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Winter King : Henry VII and the Dawn of Tudor England
by Thomas Penn


Overview - It was 1501. England had been ravaged for decades by conspiracy, violence, murders, coups and countercoups. Through luck, guile and ruthlessness, Henry VII, the first of the Tudor kings, had clambered to the top of the heap—a fugitive with a flimsy claim to England’s throne.  Read more...

 
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Overview

It was 1501. England had been ravaged for decades by conspiracy, violence, murders, coups and countercoups. Through luck, guile and ruthlessness, Henry VII, the first of the Tudor kings, had clambered to the top of the heap—a fugitive with a flimsy claim to England’s throne. For many he remained a usurper, a false king. But Henry had a crucial asset: his queen and their children, the living embodiment of his hoped-for dynasty. Queen Elizabeth was a member of the House of York. Henry himself was from the House of Lancaster, so between them they united the warring parties that had fought the bloody century-long Wars of the Roses. Now their older son, Arthur, was about to marry a Spanish princess. On a cold November day sixteen-year-old Catherine of Aragon arrived in London for a wedding that would mark a triumphal moment in Henry’s reign. In this remarkable book, Thomas Penn re-creates the story of the tragic, magnetic Henry VII—a controlling, paranoid, avaricious monarch who was entering the most perilous years of his long reign. Rich with drama and insight, Winter King is an astonishing story of pageantry, treachery, intrigue and incident—and the fraught, dangerous birth of Tudor England.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781439191569
  • ISBN-10: 1439191565
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publish Date: March 2012
  • Page Count: 480

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Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2012-01-23
  • Reviewer: Staff

Transforming himself from an exile with a dubious claim to England’s throne into the founder of the Tudor dynasty, Henry VII’s (1457–1509) micromanagement and questionable tax collection practices enabled the later success of his descendents Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. Penn (editorial director of Verso Books in London and with a doctorate in medieval history) rescues the founding Tudor from the shadows with insight into his politically expedient yet loving marriage to Elizabeth of York, a Plantagenet heir, and chronicles Henry’s careful conclusion of the exhausting multigenerational Wars of the Roses. With occasional digressions, Penn still entertains casual readers with a brisk, almost conversational tone bolstered by ample context, especially when recounting the convoluted and politically fraught family history. Tudor scholars will appreciate Pen’s well-documented attention to the elder king’s steadfast devotion to stability, to the character formation of the young heir, Prince Henry, and Penn’s revealing analysis of why in the last years of his reign, Henry earned respect but not love from his people. , Illus., maps. Agent: Aitken Alexander Associates (U.K.) (Mar.)

 
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