Alison Weir

An author and historian, Alison Weir was born on 8 July 1951 in London and has written many history books including biographies and novels. Her first non-fiction book, Britain’s Royal Families, was published in 1989 and provided an overview of the monarchy. She followed this up with biographies of famous Tudors and the Wars of the Roses.

Interested in history from an early age, Alison dreamed of becoming a history teacher and worked as a civil servant and a housewife. She also ran a school for children with learning difficulties. She now lives in Surrey and believes that, as a historical author, it is her duty to write stories that are as close to the truth as possible.


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Alison Weir Books

  • KLEV

    Six Tudor Queens: Anna of Kleve, Queen of Secrets (Hardback)

    Alison Weir

    Hand-picked favourites
    Acclaimed historian Alison Weir presents the fourth novel in her bestselling Six Tudor Queens Series - Anna of Kleve, Queen of Secrets.

    King Henry has fallen for Anna's portrait even though she has none of the accomplishments he seeks in a new bride. She wants to please him as the balance of power in Europe rests on their marriage, but her chequered past could cause issues...

    This powerful page-turner finds the author drawing on new evidence to reveal Anna (also known as Anne of Cleves) to be a charming and spirited woman who was loved by all who knew her - and by the king who rejected her.
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  • BLXCQ

    Six Tudor Queens: Anne Boleyn, A King's Obsession (Paperback)

    Alison Weir

    THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER'Weir is excellent on the little details that bring a world to life' GuardianAnne Boleyn: A King's Obsession by bestselling historian Alison Weir, author of Katherine of Aragon: The True Queen, is the second captivating novel in the Six Tudor Queens series. An unforgettable portrait of the ambitious woman whose fate we know all too well, but whose true motivations may surprise you. Essential reading for fans of Philippa Gregory and Elizabeth Chadwick.'Offers a spellbinding solution to the mystery of Anne's true nature . . . Enthralling' Sarah GristwoodThe young woman who changed the course of history.Fresh from the palaces of Burgundy and France, Anne draws attention at the English court, embracing the play of courtly love.But when the King commands, nothing is ever a game.Anne has a spirit worthy of a crown - and the crown is what she seeks. At any price. ANNE BOLEYN. The second of Henry's Queens. Her story. History tells us why she died. This powerful novel shows her as she lived.SIX TUDOR QUEENS. SIX NOVELS. SIX YEARS.
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  • AWRCH

    Katherine of Aragon, the True Queen (Paperback)

    Alison Weir

    (1)
    *A Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller* Katherine of Aragon: The True Queen by bestselling historian Alison Weir, author of The Lost Tudor Princess, is the first in a spellbinding six novel series about Henry VIII's Queens. Alison takes you on an engrossing journey at Katherine's side and shows her extraordinary strength of character and intelligence. Ideal for fans of Philippa Gregory and Elizabeth Chadwick. 'Shatters the many myths about Henry VIII's long-suffering first wife' Tracy Borman 'Weir is excellent on the little details that bring a world to life' Guardian A Spanish princess. Raised to be modest, obedient and devout. Destined to be an English Queen. Six weeks from home across treacherous seas, everything is different: the language, the food, the weather. And for her there is no comfort in any of it. At sixteen-years-old, Catalina is alone among strangers. She misses her mother. She mourns her lost brother. She cannot trust even those assigned to her protection. KATHERINE OF ARAGON. The first of Henry's Queens. Her story. History tells us how she died. This captivating novel shows us how she lived. SIX TUDOR QUEENS. SIX NOVELS. SIX YEARS. Praise for Alison Weir and Katherine of Aragon: 'A tender understanding of and genuine sympathy for this proud, much-loved and honourable Queen...I was gripped [from] start to finish' Mavis Cheek 'Well-researched and engrossing' Good Housekeeping 'Yet again, Alison Weir has managed to intertwine profound historical knowledge with huge emotional intelligence, to compose a work that throws light on an endlessly fascinating historical figure. Yet her real gift in all of this is making it feel so fresh and alive' Earl Spencer 'This exquisite book charts the rise and fall of Henry VIII's first wife, Katherine...A fascinating insight into this period of our history. Weir's undeniable strength is her immaculate description, enabling the reader to be transported back to Tudor England' Sun 'Katherine of Aragon, The True Queen is a true tour de force. Finely crafted, this novel is wonderful historical fiction and an outstanding introduction to the Six Tudor Queens series' Queen Anne Boleyn Blog 'Known for bestselling historical biographies, Alison Weir is in command of her detail ...her handling of Katherine's misery and dignified response to her predicament is very touching' Elizabeth Buchan, Daily Mail
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  • BTNTA

    Six Tudor Queens: Jane Seymour, The Haunted Queen (Paperback)

    Alison Weir

    From the fifth-bestselling historian in the UK, this is the third book in the Six Tudor Queens series which draws an enthralling portrait of Jane Seymour, Henry VIII's third queen.

    Eleven days after the death of Anne Boleyn, Jane is dressing for her wedding to the King. She has witnessed at first-hand how courtly play can quickly turn to danger and knows she must bear a son...or face ruin.

    This new Queen must therefore step out from the shadows cast by Katherine and Anne. In doing so, can she expose a gentler side to the brutal King?
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  • AACVM

    Eleanor of Aquitaine (Paperback)

    Alison Weir

    Eleanor, Duchess of Aquitaine was one of the leading personalities of the Middle Ages, and also one of the most controversial. Having inherited a vast feudal domain stretching from the Loire to the Pyrenees, she was one of the greatest heiresses in history; yet in her own day, she was famous not only for who she was, but also for what she did. In an age when women were treated as mere chattels, she made her own choices, wielded power and won widespread respect. Circumstances, however, dictated that her memory would be sullied by calumny and misunderstanding. Eleanor was no saint. She was beautiful, intelligent and wilful, and in her lifetime there were rumours about her that were not without substance.Her contemporaries were sometimes scandalised by her behaviour. She had been reared in a relaxed and licentious court where the arts of the troubadours flourished, and was even said to have presided over the fabled Courts of Love. Eleanor married in turn Louis VII of France and Henry II of England, and was the mother of Richard the Lionheart and King John. She lived to be 82, but it was only in old age that she triumphed over the adversities and tragedies of her earlier years and became virtual ruler of England. Eleanor has exerted a fascination over writers and biographers for 800 years, but the prevailing myths and legends that attach to her name still tend to obscure the truth. By careful research, Alison Weir has produced a vivid biography with a fresh and provocative perspective on this extraordinary woman.
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  • AKQOH

    Elizabeth of York (Paperback)

    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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  • AACYV

    Lancaster and York (Paperback)

    Alison Weir

    The war between the houses of Lancaster and York for the throne of England was characterised by treachery, deceit and at St Albans, Blore Hill and Towton, some of the bloodiest and most dramatic battles on England's soil. Between 1455 and 1487, the royal coffers were bankrupted and the conflict resulted in the downfall of the houses of Lancaster and York and the emergence of the illustrious Tudor dynasty. Alison Weir's lucid and gripping account focuses on the human side of history, on the people and personalities involved in the conflict. At the centre of the book stands Henry VI, the pious king whose mental instability led to political chaos, Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York and Henry's rival, and most important of all, Margaret of Anjou, Henry's wife who took up her arms in her husband's cause and battled for many years in a violent man's world.
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  • AACRF

    Innocent Traitor (Paperback)

    Alison Weir

    (2)
    Alison Weir, our pre-eminent popular historian, has now fulfilled a life's ambition to write historical fiction. She has chosen as her subject the bravest, most sympathetic and wronged heroine of Tudor England, Lady Jane Grey. Lady Jane Grey was born into times of extreme danger. Child of a scheming father and a ruthless mother, for whom she was merely a pawn in a dynastic power game with the highest stakes, she lived a live in thrall to political machinations and lethal religious fervour. Jane's astonishing and essentially tragic story was played out during one of the most momentous periods of English history. As a great-niece of Henry VIII, and the cousin of Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I, she grew up realize that she could never throw off the chains of her destiny. Her honesty, intelligence and strength of character carry the reader through all the vicious twists of Tudor power politics, to her nine-day reign and its unbearably poignant conclusion.
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  • BRZDL

    A Tudor Christmas (Hardback)

    Alison Weir

    Christmas in Tudor times was a period of feasting, revelry and merrymaking `to drive the cold winter away'. A carnival atmosphere presided at court, with a twelve-day-long festival of entertainments, pageants, theatre productions and `disguisings', when even the king and queen dressed up in costume to fool their courtiers. Throughout the festive season, all ranks of subjects were freed for a short time from everyday cares to indulge in eating, drinking, dancing and game-playing. We might assume that our modern Christmas owes much to the Victorians. In fact, as Alison Weir and Siobhan Clarke reveal in this fascinating book, many of our favourite Christmas traditions date back much further. Carol-singing, present-giving, mulled wine and mince pies were all just as popular in Tudor times, and even Father Christmas and roast turkey dinners have their origins in this period. The festival was so beloved by English people that Christmas traditions survived remarkably unchanged in this age of tumultuous religious upheaval. Beautifully illustrated with original line drawings throughout, this enchanting compendium will fascinate anyone with an interest in Tudor life - and anyone who loves Christmas.
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  • BRLYU

    Queens of the Conquest (Paperback)

    Alison Weir

    Full of passion and betrayal, murder and war, the first volume of an epic new series from bestselling historian Alison Weir, bringing five of England's medieval queens to life. A Daily Telegraph Book of the Year Love, murder, war, betrayal This is the story of the five extraordinary queens who helped the Norman kings of England rule their dominions. Recognised as equal sharers in the royal authority, their story is packed with tragedy, high drama, even comedy. Heroines, villains, stateswomen, lovers Beginning with Matilda of Flanders, who supported William the Conqueror in his invasion of England in 1066, and culminating in the turbulent life of the Empress Maud, whoc claimed to be queen of England in her own right and fought a bitter war to the end, the five Norman queens are revealed as hugely influential figures and fascinating characters. In Alison Weir's hands, these pioneering women reclaim their rightful roles at the centre of English history.
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  • BPOEI

    Six Tudor Queens: Jane Seymour, The Haunted Queen (Hardback)

    Alison Weir

    (1)
    Alison Weir, historian and author of the Sunday Times bestsellers Katherine of Aragon: The True Queen and Anne Boleyn: A King's Obsession, draws a finely detailed and enthralling portrait of Jane Seymour, Henry VIII's third queen. Essential reading for fans of Philippa Gregory and Elizabeth Chadwick. 'Weir is excellent on the little details that bring a world to life' Guardian THE WOMAN HAUNTED BY THE FATE OF HER PREDECESSOR. Eleven days after the death of Anne Boleyn, Jane is dressing for her wedding to the King. She has witnessed at first hand how courtly play can quickly turn to danger and knows she must bear a son . . . or face ruin. This new Queen must therefore step out from the shadows cast by Katherine and Anne - in doing so, can she expose a gentler side to the brutal King? JANE SEYMOUR THE THIRD OF HENRY'S QUEENS HER STORY Acclaimed, bestselling historian Alison Weir draws on new research for her captivating novel, which paints a compelling portrait of Jane and casts fresh light on both traditional and modern perceptions of her. Jane was driven by the strength of her faith and a belief that she might do some good in a wicked world. History tells us how she died. This spellbinding novel explores the life she lived. SIX TUDOR QUEENS. SIX NOVELS. SIX YEARS.
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  • AUMND

    Elizabeth of York (Audio)

    Alison Weir

    Acclaimed historian Alison Weir looks into the life of the first Tudor queen, revealing the woman behind the image. Elizabeth of York would have ruled England, but for the fact that she was a woman. One of the key figures of the Wars of the Roses, daughter of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville, she married Henry Tudor to bring peace to a war-torn England. In Elizabeth of York: The First Tudor Queen, Alison Weir builds a portrait of this beloved queen, placing her in the context of the magnificent, ceremonious, often brutal world she inhabited. This recording is unabridged. Typically abridged audiobooks are not more than 60% of the author's work and as low as 30% with characters and plotlines removed.
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  • ANAZU

    The Marriage Game (Paperback)

    Alison Weir

    Bestselling historian Alison Weir brings Elizabeth I to vivid life in a novel of intrigue, sex, plots, mysteries and tragedies, amid all the colour and pageantry of the Tudor court. "[Weir] gets right inside the head of the Virgin Queen. The reader has a blissful sense of seeing history as it happens". (Kate Saunders, The Times). It was an affair that shocked the world. Elizabeth I is the most sought-after bride in Europe. But though she is formidably intelligent, brave and tempestuous, she is desperately insecure. The tragic events in her past mean she cannot give herself to any man, and yet she relishes the thrill of the chase, the lure of forbidden fruit. And so, using sex and high-powered diplomacy, she plays what becomes known as the 'Marriage Game', dangling suitors to keep them friendly to her kingdom, while holding them off indefinitely. But playing this tantalising game with the married Robert Dudley, the son and grandson of traitors, could cost her the throne...
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  • AKQWP

    Richard III and the Princes in the Tower (Paperback)

    Alison Weir

    This includes a new foreword by the author. The story of the death, in sinister circumstances, of the boy-king Edward V and his younger brother Richard, Duke of York, is one of the most fascinating murder mysteries in English history. It is a tale with profound moral and social consequences, rich in drama, intrigue, treason, scandal and violence. In this gripping book Alison Weir re-examines all the evidence - including that against the Princes' uncle, Richard III, whose body was recently discovered beneath a Leicester car park. She brilliantly reconstructs the whole chain of events leading to their murder and reveals how, why and by whose order they died. It previously published as The Princes in the Tower.
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  • AHACO

    A Dangerous Inheritance (Paperback)

    Alison Weir

    Two women separated by time are linked by the most famous murder mystery in history, the Princes in the Tower. Lady Katherine Grey has already suffered more than her fair share of tragedy. Newly pregnant, she has incurred the wrath of her formidable cousin, Queen Elizabeth I, who sees her as a rival to her insecure throne. Alone in her chamber in the Tower, she finds old papers belonging to a kinswoman of hers, Kate Plantagenet, who forty years previously had embarked on a dangerous quest to find what really happened to her cousins, the two young Princes who had last been seen as captives in the Tower. But time is not on Kate's side - nor on Katherine's either...
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  • AFDML

    Mary Boleyn (Paperback)

    Alison Weir

    Sister to Anne Boleyn and seduced by two kings, Mary Boleyn has long been the subject of scandal and myth. Her affair with Henry VIII fuelled the shocking annulment of his marriage to Anne, and Mary is rumoured to have borne his child in secret. In this, the first full-length biography of Mary Boleyn, Alison Weir explodes much of the mythology that surrounds her subject's notoriety. Her extensive research gives us a new and detailed portrayal, revealing Mary as one of the most misunderstood figures of the Tudor age. From the internationally bestselling author of Eleanor of Aquitaine.
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  • AEVPX

    Isabella (Paperback)

    Alison Weir

    In Newgate Street, in the city of London, stand the meagre ruins of Christ Church. On the same site once stood a royal mausoleum set to rival Westminster Abbey in the fourteenth century. Among the many crowned heads buried there was Isabella of France, Edward II's queen - one of the most notorious femme fatales in history. Today, popular legends speak of how her angry ghost can be glimpsed among the ruins, clutching the heart of her murdered husband, and even the reputable publications of English Heritage maintain that the Queen's maniacal laughter can be heard on stormy nights at Castle Rising in Norfolk. Such stories paint a picture of a tragic, tormented, cruel and evil woman. In literature and poetry, she has fared no better with Christopher Marlowe calling her 'that unnatural Queen, false Isabel'; Thomas Gray appropriating Shakespeare's epithet 'She-Wolf of France' in The Bard (1757); and Kenneth Fowler describing her as ' a woman of evil character, a notorious schemer'. How, then, did Isabella acquire such a reputation? Isabella is known to have lived adulterously with Roger Mortimer for at least four years. But the evidence surrounding accusations of murder and regicide is unsubstantiated. Thus, what has condemned Isabella, in ways which no other queen has had to endure, is her sexual transgression. Had it not been for her unfaithfulness, history may have immortalised her as a liberator - the saviour who unshackled England from a weak and vicious monarch and helped put a strong king - her Lover Mortimer - on the throne. In the first, full-length biography of Isabella, Alison Weir revisits the facts of Isabella's life in a scholarly context in which women's personal lives do not dictate wholly the way we interpret their roles in the public world. This is a dramatic and startling biography which will change the way we think of Isabella and her world for ever.
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  • ACXXO

    Mary Boleyn (Audio)

    Alison Weir

    The first full-scale biography of Mary Boleyn, one of the most misunderstood figures of the Tudor age Mary Boleyn was the mistress of two kings, Francois I of France and Henry VIII of England, and sister to Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII's second wife. In this astonishing and riveting biography, Alison Weir's extensive research gives a new and detailed portrayal, in which she recounts that, contrary to popular belief, Mary was entirely undeserving of her posthumous notoriety as a great whore. This recording is unabridged. Typically abridged audiobooks are not more than 60% of the author's work and as low as 30% with characters and plotlines removed.
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  • ACDUY

    The Lady in the Tower (Audio)

    Alison Weir

    The imprisonment and execution of Queen Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII's second wife, in 1536 was unprecedented in English history and never before has there been a book devoted entirely to her fall. But here Alison Weir has reassessed the evidence and created a richly researched and detailed portrait of the last days of one of the most influential and important figures in English history. This recording is unabridged. Typically abridged audiobooks are not more than 60 per cent of the author's work and as low as 30 per cent with characters and plotlines removed.
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  • ACDUQ

    Britain's Royal Families (Paperback)

    Alison Weir

    'George III is alleged to have married secretly, on 17th April, 1759, a Quakeress called Hannah Lightfoot, daughter of a Wapping shoemaker, who is said to have borne him three children. Documents relating to the alleged marriage, bearing the Prince's signature, were impounded and examined in 1866 by the Attorney General. Learned opinion at the time leaned to the view that these documents were genuine. They were then placed in the Royal Archives at Windsor; in 1910, permission was refused a would-be author who asked to see them. If George III did make such a marriage when he was Prince of Wales, before the passing of the Royal Marriages Act in 1772, then his subsequent marriage to Queen Charlotte was bigamous, and every monarch of Britain since has been a usurper, the rightful heirs of George III being his children by Hannah Lightfoot, if they ever existed' - From Britain's Royal Families."Britain's Royal Families" is a unique reference book. It provides, for the first time in one volume, complete genealogical details of all members of the royal houses of England, Scotland and Great Britain - from 800AD to the present. Here is the vital biographical information relating not only to each monarch, but also to every member of their immediate family, from parents to grandchildren. Drawing on countless authorities, both ancient and modern, Alison Weir explores the royal family tree in unprecedented depth and provides a comprehensive guide to the heritage of today's royal family.
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  • ACDUP

    Children of England (Paperback)

    Alison Weir

    When Henry VIII dies in 1547 he left three highly intelligent children to succeed him in turn - Edward, Mary and Elisabeth - to be followed, if their lines failed, by the descendants of his sister Mary Tudor, one of whom was the ill-fated Lady Jane Grey, Edward was nine years old, Mary thirty-one and Jane ten. Edward, Elizabeth and Jane were staunch Protestants, Mary a devout Catholic; each had a very different mother and they had grown up in vastly different circumstances. In "Children of England", Alison Weir's interest is not in constitional history but in the characters and relationships of Henry's four Heirs. Making use of a huge variety of contemporary sources, she brings to life one of the most extraordinary periods of English history, when each of Henry's heirs was potentially the tool of powerful political one religious figures, and when the realm was seething with intrigue and turbulent change.
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  • AAHAA

    Katherine Swynford (Paperback)

    Alison Weir

    Katherine Synford was first the mistress, and later the wife, of John of Gaunt, the Duke of Lancaster. Her charismatic lover was one of the most powerful princes of the fourteenth century and Katherine was renowned for her beauty and regarded as enigmatic, intriguing and even dangerous by some of her contemporaries. In her impressive new book, Alison Weir has triumphantly rescued Katherine from the footnotes of history, highlighting her key dynastic position within the English monarchy. She was the mother of the Beaufort, then the ancestress of the Yorkist kings, the Tudors, the Stuarts and every other sovereign since - a prodigious legacy that has shaped the history of Britain.
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  • AACVR

    Elizabeth, The Queen (Paperback)

    Alison Weir

    In her highly praised "The Six Wives of Henry VIII" and its sequel, "Children of England", Alison Weir examined the private lives of the early Tudor kings and queens, and chronicled the childhood and youth of one of England's most successful monarchs, Elizabeth I. This book begins as the young Elizabeth ascends the throne in the wake of her sister Mary's disastrous reign. Elizabeth is portrayed as both a woman and a queen, an extraordinary phenomenon in a patriarchal age. Alison Weir writes of Elizabeth's intriguing, long-standing affair with Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, of her dealings - sometimes comical, sometimes poignant - with her many suitors, of her rivalry with Mary, Queen of Scots, and of her bizarre relationship with the Earl of Essex, thirty years her junior. Rich in detail, vivid and colourful, this book comes as close as we shall ever get to knowing what Elizabeth I was like as a person.
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  • AACVN

    The Six Wives of Henry VIII (Paperback)

    Alison Weir

    One of the most powerful monarchs in British history, Henry VIII ruled England in unprecedented splendour. In this remarkable composite biography, Alison Weir brings Henry's six wives vividly to life, revealing each as a distinct and compelling personality in her own right. Drawing upon the rich fund of documentary material from the Tudor period, "The Six Wives of Henry VIII" shows us a court where personal needs frequently influenced public events and where a life of gorgeously ritualised pleasure was shot through with ambition, treason and violence.
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