In the Shadow of the Empress: The Defiant Lives of Maria Theresa, Mother of Marie Antoinette, and Her Daughters

Out of the thrilling and tempestuous eighteenth century comes the sweeping family saga of beautiful Maria Theresa, a sovereign of extraordinary strength and vision, the only woman ever to inherit and rule the vast Habsburg empire in her own name, and three of her remarkable daughters: lovely, talented Maria Christina, governor-general of the Austrian Netherlands; spirited Maria Carolina, the resolute queen of Naples; and the youngest, Marie Antoinette, the glamorous, tragic queen of France, perhaps the most famous princess in history.

Unfolding against an irresistible backdrop of brilliant courts from Vienna to Versailles, embracing the exotic lure of Naples and Sicily, this epic history of Maria Theresa and her daughters is a tour de force of desire, adventure, ambition, treachery, sorrow, and glory. Amazon Apple Audible Barnes & Noble Books-A-Million Kobo Amazon UK
In the Shadow of the Empress

Daughters of the Winter Queen: Four Remarkable Sisters, the Crown of Bohemia, and the Enduring Legacy of Mary, Queen of Scots

From the great courts, glittering palaces, and war-ravaged battlefields of seventeenth-century Europe comes the riveting story of four unforgettable sisters and their glamorous mother, Elizabeth Stuart, granddaughter of the martyred Mary, queen of Scots. Assailed by danger, scandal, and intrigue, pursued by powerful enemies, this pivotal family of spirited, passionate women, by steadfastly refusing to surrender to adversity, survived to change the course of history.

Elizabeth Stuart’s life was transformed at the age of six when her godmother, the storied Queen Elizabeth I, died and her father, James Stuart, ascended to the throne of England. From a life of genteel poverty in unruly Scotland, vivacious Elizabeth, graceful, tall and slender, the image of her grandmother Mary right down to the tumbling auburn curls, was suddenly thrust into the fairy tale existence of a princess of illustrious England, surrounded by wealth and splendor. When her father married Elizabeth at sixteen to Frederick V, elector of the Palatinate, a German count far below her rank, it was with the understanding that James would help her husband achieve the kingship of Bohemia. Her father’s terrible betrayal of this commitment would ruin “The Winter Queen,” as Elizabeth would forever be known, imperil the lives of those she loved, and launch a war that would last for thirty years. Amazon Apple Audible Barnes & Noble Books-A-Million Kobo Amazon UK
Daughters of the Winter Queen

The Rival Queens: Catherine de’ Medici, Her Daughter Marguerite de Valois, and the Betrayal That Ignited a Kingdom

Set in Renaissance France, at the magnificent court of the Valois kings, comes the history of two remarkable women, a mother and daughter driven into opposition by a terrible betrayal that threatened to destroy the realm. Catherine de’ Medici, the infamous queen mother of France, was a consummate pragmatist and powerbroker who dominated the throne for thirty years. Her youngest daughter Marguerite, the glamorous “Queen Margot,” was a passionate free spirit, the only adversary whom her mother could neither intimidate nor control. When Catherine forces the Catholic Marguerite to marry her Protestant cousin Henry of Navarre against her will, and then uses her opulent Parisian wedding as a means of luring his Huguenot followers to their deaths, she creates not only savage conflict within France but also a potent rival within her own family. Amazon Apple Audible Barnes & Noble Books-A-Million Kobo Amazon UK
The Rival Queens: Catherine de’ Medici, Her Daughter Marguerite de Valois, and the Betrayal That Ignited a Kingdom

The Maid and the Queen: The Secret History of Joan of Arc

No more compelling figure has ever emerged from the pages of history than Joan of Arc, the brave peasant girl who heard the voices of angels and restored the dauphin to his rightful place on the throne of France.  The mystery surrounding Joan’s story remains as mesmerizing today as it was when she first made her appearance some six centuries ago.  How had the Maid, a lowly commoner, gained an audience at the royal court?  How came she, an illiterate young woman from an insignificant, obscure, out-of-the-way village at the very edge of the kingdom, to know so much about the complex political situation in France, and, indeed, to see into the deepest recesses of her sovereign’s heart? What clandestine sign did Joan reveal to the dauphin that convinced him of her authenticity and inspired him to follow her advice?  How did a seventeen year old girl with no experience in warfare defeat the fearsome English army and raise the siege of Orléans in a single week? Amazon Apple Audible Barnes & Noble Books-A-Million Kobo Amazon UK
The Maid and the Queen: The Secret History of Joan of Arc

The Lady Queen:  The Notorious Reign of Joanna I, Queen of Naples, Jerusalem, and Sicily

Out of the romance and passion of the fourteenth century comes the riveting story of Joanna I, the only female monarch of her day to rule in her own name, and one of the most remarkable and accomplished women in history. 

Married at the age of seven to her six-year-old Hungarian cousin, Prince Andrew, Joanna’s brilliant, cultivated world was shattered twelve years later by the brutal assassination of her husband by unknown assailants.  At the instigation of her powerful Hungarian in-laws, who used Andrew’s death as a pretext to invade her kingdom, Joanna was accused of his murder and forced to stand trial for her life before the papal court at Avignon.  This compelling account of how, despite her youth and sex, Joanna triumphed over her enemies, raised an army, and took back her kingdom, makes for one of the most thrilling sagas of any age. Amazon Apple Audible Barnes & Noble Books-A-Million Kobo Amazon UK
The Lady Queen

Four Queens:  The Provençal Sisters Who Ruled Europe

Set against the backdrop of the thirteenth century, a time of chivalry and crusades, poetry, knights and monarchs, comes the story of four provocative sisters who rose from near obscurity to become the most coveted and powerful women in Europe.  The brilliant marriages of Marguerite, Eleanor, Sanchia and Beatrice, the beautiful daughters of the count of Provence, made them the queens of France, England, Germany and Sicily.  Plunged into the dangerous whirlwind of European politics, they survived war, treachery, and rebellion, often through sheer strength of character and by relying upon one another.  Theirs is a compelling family drama of courage, sagacity, and ambition that still resounds today.  A compulsively readable narrative, Four Queens offers a fascinating portrait of a remarkable medieval family and shatters the myth that women were helpless pawns in a society that celebrated physical prowess and masculine intellect. Amazon Apple Audible Barnes & Noble Books-A-Million Kobo Amazon UK
Four Queens:  The Provençal Sisters Who Ruled Europe

Books by Nancy Goldstone and Lawrence Goldstone:

Out of the Flames:  The Remarkable Story of a Fearless Scholar, A Fatal Heresy and One of the Rarest Books in the World

The fascinating tale of the sixteenth century genius, Michael Servetus, spiritual founder of Unitarianism, who was burned at the stake by John Calvin with what was assumed to be the last copy of his heretical work, Christianismi Restitutio, chained to his leg.  Except three copies of the book, which also contained a great medical discovery for which Servetus was never given credit, escaped the flames. 

“I guarantee you won’t read a more entertaining story this season—part biography, part history, part mystery and part plea for justice.”
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Out of the Flames

The Friar and the Cipher: Roger Bacon and the Unsolved Mystery of the Most Unusual Manuscript in the World

The most tantalizing work in the rare book library at Yale University is the Voynich Manuscript, an illustrated medieval treatise written entirely in a mysterious cipher.  For centuries, code specialists have tried and failed to break the cipher.  Not even today’s supercomputers have been able to crack it, except for the last line, which says “To me, Roger Bacon,” a reference to a thirteenth century Oxford friar who is known today as the father of experimental science.  Was Roger Bacon, who was famous for the use of codes to disguise his findings for fear of prosecution by the Church, the author of this perplexing document?  If so, what secrets does it hide?

“A fascinating intellectual odyssey.”
The Los Angeles Times Book Review

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The Friar and the Cipher

Used and Rare:  Travels in the Book World

This was the first book Larry and I wrote together.  It details our introduction into the world of used and antiquarian books—the odd bookstores we visited, the delightful booksellers we met, the out-or-print treasures we discovered.  When we started, we were young and knew nothing.  I’m not sure how far we’ve come since we wrote this but the journey has never been anything but wonderful. 

“Most books about books are as stuffy and musty as a 400-year-old binding, but the Goldstones’ prose is as sprightly and readable as the ‘modern firsts’ they began to add to their collections.  I read it in one sitting.”
Rocky Mountain News

“The authors’ descriptions are evocative, their storytelling compassionate—and frequently hilarious.  A sort of Year in Provence for book lovers.”
Kirkus Reviews

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Used and Rare: Travels in the Book World

Slightly Chipped: Footnotes in Booklore

More than a sequel, Slightly Chipped: Footnotes in Booklore is a companion piece for Used and Rare. A delight for the general reader and book collector alike, it details the Goldstones’ further explorations into the curious world of book collecting. In Slightly Chipped, they get hooked on the correspondence and couplings of Bloomsbury; they track down Bram Stoker’s earliest notes for Dracula; and they are introduced to hyper-moderns. Slightly Chipped is filled with all of the anecdotes and esoterica about the world of book collecting that charmed readers of Used and Rare.

“[A] lively portrait of rare-book enthusiasts.”
The New York Times Book Review

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Slightly Chipped

Warmly Inscribed: The New England Forger and Other Book Tales

The authors of two previous well-received volumes on book collecting now regale their many fans with fascinating facts and fables about famous libraries and infamous forgers.

“The Goldstones, a husband-and-wife book book collecting/writing team, follow two previous memoirs about their occupational adventures with this entertaining offering… The Goldstones write with flair and humor… an undemanding and fun read for bibliophiles, whether antiquarian collectors or not.”
Publishers Weekly

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Warmly Inscribed: The New England Forger and Other Book Tales

Deconstructing Penguins: Parents, Kids, and the Bond of Reading

For years, in an effort to instill a love of literature in our daughter and her friends, Larry and I volunteered our time to run parent-child book groups for elementary school children at our local library.  It was hands-down the most rewarding experience of our life together.  In Deconstructing Penguins (the title refers to our very first group, an in-depth analysis of Mr. Popper’s Penguins) we chronicled what we learned from these sessions.  The book recommends children’s titles that we found to be indispensable and also offers detailed discussion plans including the real-life (and frequently hilarious) responses of both the kids and their parents.

“Not just the single best book on leading a book discussion group, Deconstructing Penguins is also about how to dig a tunnel into the heart of a book.  In my ideal world, every reading teacher would trash that boring classroom text and adopt this book as a curriculum bible.”
—Jim Trelease, author of The Read-Aloud Handbook Amazon Apple Barnes & Noble
Deconstructing Penguins

Other fiction and nonfiction:

Trading Up: Surviving Success as a Woman Trader on Wall Street

The hilarious and frightening saga of a young woman who went from being a loan officer to become head of the Options Trading Department of a major bank in two weeks—with no training—and how she became a star trader totally by accident.

“A nicely measured tale of individual growth, gain, and loss, whose conflicts could make an entertaining, albeit cautionary, film.”

Trading Up: Surviving Success as a Woman Trader on Wall Street

Mommy and the Murder

When her estranged novelist husband is murdered after receiving a million-dollar advance, Elizabeth Halprin is declared the prime suspect and enlists the help of her toddler play group friends to prove her innocence. 

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Mommy and the Murder

Mommy and the Money

Set in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, a sequel to the critically acclaimed Mommy and the Murder follows Elizabeth Halperin and her small daughter on the search for the murderer of her latest beau, a wealthy real-estate developer.

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Mommy and the Money