The House of Tudor by Alison Plowden
The Tudors ruled England for little more than a century, yet no other royal dynasty has so impressed itself upon the nation's consciousness. Bluff King Hal and Good Queen Bess are part of English folklore and remain among the monarchs immediately recognizable to most people. In this personal rather than political history of the Tudors, Alison Plowden examines the origins of the family which appeared out of nowhere in 1485, blazed briefly and then vanished, leaving a trail of glory. The lives of the five Tudor monarchs are interwoven with the lesser-known branches fo the tree in a tapestry which begins with the romance of an obscure Welsh squire and a French princess and ends in peace and in glory with the death in 1603 of the last English sovereign of the English nation. The Tudors hold a special fascination. The statemanship of the first Henry Tudor, the enterprising marital career of the second and the tragedy of the son he laboured so murderously to get, the unhappy reign of Mary and finally, the flowering of Elizabeth, in whom the family genius reached its apotheosis, all find their place in this chronicle of five turbulent, passionate, tragic and prodigious generations of Tudors.