Royal Reads for Fans of “The Empress”

If you’re a fan of The Empress on Netflix, chances are you’re also a fan of historical fiction. The splendor and drama of royal living is present in both the show and the following books. While all three of these women come from different time periods, they share one thing in common: the name Elizabeth. Continue exploring the world of Sisi, or travel to the courts of Russia or England with one of these royal reads.

Elisabeth “Sisi,” Empress of Austria

The Accidental Empress by Allison Pataki

Fifteen-year-old Elisabeth, “Sisi,” Duchess of Bavaria, travels to the Habsburg Court with her older sister, who is betrothed to the young Emperor Franz Joseph. But shortly after her arrival at court, Sisi finds herself in an unexpected dilemma: she has inadvertently fallen for and won the heart of her sister’s groom. Franz Joseph reneges on his earlier proposal and declares his intention to marry Sisi instead. Thrust onto the throne of Europe’s most treacherous imperial court, Sisi upsets political and familial loyalties in her quest to win, and keep, the love of her emperor, her people, and of the world.

Elizabeth, Empress of Russia

The Tsarina’s Daughter by Ellen Alpsten

When they took everything from her, they didn’t count on her fighting to get it back. Born into the House of Romanov to the all-powerful Peter the Great and Catherine I, beautiful Tsarevna Elizabeth is the world’s loveliest Princess and the envy of the Russian empire. Insulated by luxury and as a woman free from the burden of statecraft, Elizabeth is seemingly born to pursue her passions. However, when her mother dies; Russia is torn, masks fall, and friends become foes. Elizabeth’s idyllic world is upended. By her twenties she is penniless and powerless, living under constant threat. As times change like quicksand, Elizabeth must decide whether she is willing to take up her role as Russia’s ruler, and what she’s willing to do for her country.

Queen Elizabeth II

The Gown by Jennifer Robson

When Heather Mackenzie discovers that the embroidered flowers among her grandmother’s possessions are the same pattern from Queen Elizabeth II’s wedding gown, she sets out to discover why they were in her possession. How did her beloved Nan, a woman who never spoke of her old life in Britain, come to possess the priceless embroideries that so closely resemble the motifs on the stunning gown worn by Queen Elizabeth II at her wedding almost seventy years before?

-Melinda

Great British Book Off

Idyllic countryside, sponge cakes, and coveted handshakes are the staple elements of the beloved Great British Bake Off. Netflix’s baking competition attracts millions of viewers who enjoy the light-hearted competition and camaraderie. The only drama in this show comes from food fails- cakes that haven’t risen, chocolate that hasn’t set, and of course the dreaded soggy bottom.

If you’d like to try your hand at your own signature bake, technical challenge, or showstopper, try one of these cookbooks from contestants and judges. While we anxiously wait to see who will be named the winner of series 13, I hope you find some baking inspiration in these titles.

On your marks, get set, bake!

Chetna’s Easy Baking: With a Twist of Spice by Chetna Makan

Nadiya’s Everyday Baking by Nadiya Hussain

Celebrate with Kim-Joy: Cute Cakes and Bakes to Make Every Occasion Joyful by Kim-Joy

Crumb: A Baking Book by Ruby Tandoh

Super Sourdough by James Morton

The Great British Bake Off: How to Turn Everyday Bakes into Showstoppers by Linda Collister

-Melinda