Sunday Times bestseller
Selected as one of The Times' Best Books about The Tudors
A Telegraph Book of the Year
A History Today Book of the Year
A BBC History Magazine Book of the Year
The Tudors are a national obsession; they are our most notorious family in history. But beyond the well-worn headlines is a family still more extraordinary than the one we thought we knew.
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; it passes by the courage of 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 past – those parts they wished to remember and those they wished to forget.
With this background, Leanda de Lisle enables us to see the Tudors in their own terms and presents new perspectives and revelations on key figures and events, from the princes in the Tower to the Tudor Queens.
Tudor tells a family story like no other.
'A lively history of the ambitious Tudor family... It casts plenty of light on the strong women in the dynasty' The Times
This fresh take on the Tudor dynasty is history at its best. Covering everything from the Tudors' obscure beginnings, when a Welsh squire named Owen Tudor literally fell into the lap of Henry V's widow, Catherine of Valois, and later married her, to the death of the couple's great-great-granddaughter, Elizabeth I, British historian de Lisle (The Sisters Who Would Be Queen) has written an engaging and well-sourced account, sprinkled with provocative anecdotes that will appeal to both scholars and general readers interested in exploring how the constantly shifting Tudor family dynamics played out in the political, religious, and historical realms. De Lisle emphasizes the impact of the mysterious 1483 disappearance of two young princes in the Tower of London and the Tudors' subsequent obsession with securing the line of royal succession; she also notes the key roles played by often-overlooked female members of the extended family in the events that culminated in the accession of the first Tudor monarch, Henry VII, in 1485. This compelling tale is driven by three-dimensional people and relationships, and de Lisle does a fantastic job of making them feel lived and dramatic. Map, family trees, and illus.