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C. W. Gortner

Author of The Last Queen: A Novel

19 Works 3,641 Members 343 Reviews 9 Favorited

About the Author

C. W. Gortner was born and raised in Spain. He moved to the United States when he was a teen-ager. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in San Francisco and a Masters of Fine Arts in Writing from the New College of California. He soon show more found his passion for writing and became an author of historical fiction. His titles include: The Last Queen, The Confessions of Catherine De Medici, The Queen's Vow: A Novel of Isabella of Castile, Mademoiselle Chanel, and Marlene. He was named one of the top ten historical novelists by The Washington Independent Review of Books. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: Photo by Alice Heimsoth


Works by C. W. Gortner


Common Knowledge

Legal name
Gortner, Christopher Willis
Places of residence
San Francisco, California, USA
New College of California (MFA/Writimg, MA/Renaissance Studies)
Awards and honors
Shortlisted for the Heathrow Travel Award: Travel Read, Fiction 2009
Jennifer Weltz (Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency, Inc.)
Short biography
C.W. GORTNER’s novel THE LAST QUEEN is a Marin Independent Journal bestseller and is currently being translated into eight languages. He holds a MFA in Writing with an emphasis on Renaissance Studies from the New College of California and has taught university seminars on the 16th century. In addition, he travels extensively to research his books. A regular contributor to the Historical Novels Review and Solander, publications of the Historical Novel Society, C.W. is also a dedicated advocate for animal rights and environmental issues. Born in Washington D.C. and raised in Málaga, Spain, he is half-Spanish by birth and lives in Northern California. Visit him at: www.cwgortner.com



I am a fan of C.W. Gortner, it is well researched and well written. I was very interested in her childhood, the details are sad, her mother was very cold and not affectionate. Her father died when she was very young. Her sister was an invalid and had to be homeschooled. Marlene wanted to please her mother but it was impossible, she undertook violin study but it did not embrace her emotionally.

She was sent to boarding school, her mother was not rich, her mother cleaned houses for people and wore her hands raw cleaning the floors. Marlene credited her for knowing how to clean her home. In boarding school, she found friends for the first time in her life. She got into acting because of her fascination for the movies. She loved both men and women. There were some graphic scenes but I wondered more about what she was thinking about.

I enjoyed reading about her engagement with the USO to entertain the troops and yearned for more information about her later years but the author, C.W. Gortner said that he would have written more than one book. She took a strong stand against the Nazis after she learned about what happened during WWII. I still want to read more about her. She was a fascinating woman.
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Carolee888 | 18 other reviews | Apr 27, 2024 |
In the past, I read so many historical fiction books that I got tired of them. Since I am getting older, I have been working my way through the last books on my bookshelf before getting some from the library or buying any new ones.

The story is straightforward and held my interest, there were no surprises and I was already familiar with the historical characters. It would be a good and not painful introduction to the times.
Carolee888 | 53 other reviews | Jan 23, 2024 |
I really enjoyed reading this book! I'm so curious about the Romanov family, and this book was interesting! The author does an exemplary job with historical facts, combining it with fictional aspects.
A definite must read for historical fiction lovers!
Sassyjd32 | 49 other reviews | Dec 22, 2023 |



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