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Margaret Beaufort: Mother of the Tudor Dynasty [Hardcover]

Elizabeth Norton
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Sep 2010
Divorced at ten, a mother at thirteen & three times a widow. The extraordinary true story of the 'Red Queen', Lady Margaret Beaufort, matriarch of the Tudors. Born in the midst of the Wars of the Roses, Margaret Beaufort became the greatest heiress of her time. She survived a turbulent life, marrying four times and enduring imprisonment before passing her claim to the crown of England to her son, Henry VII, the first of the Tudor monarchs. Margaret's royal blood placed her on the fringes of the Lancastrian royal dynasty. After divorcing her first husband at the age of ten, she married the king's half-brother, Edmund Tudor, becoming a widow and bearing her only child, the future Henry VII, before her fourteenth birthday. Margaret was always passionately devoted to the interests of her son who claimed the throne through her. She embroiled herself in both treason and conspiracy as she sought to promote his claims, allying herself with the Yorkist Queen, Elizabeth Woodville, in an attempt to depose Richard III. She was imprisoned by Richard and her lands confiscated, but she continued to work on her son's behalf, ultimately persuading her fourth husband, the powerful Lord Stanley, to abandon the king in favour of Henry on the eve of the decisive Battle of Bosworth. It was Lord Stanley himself who placed the crown on Henry's head on the battlefield. Henry VII gave his mother unparalleled prominence during his reign. She established herself as an independent woman and ended her life as regent of England, ruling on behalf of her seventeen-year-old grandson, Henry VIII.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Amberley Publishing; 1st edition (1 Sep 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1445601427
  • ISBN-13: 978-1445601427
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 16.2 x 23.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 402,732 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

Elizabeth Norton gained her first degree from the University of Cambridge, and her Masters from the University of Oxford. Her other books include ANNE BOLEYN: HENRY VIII'S OBSESSION, JANE SEYMOUR: HENRY VIII'S TRUE LOVE, CATHERINE PARR ('Scintillating' THE FINANCIAL TIMES; 'Norton cuts an admirably clear path through tangled Tudor intrigues' JENNY UGLOW), ANNE OF CLEVES: HENRY VIII'S DISCARDED BRIDE, ENGLAND'S QUEENS: THE BIOGRAPHY (all published by Amberley Publishing) and SHE WOLVES: THE NOTORIOUS QUEENS OF ENGLAND. Her next book will be the first ever biography of Bessie Blount, mistress of Henry VIII and mother to his first child which will also be published by Amberley. She lives in Kingston Upon Thames.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
77 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really interesting 16 Sep 2010
I have just finished reading this book. I received it at the same time as my copy of Philippa Gregory's `The Red Queen' and thought that I would read this first so that I knew about the historical Margaret Beaufort. I found this book really interesting. What I like most about Elizabeth Norton's books is that she deals with her subjects chronologically and it is easy to follow the events of their lives. This book is full of fascinating details. I particularly liked the information on Margaret's third marriage to Henry Stafford, as well as her involvement in the conspiracies against Richard III. There were also lots of little details that kept me interested. Norton talks about what Margaret ate at particular events, and what she wore, as well as dealing with the more political aspects of her subject. All in all, I thought this was an excellent book and would recommend it to anyone.
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48 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book Long Overdue 6 Oct 2010
By Sean
A detailed biography of Lady Margaret Beaufort was long overdue. She is crucial figure in the Tudor story but often little is written about her other than details of her descent from John of Gaunt. What I particularly enjoyed was how the writer brought out Margaret's relatonships within the Houses of York and Lancaster. It also explains how Henry Tudor's claim to the throne was less remote than is often suggested. This book tells us much detail about this important figure and her other marriages.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Margaret Beaufort 27 July 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This was very good, well written and, I think, typically Margaret Beaufort. I enjoyed reading it.. would recommend it to anyone
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Margaret Beaufort was one of the remarkable women of the Tudor Dynasty (if one wants to count her as such) and of her times. Intelligent, shrewd, political, devoted to her son and his destiny, educated. A lady who managed her own destiny, not in the beginning, but later.

I enjoyed very much reading about her and her life. It is not the first biography about her, but it is the recent after a long time. Most enlightend were the chapters on her marriages and the relationships with her husbands. Far too often the focus is only on her son and their extraordinary relationship. So here the wife Margaret emerges.

Elisabeth Norton manage to revive the whole personality of Margaret and her ambitions. Her writing is superb and engaging. It is a real pleasure to read this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Margaret the Kings mother 26 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Always interested in any family of John of Gaunt. Did not enjoy the passages written in "old english" The pictures where not that clear but that is a problem with all kindle books.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Mysterious lady 22 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Margaret was by necessity a shadowy figure for much of her life. She definitely intrigued to get her son onto the throne of England, so she had to keep her head down! How Richard III ever allowed her to keep her head is a mystery, he killed many more for less. I enjoyed most of this book, but there were too many 'old english' sections, pretty well every couple of pages, which I didn't find enjoyable, they became a chore. Overall, considering Margaret is such a hazy figure, the Wars of the Roses taking centre stage, this was a fair read. Too much though on what Margaret might have done, said, thought or felt. Very little actual facts, probably because until Henry VII ascended the throne there was not much recorded about her.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and enlightening 6 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An amazing dedicated and politically astute woman and it is a pity that she has not received full recognition for her achievements. The book is concise and moves at a fast pace. Particularly interesting to understand Beaufort's political manoeuvres during the War of the Roses and have this complex time in history explained from a different view point.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not bad but not great 16 Oct 2012
I am fascinated by the Beauforts and by Margaret Beaufort in particular so I was excited to see this book. More is known about her than about most members of her remarkable family (and than of most other women of her time). I did learn a few new things about Margaret but the book dragged due to the numerous paragraphs taken from books and letters written during the time Margaret lived. While I appreciate the historical accuracy, these are very difficult for a contemporary reader to plod through and I finally started skipping these sections entirely. The author would have served her readers better by either providing a modern day translation as well as the orignal or by just skipping the original all together.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating detailed insight into this woman's life
I LOVE this book - it contains details of Margaret's ancestry - early life and marriages, - far more than in any other book I've read about her. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Sorrel
5.0 out of 5 stars A must buy for Tudor buffs
A most fantastic book. Don't hesitate to buy it, you wont be able to put it down. You will be transported back through times past to an era I think many of us adore. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Gina
3.0 out of 5 stars Why it is only okay
I am Dsylexic and found it to difficult to read due to the amount of quotes in Old English and I was really wanting a historical novel
Published 12 months ago by sue lumley
3.0 out of 5 stars Margaret Beaufort
Am reading this book now, sometimes goes into too much detail when going back to the original detail written about what was happening at the time making it a bit hard to take in.
Published 12 months ago by Mrs Lynne Grier
4.0 out of 5 stars For those who like their history
This is well written and researched. I wasn't put off, and some have been, by the "old world" language in places. In fact I think it added to the reality. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Sandunes
5.0 out of 5 stars History
love this period of history and the story comes alive in the hands of the author. excellent book . recommend it
Published 17 months ago by Gill
3.0 out of 5 stars Easy reading sometimes means simplistic
This book mostly follows a pattern established very well in Norton's books on the wives. I have reviewed two of these, Cleves and Seymour, elsewhere, and given that it would have... Read more
Published on 28 Oct 2011 by Graham James
4.0 out of 5 stars not a nice lady
Not a very nice lady, maybe history has been a tad unkind, but to me she has always been a nasty vindictive women who desired power above all, at any cost. Read more
Published on 10 Mar 2011 by R. Moore
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