Customer Reviews


18 Reviews
5 star:
 (6)
4 star:
 (7)
3 star:
 (5)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


77 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really interesting
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...
Published on 16 Sep 2010 by Alice Penworthy

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Margaret the Kings mother
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.
Published 8 months ago by Mr Alan H Issitt


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


48 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book Long Overdue, 6 Oct 2010
By 
Sean (Lancashire England) - See all my reviews
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Margaret Beaufort, 27 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This was very good, well written and, I think, typically Margaret Beaufort. I enjoyed reading it.. would recommend it to anyone
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, but why use this kind of cover - looks like fiction, 30 Dec 2010
By 
Amelrode (Vilvoorde) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Margaret the Kings mother, 26 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Mysterious lady, 22 Feb 2014
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and enlightening, 6 Jan 2014
By 
J. Speakman - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not bad but not great, 16 Oct 2012
This review is from: Margaret Beaufort: Mother of the Tudor Dynasty (Paperback)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For those who like their history, 27 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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.
If you like precise history as opposed to a novel, then you will enjoy this, as I did. I would certainly recommend it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


14 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good; what a shame it wasn't properly documented, 26 Jan 2011
By 
Judith Loriente (Melbourne, Australia) - See all my reviews
I thought Elizabeth Norton's She-Wolves: The Notorious Queens of England was just plain dreadful - with good reason - but surprise, surprise, this biography of Margaret Beaufort is actually very good. It has the usual modern-day problem of imperfect editing, though in a reversal of the usual problem, it suffers from too many commas rather than not enough. There is also a statement on p. 12 that Richard II "imposed no limits on the Beaufort's new status". This refers to all the Beauforts, so should be "the Beauforts's new status" - preferably with the second `s' omitted, since the word ends in `s'. Do editors know anything these days?

But aside from these minor problems the text is very readable, and nowhere near as superficial as that of She Wolves. The book also contains a theory I had never read before: that Henry VII's father Edmund Tudor, son of Catherine de Valois and (presumably) her second husband Owen Tudor, may have been fathered by Edmund Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, an uncle of Margaret Beaufort's with whom Catherine may have had an affair in the late 1420s. I had read elsewhere (in Lisa Hilton's Queens Consort: England's Medieval Queens) that Edmund Beaufort and Catherine de Valois wanted to marry around this time, but that Parliament passed a law that would have caused Edmund Beaufort to lose his property and possessions if he married the Queen without official permission, with the result that he lost interest in her. Anyway, this is what Norton has to say (p. 37-38):

"It is possible that Margaret Beaufort and Edmund Tudor might have been rather more closely related than previously realised. Edmund Tudor's birth was veiled in considerable secrecy, and he was not born in one of Catherine of Valois's own properties, with the Queen instead travelling to Much Hadham, a manor belonging to the Bishop of London in order to give birth in the greatest possible privacy. The name Edmund was an odd choice for Catherine of Valois and Owen Tudor and deserves some further comment. Before her relationship with Owen Tudor began, Catherine had been romantically linked with Margaret Beaufort's uncle, Edmund Beaufort, the future Duke of Somerset, and the pair had hoped to marry. Any man that Catherine married would become the King's stepfather, with a good claim to the regency during his minority. Beaufort was a controversial choice amongst the King's council, which was already deeply divided by a dispute between the King's uncle, the Duke of Gloucester, and his great uncle, Cardinal Beaufort. In 1426, parliament made a formal request to the regency council that they cease their refusals to allow Catherine to remarry. It is likely that Catherine petitioned parliament for their aide herself. Henry VI's council was determined to prevent Catherine from making any new marriage, and in the parliament of 1429 to 1430, a statute was passed legislating on the remarriage of dowager queens. The new law ordered that anyone who dared marry the Queen without the King's express permission would have his lands and property confiscated and effectively meant that Catherine could not remarry until Henry VI obtained his majority. This put an end to Beaufort's ambition to marry the Queen, but given the choice of the name Edmund for her eldest son by her second marriage, it is possible that she and Beaufort had already been lovers and that her relationship with Owen Tudor, a man of such low status that the advantages of a marriage to the Queen far outweighed the risks, may have proved necessary in order to ensure that Catherine did not bear an illegitimate child."

Sensationalist poppycock, or a possibility? Who knows; historians can squabble over that one. Though if Edmund Tudor was fathered by a Plantagenet cousin of Henry VI's father, rather than by a penniless Welshman, and if Henry VI knew this, it could explain why he considered a half-brother of dubious legitimacy fit to marry Margaret Beaufort, who was a great heiress and a possible heir to the throne (or mother of them) in the event that Henry VI's line died out, as ultimately proved the case. It would mean Edmund Tudor was not only Henry VI's half-brother through their mother, but also an illegitimate member of the English royal family and Henry's second cousin, their fathers being sons of half-brothers Henry IV and John Beaufort, both sons of John of Gaunt.

The book has no proper citations (hence no possibility of five stars), but from the notes for Chapter 3, it looks as if Norton's source may be R. A. Griffiths' 2004 The Reign of Henry VI - though given the absence of citations, she could just as easily be the first to put forward this theory. If it turned out to be true, it would mean the Tudors were not Tudors, but Plantagenets/Beauforts. I had noticed that Henry VII bore a strong resemblance, in some of his portraits, to Richard II (the same narrow face, pursed-up mouth, semi-circular eyebrows and steely, suspicious-looking eyes). Of course, I just assumed he took heavily after his Plantagenet mother. Now it turns out his father may have been a first cousin of his mother, and a Plantagenet too. That would certainly explain the striking resemblance that Henry VII and his eldest son Arthur bore to Richard II.

In summary, it's a very good book that could have been even better had it been properly documented. Ms Norton, in your next book, please cite a source for every statement of fact!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First
ARRAY(0xac20e6cc)

This product

Margaret Beaufort: Mother of the Tudor Dynasty
Margaret Beaufort: Mother of the Tudor Dynasty by Elizabeth Norton (Paperback - 12 Oct 2011)
6.99
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews