‘Alison Weir's sound scholarship and storyteller's gift for rich, telling detail constantly engages and enthrals the reader’ The Times The captivating life of Margaret Douglas - a life of scandal, political intrigue and royal romance that spanned five Tudor reigns. Royal Tudor blood ran in her veins. Some thought Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox, should be queen of England. She ranked high at the court of her uncle, Henry VIII, and was lady of honour to five of his wives. Beautiful and tempestuous, she created scandal - twice - by falling in love with unsuitable men. Throughout her life her dynastic ties to two crowns proved hazardous. A born political intriguer, she was imprisoned in the Tower of London three times, once under sentence of death. Her husband and son were brutally murdered, she warred with two queens, and proved instrumental in securing the Stuart succession to the throne of England for her grandson. Alison Weir brings Margaret Douglas's captivating character out of the shadows for the first time.
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A profile of the niece of Henry VIII reveals her contributions to sixteenth century politics, covering her two affairs, arrangement of her son's marriage to Mary Queen of Scots, and role in securing the English throne for her grandson, Scotland's James VI.
Her mother was a queen, her father an earl, and she herself was the granddaughter, niece, cousin and grandmother of monarchs. Margaret Douglas, Conuntess of Lennox ranked high at the court of her uncle, Henry VIII, and was lady of honour to five of his wives. Beautiful and tempestuous, she created scandal, not just once, but twice, by falling in love with unsuitable men. A born political intriguer, she was imprisoned in the Tower of London on three occasions, once under sentence of death. She helped to bring about one of the most notorious royal marriages of the 16th century, but it brought her only tragedy. Her son and her husband were brutally murdered, and there were rumours that she herself was poisoned. She was instrumental in securing the Stuart succession to the throne of England for her grandson. This is the biography of an extraordinary life that spanned five Tudor reigns.
Elizabeth the Queen begins as the young Elizabeth ascends the throne in the wake of her sister Mary's disastrous reign - both a woman and a queen, Elizabeth's story is an extraordinary phenomenon in a patriarchal age. From Elizabeth's intriguing, long-standing affair with Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, to her dealings - sometimes comical, sometimes poignant - with her many suitors, her rivalry with Mary, Queen of Scots, and her bizarre relationship with the Earl of Essex, thirty years her junior, here, in rich, vivid and colourful detail, Alison Weir helps us comes as close as we shall ever get to knowing what Elizabeth I was like as a person. 'Excellent...intricate and absorbing...An elegant, shrewd and wonderfully vivacious book.' The Times
- Author : Alison Weir
- Publisher : Hachette UK
- Release Date : 2016-05-05
- Genre : Fiction
- Pages : 480
- ISBN : 9781472227492
*A Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller* Katherine of Aragon: The True Queen by bestselling historian Alison Weir, author of The Lost Tudor Princess, is the first in a spellbinding six novel series about Henry VIII's Queens. Alison takes you on an engrossing journey at Katherine's side and shows her extraordinary strength of character and intelligence. Ideal for fans of Philippa Gregory and Elizabeth Chadwick. 'Shatters the many myths about Henry VIII's long-suffering first wife' Tracy Borman 'Weir is excellent on the little details that bring a world to life' Guardian A Spanish princess. Raised to be modest, obedient and devout. Destined to be an English Queen. Six weeks from home across treacherous seas, everything is different: the language, the food, the weather. And for her there is no comfort in any of it. At sixteen-years-old, Catalina is alone among strangers. She misses her mother. She mourns her lost brother. She cannot trust even those assigned to her protection. KATHERINE OF ARAGON. The first of Henry's Queens. Her story. History tells us how she died. This captivating novel shows us how she lived. SIX TUDOR QUEENS. SIX NOVELS. SIX YEARS. Praise for Alison Weir and Katherine of Aragon: 'A tender understanding of and genuine sympathy for this proud, much-loved and honourable Queen. . . I was gripped [from] start to finish' Mavis Cheek 'Well-researched and engrossing' Good Housekeeping 'Yet again, Alison Weir has managed to intertwine profound historical knowledge with huge emotional intelligence, to compose a work that throws light on an endlessly fascinating historical figure. Yet her real gift in all of this is making it feel so fresh and alive' Earl Spencer 'This exquisite book charts the rise and fall of Henry VIII's first wife, Katherine. . . A fascinating insight into this period of our history. Weir's undeniable strength is her immaculate description, enabling the reader to be transported back to Tudor England' Sun 'Katherine of Aragon, The True Queen i
Henry VIII, renowned for his command of power and celebrated for his intellect, presided over one of the most magnificent–and dangerous–courts in Renaissance Europe. Never before has a detailed, personal biography of this charismatic monarch been set against the cultural, social, and political background of his glittering court. Now Alison Weir brings to vibrant life the turbulent, complex figure of the King. Packed with colourful description, meticulous in historical detail, rich in pageantry, intrigue, passion, and luxury, Weir brilliantly renders King Henry VIII, his court, and the fascinating men and women who vied for its pleasures and rewards. 'Alison Weir is one of our best popular historians and one, moreover, with an impressive scholarly pedigree in Tudor history...her latest offering is a very fine book' - Frank McLynn, Independent
'Recounted with her usual lively thoroughness by Alison Weir, my favourite Tudor historian' Philippa Gregory When Henry VIII died in 1547, he left three highly intelligent children to succeed him in turn, to be followed, if their lines failed, by the descendants of his sister, Mary Tudor. Children of England begins at the point where The Six Wives of Henry VIII came to an end and covers the period until Elizabeth succeeded to the throne in 1558. Making use of a huge variety of contemporary sources, Alison Weir brings to life one of the most extraordinary periods of English history, when each of Henry's heirs was potentially the tool of powerful political or religious figures, and when the realm was seething with intrigue and turbulent change.
One of the most powerful monarchs in British history, Henry VIII ruled England in unprecedented splendour. In this remarkable composite biography, Alison Weir brings Henry's six wives vividly to life, revealing each as a distinct and compelling personality in her own right. Drawing upon the rich fund of documentary material from the Tudor period, The Six Wives of Henry VIII shows us a court where personal needs frequently influenced public events and where a life of gorgeously ritualised pleasure was shot through with ambition, treason and violence. 'At last we have the truth about Henry VIII's wives. This book is as reliable and scholarly as it is readable' Evening Standard
Christmas in Tudor times was a period of feasting, revelry and merrymaking ‘to drive the cold winter away’. A carnival atmosphere presided at court, with a twelve-day-long festival of entertainments, pageants, theatre productions and ‘disguisings’, when even the king and queen dressed up in costume to fool their courtiers. Throughout the festive season, all ranks of subjects were freed for a short time from everyday cares to indulge in eating, drinking, dancing and game-playing. We might assume that our modern Christmas owes much to the Victorians. In fact, as Alison Weir and Siobhan Clarke reveal in this fascinating book, many of our favourite Christmas traditions date back much further. Carol-singing, present-giving, mulled wine and mince pies were all just as popular in Tudor times, and even Father Christmas and roast turkey dinners have their origins in this period. The festival was so beloved by English people that Christmas traditions survived remarkably unchanged in this age of tumultuous religious upheaval. Beautifully illustrated with original line drawings throughout, this enchanting compendium will fascinate anyone with an interest in Tudor life – and anyone who loves Christmas.
The surprising and dramatic life of the least known of King Henry VIII's wives is illuminated in the fourth volume in the Six Tudor Queens series--for fans of Philippa Gregory, Hilary Mantel, and The Crown. Newly widowed and the father of an infant son, Henry VIII realizes he must marry again to ensure the royal succession. Forty-six, overweight, and suffering from gout, Henry is soundly rejected by some of Europe's most eligible princesses. Anna of Kleve, from a small German duchy, is twenty-four, and has a secret she is desperate to keep hidden. Henry commissions her portrait from his court painter, who depicts her from the most flattering perspective. Entranced by the lovely image, Henry is bitterly surprised when Anna arrives in England and he sees her in the flesh. Some think her attractive, but Henry knows he can never love her. What follows is the fascinating story of an awkward royal union that somehow had to be terminated. Even as Henry begins to warm to his new wife and share her bed, his attention is captivated by one of her maids-of-honor. Will he accuse Anna of adultery as he did Queen Anne Boleyn, and send her to the scaffold? Or will he divorce her and send her home in disgrace? Alison Weir takes a fresh and astonishing look at this remarkable royal marriage by describing it from the point of view of Queen Anna, a young woman with hopes and dreams of her own, alone and fearing for her life in a royal court that rejected her almost from the day she set foot on England's shore.
Described by Christopher Marlowe as the 'She-Wolf of France', Isabella was one of the most notorious femme fatales in history. According to popular legend, her angry ghost can be glimpsed among church ruins, clutching the beating heart of her murdered husband. But how did Isabella aquire this reputation? Born in 1292 she married Edward II of England but was constantly humiliated by his relationships with male favourites and she lived adulterously with Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March. Had it not been for her unfaithfulness, history might have immortalised her as a liberator- the saviour who unshackled England from a weak and vicious monarch. Dramatic and startling this first full-length biography of Isabella will change the way we think of her and her world forever.
Includes a new foreword by the author The story of the death, in sinister circumstances, of the boy-king Edward V and his younger brother Richard, Duke of York, is one of the most fascinating murder mysteries in English history. It is a tale with profound moral and social consequences, rich in drama, intrigue, treason, scandal and violence. In this gripping book Alison Weir re-examines all the evidence - including that against the Princes' uncle, Richard III, whose body was recently discovered beneath a Leicester car park. She brilliantly reconstructs the whole chain of events leading to their murder and reveals how, why and by whose order they died. Previously published as The Princes in the Tower
Full of passion and betrayal, murder and war, the first volume of an epic new series from bestselling historian Alison Weir, bringing five of England's medieval queens to life. A Daily Telegraph Book of the Year Love, murder, war, betrayal This is the story of the five extraordinary queens who helped the Norman kings of England rule their dominions. Recognised as equal sharers in the royal authority, their story is packed with tragedy, high drama, even comedy. Heroines, villains, stateswomen, lovers Beginning with Matilda of Flanders, who supported William the Conqueror in his invasion of England in 1066, and culminating in the turbulent life of the Empress Maud, whoc claimed to be queen of England in her own right and fought a bitter war to the end, the five Norman queens are revealed as hugely influential figures and fascinating characters. In Alison Weir's hands, these pioneering women reclaim their rightful roles at the centre of English history.
Eleanor, Duchess of Aquitaine was one of the leading personalities of the Middle Ages and also one of the most controversial. She was beautiful, intelligent and wilful, and in her lifetime there were rumours about her that were not without substance. She had been reared in a relaxed and licentious court where the arts of the troubadours flourished, and was even said to have presided over the fabled Courts of Love. Eleanor married in turn Louis VII of France and Henry II of England, and was the mother of Richard the Lionheart and King John. She lived to be 82, but it was only in old age that she triumphed over the adversities and tragedies of her earlier years and became virtual ruler of England. Eleanor has exerted a fascination over writers and biographers for 800 years, but the prevailing myths and legends that attach to her name still tend to obscure the truth. By careful research, Alison Weir has produced a vivid biography with a fresh and provocative perspective on this extraordinary woman.
Read the next volume in Alison Weir's magisterial history of the queens of Medieval England - including the life of Eleanor of Aquitaine. The Plantagenet queens of England played a role in some of the most dramatic events in our history. Crusading queens, queens in rebellion against their king, queen seductresses, learned queens, queens in battle, queens who enlivened England with the romantic culture of southern Europe - these determined women often broke through medieval constraints to exercise power and influence, for good and sometimes for ill. Alison Weir's ground-breaking history of the queens of medieval England now moves into a period of even higher drama, from 1154 to 1291: years of chivalry, dynastic ambition, conflict with the church, baronial wars, and the all-pervading bonds of feudalism. We see events such as the murder of Becket, Magna Carta and the birth of parliaments from a new perspective. Her narrative begins with the formidable Eleanor of Aquitaine, whose marriage to Henry II establishes a dynasty which rules for over three hundred years and creates the most powerful empire in western Christendom - but also sows the seeds for some of the most destructive family conflicts in history and for the collapse, under her son King John, of England's power in Europe. The lives of Eleanor's successors were just as remarkable: Berengaria of Navarre, queen of Richard the Lionheart, Isabella of Angoulême, queen of John, and Alienor of Provence, queen of Henry III, and finally Eleanor of Castile, the grasping but beloved wife of Edward I. Through the story of these first five Plantagenet queens, Alison Weir provides an enthralling new perspective on a dramatic period of high romance and sometimes low politics, with determined women at its heart. 'Fascinating.' Tracy Borman, Daily Express
‘Weir perfectly combines the dramatic colour and timing of an historical novelist with the truth to fact of a scrupulous historian’ The Times Britain’s foremost female historian reveals the true story of this key figure in the Wars of the Roses and the Tudor dynasty who began life a princess, spent her youth as a bastard fugitive, but who finally married the first Tudor king and was the mother of Henry VIII. Elizabeth of York would have ruled England, but for the fact that she was a woman. Heiress to the royal House of York, she schemed to marry Richard III, the man who had deposed and probably killed her brothers, and it is possible that she then conspired to put Henry Tudor on the throne. Yet after marriage to Henry VII, which united the royal houses of Lancaster and York, a picture emerges of a model consort - mild, pious, generous and fruitful. It has been said that Elizabeth was distrusted by Henry VII and her formidable mother-in-law, Margaret Beaufort, but contemporary evidence shows that Elizabeth was, in fact, influential. Alison Weir builds an intriguing portrait of this beloved queen, placing her in the context of the magnificent, ceremonious, often brutal, world she inhabited, and revealing the woman behind the myth.
More than four hundred years ago, seven people were beheaded in the Tower of London. Three had been queens of England. The others were found guilty of treason. Why were such important people put to death? Alison Weir's gripping book tells their stories: from the former friend betrayed by a man set on being king, to the young girl killed after just nine days on the throne. Traitors of the Tower is a short, sharp shot of royal revenge from the master of popular history and one of Britain's top-selling historians, Alison Weir. 'Weir provides immense satisfaction. She writes in a pacy, vivid style, engaging the heart as well as the mind' Independent
The story of the death, in sinister circumstances, of the boy-king Edward V and his younger brother Richard, Duke of York, is one of the most fascinating murder mysteries in English history. It is a tale with profound moral and social consequences, rich in drama, intrigue, treason, scandal and violence. In this gripping book Alison Weir re-examines all the evidence - including that against the Princes' uncle, Richard III, whose body was recently discovered beneath a Leicester car park. She brilliantly reconstructs the whole chain of events leading to their murder and reveals how, why and by whose order they died.
Bestselling author and acclaimed historian Alison Weir takes on what no fiction writer has done before: creating a dramatic six-book series in which each novel covers one of King Henry VIII’s wives. In this captivating opening volume, Weir brings to life the tumultuous tale of Katherine of Aragon, Henry’s first, devoted, and “true” queen. A princess of Spain, Catalina is only sixteen years old when she sets foot on the shores of England. The youngest daughter of the powerful monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella, Catalina is a coveted prize for a royal marriage—and Arthur, Prince of Wales, and heir to the English throne, has won her hand. But tragedy strikes and Catalina, now Princess Katherine, is betrothed to the future Henry VIII. She must wait for his coming-of-age, an ordeal that tests her resolve, casts doubt on her trusted confidantes, and turns her into a virtual prisoner. Katherine’s patience is rewarded when she becomes Queen of England. The affection between Katherine and Henry is genuine, but forces beyond her control threaten to rend her marriage, and indeed the nation, apart. Henry has fallen under the spell of Katherine’s maid of honor, Anne Boleyn. Now Katherine must be prepared to fight, to the end if God wills it, for her faith, her legitimacy, and her heart. Praise for Katherine of Aragon, The True Queen “Alison Weir starts off her fictional series about the wives of Henry VIII with a nuanced portrayal of Katherine of Aragon.”—The Christian Science Monitor “Weir is excellent on the little details that bring a world to life.”—The Guardian “As always, Weir demonstrates a keen eye for crafting dramatic scenes of beautiful, accurate detail, instilling in the reader a vivid sense of being there. . . . If this greatly impressive inaugural installment is any indication, Tudor lovers have much to look forward to.”—Booklist (starred review) “Vividly detailed . . . Weir brings considerable expertise to her fictional retelling of
A special bundle of one fiction and one non-fiction title from betselling historian Alison Weir, both centred around Elizabeth I: The Lady Elizabeth: England, 1536. Home to the greatest, most glittering court in English history. But beneath the dazzling façade lies treachery... Elizabeth Tudor is daughter to Henry VIII, the most powerful king England has ever known. She is destined to ascend the throne, and deferred to as the King`s heiress, but that all changes when her mother Anne Boleyn - Henry`s great passion and folly - is executed for treason. A pawn in the savage game of Tudor power politics, she is disinherited, declared a bastard, and left with only her quick wits to rely on for her very existence. But Elizabeth is determined to survive, to foil those who want to destroy her, or who are determined to use her as a puppet for their own lethal ambition, and to reclaim her birthright... Elizabeth, the Queen: This book begins as the young Elizabeth ascends the throne in the wake of her sister Mary's disastrous reign. Elizabeth is portrayed as both a woman and a queen, an extraordinary phenomenon in a patriarchal age. Alison Weir writes of Elizabeth's intriguing, long-standing affair with Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, of her dealings - sometimes comical, sometimes poignant - with her many suitors, of her rivalry with Mary, Queen of Scots, and of her bizarre relationship with the Earl of Essex, thirty years her junior. Rich in detail, vivid and colourful, this book comes as close as we shall ever get to knowing what Elizabeth I was like as a person.