Leanda de Lisle: Tudor The Family Story

R in than terms of ust religion She also raises the uestion of how Elizabeth s reign would have been seen if she had died early on when she was sick with smallpox This isn t to suggest that de Lisle focus ust on the political Her description of battle in particular of Bosworth is uite frankly very gripping It is this style part academic and part almost novelistic in approach that make the book accessible to both long time Tudor fans as well as those who are picking this up due to simply the Showtime series She does not relate gossip for the most part and she does take a closer look at oft held myths or commonly repeated stories Her take on the Princes in the Tower is plausible and her analysis of Richard III s rule fair This is not a blow by blow of the Essex rebellion but a study in how a family gains holds and eventually loses power all the while struggling in the political arena It is not the soap opera of naked flesh that the Showtime series presented Warts and all careful study and understanding A close look at figures and issues that get swept aside in the tart s version of the wives It isn t a romantic view and for that it is far engrossing The appendices are worth reading because De Lisle looks and debunks certain myths While the book does tread on some of the area of her previous work it does not seem as if she is simply repeating the last book The Grey sisters are dealt with as they must be but while doing them the ustice they deserve in a study de Lisle does not let them and her knowledge of them overwhelm the work Truly a wonderful study of the Tudors In her look at the Tudor Dynasty Ms De Lisle has delivered a very reader friendly book Starting with the Owen Tudor Henry VII s grandfather and who gave the dynasty its name the author looks at the family that ruled England from 1485 thru the death of Elizabeth I in 1603 In telling their story Ms De Lisle states to understand the Tudors one must understand how they saw themselvesThis is not your standard history The author Their Convenient Amish Marriage (Pinecraft Homecomings just doesn t look at the politics surrounding the family but attempts to explain how the politics affected the various members of the family Starting with Owen Tudora commoner and his very fortuitous marriage to a ueen Henry V s widow Katherine de Valois the author gives the reader a peak at the interworking s of the family In telling the story of Owen and Katherine Ms De Lisle recounts the various stories of how they met and how their marriage was received by the ruling council To say the Regents were not impressed is an understatement but other than banning them from court the Council decided not do anything about it until Henry VI came of age and let him deal with it view spoiler Which he did by enobling Owen and his sons with Katherine hide spoiler There have been an awful lot of books movies and TV shows about the Tudors Their cultural impression is larger than life Events of historic importance certainly occurred during their reigns probably most significantly the Protestant Reformation but it is their colorful antics that make them memorable Even the Plantagenets who preceded them ruling for 331 years in contrast to a mere 118 for the Tudors are much less prominent in public consciousness Somehow the many wild tales of treachery and betrayal that the Plantagenets gave us pale in comparison to the doings of serial groom Henry VIII And really it is Henry VIII who most represents the Tudor dynasty There were four and a half other Tudor monarchs but Henry and to a lesser extent Elizabeth gets most of the press The recent Showtime television series The Tudors lasted four seasons but despite the plural implied in its name coveredust one Tudor HenryThere isn t much that is new here about Henry and Elizabeth but where Leanda de Lisle s contribution to popular Tudor histories stands out is in her treatment of the other lesser known Tudors The story begins earlier with events that often get ust a cursory mention in Tudor books Here we have a discussion of Henry VII s origins the Wars of the Roses and the fall of Richard III De Lisle also addresses the influence of Henry VIII s grandmother Margaret Beaufort and his sisters whose marriages had important repercussions seen much later in English history By including these events in detail there is a historical context for the actions of the Henrys making some of their decisions understandable even if not admirableDe Lisle also includes an analysis of the usurpation of Lady Jane Grey The Nine Day ueen is often little than a footnote in Tudor histories but Jane and her sisters are an area of interest for the author who wrote another book about them Here she ustifies their inclusion by showing how the shakiness of the succession after Edward s death may have contributed to some of Mary s and later Elizabeth s paranoia It seems that none of the Tudors could ever completely avoid anxiety about being oustedLeanda de Lisle s Tudor history is a readable one She avoids getting bogged down in some of the details of dress food and other customs For that type of information Alison Weir is much complete Instead the focus here is on the overarching picture and historical contex. Rs a family dominated by remarkable women doing everything possible to secure its future; shows why the princes in the Tower had to vanish; and reexamines the bloodiness of Mary’s reign Elizabeth’s fraught relationships with her cousins and the true significance of previously overlooked figures Throughout the Tudor story Leanda de Lisle emphasizes the supreme importance of achieving peace and stability in a violent and uncertain world and of protecting and securing the bloodline Tudor is bristling with religious and political intrigue but at heart is a thrilling story of one family’s determined and flamboyant ambiti.

Leanda de Lisle has a gift for writing historical books When the history is as compelling as that of the Tudors no embellishment is needed and de Lisle te I ve read a good number of books on the Tudors It s my favorite period of historyThis book is extremely thoroughly reasearched and presents events in an unbiased manner This is important because I ve read enough books on the Tudors that have been slightly compromised due to an author s opinion being forced on the reader It s frankly annoying when that happens For us Tudorphiles there really isn t anything we don t already know about one of history s most dramatic families So what s the point of reading another book on the Tudor dynasty Perhaps this can be answered by Leanda de Lisle in Tudor The Family Story Lisle s version of events in Tudor stands out instantly as the tone presented to the reader is not simply that of a recollection of Tudor monarchy life but the basics and underlying psychosis of the family Lisle begins the history backtracking to Owen Tudor and his fall into royalty Although nothing new is learned by the expert reader the family history will be understood in a new light Lisle reveals the Tudors in a smooth way in which their emotions and actions throughout the decades make clear sense Thus although the story isn t new the fresh perception is Lisle s text is heavily researched and accurate skipping the biases and speculation which are abundant even in the works of renowned historians The pace is exciting and has a steady ratio of almost fictional narrative to that of an academic piece However at times Lisle goes off on the flowery descriptions and either grazes or rushes too uickly on the historical events I suspect that she could produce a solid HF novelA notable characteristic of Tudor is the breath of life Lisle gives to some figures who are often ignored such as Mary and Margaret Tudor the sisters of Henry VIII and Margaret Douglas Plus the chronology is solid and all major points are highlighted without Neimhaim (Neimhaim, jumping back and forth which could confuse new readers Lisle seamlessly interweaves the text with descriptions of everyday lifeculture which instead of feeling like tangents clearly sets the stage for Tudor lie and again makes everything clear and understandable Tudor is also filled with anticipation with even the seasoned Tudorphile wanting to know what happens even though he or she already knows On the negative end Lisle has the habit of mentioning a thought or idea which is contrary to popular belief but doesn t elaborate or offer clear sources I would welcome new angles but need details Also slightly annoying is Lisle maintaining the trend of uoting Shakespeare within her historic text Shakespeare was NOT a historian and his plays wereust that plays Not sure why so many authors insist on this The second half of Tudor has of a detective focus with Lisle debunking some much talked about Tudor myths The only issue with this is a lack of descriptionargument and notes with holes in the connection I had many You got this from that moments Despite this Lisle also displayed the strength of not following stereotypes in Tudor Mary isn t vilified Elizabeth isn t glorified etc Instead Lisle simply sees the strengths and weaknesses of each figureheadThe conclusion of Tudor is exceptionally strong wrapping up Elizabeth s reign but again not overly romanticizing her flowing into a memorable well rounded Epilogue in which Lisle truly brings home the Tudor message in a way not many history books have Lisle doesn t ust stop there as she briefly discusses some Tudor myths in the Appendices For those readers who enjoy notes Lisle offers pages worth while also serving up color plates and genealogical trees Even though one may not experience new information on the pages of Tudor the presentation is entirely new Versus a straightforward look at Tudor history Lisle opens up the personal view of the Tudors and how THEY viewed themselves which explains their actions better then a simple look at their political actions Lisle successfully treads a middle ground where readers both new and old to the topic will find enjoyment Tudor is well written and extremely readable with Lisle showing a marked improvement in her writing it is obvious that she has great things in store Although not perfect Tudor is very much recommended for anyone and everyone interested in the topic Note My rating is of a 45 but rounded to 4 versus 5 An interesting book which takes the approach of going back to the earlier characters in the story of the Tudor family starting with Owen Tudor who married the widowed ueen of France after a wild dance leap landed him in her lap The book goes through each of the personnel giving a good insight especially into the women who usually are background characters such as Margaret Beaufort mother of Henry VII and Margaret Douglas daughter of Henry VIII s eldest sister and her second husband the Earl of Angus The part played by such women in the great events of the period is examined as well as the u Tudor The Family Story begins at the funeral procession of Catherine of Valois in 1437 in order to relate the origins of the Tudor. # For 'Best Books about the Tudors facts behind the Wolf Hall trilogy' the Times of London recommends Tudor The Family Story Sunday Times top ten Bestseller; BBC History Book of the Year; a Daily Telegraph Book of the Year; a History Today Book of the YearThe Tudors are England’s most notorious royal family But as Leanda de Lisle’s gripping new history reveals they are a family still extraordinary than the one we thought we knewThe Tudor canon typically starts with the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 before speeding on to Henry VIII and the Reformation But this leaves out the family’s obscure Welsh origins the ordinary

Name Catherine and Owen Tudor s relationship is depicted as truly romantic I had uite a chuckle or two as Ms de Lisle showed she has a slightly ribald sense of humor There was music playing and her servants were dancing While Catherine watched Owen performed a leap which span out of control and he fell straight into her lap As an Elizabethan poet asked Who would not udge it fortune s greatest grace Since he must fall to fall in such a place 9 Ms de Lisle explains that The story of how Henry Tudor ieHenry VII survived against the odds and won his throne and his bride against even greater odds is one of the world s great adventure stories It sounded irresistible and indeed how could one understand the king if you only began his life in 1485 423 The author approached this family biography that spanned five generations like a top notch forensic investigator sifting through layers of archived evidence exhaustively gathering information looking at different angles to uncover hidden reasons and perhaps suggest alternate motives with an acceptable level of plausibility for the actions of this fascinating royal family Ms de Lisle took great care to examine closely not how we see the Tudors from our end of the telescope but how they saw themselves 424 I was happy to read about Margaret Tudor ueen of Scots Henry VIII s older sister whose husband James IV was killed at the battle of Flodden against England while ueen Katherine was regent It seemed so strange and heartless that Henry VIII would take pleasure in the win and show little remorse at leaving his pregnant sister a widow his nephews fatherless and the three vulnerable in Scotland I appreciated that Ms de Lisle stuck to referring to family members and close surrounding characters by their given names and did not get heavy handed with lining up their titles like cars in a traffic Carrying the Greeks Heir jam because as we know titles changed hands as uickly as heads rolled This is one thing I most dislike that some medieval historians would plaster titles all over the pages it isn t impressive at all but is rather ridiculously frustrating Thankfully Tudor is not an example of such confusion it is uncomplicated reading flowed easily and made sense Tudor is a work of obvious dedication and passion from an author who has brought to fruition a well balanced biography of a dynasty It is well written remarkably researched and rationally thought out For medieval history fans this is not only a pleasurable read on a familiar subject it also provides new insights and a fresh outlook on a fascinating royal family Nothing new in this one but an interesting and entertaining read none the less My only gripe with this oneust like most books about the Tudors is the lesser known family members get shoved to the sidelines and barely get a mention Why read another a Tudor book De Lisle takes on the family history from Owen Tudor to James I This isn t another Henry and his wives book De Lisle s NF books are not text bookish They are easy to read and before you know it hours have gone by she brought many new things to my attention proof Margaret Beaufort wasn t the evil step mother Henry VIII wanted 16 executors in charge of Edward was Mary ueen of Scots raped I consider myself very informed on the Tudors and I thoroughly enjoyed this book Great read Disclaimer Arc read via Netgalley Thank you Netgalley Perseus Books and Public Affairs BooksI can hear you asking the uestion do we really need another book about the Tudors Really Well I don t know about need but I can say this is a very excellent look at the Tudor family If you were going to buy one book about the Tudor dynasty this should be it It s not that I didn t like Meyer s book about the family but de Lisle is Amish Sweethearts just better In part this is because she actually focuses on the family instead of the big two Henry VIII and Elizabeth I who seem to have been the focus since the BBC programs While much of the book does deal with them de Lisle makes sure that the rest of the family gets their time in the spot light She does from the start of the book She actually truly looks at the marriage of Katherine de Valois and Owen Tudor The relationship between not only gets the treatment as in looking at the start of the War of the Roses but actually looks why Katherine would ve married him as well relating some interesting gossip about intimate matters De Lisle conveys to the reader a sense of who these two often passed over dynasty founders In particular she looks at the development of Margaret Beaufort and the impact that she might have had on her son Henry VII who gets far attention paid to him here than in most other general histories And that really is the selling point of this book the look at the players who are eclipsed by the wives and rivals ueens When I read this I came away with a far greater understanding of Henry VII insteadust simply seeing him as a stringy bastard as he is so often simply drawn The lives of Edward VI and Mary I are seen in greater detail here as well as their impact in terms of the monarchy In fact de Lisle considers the impact of Mary s rule on how Elizabeth determined to govern and even to act the part of rule. An known as Owen Tudor who would fall literally into a ueen’s lap and later her bed It passes by the courage of Margaret Beaufort the pregnant thirteen year old girl who would help found the Tudor dynasty and the childhood and painful exile of her son the future Henry VII It ignores the fact that the Tudors were shaped by their past those parts they wished to remember and those they wished to forgetBy creating a full family portrait set against the background of this past de Lisle enables us to see the Tudor dynasty in its own terms and presents new perspectives and revelations on key figures and events De Lisle discove.


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Leanda de Lisle is the author of bestselling Tudor and Stuart history praised for meticulous research as well as strong narratives She has a Masters degree in history from Oxford University TUDOR her biography of the Tudor family 1437 1603 was a top ten Sunday Times best seller BBC History book of the year Daily Telegraph book of the year and History Today book of the year THE SISTERS WHO