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Elizabeth of York by Alison Weir

Sue Baker's view...

History shows us two sides to Elizabeth of York - schemer and saint - and this is where Alison Weir’s book is invaluable, bringing us a portrait of a real woman at the centre of national events. One of those histories that slots together many historical events in one compelling narrative, we see Elizabeth in Shakespeare, as sister of the “Princes in the Tower, Mother of Henry VIII, the woman who could have been a Queen in her own right but ended uniting the Houses of Lancaster and York in her marriage to Henry VII.

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If you like Alison Weir you might also like to read books by Elizabeth Chadwick, Elizabeth Freemantle and Joanna Hickson.

Who is Sue Baker


Elizabeth of York by Alison Weir

Elizabeth of York would have ruled England, but for the fact that she was a woman. The eldest daughter of Edward IV, at seventeen she was relegated from pampered princess to bastard fugitive, but the probable murders of her brothers, the Princes in the Tower, left Elizabeth heiress to the royal House of York, and in 1486, Henry VII, first sovereign of the House of Tudor, married her, thus uniting the red and white roses of Lancaster and York. Elizabeth is an enigma. She had schemed to marry Richard III, the man who had deposed and probably killed her brothers, and it is likely that she then intrigued to put Henry Tudor on the throne. Yet after marriage, a picture emerges of a model consort, mild, pious, generous and fruitful. It has been said that Elizabeth was distrusted and kept in subjection by Henry VII and her formidable mother-in-law, Margaret Beaufort, but contemporary evidence shows that Elizabeth was, in fact, influential, and may have been involved at the highest level in one of the most controversial mysteries of the age. 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, showing that differing historical perceptions of Elizabeth can be reconciled.

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'The compelling drama of Elizabeth's life, the traumatic perils she faced as a young woman, the murder of her brothers by Richard III and the later mystery of Perkin Warbeck, are richly presented.' -- Iain Finlayson The Times

'A meticulous scholar... Weir sincerely admires her subject, doing honor to an almost forgotten queen' New York Times

'The great asset of this book is the combination of the political and the personal... Weir is a fine writer with a wonderful gift for description.' -- Linda Porter Literary Review

'Weir has a shrewd sense of what will seize the imagination of the keen historical amateur.' The Independent

'Weir adheres to the conventional story without giving much weight to new theories, preferring instead to stick with the facts about daily life for a Plantagenet princess-turned-Tudor queen.' -- Lesley McDowell Herald

About the Author

Alison Weir

Alison Weir is the top-selling female historian (and the fifth bestselling historian overall) in the United Kingdom, and has sold over 2.7 million books worldwide. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and Sciences and an Honorary Life Patron of Historic Royal Palaces, and is married with two adult children. Anne Boleyn is the second in the Six Tudor Queens series of novels about the wives of Henry VIII, which began with Katherine of Aragon: The True Queen - a Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller.

Author photo © Miklos Csepely-Knorr

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Book Info

Publication date

1st August 2014


Alison Weir

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Vintage an imprint of Vintage Publishing


576 pages


Biography / Autobiography
eBook Favourites

Biography: royalty

Early history: c 500 to c 1450/1500



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