You may think that when someone takes a holiday abroad they may just want to lay back in the sun and relax. Well for me, I did just that, but what better way to relax in the sun than with a great book - a great royal history book at that.
Tudor-The Family Story by Leanda de Lisle is quite simply a fantastic book, it gives a massive insight in to the Tudors not just as a royal dynasty but as a family. I learnt so much not just about the Monarchs of this period but also of their relatives – some distant and some not quite so. The relationships between each of these family members is discussed, as is how these relationships changed (either for the better or worse) when one of these people became King or Queen.
The story begins with the tale of Owen Tudor, the original founder of the Tudor dynasty and ends with the death of “Gloriana”, Queen Elizabeth I and consequently the death of the Tudor dynasty. Everything you can think of in between is covered, from the reign of the first Tudor King, Henry VII to the six wives of his Son King Henry VIII; the nine days Queen Lady Jane Grey to the “bloody” reign of Queen Mary I. I do not think readers will be disappointed. My personal opinion is that this book gives the reader information they may not have known before, I myself learnt a few things about the Tudor dynasty after reading this book that I did not know before and am very thankful for it now.
One person who stands out for me, and who I learnt a lot about from this book is Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of the first Tudor King, Henry VII. Her steely determination to get her son on the Throne shines through. Despite the fact that she too had a claim to the Crown of England, she never once wanted to be Queen, everything she did was for her son to take all the glory. Margaret Beaufort was quite happy being the Kings mother, a title that at Court held just as much high esteem for her had she been Queen. Before reading this book I was unaware that Lady Margaret Beaufort was a suspect for the murder of the Princes in the Tower, and it made me wonder just how far would Margaret go to get her son on the Throne. Like a lot of Royal history, this is just speculation and nothing was ever proven and quite frankly there is a whole list of suspects for that incident, none of whom were ever convicted for the murder.
If you are reading this review thinking that this book is just about the “normal” Tudor stuff we hear about all the time, then really its time you picked up this book and see for yourself just how much more there is to know about the Tudor family. So much is covered by Leanda de Lisle from the very well-known through to the much lesser known, facts. I also very much enjoyed all the Tudor characters being bought together and the way their relationships are described.
I said at the beginning this book was a great holiday read, scratch that, this book is a great anywhere read and if anybody thinks I am hyping this book up to be something it is not, please read the book and then tell me I was wrong, I promise you that you won’t be disappointed.
Note: after you have read the main book there are five appendix to read also. Please do take the time to read them as they will answer any questions for you that have arisen throughout the main book.