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About the book
  • Published: 29 August 2013
  • ISBN: 9781448190065
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 560


The Family Story

Some of their past the Tudors wanted to remember, other parts they preferred to forget: a new history, a new story, the family behind the myths

Sunday Times bestseller
Selected as one of The Times' Best Books about The Tudors
A Telegraph Book of the Year
A History Today Book of the Year
A BBC History Magazine Book of the Year

The Tudors are a national obsession; they are our most notorious family in history. But beyond the well-worn headlines is a family still more extraordinary than the one we thought we knew.

The Tudor canon typically starts with the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, before speeding on to Henry VIII and the Reformation. But this leaves out the family’s obscure Welsh origins; it passes by the courage of the pregnant thirteen-year-old girl who would help found the Tudor dynasty; and the childhood and painful exile of her son, the future Henry VII. It ignores the fact that the Tudors were shaped by their past – those parts they wished to remember and those they wished to forget.

With this background, Leanda de Lisle enables us to see the Tudors in their own terms and presents new perspectives and revelations on key figures and events, from the princes in the Tower to the Tudor Queens.

Tudor tells a family story like no other.

'A lively history of the ambitious Tudor family... It casts plenty of light on the strong women in the dynasty' The Times

  • Pub date: 29 August 2013
  • ISBN: 9781448190065
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 560

About the Author

Leanda de Lisle

Leanda de Lisle is the highly acclaimed author of three books on the Tudors and Stuarts, including the bestselling The Sisters Who Would Be Queen and Tudor: The Family Story. She regularly writes and speaks on historical matters for TV, radio and a number of publications including The Times, the Spectator and Daily Express. She lives in Leicestershire.

Also by Leanda de Lisle

See all

Praise for Tudor

“A wonderfully fluent portrait of five generations... de Lisle brings an entirely fresh feel to the Tudor story, reminding us of the one thing the monarchs themselves wanted us to forget: the sheer improbability of their royal rule”

Dan Jones, author of The Plantagenets, The Times (Saturday Review)

“Violent, heady, glamorous stuff, this is popular history of a very superior sort”

Lucy Worsley, Country Life

“Vivid... Part of the interest of this book lies in the portraits of strong women”

Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph

“Tudor is a gripping account of a family riven by passionate jealousies, murderous ambitions and crippling tragedies. Leanda de Lisle is a master storyteller, and this is her greatest work yet. Immersive and exhaustively researched, Tudor is a triumph.”

Amanda Foreman, author of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire

“While many Tudor fans have been crying out for an accessible narrative history of the entire period, few historians have felt able to rise to the challenge... [de Lisle] manages to achieve that very feat... should now be the go-to book”

Chris Skidmore, History Today (Books of the Year 2013)

“In de Lisle's hands, this is a deeply human tale, a family tree come to vivid life, rather than a narrative of politics and power structures (Book of the Week)”

Helen Castor, Sunday Telegraph

“One of the most interesting of today’s historians, with her easy scholarship, fresh interpretation and presentation, Leanda De Lisle succeeds in casting a revealing light on what one had thought familiar. The pace never flags. Time and again she says something new in one of the most exciting and enjoyable books I have read for a long time.”

Desmond Seward, History Today

“For those wanting a more grown-up experience of the Tudor past, there are few better places to start the Leanda de Lisle’s new study. Many have told this story before. What makes de Lisle’s account so fresh is her decision to start her “family story” not in 1485… but three generations earlier… Rarely has [this] story been told as well as here”

John Adamson, Mail on Sunday

“Her compellingly written book not only illuminates obscure family members... but also provides fresh perspectives on some of the most familiar figures in our history... a work that elegantly combines wide-ranging research with fluent narrative”

Nick Rennison, Sunday Times (Culture)

“De Lisle’s masterful command of the facts – great and small – provides a complete and entertaining overview”

Giles Tremlett, Observer

“A vibrant reappraisal of this turbulent family saga”

Anne Somerset, Spectator

“Full of subtle revelations and fascinating detail... fine storytelling and thought-provoking analysis”

Linda Porter, Literary Review

“It is…greatly to the credit of Leanda de Lisle that her new book on the Tudors as a family is so admirably balanced and accomplished, and full of subtle revelations and fascinating detail. The familiar faces are all here but their story is told with new insights… Fine storytelling and thought-provoking analysis”

Linda Porter, Literary Review

“[An] illuminating portrait of our most famous royal family”

Sunday Times

“Highly readable but no less scholarly”

Lesley McDowell, Independent on Sunday

“Wonderful, passionate, dangerous, fascinating stuff. I couldn't put it down”

Julian Fellowes

“Leanda de Lisle has the gift of reminding us that history is the story of real people; real men, real women, full of rage and ambitionand lust and hope and love. The Tudors are already our most vivid dynasty, by quite a long chalk, but these pages render them more vivid still. This was an age when the game was worth the candle, when a chance remark could result in a crown or the axe. Wonderful, passionate, dangerous, fascinating stuff. I couldn't put it down”

Julian Fellowes

“This fresh take on the Tudor dynasty is history at its best... an engaging and well-sourced account, sprinkled with provocative anecdotes that will appeal to both scholars and general readers... This compelling tale is driven by three-dimensional people and relationships, and de Lisle does a fantastic job of making them feel lived and dramatic”

Publishers Weekly

“Reveals an entirely new perspective on one of England's most fascinating dynasties”

Mary Lussiana, Country & Town House

“A very lucid, entertaining and excellent read”

Suzannah Lipscomb, History Today

“A thrilling, intelligent and fresh royal history that sweeps from the family’s unlikely beginnings in the 1420s to their apotheosis under Elizabeth”

Dan Jones, Telegraph

“The compelling story of the Tudors is vividly brought to life in de Lisle's narrative”

Discover Britain

“Violent, heady, glamorous stuff, this is popular history of a very superior sort”

Lucy Worsley, Country Life

“This should now be the go-to book for those looking for a broad understanding of the Tudors”

Chris Skidmore, BBC History Magazine

“De Lisle's energy and stamina in this vast operation are truly impressive. What is more, she tells an often thrilling story with great dexterity... Altogether, this remarkable achievement puts de Lisle firmly in the front rank of popular historians of the period”

John Jolliffe, Catholic Herald

“Unlike many books that claim to tell the story of the Tudors, but focus mainly on four characters (namely Henry VIII and his three children who all ruled England after him), this excellent book includes so many members of the Tudor family who may not always be forgotten, but are often sidelined”

Good Book Guide

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