James IV of Scotland was the most charismatic, but also the most doomed of the Stewart family to sit on the Scottish throne. Brilliantly clever, handsome and daring, he disdained his brother-in-law, Henry VIII of England, and set out on a flimsy excuse to inflict a resounding defeat on Scotland’s ancient enemy. He almost succeeded. On September 9th, 1513, he and his invading army of 50,000 men stood on Branxton Heights near Flodden and faced an English army of over 25,000.
In the 1960s, three starry-eyed young women called Jess, Joan and Jackie, meet in Bombay when their husbands go to work in the Indian city. They are happy and excited at the prospect of living abroad and do not believe a cynical member of the expatriate society who warns them that when European women go to live east of Aden, their lives change completely.
October 1881 and the fishermen of Eyemouth are preparing to go to sea. The prosperous fishing village is alive with anticipation and excitement…but also debate – is the village barometer to be believed? Despite the glorious start to the day, a violent storm destroys most of the boats leaving few families unscathed. For those who are left, life in this small, close-knit community will never be the same again.
Charles Edward Stewart, known in history as Bonnie Prince Charlie, landed in Scotland in 1746 to raise a rebellion against the English king and try to win back the British throne for his family but his attempt ended in disaster at Culloden. He only evaded capture by the English redcoats because a young woman called Flora Macdonald guided him across Skye to where he was able to board a French ship and escape.
Born Marie Stuart at Linlithgow Palace in 7th December 1542, she inherited the English throne at a mere six days old and almost immediately became the focus of opposing factions, desperate to control her. This is a wonderfully researched fictionalised account of her life. We also see Mary Queen of Scots through the eyes of Nathan, a pedlar and seller of embroidery threads, who first sets his eyes on the queen as an infant being crowned at Stirling Castle.
Since the dramatic events of October 1881, when a violent storm devastated the village of Eyemouth, the villagers have slowly started to rebuild their lives. Inconsolable with grief at the loss of her husband, Rosabelle has moved to London to start a new life, leaving her son Aaron behind. She sets up in business with the mysterious Rachelle, a well-connected and glamorous figure.