Friday, June 14, 2013

Review of Tudor: The Family Story

The Tudors were, at best, and unlikely royal family. Their rise to power was part chance, part careful planning, and a copious amount of luck. The beginning of the Tudor dynasty was a lowly squire, with an odd Welsh name, who married a widowed Queen. Through the machinations of their children and, possibly most importantly, their daughter-in-law Margaret Beaufort, their grandson would eventually rise from relative obscurity to become King Henry VII.  The Tudor family would rule England from 1485 until Elizabeth I's death in 1603, through political and religious upheaval. Though they are often defined by some of the radical decision they made, the era of the Tudors helped shaped all the way through the present.

First of all I would like to say the I love English history. I have found the stories of kings and queens of England fascinating since I was a girl and read a biography of Elizabeth I. While I have not read a good historical book in a while, this has really re-immersed my brain into Henrician/Elizabethan England. This book is a wonderful complete view of the Tudor era, covering their beginnings, their rise to power and their fight to keep it. This is an interesting look at not only the monarchs of the period, but the people who helped them get there and the people who wanted them gone. What I most enjoyed about this book is the concise and approachable way it is written. Some history books tend to be extremely dense, but this book avoids that by exploring the personal, as well as political, lives of those involved. However, the one problem I had with it was the same that I have with many history books: with so many names and inherited titles it is sometime extremely difficult to keep all the players straight without an extensive cheat sheet.  

Overall, I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves English history or anyone that wants to learn more about English history during this period. This is not just history, it is the story of one of the most remarkable families in English history. 

From left to right: Elizabeth of York, Mary I, Edward VI, Henry VII, Queen Jane Seymour, Elizabeth I, and Henry VII

This review is of an ARC of Tudor: The Family Story received from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

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