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This fascinating book studies the life and times of Mary Tudor and Charles Brandon, Henry VIII's dearest sister and his closest companion. Charles rose from being Henry's childhood friend to becoming the Duke of Suffolk; a consummate courtier and diplomat. Mary was always royalty. At first married to the King of France, Mary quickly wed Charles after Louis XII's death in 1515, against her brother's wishes. Their actions could have been construed as treason yet Henry chose to spare their lives. They returned to court and despite their ongoing disagreements throughout the years, especially over the king's marriage to Anne Boleyn, the Tudor Brandons remained Henry's most loyal subjects and perhaps more importantly, his beloved family.
The first biography of the lifelong companion and trusted confidante of Henry VIII
Katherine Knollys was Mary Boleyn's first child, born in 1524 when Mary was having an affair with King Henry VIII. Katherine spent her life unacknowledged as the king's daughter, yet she was given prime appointments at court as maid of honour to both Anne of Cleves and Katherine Howard. She married Francis Knollys when she was 16 and went on to become mother to many successful men and women at court including Lettice Knollys who created a scandal when she married Sir Robert Dudley, the queen's favourite. This fascinating book studies Katherine's life and times, including her intriguing relationship with Elizabeth I.
Margaret Tudor was Henry VIII's older sister and became the Queen of Scotland after her marriage to James IV in 1503. Her life was troubled and fraught with tension. She was continually caught between her country of birth and the country she ruled. After James IV’s death, she made the disastrous decision to marry the Earl of Angus, threatening her regency and forcing the Scottish council to send for the Duke of Albany to rule in her stead. Over the years, Margaret’s allegiance swung between England and Scotland, making her brother Henry VIII both her ally and her enemy at times. Although Margaret wished for peace between the two countries, these were tumultuous years and she didn’t always make the wisest choices. Yet, all she did she did for her son James V, and her absolute conviction he would rule Scotland as its rightful king.
On the accession of the boy king, Edward VI in 1547, his uncle Edward Seymour became Lord Protector, Duke of Somerset and, overnight, the most powerful man in England. Foremost amongst the group of ambitious men who sought to govern, Seymour's usurpation of power set him on a course that ended on the block. To the common-folk Seymour was "The Good Duke," but to his fellow councillors he was a traitor. This is a story of power and ambition, failure and execution.
Lady Jane Grey, is one of the most elusive and tragic characters in English history. In July 1553 the death of the childless Edward VI threw the Tudor dynasty into crisis. On Edward's instructions his cousin Jane Grey was proclaimed queen, only to be ousted 13 days later by his illegitimate half sister Mary and later beheaded. In this radical reassessment, Eric Ives rejects traditional portraits of Jane both as hapless victim of political intrigue or Protestant martyr. Instead he presents her as an accomplished young woman with a fierce personal integrity. The result is a compelling dissection by a master historian and storyteller of one of history’s most shocking injustices.
Queen Margaret II of Scotland (1489-1541) has been all but forgotten in the story of the Tudor dynasty established by her father, Henry VII. Misunderstood and underestimated by many historians, she has been seen as a spectator to history, her motivations described as foolish, self-seeking, corrupt or treacherous. Yet the truth is rather different. After her husband, James IV of Scotland, was killed in the battle of Flodden Field in 1513, Margaret found herself fighting for her infant son, the future James V. A young and inexperienced queen without an army, she had to grow up fast. Through love or necessity, she formed alliances with several powerful and dangerous men, while dealing with the clumsy and inept policies of her brother, Henry VIII. Yet despite endless heartbreaks, deceptions and defeats, Queen Margaret proved that she had the determination to win through. This book tells the story of Queen Margaret Tudor and her many struggles to ensure the survival and birthright of her royal son.

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