Author(s): Leanda de Lisle
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.
Some of their past the Tudors wanted to remember, other parts they preferred to forget: a new history, a new story, the family behind the myths
"A wonderfully fluent portrait of five generations... de Lisle brings an entirely fresh feel to the Tudor story, reminding us of the one thing the monarchs themselves wanted us to forget: the sheer improbability of their royal rule" -- Dan Jones, author of The Plantagenets The Times (Saturday Review) "Violent, heady, glamorous stuff, this is popular history of a very superior sort" -- Lucy Worsley Country Life "Vivid... Part of the interest of this book lies in the portraits of strong women" -- Charles Moore Daily Telegraph "Tudor is a gripping account of a family riven by passionate jealousies, murderous ambitions and crippling tragedies. Leanda de Lisle is a master storyteller, and this is her greatest work yet. Immersive and exhaustively researched, Tudor is a triumph." Amanda Foreman, author of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire "While many Tudor fans have been crying out for an accessible narrative history of the entire period, few historians have felt able to rise to the challenge... [de Lisle] manages to achieve that very feat... should now be the go-to book" -- Chris Skidmore History Today (Books of the Year 2013)
Leanda de Lisle is the highly acclaimed author of The Sisters Who Would be Queen: The Tragedy of Mary, Katherine and Lady Jane Grey and After Elizabeth: The Death of Elizabeth and the Coming of King James and, most recently, Tudor: The family story. She has been a columnist on the Spectator, Country Life, the Guardian and the Express and writes for the Daily Mail, the New Statesman and the Sunday Telegraph. She lives in Leicestershire.