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Bosworth: The Birth of the Tudors

Bosworth: The Birth of the Tudors [Kindle Edition]

Chris Skidmore
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)

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Product Description


An authoritative overview of the causes and consequences of the most important battle in all of the Wars of the Roses (Philippa Gregory)

one of our brightest young historians (David Starkey)

Skidmore writes with clarity and verve (Hilary Mantel)

enjoyable and forensically researched ... Skidmore delves far into the histories of both the Wars of the Roses and the Tudor family ... This fine, scholarly and elegantly written book is well worth reading by anyone who hankers to fill in the many blank patches in one of Britain's most famous battles (Dan Jones THE DAILY TELEGRAPH)

absorbing and beautifully illustrated study of the battle and of the fiendishly complex yet grimly fascinating Wars of the Roses ... Chris Skidmore is a well-informed and dispassionate guide through the astounding switchback turns of fortune's wheel that brought Henry the crown, reputedly found in a thornbush on the battlefield and set on his head by one of those who had deserted Richard (Nigel Jones SUNDAY EXPRESS)

[Bosworth] is just the right book for those whose interest has been piqued by the archaeology...a vivid picture of the death of the last Plantagenet king... it is certainly now the definitive account of the battle (Leanda de Lisle THE SPECTATOR)

thoughtful, well-sourced... Skidmore is also good on Richard III. He is characterised as bellicose, all too aware of his tenuous grasp on the crown he usurped from his young nephew Edward V... Skidmore expertly handles the accretion to [Henry's] army of allies and defectors from Richard as it trekked through Wales, a thrilling narrative of overcoming the odds (Paul Lay LITERARY REVIEW)

Skidmore's excellent book...expertly guides the reader through a minefield of facts (MAIL ON SUNDAY)

Chris Skidmore's new book explores the background to Henry VII's claim to the throne and the dynasty he founded, drawing on eyewitness reports, newly discovered manuscripts and archaeological evidence (YOUR FAMILY HISTORY)

The books of Skidmore ... should be required reading for everyone who gets their history from television (Linda Porter HISTORY TODAY)

No matter how many times they are recounted, the improbable and arduous circumstances by which Henry Tudor came to the throne continue to impress... Bosworth is a well-executed and well-informed book... well written and approachable (TLS)

There is a real need for this book, which could not have been published more opportunely... Chis Skidmore tells the story again, very readably, with an admirably complete knowlege of all the sources and the latest research... Chris Skidmore has written a first-rate book that will be enjoyed by all those who are fascinated by the Wars of the Roses (Desmond Seward THE TABLET)

One of the most important battles of British history has been in the news recently, with its location debated among archaeologists. Historian Skidmore gives his opinion on this, after skilfully weaving in the events that led to the battle, from Edward IV's death to the march of Henry Tudor, iwth only a short, vividly described chapter on the engagement itself... A well-researched account of the battle and events surrounding it (YOUR FAMILY TREE)

This well researched account of how a complete outsider managed to win the throne in 1485 deserves a place on the bookshelves of anyone interested in the Wars of the Roses ...Chris Skidmore discusses the Wars in general and the politics and personalities behind them, and does so with clarity and verve (BATTLEFIELD, The Magazine of the Battlefield Trust)

Mr Skidmore uses extracts from many contemporary accounts, information from the latest archaeological findings, and the proof discovered recently of the actual location of the battlefield, to great advantage. The discovery of the remains of Richard III in a Leicester car park late in 2012 came just in time for a postscript to be added to this scholarly but readable history. (PENNANT)

Skidmore's narrative style is engaging, and he sets out fair arguments for both sides ... both the student of this period and the first-time reader would gain a lot of knowledge and enjoyment from this book. (HISTORICAL NOVELS REVIEW)

A forensic and entertaining account of 1485 And All That (Dan Jones THE DAILY TELEGRAPH 'best history books of the year')

An action-packed account of the many events leading up to Bosworth, the last time an English king was to die on a battlefield, of the people involved and of their complex relationships and divided loyalties. With its wealth of local background, its detail and its lively narrative, Bosworth is a must for the reading list of anyone whose interest in Richard III has been either sparked off or renewed by the recent Greyfriars discovery (LEICESTERSHIRE & RUTLAND LIFE)

Book Description

Richard III and Henry Tudor's legendary battle: one that changed the course of English history.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 5737 KB
  • Print Length: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson (23 May 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #27,686 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Chris Skidmore gained a double first in History at Christ Church, Oxford, where he continued with postgraduate research. Chris is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and in 2010 was elected Member of Parliament for Kingswood. He is Vice-Chairman of the All Party Group for History and Archives and a member of the Education Select Committee.

Aged 25, Chris published Edward VI: The Lost King in 2007. Chris' second book, Death and the Virgin: Elizabeth, Dudley and the Mysterious Fate of Amy Robsart was published in 2010 and was 'highly commended' by the judges of the John Rhys Llewelyn prize.
Bosworth: The Birth of the Tudors was published in May 2013, and has already been described by The Spectator as the 'definitive account' of the battle that saw Henry Tudor claim the crown from Richard III.

Chris is currently working on a full biography of Richard III, to be published by Weidenfeld & Nicholson.

Chris' Author website is

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read 31 May 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The story is compelling and vividly told, simply incredible how little events could have significantly altered the course of Henry becoming king. Very well exposed is also the high degree of uncertainty under which even decisions to enter battle were taken.
Why not 5 stars? My impression is that the first and longest part of the book, before Bosworth battle war is better written and researched, while I found the part after Bosworth written somehow in a rush like attempting to finish the book and if as the author was less interested in the topic. This is also the part where there are some repetitions of events or even phrases. I think a better editing and a deeper analysis of the challenges still faced by Henry the VII would have benefited the book and pleased the reader, eg there is no mention of the extinguishing of the Plantagenet male line thru the execution of Eduard Earl of Warwick.
As a reader from the Continent less acquainted with geography of the British Island, I also would welcome more and more detailed maps.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The hand that rocks the cradle 16 Jun 2013
Bosworth, The Birth of the Tudors is a re-telling of the lethal soap opera which modern readers know as the Wars of the Roses, culminating in the end of the ruling Plantagenet line at Bosworth field 1485.

It begins with the unsuitable mating of Owen Tudor with Katherine de Valois, widow of the late king Henry V, producing two sons: Edmund and Jasper. From this inauspicious beginning the next ruling dynasty would come - after Richard III's act of usurpation brought his house to a finish.

All the events are covered: Henry VI's ineptness; his Queen's militancy; the physical intimacy which brought about the birth of a prince but catapulted the sire into a catatonic state; the rage of men who physically fought to keep the English Kingdom of France 'betrayed' by the politicians at home and a 'French' queen; the apportioning of blame and the power plays which brought a nation to its knees both by the culling of the ruling aristocracy and the ruination of the land; the 'Yorkist' supremacy brought to an end by its King's carnal appetites and a mother's love which burned quietly and fearlessly, it's ambition increasing opportunistically with every error of Richard's, to deliver to the exhausted and indignant nation a 'Lancastrian' king.

One of Richard's misfortunes was to have no power base in the south. When he sought the assistance of his northern supporters to shore up his regime, the north/south divide was all too obvious. He also gave too much to Buckingham and although almost everyone hated the Woodvilles, nobody hated them as much as Richard did to forgive the murder of his brother's children. I suspect also that Richard's appearance worked powerfully on the medieval mind, which equated deformity with the dark side.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By D. C. Stolk TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
The Battle of Bosworth took place on the morning of 22 August 1485 at Bosworth Field in Leicestershire, England, and was the most famous battle of the Wars of the Roses. These wars were fought between 1455 and 1487, when some of the bloodiest battles on England's soil took place as the noble houses of Lancaster and York battled each other in "a game of thrones" for the crown of England, in a civil war that would later became known as The Wars of the Roses. At Bosworth, (Yorkist) King Richard III's army faced the forces of the pretender to the crown, (Lancastrian) Henry Tudor, who had just returned after fourteen years in exile.

"Bosworth: The Birth Of The Tudors" by Chris Skidmore is a fascinating history of "what it all was about", and how the Tudors ended up ruling England. It starts as Henry Tudor first sets foot on English soil after his exile, bringing with him an army to support his grab for the throne.
"Bosworth" has recently been getting headlines in the newspapers again, because of the finding of King Richard III's grave in 2012; Richard III was the last king of England to die in battle. His remains, long thought lost, had been uncovered beneath a car park in Leicester. Early 2013, it was officially confirmed through DNA-testing that the skeleton found was that of Richard III.

Skidmore tells in vivid detail how two families ended up facing each other in battle at Bosworth in a fight to the death for the crown: the Plantagenets and the Tudors.
The narrative is divided in four parts:
- "Beginnings" recounts how the Tudor family ended up being able to, on somewhat shaky grounds, make a claim for the crown of England. And how Henry Tudor was involved in a rebellion against Richard, making him return after fourteen years of exile at the head of an army.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars the book is okay 25 Jun 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The book starts of well but then once we get to the death of Edward IV and the reign of Richard III, the story became bogged down in unnecessary detail. For example the writer spends a long time listing which nobles and lesser gentry lost their titles after Richard III had usurped the throne and continues to do so throughout the book. Its as if the writer is using this to fill the spaces in the pages rather than actually continue with the story. I know lack of evidence is always a problem in this era but that does not mean you just fill the pages with unnecessary detail because you have nothing else to say. A good story teller will tell a good story, not simply list the facts.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Little is more, as they say.
I was really looking forward to reading this book, as it had got a lot of hype. I have read a lot about this period lately, and I was looking to fill in a few gaps. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Georgeliot
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Too much compression at beginning. Relationships could have been more clear with two/three "trees"
Published 17 days ago by John Robertson Auld
2.0 out of 5 stars The Road To Bosworth Field
Although this book is called Bosworth, it is more like a brief history of the entire Wars of the Roses. The actual battle itself is not described until Chapter 11! Read more
Published 18 days ago by Neil Lennon
5.0 out of 5 stars valuable additional scholarly work on the period and events
Even though I have been studying this period [in isolation as an amateur Living History interpreter] for the last 11 years, this gave me many minutiae I'd not had previously. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Hubert de Southchurch
4.0 out of 5 stars Much more than just Bosworth
This was an enjoyable and informative read. Although entitled 'Bosworth: The Birth of the Tudors', the book is really a one-volume history of the Wars of the Roses. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Matthew Turner
5.0 out of 5 stars Bosworth
A really great book , I would highly reccomend this .
An in depth read and not for bedtime reading. Read more
Published 5 months ago by busy lady
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read
Well researched with new information for the reader.
Local reference to Vaughan's of Kington appreciated.
One to dip into from time to time.
Published 5 months ago by Suzanne
5.0 out of 5 stars BOSWORTH
Very well written book. It treats Henry Tudor and Richard 111 fairly whereas some books seem to idolise Richard. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mrs. Jean M. Parry
5.0 out of 5 stars Bosworth
This is a very good book, told in a style which keeps you turning the pages. The author researches his subject in depth and this makes for an interesting read.
Published 7 months ago by MEG
1.0 out of 5 stars Which century?
We are told never to judge a book by its cover, but in the case of Bosworth, I might make an exception!
Published 7 months ago by P. Squires
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