The Tudors are England's most dramatic royal family-Henry VIII notoriously divorced his queen and broke with the church of Rome, and Elizabeth I became the greatest English queen in history. But they are a dynasty still more extraordinary than the one we thought we knew.
In an epic narrative sweeping from 1437 to the first decade of the seventeenth century, Tudor traces the rise and rule of the dynasty. Brutal political instability dominated England, and Leanda de Lisle reveals the personalities, passions, and obsessions of the men and women at its epicenter.
This groundbreaking story opens at the unlikely beginning of the Tudor dynasty-with Owen Tudor, a handsome Welsh commoner who, with a pirouette and a trip, landed squarely in the lap of the English Monarchy. The struggle of Owen's grandson Henry VII and his heirs to secure the line of succession-and the hopes, loves, and losses of the claimants-are the focus of this book. The universal appeal of the Tudors also lies in the family stories: of a mother's love for her son, of the husband who kills his wives, of siblings who betray one another, of reckless love affairs, of rival cousins, of an old spinster whose heirs hope to hurry her to her end.
Thrilling to read and bristling with religious and political intrigue, Tudor tells the true story behind the myths, throwing a fresh, new light on this perennially fascinating era.
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.