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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars46
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 2 July 2015
Quite an interesting book ...Tracy Borman certainly did her research well and must have taken her ages. Knowing the Tudors as we all do, one could connect it with the people of those days at court
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on 12 July 2015
Remarkable stories and well-researched. Enjoyed the minute details of their lives. My husband's family history includes Blanche Parry so was particularly interesting.
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on 4 May 2010
this is a brilliant book from start to finish a book you will want to keep and read again. What more can i say but its one of the best books i have ever read and i was sorry to finish it.
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on 20 January 2015
I love reading Tudor history. And this book is a must. Really gives you an insight into what it was like at the Tudor court. Cannot put the book down.
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on 16 August 2010
I know that some of these comments have been made before, but this is my opinion of this book. First, I should make it clear that I mainly enjoyed it,as it was quite a good read, but it had some annoyances which spoilt my enjoyment, hence 4 stars - would have been 3.5 if that had been possible.
It started well and I got into the swing of it until Katherine Champernowne got married. Afterwards the author referred to her as 'Kat Astley' without explanation - I had never seen this version of the name before - I had always seen it spelt 'Ashley.'Later, I found the explanation in a numbered note for which you need to turn to the back pages of the book. That's OK for a scholarly tome but not for light reading in my opinion and it wouldn't have hurt to have put it into the main narrative.

This may seem a petty point to some but the author has picked up the nasty habit of referring to her female characters by their married names, so that, for example, we find in the index two entries for 'Katherine Howard' one the Countess of Nottingham (nee Katherine Carey, daughter of Lord Hunsdon) and the second Queen of England,( nee Katherine Howard). This is not consistent and causes much confusion because Lord Hunsdon had a sister Katherine (therefore also nee Katherine Carey) but indexed under her married name, Knollys so that when the author talks of Elizabeth's 'other Boleyn cousin, Katherine' it is not clear who she means.. A previous reviewer has pointed out the glaring error of the author referring to a son of George Boleyn (who was childless). and it was at this point that I became unsure of whether the author did really understand the ramifications of the Boleyn family and their close relatives. There are no family trees in the book which would be useful to say the least.
The Boleyn/Howard/Bourchier/Bryan/Parr relationships are complicated and trees would have helped as all these families are prominent in the book.

The author seems much more familiar with the Tudor side and we get (rather too) extensive accounts of Margaret Douglas, Mary QS and Arbella Stewart , none of which are interesting. The author also seems to be under the impression that relatives of Jane Seymour and Elizabeth Woodville have royal blood. Some might, of course, but only via the men these ladies married.
The last two chapters, as has been said before, should not have been written.
So it's worth reading but get the paperback.
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on 22 January 2013
Using this book for my dissertation, it's so easy to read and really goes in depth and makes the subject very interesting and enjoyable.
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on 24 September 2009
This is a brilliant book about a brilliant queen by a brilliant historian! It`s a truly valuable addition to the canon of research on Elizabeth I, and one that sheds new light on an aspect of the Virgin Queen`s life that has hitherto been overlooked. Highly recommended.
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on 12 December 2015
VERY INTERESTING TO READ OF SOME OF THE PEOPLE I HAVE JUST VAGUELY HEARD OF. I WOULD THINK ANY TUDOR FAN WOYLD ENJOY THIS BOOK
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on 19 November 2015
Rather too much detail re clothes, day to day lives etc but otherwise well research and written and very informative
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on 15 March 2013
This is a must read for people, who like this era, brilliantly written and I am so glad I bought this book.
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