Wednesday 16 October 2013

Review ~ Tudor: The Family Story 1437- 1603 by Leanda De Lisle

8 October 2013
Perseus Books Group,Public Affairs Books

I love all things Tudor and despite having many historical factual books about the Tudors already sitting on my bookshelf, there is always room for one more.

Leanda De Lisle has created a very readable account of this fascinating family and provides the facts in an easy to understand, and very enjoyable manner. The founding of this tumultuous dynasty was fraught with danger and political upheaval, all of which is expertly explored.

The story starts in 1437, with the contentious marriage between Owen Tudor and Katherine de Valois, the widow of Henry V, and continues in easily divided sections through the subsequent Tudor reigns of Henry VII, Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth I. The book also explores the relationships these monarchs had with their Plantagenet and Stuart cousins ,which provides a more subtle family portrait rather than a gloomy historical documentary.

Beautifully researched and annotated, the book succeeds in portraying the Tudors as living breathing people, and despite the inherent cruelty of the era, in which they lived; the Tudor family are successfully shown as human beings with faults and foibles, and who were doing the best they could to succeed in a turbulent world.

If you are familiar with the Tudors then this book will not offer up any startling new evidence, but as an aide memoir it works really well, especially if like me you devour Tudor fiction.

My thanks to NetGalley and Perseus Books Group and Public Affairs Books

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