Author: Alison Weir
Series: Stand Alone
Published: December 3rd 2013 by Ballantine Books
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Description: Many are familiar with the story of the much-married King Henry VIII of England and the celebrated reign of his daughter, Elizabeth I. But it is often forgotten that the life of the first Tudor queen, Elizabeth of York, Henry’s mother and Elizabeth’s grandmother, spanned one of England’s most dramatic and perilous periods. Now New York Times bestselling author and acclaimed historian Alison Weir presents the first modern biography of this extraordinary woman, whose very existence united the realm and ensured the survival of the Plantagenet bloodline. Her birth was greeted with as much pomp and ceremony as that of a male heir. The first child of King Edward IV, Elizabeth enjoyed all the glittering trappings of royalty. But after the death of her father; the disappearance and probable murder of her brothers—the Princes in the Tower; and the usurpation of the throne by her calculating uncle Richard III, Elizabeth found her world turned upside-down: She and her siblings were declared bastards. As Richard’s wife, Anne Neville, was dying, there were murmurs that the king sought to marry his niece Elizabeth, knowing that most people believed her to be England’s rightful queen. Weir addresses Elizabeth’s possible role in this and her covert support for Henry Tudor, the exiled pretender who defeated Richard at the Battle of Bosworth and was crowned Henry VII, first sovereign of the House of Tudor. Elizabeth’s subsequent marriage to Henry united the houses of York and Lancaster and signaled the end of the Wars of the Roses. For centuries historians have asserted that, as queen, she was kept under Henry’s firm grasp, but Weir shows that Elizabeth proved to be a model consort—pious and generous—who enjoyed the confidence of her husband, exerted a tangible and beneficial influence, and was revered by her son, the future King Henry VIII. Drawing from a rich trove of historical records, Weir gives a long overdue and much-deserved look at this unforgettable princess whose line descends to today’s British monarch—a woman who overcame tragedy and danger to become one of England’s most beloved consorts.
First Line: Elizabeth of York's role in history was crucial, although in a less chauvinistic age it would, by right, have been more so.
I Give This ...
Honestly, it's really hard for me to give this an accurate rating. I think I saw this book, the topic, and the author and said yes....without really reading the description. Why does this matter? I'm not big into nonfiction. I love this time period, but a book presented in this manner just doesn't hold the same appeal.
However, I fought my way through this. It honestly was work for me, but I did it! There's a lot of information here. It seems a lot of it comes from speculation as there is very little documented information out there to accurately portray how Elizabeth might have felt about anything. We know the events and the politics and we know that Elizabeth was at the basis of a lot of things. But, we will never truly know how she reacted to any of it.
When you put it all in this format, I found Elizabeth's life to be breathtaking. She endured some much over life span. From her fathers death, her uncle taking over the crown, the high likelihood of her brothers being murdered, the death of a child, and her own illness, you would think one person could not overcomes so much in one lifetime.
I'll be the first to admit this was struggle but I'm glad I finished it!