Mr. Taylor. We are beginning to see your name more in reference to Betty Boop’s creations and especially the trial of Helen Kane. As I am sure you well know, the Lower Court shot down Helen’s first attempt which caught the media’s attention. I am an attorney by trade and I reviewed not only your republished trail, but the original. I am happy to inform you, you are correct in all aspects. I must admit that I am now appalled at the incredible amount of incorrect information propagated on so many sites about Betty Boop especially in regards to Baby Ester as the model for the cartoon. More people should read the trial. I feel as though, only because of these present times, must include I am of African descent and have changed my opinion about Baby Ester.
Thank you Mr. Taylor-well done!
Dear James. Betty Boop has been a favorite since my childhood. I am 30. I was recovering from the virus with much time at home. I began researching Betty Boop for the lack of anything better to do. I encountered so much contradictory information; it literally made my head spin. I found your book about Helen Kane and read it. Now, I am even more confused. I was able to verify the information you shared through your citations (I have an MA in lit) and have come to the conclusion that too many people would rather be incorrectly informed than to verify the facts for themselves. Kudos. Brenda, Lexington KY.
Mr. Taylor. Our last administration coined the phrase about fake news which includes false information. After reading both your well-researched books about those who contributed to the creation of Betty Boop-I must say, that applies to all the bad information on the internet. How refreshing to read someone who took the time for a change to conduct research and publish it. Your work has been noticed. Thank you. Miguel, San Antonio TX.
Dear James Taylor. I have never written an author before, you are the first. I read both your books about Betty Boop. I am impressed with the scope of work you presented through Algora Publishing in New York. I will certainly help to pass these works along and be part of the solution and not the problem about the amount of incorrect information regarding Betty Boop. After reading the trial of Helen Kane and the evidence presented in front of the Supreme Court, I am baffled how so many people believe that Baby Ester is the model for Betty Boop. I am of African descent and proud of my heritage. I feel comfortable teaching my children the facts you present. Chloe and Thomas, Detroit MI.
Mr. Taylor. It’s about damn time someone stood up to attempt to set the records straight about the creation of Betty Boop. Well done my friend! Ronald, Westminster England.
"How helpful is the internet for you as an active well-published author?"
A simple answer-about 50%. I still must travel to libraries as many older publications have not been converted to digital and some are too fragile to be handled.
Published information on Lady Jane is scant and contradictory; here, primary sources including Jane's own letters illustrate the drama of a high-born, high-minded and intelligent young lady sacrificed on the pyre of ambition by her kin. The teenaged Lady Jane faced her shocking fate with shocking fortitude; her own performance is inspirational, while some of those around her showed themselves to be the very embodiment of treachery and betrayal. The result is a complete and accurate study of Lady Jane Grey and her short reign, through primary and secondary sources, that will stimulate new questions in the mind of readers and researchers alike.
James continues to receive critical acclaim for uncovering a rare and over looked letter from Lady Jane to Queen Mary that all other authors and historians have not discovered. A recent newspaper included this:
'Mr. Taylor unveils information not seen or shared since 1594 in this book. 7 years of hard work and research produced a fabulous rewards.'
“Taylor succeeds in furnishing insights into the remarkable mind of this young, 16th-century Protestant noblewoman” & “serious students of English history will relish the new material offered here”
Publishers Weekly, Jan 2005.
"Mr. Taylor’s hard work and diligent research has provided new information about Lady Jane Grey not seen in over 400 years. His literary contributions to historical research and studies is a valuable asset." Detroit Free Press. 2008.
Algora Publishing, New York. 2004
Edward Courtenay, the twelfth Earl of Devonshire, walked a fine line that separated treason and loyalty to the crown. Although he spent over half of his life imprisoned in the Tower of London, he was considered a possible marriage partner for Mary Tudor. He was released from prison but ended his days adrift on the continent. Here, James Taylor has pieced together the story of his dramatic life through remnants of correspondence and documents from the era. This volume was prepared in consultation with current Earl of Devon.
Algora Publishing, New York. 2006
Thomas Wyatt the Younger, born into a Catholic family with a history of loyal service to the Crown, was a supporter of Queen Mary — until she decided to marry Philip II of Spain. Wyatt had seen the horrors of the Spanish Inquisition and was dead set against tying England to this "foreigner." What happened next helped Mary earn the moniker "Bloody Mary." James D. Taylor Jr. has brought together all known surviving documents from the life of Thomas Wyatt the Younger and presents them in their original form, allowing the reader to piece together a pointillistic picture of the historical narrative, the thinking of a daring man, and the drama leading up to and during Wyatt's rebellion against the Queen.
Algora Publishing, New York. 2013
Henry Grey gave up a comfortable, quiet and leisurely life to become one of the most powerful and influential figures in England. The father of Lady Jane Grey, he was descended from a distinguished and noble heritage back as far as 1100 CE that produced two queens. In the end, Henry Grey brought destruction upon his daughter and himself, as they were sent to the executioner within a week of each other.
A genealogy of the Grey family, descriptive information on Henry Grey's wife Frances Brandon — an ambitious granddaughter of King Henry VII, a list of Knights made by King Edward VI, and other historical documents accompany the text. The author also presents some dramatic narratives from the 1700s and 1800s which add flavor to the story and corrects several incorrect facts often reprinted.
Algora Publishing, New York. 2015
Betty Boop is an iconic figure that has endured for decades. In addition to cartoons and short movies, she is seen on almost everything from automotive and motorcycle merchandise to household items and clothing. Just about anything you can think of, her sexy little figure can be seen on it. But few people know the voice that helped make her into the icon she is.
Mae Questel was an American actress and vocal artist who put the “boop” in the “boop boop a doop.” It was because of Mae Questel that Betty Boop has a characteristic voice heard and remembered by millions. In this book, historian James D. Taylor provides a look into the life of a wonderful woman and the contributions she made to American pop culture. She was dedicated to her work and remained active until the last ten years of her long life.
Individuals such as Woody Allen, Lou Hirsch, Doris Roberts and Bob Newhart shared their accounts of Mae Questel with the author, and he listened to hundreds of hours of old audio recordings and viewed many hours of film to accumulate material for this biography. With every hour, he says, his respect grew for this admirable and talented woman who entertained millions of people.
This book has ranked at 87,182 out of Amazon's top 4 million. Thank you to those readers who purchased this book. I hope Mrs. Questel enjoys the renewed and certainly deserved popularity again.
Algora Publishing, New York. 2016
Betty Boop has been a beloved character since the 1930s. The quintessential “flapper,” her character was based on a handful of popular performers, and fans are still arguing who was the principal model.
This book is the only comprehensive collection of documented facts about Helen Kane, the face of Betty Boop. Historian James D. Taylor has painstakingly accumulated all the facts that can be found about her life and her performing career - and these details make for an interesting story in themselves.
Those who do know of Helen Kane are aware of the controversy that broke out and became a major court case. Mr. Taylor gained access to the official transcript of the trial that was a pivotal event in her life.
Too many short, inaccurate biographies have been published that incorrectly quote from that trial. Helen Kane was dedicated to her work and remained active until the last ten years of her life.
While Mae Questel was the vocal artist whose distinctive voice helped make Betty Boop a favorite character, it’s the image of Betty Boop that is most recognizable. She would not look the way she does if it had not been for the performances of Helen Kane.
Algora Publishing, New York. 2017
This book presents the full documentation of all known and recorded capital trials during the Tudor dynasty.
Trials were very different back then. It was very rare for the accused to even have representation, and mainly people had to defend themselves; but one can read several examples of how individuals accused of treason skillfully defended themselves, evading the sentence of death.
Biographies have been published about some of these individuals, including the events that led up to the trials, but all too often the trials themselves have been left out of have been included only by way of a few exerts, so that this volume is the first to included as many are presented here.
The inducement to put together this book is two-fold. These trials were life and death events, an integral part of the individual's biographical story and of history; secondly, some readers of my past publications have requested a book just about the trials of those best known to readers interested in English Tudor history.
The trials included in this edition are accumulated from many sources. Only a very few cases, where actual trial records were not found, have been left out. During the reign of Elizabeth I, record keeping and trial transcripts became more frequent and regular.
Through this book, the refinement of Tudor law can be seen as it evolved from being a matter of the monarch's will to following clearly-established law that governed everyone.
ISBN 978-1-62894-376-4 State Trials.
Algora Publishing. New York. 2018.
Ships and Shipwrecks from the Late Tudor Dynasty.
Part I. This is the first and only collection of logs and recorded events of ships related to England originally recorded in documents from 1547-1603 then stored in archival volumes that at one time, represented a collection of original document material. Unfortunately, not all the original documents survived history leaving only a synopsis (sometimes poorly written) or snippet. Nevertheless, they provide a rare opportunity to view the life of sailors and their ships.
Furthermore, this is the first collection of recorded storms, tempests and of ship compliments of crew and ordnance types and quantities of the English navy from 1547-1603.
Part II. A few chosen rare recorded firsthand accounts and narrations of voyages, battles, shipwrecks and lost treasure from the period are shared. The voyages of Sir Francis Drake and Sir Walter Raleigh are often shared; but those in this part add a different opportunity to experience the often harsh, dangerous, and even sometimes lucrative rewards of life on a sailing vessel during the Tudor Dynasty.
Part III. This is the first and only comprehensive list of shipwrecks related to England that occurred between 1547-1603 except for the Spanish Amanda of 1588.
In a few of the individual wreck narrations, I have been able to narrow the wreck site location to within a couple square miles of the final resting place of a ship and sometimes its crew.
There are still treasures to be discovered underwater and in archives. I hope this book can assist in the location and identification of unknown wrecks honoring the men that served on them..
The Life of Sir Nicholas Throckmorton.
Please allow me to share the eloquently elegant words of Mr. George Scott, author of The Memoires of Sir James Melvil of Hal-Hill, published in London, 1683, in what is a creed of historical writers that seems to have been lost, distorted and certainly diluted with too many authors in the twenty-first century.
Three things there are essential to any history, and which chiefly recommend it to the esteem of judicious readers.
1. That the subject matter be real, and of considerable moment. Women and children may be delighted with, and dote upon romances, and silly legends; or listen with attentive admiration to the wars of the pigmies, and adventures of the fairy land. But men of sense always expect solid transactions, and such substantial examples as may be of advantage to improve their judgment in civil wisdom, and the necessary conduct of life.
2. That the author be capable of knowing what he speaks, and have opportunities to discover the certainty, and full circumstances of those affairs, whereof he undertakes to treat.
3. And lastly, his honesty, that he be a man of impartial veracity, and firm resolution to observe inviolable that prime law of history, ne quid salsi audeat dicere, ne quid veri non audeat. Not to dare deliver any falsehood, nor to conceal any truth.
[Scott, The Memoires of Sir James Melvil of Hal-Hill. The epistle to the reader]
This biography about Sir Nicholas Throckmorton is certainly long overdue and puzzles me as to why he has eluded biographers, until now. If one was to read this under the guise of a fictional account, it would be easy to believe it would fit into that genre. But, the truth is much greater than fiction could arrive at. His story is the epitome of what anyone has grown to understand about Tudor history. During the decades he served as an ambassador for Queen Elizabeth, he often found himself in the center of battles, wars, and life threatening situations to be able to report them to the queen. In order to often obtain this intelligence, he would utilize not only his skills, but spies, that could sometimes save hundreds of lives and prevent wars during the apex of the English Reformation involving England, France and Scotland.
This book is the product of a certain amount of frustration I encountered on a well-known information web site which involved Sir Nicholas Throckmorton. It indicated that Nicholas was born in 1516. When I would attempt to correct the information, I was quickly quashed. When I would present the facts that his tomb still exists and indicates that ‘in stone’ he died at 57 years of age and that there is no dispute that he died in 1570 resulting in the year 1513, I was informed that ‘you do not know what you are talking about’ and the information would be changed back to the birth date of 1516. While in college, the professor of a class I had attended asked a woman who handed in a paper if the sources she quoted from Wikipedia were correct, the woman replied “Yes, because it said they were.” I must quote from a very close friend of mine, Dr. Charlene Berry, a research librarian with Madonna University, who indicated that we are in the “misinformation age”. The term ‘fact checking’ has also become very popular due to the current administration.
I truly admire the inspirational words of Mr. Scott.