New Tudor Books 2013

It looks as though 2013 is going to be a very busy year of reading with so many fascinating Tudor books being released. Here is a little taste of what’s to come!

The Creation of Anne Boleyn: A New Look at England’s Most Notorious Queen by Susan Bordo

Publication Date: 9 April 2013

Synopsis: Part biography, part cultural history, The Creation of Anne Boleyn is a fascinating reconstruction of Anne’s life and an illuminating look at her afterlife in the popular imagination. Why is Anne so compelling? Why has she inspired such extreme reactions? What did she really look like? Was she the flaxen-haired martyr of Romantic paintings or the raven-haired seductress of twenty-first-century portrayals? (Answer: neither.) And perhaps the most provocative questions concern Anne’s death more than her life. How could Henry order the execution of a once beloved wife? Drawing on scholarship and critical analysis, Bordo probes the complexities of one of history’s most infamous relationships.

Bordo also shows how generations of polemicists, biographers, novelists, and filmmakers imagined and re-imagined Anne: whore, martyr, cautionary tale, proto “mean girl,” feminist icon, and everything in between. In this lively book, Bordo steps off the well-trodden paths of Tudoriana to expertly tease out the human being behind the competing mythologies.

The Children of Henry VIII by John Guy

Publication Date: 25 April 2013

Synopsis:Behind the façade of politics and pageantry at the Tudor court, there was a family drama.

Nothing drove Henry VIII, England’s wealthiest and most powerful king, more than producing a legitimate male heir and so perpetuating his dynasty. To that end, he married six wives, became the subject of the most notorious divorce case of the sixteenth century, and broke with the pope, all in an age of international competition and warfare, social unrest and growing religious intolerance and discord.

Henry fathered four living children, each by a different mother. Their interrelationships were often scarred by jealously, mutual distrust, sibling rivalry, even hatred. Possessed of quick wits and strong wills, their characters were defined partly by the educations they received, and partly by events over which they had no control.

Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond, although recognized as the king’s son, could never forget his illegitimacy. Edward died while still in his teens, desperately plotting to exclude his half-sisters from the throne. Mary’s world was shattered by her mother’s divorce and her own unhappy marriage. Elizabeth was the most successful, but also the luckiest. Even so, she lived with the knowledge that her father had ordered her mother’s execution, was often in fear of her own life, and could never marry the one man she truly loved.

Henry’s children idolized their father, even if they differed radically over how to perpetuate his legacy. To tell their stories, John Guy returns to the archives, drawing on a vast array of contemporary records, personal letters, and first-hand accounts.

Bosworth: The Birth Of The Tudors by Chris Skidmore

Publication Date: 23 May 2013

Synopsis: The Battle of Bosworth has a legendary significance in British history. The last battle fought on English soil until the seventeenth century, and the last occasion that an English king would die on the battlefield, it was also the battle that brought an end to the dynasty of Plantagenet kings who had ruled since 1154, and heralded the birth of the Tudor dynasty. Yet the story of Bosworth is more than just the result of a few hours bloodshed on the battlefield. It is the culmination of the rise of the House of Tudor, a remarkable story which began fifty years earlier, when a page of Henry V’s ran off with his widow. It is the tale of the turbulent life of Henry Tudor, who, against the odds, rose from relatively humble origins and exile in France to overthrow the deeply unpopular Richard III. When this inexperienced young soldier landed in England in 1485 with 2,000 French mercenaries and a handful Lancastrian lords and knights, few could have predicted his campaign would end in with him seizing the throne of England.Drawing on a wide range of unpublished sources as well as new research that has only recently come to light, Chris Skidmore will disentangle fact from legend and relate the compelling story of the battle in full. BOSWORTH will also set the battle against the background of the storms of the Wars of the Roses, and paint a vivid portrait of this time of immense political ferment and social change.

Elizabeth’s Bedfellows: An Intimate History of the Queen’s Court by Anna Whitelock

Publication Date: 23 May 2013

Synopsis: Elizabeth I acceded to the throne in 1558, restoring the Protestant faith to England. At the heart of the new queen’s court lay Elizabeth’s bedchamber, closely guarded by the favoured women who helped her dress, looked after her jewels and shared her bed.

Elizabeth’s private life was of public, political concern. Her bedfellows were witnesses to the face and body beneath the make-up and elaborate clothes, as well as to rumoured illicit dalliances with such figures as Robert Dudley. Their presence was for security as well as propriety, as the kingdom was haunted by fears of assassination plots and other Catholic subterfuge. For such was the significance of the queen’s body: it represented the very state itself.

This riveting, revealing history of the politics of intimacy uncovers the feminized world of the Elizabethan court. Between the scandal and intrigue the women who attended the queen were the guardians of the truth about her health, chastity and fertility. Their stories offer extraordinary insight into the daily life of the Elizabethans, the fragility of royal favour and the price of disloyalty.

The Boleyn Women: The Tudor Femmes Fatals Who Changed English History by Elizabeth Norton

Publication Date: 28 July 2013 (UK)


Huge interest in the Boleyn family and wives of Henry VIII. First book to consider all of the female members of the Boleyn family. Covers eight generations of Boleyn women from the fourteenth century to 1603. The Boleyn family appeared from nowhere at the end of the fourteenth century, moving from peasant to princess in only a few generations. The women of the family brought about its advancement, beginning with the heiresses Alice Bracton Boleyn, Anne Hoo Boleyn and Margaret Butler Boleyn who brought wealth and aristocratic connections. Then there was Elizabeth Howard Boleyn, who was rumoured to have been the mistress of Henry VIII, along with her daughter Mary and niece Madge, who certainly were. Anne Boleyn became the king’s second wife and her aunts, Lady Boleyn and Lady Shelton, helped bring her to the block. The infamous Jane Boleyn, the last of her generation, betrayed her husband before dying on the scaffold with Queen Catherine Howard. The next generation was no less turbulent and Catherine Carey, the daughter of Mary Boleyn fled from England to avoid persecution under Mary Tudor. Her daughter, Lettice was locked in bitter rivalry with the greatest Boleyn lady of all, Elizabeth I, winning the battle for the affections of Robert Dudley but losing her position in society as a consequence. Finally, another Catherine Carey, the Countess of Nottingham, was so close to her cousin, the queen, that Elizabeth died of grief following her death. The Boleyn family was the most ambitious dynasty of the sixteenth century, rising dramatically to prominence in the early years of a century that would end with a Boleyn on the throne.

Tudor: The Family Story by Leanda de Lisle

Publication Date: 29 August 2013
Synopsis: The Tudors are a national obsession. But, as Leanda de Lisle shows, beyond the familiar headlines, and deep into their past, is a family still more extraordinary than the one we thought we knew.

The Tudor canon typically starts with the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 and really picks up with Henry VIII and the Reformation. But our story starts earlier, with the obscure Welsh origins of Owain ap Maredudd ap Tudur, the man who would become known simply as ‘Owen Tudor’ and fall (literally) into a Queen’s lap and later her bed. It continues with the courage of a pregnant thirteen-year-old girl who went on to found and shape the Tudor dynasty; and the childhood and painful exile of her son, who would become Henry VII.The colossus of the next century, Henry VIII, his wives, and sisters, are given a fresh perspective in this context and show the sister Queens Mary and Elizabeth in a most unexpected light.

Here is the story of a dynasty’s rise and fall. It presents a family struggling at every turn to establish their right to the throne; a family dominated by remarkable women doing everything possible to secure influence and the family line. Packed with all the headlines we know and love and with many new revelations along the way, it brings to life in a completely new – and very human way – this extraordinary family and their times.

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  1. I hate to publicise myself but hopefully my biography of Katherine Howard will be published this autumn! So that’s another book to look out for 🙂

  2. Natasha Hayes says:

    Excellent books I can see my collection getting bigger

  3. Goodness!! so many books and so little time…lol.
    They all look very good reads.
    Will add them to my ever growing list, yours too Conor, Good luck with it.. 🙂

  4. Rebecca Dudley says:

    I am so excited for this book, I love Anne Boleyn.

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