PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — James-Charles Noonan, bestselling author of The Church Visible: The Ceremonial Life and Protocol of the Catholic Church (1996. Viking Penguin), has released a three-book epic biography, Alix & Minnie: A Royal Trilogy, that tells the true story of Danish royal sisters from modest beginnings; one becoming the Queen of England and the other the Empress of Russia.
The three books of Alix & Minnie reveal the lives and historical impact – depicted through previously unmined archival information – of Princess Alexandra of Denmark, known as Alix, who would become Queen of the United Kingdom, Empress of India and the British Dominions and great-grandmother to Queen Elizabeth II of England, and Princess Dagmar of Denmark, known as Minnie and destined to become Empress Marie Feodorovna of Russia, and mother to the doomed Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and grandmother to Grand Duchess Anastasia.
"After spending several years doing research in The Secret Vatican Archives and coming across letters from kings, princesses, and various royals throughout Europe, I decided I wanted to write a royal biography," said Noonan. "I sought a story that would both interest me and capture a pivotal time in history through the personal stories of powerful women. I found that strong narrative in the story of Alix and Minnie. Their lives display an often unbelievable wealth of drama, history, tragedy, treachery, and familial love." He added that he felt the influence of women on historical events was too often neglected.
"I intentionally wrote in the style of a novel to engage the reader with the amazing history of these women," Noonan explained. "It’s all true, based on their letters that I uncovered in the archives. And I was fortunate to have numerous research agents who spent untold hours in the great archives at Windsor and elsewhere in the United Kingdom, in Copenhagen, Saint Petersburg and Moscow, Vatican City, Greece, and numerous German royal house archives, many of which had not previously been made public."
The result of Noonan’s research is three detailed and engrossing narratives: Book One: Royal Sisters Preparing for Greatness; Book Two: Adventure, Wealth, Power and Scandal; and Book Three: Widowhood, War, Revolution and Exile.
The lives of Alix & Minnie cover the period from 1844 when Alexandra, the elder of the sisters, was born, to 1928 when Minnie died. As a historian, Noonan’s period of expertise is 1800-1950 or modern European history from Napoleon forward. Noonan chose to highlight the exploits and incredible accomplishments of women who had a role in world history during a tumultuous transition for royal families around the world.
Book One of Alix & Minnie chronicles the early beginnings of the sisters, as well as the historical significance and the intricate protocol of royal names and reigning houses of which Noonan is a renowned expert. Noonan includes an extensive and invaluable collection of biographical data about members of the British, Russian, Danish, and Greek royal families. Book Two delves into the lives of the women’s growing families and the humiliations each suffered despite their positions and renowned beauty. In Book Three, Alix becomes queen and changes the face of the British monarchy and revolution brings an end to Imperial Russia, and the women endure.
About the Author
James-Charles Noonan is a historian, international protocolist, and author who wrote the bestselling book The Church Visible: The Ceremonial Life and Protocol of the Catholic Church, which was commissioned by Pope John Paul II, who was also a personal friend. Noonan spent several years in the Vatican, where he was given access to The Secret Vatican Archives and conducted years of research. He was raised in the Philadelphia area, attended LaSalle University, and was educated at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia. He later attended the Pontifical Gregorian University in Vatican City in Rome, and Catholic University in Washington. Noonan recently released A Church of Tradition: What Every Catholic Should Know. He lives outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
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SOURCE James-Charles Noonan