, the Permanent Court of Arbitration, The Hague Academy of International Law, and other organizations.

1996 – The divorce of the Prince and Princess of Wales, Charles and Diana, would be final. Diana would die suddenly in a car crash the following year.

Birthdays:
1667 – Louise of Mecklenburg-Gustrow is born in Germany to the Ducal family of Mecklenburg-Gustrow. In 1695, she married the future Frederick IV of Denmark, and they became King and Queen in 1699. Frederick was famously unfaithful, even entering into bigamous marriages. She was dutiful, but never very popular. Louise amassed a large collection of religious books during her time, which was donated after her death, with much praise from the clergy. Her son would become Christian IV, but Louise would die in 1721.

1691 – Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel is born in Germany. Elisabeth was the oldest daughter of Louis Rudolph, Duke of Brunswick-Luneberg and Princess Christine Louise of Oettingen. In 1708, she married Austrian Archduke Charles in Spain, the future Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI. In 1711, they succeeded to the Imperial throne, but Charles went alone, leaving Elisabeth as Governor of Catalonia, where we was said to be a wise and effective ruler. She joined him later, and gave him four children, with only two surviving into adulthood. Her oldest surviving child would be the indomitable future Empress Maria Theresa. Elisabeth would live well into her daughter’s reign, dying in Vienna at age 58.

1694 – Charlotte Christine of Brunswick-Luneburg is born to the Duke and Duchess of Brunswick-Luneburg. She shared a birthday with her elder sister, Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel. Charlotte was married in 1711, to Tsarevitch Alexei, the son of Peter the Great of Russia. She was isolated at court, and never fully assimilated into the Russian court. Charlotte gave birth to two children, a daughter named Natalia, then a son, the future Peter II. Her death came just a few days after the birth of Peter. She was only 21 years old.

Deaths:

1481 – Afonso V of Portugal died in Lisbon, at age 49. He was the son of King Edward of Portugal and Eleanor of Aragon. In 1438, He became king at age 6, under the rule of a regency. He spent many years on campaign in North Africa, fighting the Muslims by Papal decree. He would attempt to claim the throne of Castile from Isabella I, but to no avail. Afonso would retire after, abdicating in favour of his son, and spending the rest of his life in a monastery.

1943 – Tsar Boris III of Bulgaria died of heart failure in his home country. He had just met with Adolf Hitler a few days before, and it has been suspected that the German leader poisoned him. Her had been Tsar since the abdication of his father, Ferdinand I, in 1918, after World War I. During World War II, Bulgaria was allied with Germany, but Boris did not cede control to the Nazis. Boris also refused to deport Bulgarian Jews, and helped many escape to other countries.

1972 – Prince William of Gloucester died in a crash at an air show. He was the son of Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, a grandson to King George V, and a cousin to Queen Elizabeth II. William was just 30 years old, and unmarried. In 1968, he had been diagnosed with porphyria, a blood disorder, but had continued to attend to royal duties. He was close to his cousin, Charles, Prince of Wales, who would name his eldest son in his honor.

Have a great day!

August 27th

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Events:
1172 – Henry, son of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine, is crowned as co-King of England. It was the tradition in France at the time, so there would be no interruption in the succession. However, the young Henry would not survive his father, dying during a rebellion against the elder Henry, actually.

Birthdays:
1487 – Anna of Brandenburg is born in Germany to the Electoral family. At a young age, she was betrothed and later married to the Duke of Schleswig and Holstein, also the future Frederick I of Denmark. She would never become Queen though, dying in Kiel at age 26. However her son would go on to be Christian III of Denmark.

1669 – Anne Marie d’Orleans is born in France to Phillippe, Duke of Orleans, and his wife Princess Henriette of England. Phillippe was the younger brother of French King Louis XIV, and Henriette was the daughter of Charles I of England and Scotland. In 1684, she was married to the Duke of Savoy, Victor Amadeus I, who was the future King of Sardinia. They would have 6 children, the first coming just before Anne’s 16th birthday, and which nearly killed her. Her eldest daughter would go to be Dauphine of France, and give birth to Louis XV, another daughter would become Queen consort of Spain, and her son Charles, would become King of Sardinia. She was 59 when she died in 1728.
Its interesting to note, as well, that through her relations to the Stuarts of Britain, she inherited the Jacobite claim to the thrones of England, Scotland, and Ireland after the death of Cardinal Henry Stuart.

1887 – George, Crown Prince of Serbia is born as the eldest son of King Peter I and Zorka of Montenegro. He would never succeed though, as he kicked a servant to death in 1909, and renounced his right to throne afterwards. His brother would later become King Alexander I of Yugoslavia and George would serve in the military during the Balkan and First World Wars. Later he was locked in an asylum by his brother, and not freed until World War II. He lived into old age, in the city of Belgrade.

Deaths:
1968 – Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark died in London. Born in 1906, her father was Prince Nicholas of Greece and Denmark, younger son of George I of Greece, and her mother was Russian Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna. When she was 11 years old, her family was exiled, and she would live across Europe as a girl. In 1934, she married into the British Royal family, by her nuptials to Prince George, Duke of Kent. They actually had two ceremonies; one at Westminster Abbey, according to Anglican rites, the other according to Greek Orthodox tradition. The latter was conducted privately. They would have three children, before the Duke was killed in 1942. She remained an active member of the British royal family until her death.

August 26th

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Events:

1326 – The Battle of Crecy takes place as part of the Hundred Years War between France and England. The battle was a major one in the early times of the war, and an important victory for England, who heavily used their famous longbows.

Birthdays:

1469 – Ferdinand II of Naples is born in Italy to king Alfonso II of Naples and Ippolita Maria Sforza. He became king in 1495, when his father abdicated. The French army soon invaded, and Ferdinand would be overthrown. He would be restored the following year, but die shortly after reclaiming his throne.

1819 – Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha is born in Germany to the Ducal family. In 1840, he married his young first cousin, Queen Victoria of Great Britain. They would have nine children, and he would be a major influence on Victoria, who was completely devoted and dependent on him. Given the title Prince Consort, he undertook many public causes and was a devoted father to his children. His early death at age 42 plunged Victoria in mourning, from which she would never fully emerge from.

1826 – Princess Alexandra of Bavaria is born as a younger daughter of Ludwig I of Bavaria and Theresa of Saxe-Hildburghausen. Alexandra never had children, or married. Instead she devoted her life to religious and literary pursuits. She would publish several books of poetry and produce plays. Her life was overshadowed by eccentricities and possible mental illness, however.

1944 – In not-so-dead royalty, Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester is born in England as the son of Prince Henry and Princess Alice. He was the youngest grandchild of King George V and Queen Mary, and is a first cousin to Queen Elizabeth II. He undertakes many royal duties and patronages.

Deaths:

1850 – French King Louis Phillippe I died in British exile. He was a member of the Orleans branch of the French royal family, and was declared king in 1830, after the overthrow of Charles X. Initially popular, his policies eventually led to his downfall and forced abdication in 1848.

August 25th

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No major events.

Birthdays:
1530 – Ivan Vasilyevich is born in Russia to Grand Prince of Moscow Vasili III and Elena Glinskya. When Ivan was just 3 years old, he succeeded his father as Grand Prince of Moscow, after Vasili’s sudden death. In 1547, he was crowned as Tsar of all the Russia’s as Ivan IV. Throughout his reign, he was able to successfully navigate political changes in his nation, however, his economic policies were disastrous for Russia. It would be his harsh nature and quick temper that helped give him the nickname “Ivan the Terrible”. At one point in 1581, his temper got the best of him, and he hit his son, also named Ivan, over the head with a staff, killing the young man. This left his younger son, Feodor, as his heir. Ivan had also been married eight times, and through his children with his first wife, Anastasia Romanovna, the Romanov family would come to rule Russia.

1707 – Louis I of Spain is born in Madrid as the son of King Phillip V and Maria Luisa of Savoy. In 1722, Louis was forced to marry the French Princess Louise Elisabeth d’Orleans. The marriage was unhappy, there would be no children, and Louise was said to be so unhappy, she would refuse to see her husband. His father abdicated in 1724, but Louis’ reign would be short lived, as he died of smallpox just 7 months later. Phillip, his father, returned to the throne.

1786 – The future Ludwig I of Bavaria is born to Maximillian I Joseph and Augusta Wilhelmine of Hesse-Darmstadt. He succeeded his father in 1825 and ruled until his abdication in 1848. In 1810, he married Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen, and the following celebration was the first Oktoberfest. His policies got more and more repressive as time went on, until revolution struck and forced him to abdicate. His remaining years were spent on cultural projects and buildings, during the reign of his son, Maximilian II.

1845 – Ludwig II of Bavaria is born in Munich. He was the eldest son of Maximilian II of Bavaria and Marie of Prussia. He became King at age 18, after his father died suddenly in 1864. His youth and dashing good looks made him very popular. Ludwig was a great patron of the arts, including composer Richard Wagner. He also began construction on palaces throughout Bavaria, including the famed Neuschwanstein Castle, which he paid for out of his own pocket. However in 1886, he was deposed by his ministers, who had him declared insane by doctors who never examined him. The day after he was moved, he was found dead in waist deep water, with no water in his lungs. He was 40 years old at his death, childless, and succeeded by his actually insane brother, Otto, with their uncle as regent.

Deaths:
1270 – King Louis IX of France died in Africa while fighting on the Eighth Crusade. He was the son of Louis VIII and Blanche of Castile, and became King in 1226. Louis was later canonized by the Catholic church and he is he only French king to be Sainted. Because of his veneration, he is pictured as the quintessential Christian monarch, and many cities, including the American city of Saint Louis, Missouri.

1482 – Margaret of Anjou dies in France at age 52. She would be married to Henry VI of England in 1445. The would have one son, called Edward of Westminster. Margaret also became one of the principal figures in the War of the Roses, when she acted as regent for her husband during his bouts of mental instability. She helped to lead the Lancastrian forces before her husband’s overthrow, and after his restoration in 1470. However, after the defeat of the Lancasters in 1471. She was captured and later ransomed back to France. She was vilified throughout most of history and even referred to as a “She-wolf of France” by Shakespeare in the plays about her husband.

1699 – Christian V of Denmark died in Copenhagen.He was the son of Frederick III and Queen Sophie Amalie and the father of the future Frederick IV. He was quite popular with the common people for allowing them into state service. Christian is considered to be one of the more poorly educated Danish kings, a title which he seemed to be okay with. He lists his primary interests in his memoirs as “hunting, love-making, war and maritime affairs”.

1942 – Prince George, Duke of Kent is killed in battle during World War II. He was the son of King George V and Queen Mary. He was the younger brother to Edward VIII and George VI, and thus the paternal uncle to Queen Elizabeth II. He was given the title Duke of Kent in 1934, and it would pass to his son, Prince Edward, at his death.

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