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Elizabeth of York: The Forgotten Tudor Queen Hardcover – 18 Feb 2013

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Amberley Publishing (18 Feb. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1445609614
  • ISBN-13: 978-1445609614
  • Product Dimensions: 24.2 x 15.8 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 314,939 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Amy Licence is an historian of women's lives in the medieval and early modern period, from Queens to commoners. Her particular interest lies in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth century, in gender relations, Queenship and identity, rites of passage, pilgrimage, female orthodoxy and rebellion, superstition, magic, fertility and childbirth. She is also interested in Modernism, specifically Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group, Picasso and Post-Impressionism.

Amy has written for The Guardian, The TLS, The New Statesman, BBC History, The English Review, The Huffington Post, The London Magazine and other places. She has been interviewed regularly for BBC radio and made her TV debut in "The Real White Queen and her Rivals" documentary, for BBC2, in 2013. She also writes literary fiction and has been shortlisted twice for the Asham Award.

Her website can be found at

She is the mother of two boys and lives in Canterbury.

Product Description


'Very accessible' THE HISTORIAN 'Amy Licence is a terrific writer' SUSAN BORDO, author of THE CREATION OF ANNE BOLEYN --SUSAN BORDO, author of THE CREATION OF ANNE BOLEYN

About the Author

AMY LICENCE has been a teacher for over a decade. She has an MA in Medieval and Tudor Studies and has published several scholarly articles on the Tudors. She is the author of In Bed W ith the Tudors: The Sex Lives of a Dynasty from Elizabeth of York to Elizabeth I ('A fascinating book examining the sex lives of the Tudors in unprecedented detail' THE DAILY EXPRESS), also published by Amberley. She lives in Canterbury.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book - and it will enjoy a position on my book shelves for ever.

It contains many facts, figures, and insights into the turbulent times of the Wars of the Roses, as well as Henry Tudor's victory over Richard III and her subsequent marriage to her uncle's nemesis, paving the way for a more peaceful time for the country, and the start of the Tudor dynasty, and through Elizabeth's daughters, future monarchs too.

The book also, however, looks at the roller coaster of her early years, partly as a princess, partly living in sanctuary, in fear of her life - after seeing her two brothers taken to The Tower, and never being seen again.

Highly recommended for those interested in Mediaeval history, but also those interested in a woman who lived an extraordinary life.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By L. Michiels on 14 Sept. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First of all: a nice and pleasant book to read with lots of beautiful photographs and/or illustrations. Those expecting to learn a lot about Elizabeth's personal life may be disappointed as we know little about that. In an attempt to fill the book anyway, the book focusses on The Wars of the Roses and Elizabeth's place in it. Though she emerges more from the background than in other books about this topic, the book is more or less another book about the Wars of the Roses.

However, the book is definitely not always accurate; mixing up basic historical facts such as a reference to the presence of Edward IV (Then the earl of March) and Warwick in the important battle of Wakefield. Both were most definitely NOT there as it was an enormous Yorkist defeat! These mistakes are very annoying to the reader who already knows a lot of the topic and those who wish to learn more on the Wars of the Roses.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Iset TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 8 July 2013
Format: Hardcover
Elizabeth herself is quiet in the pages of history, her married life in contrast to the upheaval of her childhood and the scandal of her teenage years when rumour had it that her uncle Richard III intended to marry her. Amy Licence explores why this quiet life, which on the surface of it does not exactly make the most exciting history, is in fact a mark of Elizabeth's success as queen, and the success of the new Tudor dynasty. Elizabeth's humility, pious patronage, and generosity made her beloved of the English populace, and provided the solid, stable foundations on which the Tudor dynasty was built - marking themselves in contrast to the turmoil of the civil wars, and exerting a strong appeal through peace and prosperity.

I was surprised by how much page space Licence devotes to Elizabeth's childhood and the wars of the roses, as I'm much more interested in her adult life, namely her relationships with her children, husband, and Tudor in-laws, the influence she exerted as queen, and her support for the Tudor regime. It's easy to forget in hindsight just how much upheaval marked Elizabeth's early life, and how her future was very much uncertain. The look into a year of Elizabeth's life through her household accounts was interesting, and not something I'd read about before - but then I am not a specialist on her life and have not gone looking for sources, I suspect that these household accounts are "nothing new" from the point of view of specialists, it's simply that the generalised reader hasn't really seen them before.

I must admit to wishing for more, in particular I wanted to know about Elizabeth's reaction to Perkin Warbeck, but, frustratingly, her private thoughts on the matter are not recorded. The book is a little short, and I would have liked more, but there's just so little recorded about Elizabeth's life. A good book, though it simply can't tell us all we would wish to know about Elizabeth.
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Format: Paperback
Masterly book about the mother of a dynasty. Amy Licence retells Elizabeth of York's biography, blending facts with culture and customs at the time. She explores all the highlights of the queen's life, then colors in the details with tantalizing bits of history involving what they ate or wore. As her life unfolds, you get a real picture of the girl growing into a woman, learning to navigate and define her role as consort. "As the daughter, sister, wife, mother and grandmother of kings and queens, her offspring would inherit the English throne for the next century, after which they would also claim it as the Stuart line and unite the kingdom for another 100 years. In very real terms, Elizabeth was responsible for delivering the future and her legacy long outlived her." While Margaret Beaufort, the king's mother is often credited for the advanced education of her grandchildren, perhaps Elizabeth left a lasting impression as well. Elizabeth brought experience and grace to her husband's court, keeping alive the traditions she had learned in her parents lively court. Her gentle influence paved the way for the coming flowering of English culture that both her son, Henry VIII and her granddaughter and namesake, Elizabeth the First are attributed. Elizabeth of York was definitely the mother of a new dynasty, and perhaps the mother of the English Renaissance as well.
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28 of 35 people found the following review helpful By EleanorB TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 1 Mar. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Amy Licence has done it again! Like her previous work, In Bed with the Tudors, it is a compact book, with well chosen illustrations which inform the narrative beautifully. Her subject matter is Elizabeth of York, a woman at the heart of late medieval upheavals as daughter of Edward the Fourth and Elizabeth Woodville, niece of Richard the Third, wife of Henry the Seventh, mother of Henry the Eighth, grandmother of Elizabeth the First - the list goes on and this fascinating life is examined in context and in meticulous detail, showing her as more than just the convenient Yorkist princess married to the victor of Bosworth to unify the kingdom and set the Tudor dynasty in motion. She was, for example, a key participant in the process which brought the teenaged Catherine of Aragon to England to marry her eldest son, the tragic Arthur. She also lived through a wave of pretenders to her husband's throne; one of whom was extremely well supported by Margaret of Burgundy (Elizabeth's paternal aunt) who chose to believe that he was one of her missing nephews, the Princes in the Tower. No-one will tell the story of Elizabeth of York better than this, and she is no longer "forgotten".

Amy Licence is a wonderful writer - her prose just sings off the page with not a word wasted - and a wonderful historian who has enormous empathy with her subject matter. Dare I say it, a worthy successor to David Starkey as our leading interpreter of all things Tudor.

Even if you don't particularly like history, even if you don't particularly like biography, make an exception in this case: read this gorgeous little book and enjoy!!

What next Amy? Can't wait.
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