I have received numerous comments regarding the recently produced video about Baby Ester and I feel as I should share:
Mr. Taylor. We recently watched your video on Baby Ester related to Betty Boop and we read your book about Helen Kane. As compelling as your information is in this racially charged time, we admire your tackling this subject. Many believe that Baby Ester was the model for Betty Boop, I must admit, we have changed our opinion based on the evidence you present. By-the-way, we verified all your sources and found them to be correct. Thank you. Belinda, Houston, TX.
Dear Mr. Taylor. We watched your Youtube video on Baby Ester not the model for Betty Boop. We were skeptical about the information you provided. Several information websites do not share your information which only made us question more. I must admit, that your information was verified by our fact checkers and the sources on those websites were not provided, not a surprise.
We then moved on to your book about Helen Kane. You did her a great favor by portraying the life of a woman that history seems to have forgotten, including the full New York Supreme Court trial. Well done. We read an interview about you that labeled you as a Renaissance man. You are ‘old school’, we believed your type of research authors disappeared in this ‘information age,’ glad to say we are wrong. E.B. Donner.
James: The video you produced about Baby Ester prompted us to check your resources. We were surprised. Thank you. We hope to read your book soon.
It is no secret that media has addressed the concern of many about not portraying black people more in television and movies. After watching and verifying your information in your video about Baby Ester, we wonder how many other bits of information portrayed to the public is not correct for our future generations to learn from. By the way, I am a big Betty Boop fan. Dr. Wang, Xiang.
A few individuals have indicated they find low sales numbers on Amazon.com. Please do not judge these, my sales are primarily to colleges, universities and schools as I am with an academic press. Please check sites like Worldcat.org. Worldcat.org is a catalog of books from all over the globe.
"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. Please, take the time required to ensure our future generations have correct information available.
The following books were published by Algora Publishing, New York, New York.
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
As of 2021, this book resides in 1127 college and university libraries worldwide.
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
As of 2021, this book resides in 1169 college and university libraries worldwide.
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
As of 2021, this book resides in 222 college and university libraries worldwide.
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
As of 2021, this book resides in 572 college and university libraries worldwide.
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.
As of 2021, this book resides in 524 college and university libraries worldwide.
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.