Despite my recent bouts with bronchitis, I finished reading Tudor: The Family Story by Leanda de Lisle (grrl, love your name). This book is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
The Tudor canon typically starts with the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, before speeding on to Henry VIII and the Reformation. But this leaves out the family’s obscure Welsh origins, the ordinary man known as Owen Tudor who would fall (literally) into a Queen’s lapand later her bed. It passes by the courage of Margaret Beaufort, the pregnant thirteen-year-old girl who would help found the Tudor dynasty, and the childhood and painful exile of her son, the future Henry VII. It ignores the fact that the Tudors were shaped by their pastthose parts they wished to remember and those they wished to forget.
By creating a full family portrait set against the background of this past, de Lisle enables us to see the Tudor dynasty in its own terms, and presents new perspectives and revelations on key figures and events. De Lisle discovers a family dominated by remarkable women doing everything possible to secure its future; shows why the princes in the Tower had to vanish; and reexamines the bloodiness of Mary’s reign, Elizabeth’s fraught relationships with her cousins, and the true significance of previously overlooked figures. Throughout the Tudor story, Leanda de Lisle emphasizes the supreme importance of achieving peace and stability in a violent and uncertain world, and of protecting and securing the bloodline.
Tudor is bristling with religious and political intrigue but at heart is a thrilling story of one family’s determined and flamboyant ambition.
Tudor: The Family Story by Leanda de Lisle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This comprehensive book isn't geared for romance fans - not unless the romance reader wants to know the history behind historical romances from the Tudor period. The prose is somewhat dry for the average reader but the book is so informative that history lovers won't be deterred. Well-researched and organized.
So many books about the Tudors start with Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. This book doesn't - it starts with Richard III and what was going on in the UK when the Tudors arrive on the scene, then proceeds to follow the Tudors through the duration of their reign, which helps clarify the issues and decisions made at the end of the dynasty - which many books fail to do because they skim through the Tudor beginnings.
I requested a copy of this book in exchange for review from NetGalley. I'm glad I did - I wish the author could continue this book as a series, covering the rest of the English monarchy up to the present day.
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