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Chris Skidmore was born in Bristol in 1981. He was educated at Bristol Grammar School and Christ Church, Oxford, where he was a St Cyre's and Dixon Scholar and President of the Oxford University Historical Society. He graduated in 2002 with a double first and was awarded the Gibbs Prize. He was an adviser and researcher to Bristol's bid for European Capital City of Culture 2008 and, more recently, was research assistant to Robert Lacey for his Great Tales of English History series. He currently works as a special adviser to Michael Gove MP.
The dramatic story of Elizabeth's first ten years on the throne and the unexplained death that scandalised her court. Part detective story, part historical scholarship as the death of Amy Robsart is investigated. She was the wife of Elizabeth I’s favourite, Dudley. Skidmore claims to have discovered the truth using newly discovered evidence from the archives in order to put an end to centuries of speculation as to the true causes of her death. It almost reads like fiction so fans of historical fiction will probably love it. Sue Baker's view... No need for the novelist’s art when there are real mysteries as intriguing as this one to solve. Chris Skidmore is delving into the suspicious death of Robert Dudley’s wife, Amy Robsart. What really happened? Would Elizabeth I have married him? How did this event change the course of history? Archives have given up their secrets and with the help of newly discovered documents; Chris Skidmore can at last prove the facts of the case.Like for Like Reading:Elizabeth’s Women: The Hidden Story of the Virgin Queen, Tracy BormanThe Last Days of Henry VIII: Conspiracy, Treason and Heresy at the Court of the Dying Tyrant, Robert Hutchinson
'Fresh, gripping and vivid' Simon Sebag Montefiore 'Majestically narrated' Dan Jones 'A portrait that chills you to the bone' Leanda de Lisle, The Times A dedicated brother and loyal stalwart to the Yorkist dynasty for most of his early life, Richard's personality was forged in the tribulation of exile and the brutality of combat. An ambitious nobleman and successful general with a loyal following, he could claim to have achieved every ambition in life except one: the crown. By stripping back the legends that surround England's most controversial king and returning to original manuscript evidence, Chris Skidmore's compelling biography reveals Richard III as contemporaries saw him.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE BEST NON-FICTION BOOK AT THE PARLIAMENTARY BOOK AWARDS 'Fresh, gripping and vivid' Simon Sebag Montefiore 'Exhaustively researched and scrupulously even-handed' David Starkey 'A portrait that chills you to the bone' Leanda de Lisle, The Times The last Plantagenet king remains one of England's most famous and controversial monarchs. There are few parallels in English history that can match the drama of Richard III's reign, witnessed in its full bloody intensity. A dedicated brother and loyal stalwart to the Yorkist dynasty for most of his early life, Richard's personality was forged in the tribulation of exile and the brutality of combat. An ambitious nobleman and successful general with a loyal following, Richard was a man who could claim to have achieved every ambition in life, except one. Within months of his brother Edward IV's early death, Richard stunned the nation when he seized the throne and disinherited his nephews. Having put to death his rivals, Richard's two-year reign would become one of the most tumultuous in English history, ending in treachery and with his death on the battlefield at Bosworth. By stripping back the legends that surround Richard's life and reign, and returning to original manuscript evidence, Chris Skidmore rediscovers the man as contemporaries saw him. His compelling study presents every facet of Richard's personality as it deserves to be seen: as one of the most significant figures in medieval history, whose actions and behaviour underline the true nature of power in an age of great upheaval and instability.
Richard III and Henry Tudor's legendary battle: one that changed the course of English history. On the morning of 22 August 1485, in fields several miles from Bosworth, two armies faced each other, ready for battle. The might of Richard III's army was pitted against the inferior forces of the upstart pretender to the crown, Henry Tudor, a 28-year-old Welshman who had just arrived back on British soil after 14 years in exile. Yet this was to be a fight to the death - only one man could survive; only one could claim the throne. It would become one of the most legendary battles in English history: the only successful invasion since Hastings, it was the last time a king died on the battlefield. But BOSWORTH is much more than the account of the dramatic events of that fateful day in August. It is a tale of brutal feuds and deadly civil wars, and the remarkable rise of the Tudor family from obscure Welsh gentry to the throne of England - a story that began 60 years earlier with Owen Tudor's affair with Henry V's widow, Katherine of Valois. Drawing on eyewitness reports, newly discovered manuscripts and the latest archaeological evidence, Chris Skidmore vividly recreates this battle-scarred world in an epic saga of treachery and ruthlessness, death and deception and the birth of the Tudor dynasty.
The struggle for the soul of England after the death of Henry VIII In the death of Henry VIII, the crown passed to his nine-year-old son, Edward. However, real power went to the Protector, Edward's uncle, the Duke of Somerset. The court had been a hotbed of intrigue since the last days of Henry VIII. Without an adult monarch, the stakes were even higher. The first challenger was the duke's own brother: he seduced Henry VIII's former queen, Katherine Parr; having married her, he pursued Princess Elizabeth and later was accused of trying to kidnap the boy king at gunpoint. He was beheaded. Somerset ultimately met the same fate, after a coup d'etat organized by the Duke of Warwick. Chris Skidmore reveals how the countrywide rebellions of 1549 were orchestrated by the plotters at court and were all connected to the (literally) burning issue of religion: Henry VIII had left England in religious limbo. Court intrigue, deceit and treason very nearly plunged the country into civil war. Edward was a precocious child, as his letters in French and Latin demonstrate. He kept a secret diary, written partly in Greek, which few of his courtiers could read. In 1551, at the age of 14, he took part in his first jousting tournament, an essential demonstration of physical prowess in a very physical age. Within a year it is his signature we find at the bottom of the Council minutes, yet in early 1553 he contracted a chest infection and later died, rumours circulating that he might have been poisoned. Mary, Edward's eldest sister, and devoted Catholic, was proclaimed Queen. This is more than just a story of bloodthirsty power struggles, but how the Church moved so far along Protestant lines that Mary would be unable to turn the clock back. It is also the story of a boy born to absolute power, whose own writings and letters offer a compelling picture of a life full of promise, but tragically cut short.
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