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Book Summary: ‘Alison Weir's sound scholarship and storyteller's gift for rich, telling detail constantly engages and enthrals the reader’ The Times The captivating life of Margaret Douglas - a life of scandal, political intrigue and royal romance that spanned five Tudor reigns. Royal Tudor blood ran in her veins. Some thought Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox, should be queen of England. She ranked high at the court of her uncle, Henry VIII, and was lady of honour to five of his wives. Beautiful and tempestuous, she created scandal - twice - by falling in love with unsuitable men. Throughout her life her dynastic ties to two crowns proved hazardous. A born political intriguer, she was imprisoned in the Tower of London three times, once under sentence of death. Her husband and son were brutally murdered, she warred with two queens, and proved instrumental in securing the Stuart succession to the throne of England for her grandson. Alison Weir brings Margaret Douglas's captivating character out of the shadows for the first time.
Book Summary: NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE INDEPENDENT • From bestselling author and acclaimed historian Alison Weir comes the first biography of Margaret Douglas, the beautiful, cunning niece of Henry VIII of England who used her sharp intelligence and covert power to influence the succession after the death of Elizabeth I. Royal Tudor blood ran in her veins. Her mother was a queen, her father an earl, and she herself was the granddaughter, niece, cousin, and grandmother of monarchs. Lady Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox, was an important figure in Tudor England, yet today, while her contemporaries—Anne Boleyn, Mary, Queen of Scots, Elizabeth I—have achieved celebrity status, she is largely forgotten. Margaret’s life was steeped in intrigue, drama, and tragedy—from her auspicious birth in 1530 to her parents’ bitter divorce, from her ill-fated love affairs to her appointment as lady-in-waiting for four of Henry’s six wives. In an age when women were expected to stay out of the political arena, alluring and tempestuous Margaret helped orchestrate one of the most notorious marriages of the sixteenth century: that of her son Lord Darnley to Mary, Queen of Scots. Margaret defiantly warred with two queens—Mary, and Elizabeth of England—and was instrumental in securing the Stuart ascension to the throne of England for her grandson, James VI. The life of Margaret Douglas spans five reigns and provides many missing links between the Tudor and Stuart dynasties. Drawing on decades of research and myriad original sources—including many of Margaret’s surviving letters—Alison Weir brings this captivating character out of the shadows and presents a strong, capable woman who operated effectively and fearlessly at the very highest levels of power. Praise for The Lost Tudor Princess “This is a substantial, detailed biography of a fascinating woman who lived her extraordinary life to the full, taking desperate chances for love and for ambition. It will appeal to anyone with an interest in the powerful women of the Tudor period.”—Philippa Gregory, The Washington Post “Tackling the family from an unexpected angle, Weir offers a blow-by-blow account of six decades of palace intrigue. . . . Weir balances historical data with emotional speculation to illuminate the ferocious dynastic ambitions and will to power that earned her subject a place in the spotlight.”—The New York Times Book Review
Book Summary: The Other Tudor Princess brings to life the story of Margaret Douglas, a shadowy and mysterious character in Tudor history – but who now takes centre stage in this tale of the bitter struggle for power during the reign of Henry VIII. Margaret is Henry’s beloved niece, but she defies the king by indulging in two scandalous affairs and is imprisoned in the Tower of London on three occasions ‘not for matters of treason, but for love’. Yet, when Henry turns against his second wife Anne Boleyn and declares his daughters, Mary and Elizabeth, bastards, it is Margaret he appoints as his heir to the throne. The arrangement of the marriage of Margaret’s son, Lord Darnley, to his cousin, Mary, Queen of Scots unites their claim to the throne and infuriates Queen Elizabeth. Yet this match brings tragedy, as Margaret’s son is brutally murdered. As Margaret reaches old age, her place in the dynasty is still not safe, and she dies in mysterious circumstances – was Margaret poisoned on the orders of Queen Elizabeth? Mary McGrigor tells this compelling and exciting part of Tudor history for the first time with all the passion and thrill of a novel, but this is no fiction – the untold story runs through the course of history, and Margaret secured the throne for her Stuart ancestors for years to come.
Book Summary: The surprising and dramatic life of the least known of King Henry VIII’s wives is illuminated in the fourth volume in the Six Tudor Queens series—for fans of Philippa Gregory, Hilary Mantel, and The Crown. Newly widowed and the father of an infant son, Henry VIII realizes he must marry again to ensure the royal succession. Forty-six, overweight, and suffering from gout, Henry is soundly rejected by some of Europe's most eligible princesses. Anna of Kleve, from a small German duchy, is twenty-four, and has a secret she is desperate to keep hidden. Henry commissions her portrait from his court painter, who depicts her from the most flattering perspective. Entranced by the lovely image, Henry is bitterly surprised when Anna arrives in England and he sees her in the flesh. Some think her attractive, but Henry knows he can never love her. What follows is the fascinating story of an awkward royal union that somehow had to be terminated. Even as Henry begins to warm to his new wife and share her bed, his attention is captivated by one of her maids-of-honor. Will he accuse Anna of adultery as he did Queen Anne Boleyn, and send her to the scaffold? Or will he divorce her and send her home in disgrace? Alison Weir takes a fresh and astonishing look at this remarkable royal marriage by describing it from the point of view of Queen Anna, a young woman with hopes and dreams of her own, alone and fearing for her life in a royal court that rejected her almost from the day she set foot on England’s shore.
Book Summary: The latest novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Philippa Gregory features one of the most famous women in history, Lady Jane Grey, and her two sisters, each of whom dared to defy her queen. Jane Grey was queen of England for nine days. Her father and his allies crowned her instead of the dead king’s half-sister Mary Tudor, who quickly mustered an army, claimed her throne, and locked Jane in the Tower of London. When Jane refused to betray her Protestant faith, Mary sent her to the executioner’s block, where Jane transformed her father’s greedy power-grab into tragic martyrdom. “Learn you to die,” was the advice Jane wrote to her younger sister Katherine, who has no intention of dying. She intends to enjoy her beauty and her youth and fall in love. But she is heir to the insecure and infertile Queen Mary and then to her sister Queen Elizabeth, who will never allow Katherine to marry and produce a Tudor son. When Katherine’s pregnancy betrays her secret marriage, she faces imprisonment in the Tower, only yards from her sister’s scaffold. “Farewell, my sister,” writes Katherine to the youngest Grey sister, Mary. A beautiful dwarf, disregarded by the court, Mary keeps family secrets, especially her own, while avoiding Elizabeth’s suspicious glare. After seeing her sisters defy their queens, Mary is acutely aware of her own danger, but determined to command her own life. What will happen when the last Tudor defies her ruthless and unforgiving cousin Queen Elizabeth?
Book Summary: Spanish princess Katherine of Aragon, after being widowed from the future King of England, marries his brother and shares a happy marriage that is overshadowed by her failure to bear a healthy son and the king's growing obsession with another woman.
Book Summary: ‘Weir perfectly combines the dramatic colour and timing of an historical novelist with the truth to fact of a scrupulous historian’ The Times Britain’s foremost female historian reveals the true story of this key figure in the Wars of the Roses and the Tudor dynasty who began life a princess, spent her youth as a bastard fugitive, but who finally married the first Tudor king and was the mother of Henry VIII. Elizabeth of York would have ruled England, but for the fact that she was a woman. Heiress to the royal House of York, she schemed to marry Richard III, the man who had deposed and probably killed her brothers, and it is possible that she then conspired to put Henry Tudor on the throne. Yet after marriage to Henry VII, which united the royal houses of Lancaster and York, a picture emerges of a model consort - mild, pious, generous and fruitful. It has been said that Elizabeth was distrusted by Henry VII and her formidable mother-in-law, Margaret Beaufort, but contemporary evidence shows that Elizabeth was, in fact, influential. 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.