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Henry VII - Winter King and the first Tudor (as seen on BBC) Presented by author Thomas Penn. [DVD]
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(May 14, 2018)
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Author Thomas Penn explores one of England's most fascinating monarchs a man who went from upstart usurper to renaissance monarch and finally to Machiavellian schemer. This is the story of Henry VII and the birth of Tudor England. Henry VII was the founder of one of England's greatest royal dynasties,the Tudors. But he also violently stole a throne to which he barely held a claim. Thomas Penn's journey begins in Wales. In August 1485 Henry of Richmond landed here with a small group of fellow travellers and mercenaries. Just two weeks later, he achieved a miracle; a devastating victory against Richard III at the battle of Bosworth. At a stroke, Henry killed his enemy and became Henry Tudor, King Henry VII, a king out of nothing. Despite Henry's obscure origins, Thomas Penn will explore how he seemed born to rule in this murky and violent age - a master of realpolitik who was charming on the outside but savage underneath. His unexpected and unsettling reign, a quarter-century long, spanned a time in which the violent feuds of the Wars of the Roses give way to a glorious age of Renaissance. Henry trusted no one and relied on spies, subterfuge and the manipulation of hard cash to control his lands and secure the succession and the triumph of the Tudors. Thomas Penn will trace Henry's story through the places, documents and objects associated with him: Bosworth Field where a twist of fate ensured the death of Richard III rather than Henry; Westminster Abbey with its magnificent mausoleum to Henry and his beloved wife Elizabeth of York. By 1501 Henry might have believed he had laid the ghosts of civil war to rest. But the death of his first born son Arthur, and soon after that his wife, left him vulnerable, wrenching the dynasty off course. Now, his hopes would rest entirely on his second son, Prince Henry, the young boy who would become Henry VIII. This is the remarkable and revealing story of a dynasty's birth, of the founder of a family that would dominate and transform England. It goes right to the heart of what it was to be a Tudor.
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