Tudor England: Royals and Intrigue
People have always been interested in the lives of royals, and in my opinion no period has more intrigue than Tudor England. It is fascinating to read about Henry the VIII and his wives, and this period’s plethora of “leading ladies,” such as Mary, Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I.
When it comes to Tudor England and literature, there’s no short supply. Here are the three main authors that I have found interesting over the past few years:
Philippa Gregory is an established historian, as demonstrated by the historical accuracy in her writing. The Plantagenet and Tudor series includes her most popular novels—including The Other Boleyn Girl which has a movie adaptation. The 15 book series starts with the Cousins War period and continues into Tudor England. Each book in this series revolves around a “leading lady” of the time and really transports you back to the time in which these ladies lived and how their lives were. She pieces together the historical documents and her novelization of the material so seamlessly—I became so immersed in the books that I never wanted them to end. I particularly enjoyed The Other Boleyn Girl and The Lady of the Rivers.
Alison Weir is another historian that writes great historical fiction. I enjoyed her Six Tudor Queens series about the wives of Henry the VIII—again with one book for each lady, of course. She does write at a little slower pace than Philippa Gregory, but her books are well worth the little bit of extra time. Her massive books will fly by once you get into them and are also written with wonderful historical accuracy.
Hilary Mantel is most well known for her Wolf Hall Trilogy which chronicles the rise and fall of Thomas Cromwell in the court of Henry the VIII. The highly anticipated final book in the trilogy was just been published earlier this year. The series was a page turner and held my attention from beginning to end. I also recommend watching the PBS Masterpiece series based off the books.
If you are into royals and intrigue, or just history, I recommend you give these three authors and Tudor England a try. You will not be disappointed. If the sizes of the books are intimidating, try out their movies/TV show adaptations first—you’ll be hooked. They all flow so well, and it feels like you have just started reading by the time you are finished.