Tudor

Tudor

The Family Story

Book - 2013
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The Tudors are a national obsession. From TV bodice-rippers to Booker-prize winning novels and scholarly journals, they are our favourite family in history. Their story is packed with famous and thrilling tales: Henry VIII and his wives,Elizabeth the Virgin Queen, the Princes in the Tower, the Armada. But, as Leanda de Lisle shows in this exciting new history, if we look beyond these familiar headlines, much that is new and surprising is revealed.

     The Tudor canon starts with Bosworth in 1485 and really gets going with Henry VIII and the Reformation. But this leaves out the obscure Welsh origins of Owain ap Maredudd ap Tudur, the man who would become known simply as 'Owen Tudor' and fall (literally) into the lap of Katherine de Valois, widow of Henry V. It leaves out the courage of Margaret Beaufort, the forgotten pregnant thirteen-year-old girl who through her son Henry VII went on to found and shape the Tudor dynasty. It casts Elizabeth as the paradigm of power, and misses the effects of Mary's influence as they were growing up.

     Over and above everything else, the Tudors' is a family story. A family struggling at every turn to establish their right to the throne. A family dominated by remarkable women doing everything possible to secure influence and the family line. What emerges here is a story like no other, packed with all the headlines we know and love, but which also brings to life in a completely new -- and very human way -- this extraordinary family and their times.
Publisher: London : Chatto & Windus, 2013
ISBN: 9780701185893
Branch Call Number: 942.050922 DEL

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BlueHippo
Aug 25, 2015

I really, really enjoyed this book. It is extremely well-researched and very well written. I especially enjoyed learning more about some of the "minor" characters in the Tudor story-Henry VIII's sisters, for example. There are a couple of minor errors the editor should have caught-Wolsey is identified as someone's "godmother"(I'm sure it should have read "godfather"), and there is a reference to Henry VI as being the uncle of Henry VII. I don't see that-maybe Henry VI was his step-uncle (through Owen Tudor's 2nd marriage to Catherine of Valois marriage), but I don't see the direct relationship for Henry VI and Henry VII. The book is very current and the author makes use of research and discoveries made within the last few years, including the discovery of the body of Richard III. The print is small, but it is well-written and reads pretty easily. There is an epilogue and 4 short appendices which focus on some very specific things. There are also many pages of notes and many of these are actually very interesting! I am looking forward to reading other books by this author.

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