Elizabeth of York: A Tudor Queen and Her World by Alison Weir

Portrait of Henry VIII
Portrait of Henry VIII (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Anne Boleyn, Queen of England, second wife of ...
Anne Boleyn, Queen of England, second wife of King Henry VIII. of England, mother of Queen Elizabeth I. of England, 16th century (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: Double Portrait of Elizabeth of York ...
English: Double Portrait of Elizabeth of York and Henry VII Holding The White Rose of York (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Elizabeth of York: A Tudor Queen and Her WorldElizabeth of York: A Tudor Queen and Her World by Alison Weir

Many are familiar with

the story of the much-married King Henry VIII of England and the

celebrated reign of his daughter, Elizabeth I. But it is often forgotten

that the life of the first Tudor queen, Elizabeth of York, Henry’s

mother and Elizabeth’s grandmother, spanned one of England’s most

dramatic and perilous periods. Now New York Times bestselling

author and acclaimed historian Alison Weir presents the first modern

biography of this extraordinary woman, whose very existence united the

realm and ensured the survival of the Plantagenet bloodline.

Her birth was greeted with as much pomp and ceremony as that of a male

heir. The first child of King Edward IV, Elizabeth enjoyed all the

glittering trappings of royalty. But after the death of her father; the

disappearance and probable murder of her brothers—the Princes in the

Tower; and the usurpation of the throne by her calculating uncle Richard

III, Elizabeth found her world turned upside-down: She and her siblings

were declared bastards.

As Richard’s wife, Anne Neville, was

dying, there were murmurs that the king sought to marry his niece

Elizabeth, knowing that most people believed her to be England’s

rightful queen. Weir addresses Elizabeth’s possible role in this and her

covert support for Henry Tudor, the exiled pretender who defeated

Richard at the Battle of Bosworth and was crowned Henry VII, first

sovereign of the House of Tudor. Elizabeth’s subsequent marriage to

Henry united the houses of York and Lancaster and signaled the end of

the Wars of the Roses. For centuries historians have asserted that, as

queen, she was kept under Henry’s firm grasp, but Weir shows that

Elizabeth proved to be a model consort—pious and generous—who enjoyed

the confidence of her husband, exerted a tangible and beneficial

influence, and was revered by her son, the future King Henry VIII.

Drawing from a rich trove of historical records, Weir gives a long

overdue and much-deserved look at this unforgettable princess whose line

descends to today’s British monarch—a woman who overcame tragedy and

danger to become one of England’s most beloved consorts.–Description from Goodreads

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My thoughts:

Hours upon hours of research is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of what to say about this book. Truly, there is no comparison to this work when it comes to the depth of information and logical and intelligent conclusions the author has put together. Other books on the subject stand down in shame.

This being said, I think whether or not you will enjoy this book is going to depend largely on why you are interested in reading it. If you are simply looking for a lightweight read for pleasure, this probably will not be for you. The author has gone to great lengths to ensure historical accuracy and meticulous detail recording.

If, however, you are looking to this book to teach you little known facts, uncover the life of this great woman of the past or study the Tudor way of life–then this is the first book that I would recommend.

Sometimes–reality is more exciting than fiction and I was greatly impressed by the lack of silly liberties. So much of the time biographies end up being more fiction than truth, and I really felt this book was a rare exception to that rule.

Further reasons I liked it:

1. Taught me things I didn’t know.
2. Kept me entertained because of beautiful writing and excellent arrangement.
3. Made me want to learn more about the other things mentioned aside from Elizabeth of York.

I would definitely recommend this to others, particularly if you have an interest in Tudor history or the general time period. This is a classy book that deserves to be read and appreciated.

This review is based on a digital ARC provided by the publisher through Netgalley.

Henry VIII, 1509. The Denver Art Museum
Henry VIII, 1509. The Denver Art Museum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


21 thoughts on “Elizabeth of York: A Tudor Queen and Her World by Alison Weir”

      1. Since my whole wardrobe (almost) just recently got ruined by a clorox accident…I am right there with you. Greg is having to go to work in tie-dyed pants until we go shopping…and the mortgage is due…so that may be a while.


  1. I think that any book that can fulfil the three reasons you listed, and is also about a topic that interests you as much as this one, has got to be considered a rare find.


      1. Well thank you. Coming the most intelligent woman I know that means a lot.I do wish I knew more about the Tudors though. I had better get reading some of these great books you are recommending.


  2. The Tudor period is fascinating. I read several books on it some years ago and recently watched The Tudors on Netflix (fantastic show) so it has me interested again. Looks like I have another book to read 🙂


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