I am back with another Tudors Book Tag! All Things Tudor has a wonderful book club and in today’s post, I am going to be reviewing books from their reading list. The first is Richard III: Loyalty Binds Me by Matthew Lewis and the second is Henry VII and The Tudor Pretenders by Nathen Amin.
It was very exciting to have been invited to review these novels and be part of the upcoming months reading because All Things Tudors is an absolute favorite of mine. They have a wonderful blog, magazine, group, and I absolutely adore their podcast produced by historian Deb Hunter. I could listen to it for hours upon hours everyday and never get tired of listening!
Overall, these reads were not disappointing one bit and I found myself easily engrossed once again to the end of the War of Roses and the start of the Tudor Dynasty. I was very pleased to learn things I hadn’t before. In the recent years, my obsession with everything Lancastrian, Plantagenet, and Tudor has only continued to grow so these two novels were quite welcomed.
Richard III: Loyalty Binds Me by Matthew Lewis was very enjoyable to read because I am at heart, a very big Ricardian. He just simply fascinates me. Richard was a complicated man with a very misunderstood personality. Lewis provides a very detailed look into who Richard was as a person.
My favorite part of this account and biography goes beyond all the amazing little details Lewis is able to map out and tell us readers, but also, where it starts. It doesn’t begin during his troubled reign before the Battle of Bosworth, but from Richard’s childhood giving a completed picture.
The book also gives a very fair and unbiased biography showing readers all the gritty flaw, truths, and different facets of Richard III through documents and firsthand accounts. He had numerous sides, and this book doesn’t take one but quite fairly lays out the facts plainly without any harsh judgements.
Fairness is always appreciated, as a reader, when I am deep in biographies, I don’t want the authors own personal opinion to distract from the history. That is for me to determine, and Lewis shows us readers enough respect to provide us all the history yet leaving it for us to decided how to take it.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who has any interest in Plantagenet kings and Richard III himself. Below I have included a synopsis and link on where everyone can find a copy if they are interested. It’s well worth adding to your own book list in my personal opinion.
King Richard III remains one of the most controversial figures in British history. Matthew Lewis’s new biography aims to become a definitive account by exploring what is known of his childhood and the impacts it had on his personality and view of the world. He would be cast into insecurity and exile only to become a royal prince.
As Richard spends his teenage years under the watchful gaze of his older brother, Edward IV. He is eventually placed in the household of their cousin, the Earl of Warwick, remembered as the Kingmaker; but as the relationship between a king and his most influential magnate breaks down, Richard is compelled to make a choice.
After another period in exile, Richard returns to become the most powerful nobleman in England. The work he involves himself in during the years that follow demonstrates a drive and commitment but also a dangerous naïveté. When crisis hits in 1483, it is to Richard that his older brother turns on his death bed. The events of 1483 remain contentious and hotly debated, but by understanding the Richard who began that year, it will become clearer what drove some of his actions and decisions. Returning to primary sources and considering the evidence to undo all the myths.
Henry VII and The Tudor Pretenders by Nathen Amin was a book I was very interested in checking out and extra excited about. Recently, I had listened to Nathen Amin on the All Things Tudor Podcast episode fourteen titled Henry VII and the Beauforts on Audible. The show was very interesting!
I think Nathen Amin is an excellent historian who is very knowledgeable about some of my favorite people from Tudor history. So it is safe to say that I was quite eager to dive right into Amin’s book as soon as I could.
Amin has a captivating storytelling voice, whether listening to him during a podcast episode or reading one of his novels. His writing style and tone is quite conversational and witty. Readers are instantly sucked into the history.
My favorite part of this novel was how well it shows all the very many complicated things Henry VII goes through in order to begin, secure, maintain, and keep his reign. The book does well in showing us what a slippery slope it all was but Amin allows readers to draw many of their conclusions and doesn’t give a definitive answer to readers on the more controversial subjects like Warbeck himself, which was awesome.
I think it’s very appropriate that historians tread lightly when it comes to this. I love that the author was very careful and thoughtful with his words not to tell readers what their opinion should be. Tell me everything and then I will think for myself thank you! It’s always appreciated!
When all is said and done, I was very happy to have read this biography. I honestly cannot wait to get my hands on more of Nathen Amin’s work starting with his book The House of Beauforts. I cannot ever get enough of Margaret Beaufort. She is quite a character indeed! Amin has found a fan in me that is for certain and I will be keeping track of his upcoming work.
Henry Tudor emerged from the Battle of Bosworth victorious. His disparate army vanquished the forces of Richard III and, according to Shakespeare over a century later, brought ‘smooth-faced peace, with smiling aplenty and fair prosperous days’ back to England. Yet, all was not well early in the reign.
Despite later attempts to portray Henry VII as single-handedly uniting a war-torn England after three decades of conflict, the kingdom was anything but settled. Nor could it be after a tumultuous two-year period that had witnessed the untimely death of one king, the mysterious disappearance of another, and the brutal slaughter of a third on the battlefield. For the first time in one compelling and comprehensive account, Nathen Amin looks at the myriad of shadowy conspiracies and murky plots which sought to depose the Tudor usurper early in his reign.
With particular emphasis on the three pretenders whose causes were fervently advanced by Yorkist dissidents Lambert Simnel, Perkin Warbeck, and Edward, Earl of Warwick. Just how close did the Tudors come to overthrow long before the myth.
A quick shout-out to this podcast and the lovely historian Deb Hunter. All Things Tudor is by far one of my top five podcast. The reason I love this one is because it does genuinely keep my interest. Usually, I am more picky about what I listen to and the subject matters, always handpicking topics.
Yet when listening to this podcast, I find myself just letting it play onto the next episodes instead of being choosy. It doesn’t matter what the topic is, I find myself enjoying everything I am listening to. The subject doesn’t seem to matter to me, I get hooked. Not one episode has left me bored.
I will make a post at some point with a list of all my favorite podcast. I am a daily podcast listener so I have a few I return to time and time again. In the meantime I wanted to give this one all the credit that it deserves and is due.
ALL THE LINKS YOU NEED:
- All Things Tudor Website
- All Things Tudor Podcast
- All Things Tudor Group
- Nathen Amin Author Page
- Matthew Lewis Author Page
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