Books

The Lost Tudor Princess

Alison Weir

Royal Tudor blood ran in her veins. Some thought Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox, should be queen of England.

She ranked high at the court of her uncle, Henry VIII, and was lady of honour to five of his wives. Beautiful and tempestuous, she created scandal - twice - by falling in love with unsuitable men.

Throughout her life her dynastic ties to two crowns proved hazardous. A born political intriguer, she was imprisoned in the Tower of London three times, once under sentence of death. Her husband and son were brutally murdered, she warred with two queens, and proved instrumental in securing the Stuart succession to the throne of England for her grandson.

Alison Weir brings Margaret Douglas's captivating character out of the shadows for the first time.

The Marriage Game

Alison Weir

Bestselling historian Alison Weir brings Elizabeth I to vivid life in a novel of intrigue, sex, plots, mysteries and tragedies, amid all the colour and pageantry of the Tudor court.

'[Weir] gets right inside the head of the Virgin Queen. The reader has a blissful sense of seeing history as it happens.' - Kate Saunders, The Times

It was an affair that shocked the world.

Elizabeth I is the most sought-after bride in Europe. But though she is formidably intelligent, brave and tempestuous, she is desperately insecure. The tragic events in her past mean she cannot give herself to any man, and yet she relishes the thrill of the chase, the lure of forbidden fruit.

And so, using sex and high-powered diplomacy, she plays what becomes known as the 'Marriage Game', dangling suitors to keep them friendly to her kingdom, while holding them off indefinitely.
But playing this tantalising game with the married Robert Dudley, the son and grandson of traitors, could cost her the throne…

Elizabeth of York

Alison Weir

Elizabeth of York would have ruled England, but for the fact that she was a woman. Heiress to the royal House of York, she schemed to marry Richard III, the man who had deposed and probably killed her brothers, and it is possible that she then conspired to put Henry Tudor on the throne.

Yet after marriage to Henry VII, which united the royal houses of Lancaster and York, a picture emerges of a model consort - mild, pious, generous and fruitful. It has been said that Elizabeth was distrusted by Henry VII and her formidable mother-in-law, Margaret Beaufort, but contemporary evidence shows that Elizabeth was, in fact, influential.

Alison Weir builds an intriguing portrait of this beloved queen, placing her in the context of the magnificent, ceremonious, often brutal, world she inhabited, and revealing the woman behind the myth.

Richard III and the Princes in the Tower

Alison Weir

Includes a new foreword by the author

The story of the death, in sinister circumstances, of the boy-king Edward V and his younger brother Richard, Duke of York, is one of the most fascinating murder mysteries in English history. It is a tale with profound moral and social consequences, rich in drama, intrigue, treason, scandal and violence.

In this gripping book Alison Weir re-examines all the evidence - including that against the Princes' uncle, Richard III, whose body was recently discovered beneath a Leicester car park. She brilliantly reconstructs the whole chain of events leading to their murder and reveals how, why and by whose order they died.

Previously published as The Princes in the Tower

A Dangerous Inheritance

Alison Weir

Two women separated by time are linked by the most famous murder mystery in history, the Princes in the Tower.

Lady Katherine Grey has already suffered more than her fair share of tragedy. Newly pregnant, she has incurred the wrath of her formidable cousin, Queen Elizabeth I, who sees her as a rival to her insecure throne.

Alone in her chamber in the Tower, she finds old papers belonging to a kinswoman of hers, Kate Plantagenet, who forty years previously had embarked on a dangerous quest to find what really happened to her cousins, the two young Princes who had last been seen as captives in the Tower.

But time is not on Kate's side - nor on Katherine's either ...

Mary Boleyn

Alison Weir

Sister to Anne Boleyn and seduced by two kings, Mary Boleyn has long been the subject of scandal and myth. Her affair with Henry VIII fuelled the shocking annulment of his marriage to Anne, and Mary is rumoured to have borne his child in secret.

In this, the first full-length biography of Mary Boleyn, Alison Weir explodes much of the mythology that surrounds her subject's notoriety. Her extensive research gives us a new and detailed portrayal, revealing Mary as one of hte most misunderstood figures of the Tudor age.

From the internationally bestselling author of Eleanor of Aquitaine.

Isabella

Alison Weir

Described by Christopher Marlowe as the 'She-Wolf of France', Isabella was one of the most notorious femme fatales in history. According to popular legend, her angry ghost can be glimpsed among church ruins, clutching the beating heart of her murdered husband. But how did Isabella aquire this reputation?

Born in 1292 she married Edward II of England but was constantly humiliated by his relationships with male favourites and she lived adulterously with Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March. Had it not been for her unfaithfulness, history might have immortalised her as a liberator- the saviour who unshackled England from a weak and vicious monarch.

Dramatic and startling this first full-length biography of Isabella will change the way we think of her and her world forever.

The Captive Queen and Eleanor of Aquitaine

Alison Weir

A special bundle of one fiction and one non-fiction title from bestselling historian Alison Weir, both exploring the life of Eleanor of Aquitaine.

The Captive Queen:

It is the year 1152 and a beautiful woman of thirty, attended by only a small armed escort, is riding southwards through what is now France, leaving behind her crown, her two young daughters and a shattered marriage to Louis of France, who had been more like a monk than a king, and certainly not much of a lover. This woman is Eleanor, Duchess of Aquitaine, and her sole purpose now is to return to her vast duchy and marry the man she loves, Henry Plantagenet, a man destined for greatness as King of England. Theirs is a union founded on lust which will create a great empire stretching from the wilds of Scotland to the Pyrenees. It will also create the devil's brood of Plantagenets - including Richard Cœur de Lion and King John - and the most notoriously vicious marriage in history.

Eleanor of Aquitaine:

Wife of Louis VII of France and subsequently of Henry II of England and mother of Richard the Lionheart, Eleanor played a prominent part in the politics of the 12th century. In her biography, Alison Weir brings all the colour and ever-present dangers of Eleanor's world to life, filling the text with absorbing background detail and revelatory contemporary anecdotes. The result is a fresh and thoughtful perspective on the energetic 82 years of life of a determined and ambitious woman living with the sexism, excesses and violence of a society in which the word of a single man could condemn thousands to be put to death.

The Captive Queen

Alison Weir

It is the year 1152, and a beautiful woman rides through France, fleeing her crown, her two young daughters and a shattered marriage.

Her husband, Louis of France has been more monk than monarch, and certainly not a lover. Now Eleanor of Aquitaine has one sole purpose: to return to her duchy and marry the man she loves, Henry Plantagenet, destined for greatness as King of England. It will be a union founded on lust, renowned as one of the most vicious marriages in history, and it will go on to forge a great empire and a devilish brood.

This is a story of the making of nations, and of passionate conflicts: between Henry II and Thomas Becket; between Eleanor and Henry's formidable mother Matilda; between father and sons, as Henry's children take up arms against him - and finally between Henry and Eleanor herself.

The Princes In The Tower

Alison Weir

The story of the death, in sinister circumstances, of the boy-king Edward V and his younger brother Richard, Duke of York, is one of the most fascinating murder mysteries in English history. It is a tale with profound moral and social consequences, rich in drama, intrigue, treason, scandal and violence.

In this gripping book Alison Weir re-examines all the evidence - including that against the Princes' uncle, Richard III, whose body was recently discovered beneath a Leicester car park. She brilliantly reconstructs the whole chain of events leading to their murder and reveals how, why and by whose order they died.

The Ring and the Crown

Alison Weir (and others)

The excitement surrounding the marriage of Prince William to Kate Middleton has prompted four of Britain's top historical biographers to look closely at Royal Weddings from 1066 to the present day.

Professionally, Alison Weir, Kate Williams, Sarah Gristwood and Tracy Borman do events and television together, and are known affectionately, as the 'History Girls'. They bring an elan, and a passion for detail and dramatic narrative to all their subjects.

Each writer focuses on different areas of interest. Alison Weir deals with the medieval, Tudor and Stuart periods. Kate Williams scrutinises the Georgians and Victorians. Sarah Gristwood takes up the story in 1919, when Princess Patricia of Connaught revived the tradition of royal brides marrying in Westminster Abbey, and goes on to examine the weddings of the Queen Mother (1923), the Queen (1947), and Princess Margaret in 1960. Lastly, Tracy Borman brings the book right up to date, with accounts of the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana Spencer through to the fanfare that will celebrate the nuptials of Kate and William.

Every kind of wedding features - from those attended by great public celebrations, to the many that took place in private chapels, parish churches and even in secret.

Fascinating anecdotal details are revealed in the course of this most informative and entertaining overview of royal weddings through history, some amusing, some poignant, some bawdy. The Ring and the Crown places the royal wedding of the heir to the throne in historical perspective, and it does so with carefully selected illustrations that help make the authors' insights come even more vividly alive.

Elizabeth, The Queen and The Lady Elizabeth

Alison Weir

A special bundle of one fiction and one non-fiction title from betselling historian Alison Weir, both centred around Elizabeth I:

The Lady Elizabeth:

England, 1536. Home to the greatest, most glittering court in English history. But beneath the dazzling façade lies treachery... Elizabeth Tudor is daughter to Henry VIII, the most powerful king England has ever known. She is destined to ascend the throne, and deferred to as the King`s heiress, but that all changes when her mother Anne Boleyn - Henry`s great passion and folly - is executed for treason. A pawn in the savage game of Tudor power politics, she is disinherited, declared a bastard, and left with only her quick wits to rely on for her very existence. But Elizabeth is determined to survive, to foil those who want to destroy her, or who are determined to use her as a puppet for their own lethal ambition, and to reclaim her birthright...

Elizabeth, the Queen:

This book begins as the young Elizabeth ascends the throne in the wake of her sister Mary's disastrous reign. Elizabeth is portrayed as both a woman and a queen, an extraordinary phenomenon in a patriarchal age. Alison Weir writes of Elizabeth's intriguing, long-standing affair with Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, of her dealings - sometimes comical, sometimes poignant - with her many suitors, of her rivalry with Mary, Queen of Scots, and of her bizarre relationship with the Earl of Essex, thirty years her junior.

Rich in detail, vivid and colourful, this book comes as close as we shall ever get to knowing what Elizabeth I was like as a person.

The Lady In The Tower

Alison Weir

On 2 May, 1536, in an act unprecedented in English history, Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII's second wife, was imprisoned in the Tower of London. On 15 May, she was tried and found guilty of high treason and executed just four days later. Mystery surrounds the circumstances leading up to her arrest - did Henry VIII instruct Thomas Cromwell to fabricate evidence to get rid of her so that he could marry Jane Seymour? Did Cromwell, for reasons of his own, construct a case against Anne and her faction, and then present compelling evidence before the King? Or was Anne, in fact, as guilty as charged?

Never before has there been a book devoted entirely to Anne Boleyn's fall; now in Alison Weir's richly researched and impressively detailed portrait, we have a compelling story of the last days of history's most charismatic, controversial and tragic heroines.

Traitors of the Tower

Alison Weir

A short, sharp shot of royal revenge.

More than four hundred years ago, seven people - five of them women - were beheaded in the Tower of London. Three had been queens of England. The others were found guilty of treason. Why were such important people put to death?

Alison Weir's gripping book tells their stories: from the former friend betrayed by a man set on being king, to the young girl killed after just nine days on the throne. Alison Weir is a wonderful storyteller. Through her vivid writing, Alison Weir brings history alive.

Lancaster And York

Alison Weir

The war between the houses of Lancaster and York for the throne of England was characterised by treachery, deceit and - at St Albans, Blore Hill and Towton, - some of the bloodiest and most dramatic battles on England's soil. Between 1455 and 1487 the royal coffers were bankrupted and the conflict resulted in the downfall of the houses of Lancaster and York and the emergence of the illustrious Tudor dynasty.

Alison Weir's lucid and gripping account focuses on the human side of history, on the people and personalities involved in the conflict. At the centre of the book stands Henry VI, the pious king whose mental instability led to political chaos, Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York and Henry's rival, and most important of all, Margaret of Anjou, Henry's wife who took up her arms in her husband's cause and battled for many years in a violent man's world.

The Lady Elizabeth

Alison Weir

England, 1536. Home to the greatest, most glittering court in English history. But beneath the dazzling façade lies treachery . . .

Elizabeth Tudor is daughter to Henry VIII, the most powerful king England has ever known. She is destined to ascend the throne, and deferred to as the King's heiress, but that all changes when her mother Anne Boleyn - Henry`s great passion and folly - is executed for treason.

Elizabeth 's life alters in a heartbeat. A pawn in the savage game of Tudor power politics, she is disinherited, declared a bastard, and left with only her quick wits to rely on for her very existence. But Elizabeth is determined to survive, to foil those who want to destroy her, or who are determined to use her as a puppet for their own lethal ambition, and to reclaim her birthright . . .

Elizabeth, The Queen

Alison Weir

In her highly praised The Six Wives of Henry VIII and its sequel, Children of England, Alison Weir examined the private lives of the early Tudor kings and queens, and chronicled the childhood and youth of one of England's most successful monarchs, Elizabeth I.

This book begins as the young Elizabeth ascends the throne in the wake of her sister Mary's disastrous reign. Elizabeth is portrayed as both a woman and a queen, an extraordinary phenomenon in a patriarchal age. Alison Weir writes of Elizabeth's intriguing, long-standing affair with Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, of her dealings - sometimes comical, sometimes poignant - with her many suitors, of her rivalry with Mary, Queen of Scots, and of her bizarre relationship with the Earl of Essex, thirty years her junior.

Rich in detail, vivid and colourful, this book comes as close as we shall ever get to knowing what Elizabeth I was like as a person.

Britain's Royal Families

Alison Weir

'George III is alleged to have married secretly, on 17th April, 1759, a Quakeress called Hannah Lightfoot, daughter of a Wapping shoemaker, who is said to have borne him three children. Documents relating to the alleged marriage, bearing the Prince's signature, were impounded and examined in 1866 by the Attorney General. Learned opinion at the time leaned to the view that these documents were genuine. They were then placed in the Royal Archives at Windsor; in 1910, permission was refused a would-be author who asked to see them. If George III did make such a marriage when he was Prince of Wales, before the passing of the Royal Marriages Act in 1772, then his subsequent marriage to Queen Charlotte was bigamous, and every monarch of Britain since has been a usurper, the rightful heirs of George III being his children by Hannah Lightfoot, if they ever existed.' From Britain's Royal Families

Britain's Royal Families is a unique reference book. It provides, for the first time in one volume, complete genealogical details of all members of the royal houses of England, Scotland and Great Britain - from 800AD to the present. Here is the vital biographical information relating not only to each monarch, but also to every member of their immediate family, from parents to grandchildren. Drawing on countless authorities, both ancient and modern, Alison Weir explores the royal family tree in unprecedented depth and provides a comprehensive guide to the heritage of today's royal family.

Children Of England

Alison Weir

When Henry VIII died in 1547, he left three highly intelligent children to succeed him in turn, to be followed, if their lines failed, by the descendants of his sister, Mary Tudor.

Children of England begins at the point where Alison Wier's bestseller, The Six Wives of Henry VIII came to an end, and covers the period until Elizabeth succeeded to the throne in 1558. Her interest is in the characters and relationships with Henry's four heirs.

Making use of a huge variety of contemporary sources, she brings to life one of the most extraordinary periods of English history, when each of Henry's heirs was potentially the tool of powerful political or religious figures, and when the realm was seething with intrigue and turbulent change.

Henry VIII

Alison Weir

'This magnificent biography of Henry VIII is set against the cultural, social and political background of his court - the most spectacular court ever seen in England - and the splendour of his many sumptuous palaces.

An entertaining narrative packed with colourful description and a wealth of anecdotal evidence, but a comprehensive analytical study of the development of both monarch and court during a crucial period in English history. As well as challenging some recent theories, it offers controversial new conclusions based on contemporary evidence that has until now been overlooked. This is a triumph of historical writing which will appeal equally to the general reader and the serious historian.

Alison Weir

Biography

Alison Weir lives and works in Surrey. Her non-fiction books include The Six Wives of Henry VIII, Children of England, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Henry VIII: King and Court, Mary, Queen of Scots, Katherine Swynford and Elizabeth of York. Her novels include Innocent Traitor, The Lady Elizabeth and A Dangerous Inheritance.