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Elizabeth of York: The First Tudor Queen Hardcover – 7 Nov 2013

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape (7 Nov. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224089811
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224089814
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 4.8 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 61,812 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Alison Weir lives and works in Surrey. Her books include Britain's Royal Families, The Six Wives of Henry VIII, Children of England, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Henry VIII: King and Court, Mary, Queen of Scots and Isabella: She-Wolf of France.

Product Description

Review

"The compelling drama of Elizabeth’s life, the traumatic perils she faced as a young woman, the murder of her brothers by Richard III and the later mystery of Perkin Warbeck, are richly presented." (Iain Finlayson The Times)

"A meticulous scholar... Weir sincerely admires her subject, doing honor to an almost forgotten queen" (New York Times)

"The great asset of this book is the combination of the political and the personal… Weir is a fine writer with a wonderful gift for description." (Linda Porter Literary Review)

"Weir has a shrewd sense of what will seize the imagination of the keen historical amateur." (The Independent)

"Weir adheres to the conventional story without giving much weight to new theories, preferring instead to stick with the facts about daily life for a Plantagenet princess-turned-Tudor queen." (Lesley McDowell Herald)

"[Weir] has a good eye for period detail – and her re-creation of the late 15th century domestic and ceremonial world is terrific." (Dan Jones Sunday Times)

"A new perspective…underpinned by the same careful delineation between facts and speculation observed in her biographies." (Independent (Web))

Book Description

Britain’s foremost female historian reveals the true story of this key figure in the Wars of the Roses and the Tudor dynasty who began life a princess, spent her youth as a bastard fugitive, but who finally married the first Tudor king and was the mother of Henry VIII.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 38 people found the following review helpful By FictionFan TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 13 Dec. 2013
Format: Hardcover
At what stage does biography become pointless? I would suggest that the answer to that question is when the historical record doesn't provide enough information to allow for any real insight into or knowledge of the subject. And that, in a nutshell, is why I have abandoned this book at the halfway point.

Elizabeth of York probably had a fascinating life. She may have been in love with her husband, Henry VII. On the other hand, she may have been cruelly treated and suppressed by him. Or perhaps he loved her. Maybe she was seriously affected by the probable murders of her brothers. Or perhaps she was so ambitious for the throne that she tried to persuade Richard III, the probable murderer, to marry her. She may have conspired against Richard to bring Henry to the throne - a ballad written during Henry's reign suggests so, though that hardly seems like substantive evidence. Or perhaps she had nothing to do with it at all. She may have been influential on Henry in many ways following her marriage. Or she may have done little more than breed heirs. Interesting questions, and I was hoping for interesting answers - but there are none, as Weir freely and repeatedly asserts.

Weir has, I assume, done her best with the available material, but I'm afraid that still leaves Elizabeth as an unknown entity. In fact, I felt I knew her better from reading Thomas Penn's Winter King: The Dawn of Tudor England, than I do now after reading chapter after chapter of lightly supported and indecisive speculation. It's good that Weir has made clear the lack of information rather than making assertions about her own beliefs as if they were truths.
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54 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Anne TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 Nov. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
As a general reader of history, the books I read need to be accessible and interesting but I need to be sure that they are based on sound scholarship. I've read many of Alison Weir's factual history books and have always found them informative and readable. (I'm not fond of historical fiction so haven't read those although I am sure that they are equally good). I was delighted to be offered an advance copy of this book by the publisher and it certainly lived up to my expectations.

Elizabeth of York was the daughter of a king, betrothed to a king, sought after by another king, sister to a king and bore to the king she married a future king and two queen consorts. She was at the heart of the Wars of the Roses and was a fugitive, a captive and a marital pawn. With the death/disappearance of her two brothers (the Princes in the Tower) she was actually the heir to the throne and was seen to legitimise the reign of her husband Henry VII, something which made him very nervous. Her life was in danger more than once, and close members of her family were murdered with others being the subject of suspicion and plots.

By concentrating on Elizabeth's life the author steers the reader through the events of the Wars of the Roses and makes them understandable. I struggled with Alison Weir's previous book devoted to the Wars because I found it rather dry, in this book she links the events to the people and shows their connections with Elizabeth. This made it much easier to follow. The story clearly shows the lust for and danger of power, and the often tragic effects on the bystanders - the story of the hapless Earl of Warwick is heartbreaking. Surrounded by danger, plots, and power hungry and ruthless men Elizabeth had to steer a path to preserve herself and her family.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kerry M on 18 Jan. 2014
Format: Hardcover
I was given a copy of Alison Weir's selection fo Elizabeth of York to read and give my honest opinion. Not a lot is known about this woman and Weir's book goes a long way to fill in some of the gaps. I love an historical account and Weir has taken the time to reference her work to give this story authenticity. The book can get a little heavy and it is certainly not one you can finish in a day, in fact it took me a couple of weeks of picking it up and putting down. But definitely worth the effort.

Born into a nobility, the daughter of one King and neice to another it would be expected that Elizabeth would marry well., probably another noble house. However the War of the Roses quickly saw her fortunes change. What better way to end waring over succession that to marry the two families together. Enter Elizabeth. Wife to one Tudor king and mother to another in a time of strife and machinations, she became a catalist for change.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Henry H8 on 15 Dec. 2013
Format: Hardcover
I usually love Alison Weir's books and I was excited to read this one. However, it was hard going. Alison Weir has certainly demonstrated how much serious academic research she has put into this book, but that has been at the expense of its readability. I stuck with it but I must admit that I skipped over large parts of it. I think that this reflects that even after all this research we still don't really know that much about Elizabeth of York and we never probably will. We don't even know if she had seven or eight children (Prince Edward is a mystery). However, I am sure that this book will come to be seen as THE definitive book about Elizabeth of York. I think it is probably now time for Alison Weir to move on from the Tudors and move onto the Stuarts.
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