Monday, May 19, 2014

Tudor (2013)

Tudor: The Family Story. Leanda de Lisle. 2013. Public Affairs. 576 pages. [Source: Library]

Leanda de Lisle's Tudor: The Story of England's Most Notorious Royal Family was a fascinating read. It opens with a queen (Catherine of Valois, the widow of Henry V) marrying a Welsh squire (Owen Tudor); it ends with James VI of Scotland inheriting the throne of England and becoming James I of England. It covers almost (but not quite) two hundred years of English history. Henry VII. Henry VIII. Edward VI. Jane Grey. Bloody Mary. Queen Elizabeth. James I. Not to mention Mary, Queen of Scots. It focuses on the royals who reigned, but, it also pays a good amount of attention to other royals. The sisters of Henry VII. The sisters of Henry VIII. And their offspring, royal cousins. For example, Margaret Douglas and her children and grandchildren. Also Katherine Grey. It focuses on family AND politics AND religion. Also perhaps power and ambition. It avoids as much as possible drawing moral conclusions or judgments about the actions of the royal family. The book urges readers to consider everything in the context of time and culture. Kings and queens eliminated perceived threats via life imprisonment or execution. Emphasis on perceived. Guilt being a matter of perception, not of hard facts and proof.

Overall, I found this book an enjoyable and informative read. I liked the thoroughness, the evenness of the coverage. The information was concise and the narrative was well written. The pacing was well done. I would definitely recommend this one!

© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1 comment:

Laura's Reviews said...

This sounds fascinating and right up my alley. I love the Tudors and reading about them. I need to add this to my "to read" list - thanks for the review!