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The Tudor Dynasty

Reigned 1485-1509

Reigned 1509-1547

Reigned 1547-1553

Proclaimed queen in 1553
Deposed after nine days. Executed in 1554.

Reigned 1553-1558

Reigned 1558-1603

Reigned Before the Tudors:
The House of York
Reigned 1461-1485

Reigned After the Tudors:
The House of Stuart
Reigned 1603-1649, 1660-1714

Full List of English Royal Dynasties:

Related Topics:

English Royal History
Welsh Royal History
European Royal History

Books About the Tudors

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Book Categories: Early Tudors, Dynasty, Margaret Douglas, Insiders & Rivals, Monarchs, Era, Palaces & Art, Food, Government, Progresses, Society, Travel, Women & Queens, Bess of Hardwick, Shakespeare

Early Family History

The Rise of the Tudors: The Family That Changed English History by Chris Skidmore. Drawing on eyewitness reports, manuscripts and archaeological evidence, this book tells the story of the family that rose from obscure Welsh gentry to the throne of England.

Jasper Tudor: The Man Who Made the Tudor Dynasty by Terry Breverton. Biography of the Lancastrian half-brother to Henry VI, who fought in the Wars of the Roses from the first battle to the last and lived to forge a new dynasty.

Jasper: The Tudor Kingmaker by Sara Elin Roberts. A biography of King Henry VI's half-brother, a central figure in the Wars of the Roses, and the Lancastrian claimant during the reign of Edward IV.

First of the Tudors by Joanna Hickson. Fiction. Jasper Tudor, loyal half-brother to England's King Henry VI, must draw on all his guile and courage to preserve the throne.

The Tudor Dynasty

Tudors by Peter Ackroyd. The history of England from Henry VIII to Elizabeth I.

The Tudors: History of a Dynasty by David Loades. A comprehensive overview of the complete Tudor dynasty.

The Tudors: The Complete Story of England's Most Notorious Dynasty by G. J. Meyer. The tragedies and triumphs of the Tudor family.

The House of Tudor by Alison Plowden. Tells the story of the astonishing royal family that appeared out of nowhere in 1485, blazed briefly, and then vanished.

Tudor: The Family Story by Leanda de Lisle. Traces the rise and rule of the royal Tudor dynasty, from 1437 to the first decade of the 17th century.

The Tudor Miscellany by Elizabeth Norton. The history of the dynasty, starting with Henry VII's mother, whose plotting helped him win the English throne, and ending with Elizabeth I.

The Tudors in Love: Passion and Politics in the Age of England's Most Famous Dynasty by Sarah Gristwood. How the rules of courtly love shaped politics and international diplomacy.

House of Tudor: A Grisly History by Mickey Mayhew. This book covers 45 gruesome events from the Tudor reign.

The Tudors by Richard Rex. Looks at how the public and private lives of the Tudor monarchs were inextricably linked. Includes 140 illustrations.

Tudor Monarchs: Lives in Letters by Andrea Clarke. The Tudors tell their story in their own words, their own handwriting. Includes famous letters about major historical turning-points as well as unpublished eyewitness accounts by the key players in 16th-century life.

The Tudor Monarchy edited by John Guy. A collection of scholarly essays.

Bosworth Field to Bloody Mary: An Encyclopedia of the Early Tudors by John A. Wagner. This A-Z encyclopedia covers the reigns of Henry VII, Henry VIII, Edward VI, and Mary I. Nearly 400 entries.

Margaret Douglas

The Lost Tudor Princess: The Life of Lady Margaret Douglas by Alison Weir. Biography of the beautiful, cunning niece of Henry VIII, who influenced the succession after Elizabeth I's death.

So High a Blood: The Story of Margaret Douglas, the Tudor That Time Forgot by Morgan Ring. Niece to Henry VIII, Margaret was an ambitious political player. Click here to read my review of this excellent biography.

The Other Tudor Princess by Mary McGrigor. A fictionalized account of the life of Margaret Douglas.

Tudor Court Life

The Private Lives of the Tudors by Tracy Borman. The Tudor monarchs were constantly surrounded by attendants, courtiers and ministers. This book examines the accounts of these eyewitnesses to reveal the truth behind the Tudors' glamorous exterior.

Intrigue and Treason: The Tudor Court, 1547-1558 by David Loades. How the court changed through a series of plots, affairs and religious rollercoasters that reached to the heart of the royal family.

The Yeomen of the Guard and the Early Tudors: The Formation of a Royal Bodyguard by Anita Hewerdine. The first comprehensive study of the early years of the Yeomen of the Guard during the reigns of Henry VII and Henry VIII, examining their roles, apparel, and weaponry.

Tudor Court Culture edited by Thomas Betteridge and Anna Riehl. Essays examine courtliness as a state of mind, a way of behaving, a language, and a symbol.

Introductions to the Tudors

The Tudors: A Very Short Introduction by John Guy. Account of the political, religious and economic changes in England under the Tudor monarchs.

The Tudors for Dummies by David Loads and Mei Trowe. Learn about Tudor monarchs, the life and times of everyday people, and the intrigues and scandals of the royal court.

The Reign of the Tudors

New Worlds, Lost Worlds by Susan Brigden is about the rule of the Tudors, 1485-1603.

Selling the Tudor Monarchy: Authority and Image in Sixteenth-Century England by Kevin Sharpe. Tudor kings and queens sought to enhance their authority by presenting themselves to best advantage.

The Fighting Tudors by David Loades. Examines great battles of the Tudor reigns, royal propaganda, and an isolated dynasty's struggle for survival.

Tudors in Literature and Film

Royal Poetrie: Monarchic Verse and the Political Imaginary of Early Modern England by Peter C. Herman. Devotes a chapter each to poetry written by Henry VIII, Mary Stuart, Elizabeth I, and James VI/I. A postscript examines verses that circulated under Charles I's name after his execution.

The Tudors on Film and Television by Sue Parrill and William B. Robison. From 1895 to 2011, this filmography chronicles every known film about the Tudor era, including movies, TV series, documentaries, animated films, and shorts.

Tudor Relatives, Supporters, and Rivals

House of Treason: The Rise & Fall of a Tudor Dynasty by Robert Hutchinson. The history of the Howard family, whose pride and ambition secured only their downfall. Two Howard women married Henry VIII, but even they could not hold their enemies at bay.

The Uncrowned Kings of England: The Black History of the Dudleys and the Tudor Throne by Derek Wilson. Throughout the Tudor Age, the Dudley family was never far from controversy. This book charts the scandals and triumphs of the family whose fortunes rose and fell with the royal line.

The Last White Rose: Dynasty, Rebellion and Treason - The Secret Wars Against the Tudors by Desmond Seward. Examines the many Yorkist pretenders and conspiracies during the reigns of Henry VII and Henry VIII, and why the Tudor dynasty had difficulty establishing itself.

Tudor Survivor: The Life and Times of Courtier William Paulet by Margaret Scard. Biography. The ultimate courtier, Paulet served at the courts of Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary, and Elizabeth I. He was a judge at the trials of Fisher, More, and the alleged accomplices of Anne Boleyn. Though born a commoner, by his death he was the senior peer in England.

Tudor Cousins: Rivals for the Throne by Dulcie M. Ashdown is about lesser-known members of the Tudor dynasty.

Tudors Versus Stewarts: The Fatal Inheritance of Mary, Queen of Scots by Linda Porter. Tells the story of divided families, flamboyant kings and queens, blood feuds, sexual license, and violent deaths.

Tudor Monarchs

Books About Henry VII
Books About Henry VIII and His Wives
Books About Edward VI
Books About Lady Jane Grey
Books About Mary I
Books About Elizabeth I

The Tudor Era

Tudor England: A History by Lucy Wooding. The time between 1485 and 1603 saw the monarchy under strain, religion in crisis, and the population contending with war, plague, and poverty.

The Closing of the Middle Ages? England, 1471-1529 by Richard Britnell.

England Under the Tudors by Geoffrey R. Elton.

Historical Dictionary of Tudor England, 1485-1603 edited by Ronald H. Fritze. Contains almost 300 entries written by experts for a general audience.

Tudor England by John Guy is a scholarly look at Tudor society.

The Tudor Age and Beyond: England From the Black Death to the End of the Age of Elizabeth by Arthur J. Slavin.

The Burning Time: Henry VIII, Bloody Mary, and the Protestant Martyrs of London by Virginia Rounding. Focuses on Richard Rich, who helped send many devout people to their deaths, and John Deane, who helped others survive.

The Later Tudors: England 1547-1603 by Penry Williams. A study of England between the accession of Edward VI and the death of Elizabeth I, a turbulent period of conflict between warring Catholics and Protestants.

A Brief History of the Tudor Age by Jasper Ridley. The tapestry of Tudor life, including its costumes, travel, food and medicine, sports and pastimes, the stultifying narrowness of peasant life, the intrigues and machinations at the court, and the miseries of the plague.

The Oxford Illustrated History of Tudor & Stuart Britain edited by J. S. Morrill. Includes 225 color illustrations.

How To Be a Tudor: A Dawn-to-Dusk Guide to Tudor Life by Ruth Goodman. Drawing on her own adventures living in re-created Tudor conditions, the author explains the intimate details of 16th century living.

The Elizabethan Era

Shakespeare's England: Life in Elizabethan and Jacobean Times by Ron Pritchard.

Daily Life in Elizabethan England by Jeffrey L. Singman. Includes recipes, clothing patterns, songs and games from original sources. Covers birth, childhood, education, marriage, old age, and death; houses, villages, towns, and travel, and more.

Historical Dictionary of the Elizabethan World: Britain, Ireland, Europe, and America by John A. Wagner.

Elizabeth's London: Everyday Life in Elizabethan London by Liza Picard. Covers Elizabethan streets, houses and gardens; cooking, housework and shopping; clothes, jewellery and make-up; sex and food; education, etiquette and hobbies; and more.

Titled Elizabethans: A Directory of Elizabethan Court, State, and Church Officers, 1558-1603 edited by Arthur F. Kinney and Jane A. Lawson. This revised edition adds new categories and a host of previously overlooked figures, including the women of Elizabeth's privy chamber and the spouses of the peers.

Tudor Palaces, Art, & Clothing

Art and Treasures

The Tudors: Art and Majesty in Renaissance England by Elizabeth Cleland and Adam Eaker. Illustrated look at how the Tudor monarchs used and influenced art in their diplomacy at home and abroad.

The Real Tudors: Kings and Queens Rediscovered by Tanya Cooper and Charlotte Bolland. Who were the Tudor kings and queens and what did they really look like? This book considering the context in which portraits of the Tudors were made.

Tudors, Stuarts & the Russian Tsars: Treasures of the Royal Courts edited by Olga Dmitrieva and Tessa Murdoch. Diplomatic, trade and cultural exchanges between the courts of Britain and Russia from the reign of Henry VIII to the death of Charles II.

Tudor Palaces

The Tudor House and Garden: Architecture and Landscape in the Sixteenth and Early Seventeenth Centuries by Paula Henderson. Focusing on country houses, this book examines natural and man-made landscapes, gatehouses, banqueting houses, and more. Includes over 200 images and a complete gazetteer.

Castles & Palaces of the Tudors & Stuarts: The Golden Age of Britain's Historic & Stately Houses by Charles Phillips. A visual reference guide.

Nonsuch Palace: Domestic Material by Martin Biddle. Nonsuch in Surrey was Henry VIII's last and most fantastic palace. Excavations of the site in 1959-60 uncovered a large amount of architectural and domestic material. This volume, the second in the series, publishes the domestic finds, including glass, ceramics, coins and tokens, clay pipes, and a wooden pocket sundial.

The Quest for Nonsuch by John Dent. The search for the lost Tudor palace at Ewell, built for Henry VIII in 1538 and demolished in 1682 on the orders of Barbara Villiers.

The Royal Palaces of Tudor England: Architecture and Court Life 1460-1547 by Simon Thurley. The author, chief curator of England's Historic Royal Palaces Agency, discusses Tudor food, manners, recreation and much more. Includes floor plans of palaces. I have this book and it's fantastic.

Life in a Tudor Palace by Christopher Gidlow. Take a tour of a courtly palace, encountering the kitchens, the bakery, the laundry, the bedrooms, the gardens and the privvies!

More Books About British Royal Palaces

The Tudor and Stuart Monarchy: Pageantry, Painting, Iconography by Roy Strong. Art from the Elizabethan period.

Tudor Costume and Fashion by Herbert Norris. A detailed illustrated reference book, 900 pages long.

Tudor Food

All the King's Cooks by Peter Brears. The massive kitchens at Hampton Court were built to supply the entire household of Henry VIII. This book dispels misconceptions about the cooking and eating of meals in Tudor England.

Banquetting Stuffe: The Fare and Social Background of the Tudor and Stuart Banquet edited by C. Anne Wilson and illustrated by Peter Brears.

Food and Feast in Tudor England by Alison Sim.

Tudor Law, Government, Politics and Religion

The Proclamations of the Tudor Kings by R. W. Heinze. Analysis of the use, authority and enforcement of proclamations in early Tudor England.

The Proclamations of the Tudor Queens by Frederick A. Youngs Jr. Investigates the independent prerogative Mary I and Elizabeth I exercised through royal proclamations.

Tudor Political Culture edited by Dale Hoak. Essays about royal iconography, funeral symbolism, parliamentary elections, kinship and family at court and in the country, and more.

Studies in Tudor and Stuart Politics and Government by G.R. Elton. Collection of papers about the political, constitutional, and personal problems of the Tudor and Stuart governments. Published in four volumes.

The Political History of Tudor and Stuart England: A Sourcebook edited by Victor Stater. From the bloody overthrow of Richard III to the creation of an imperial state under Queen Anne, this collection of documents illustrates England's transition from the medieval to the modern.

Tudor Rebellions by Anthony Fletcher and Diarmaid Macculloch. Topics addressed include the dynasty's attempt to bring the north and west under control; the progress of the English Reformation; and the impact of inflation, taxation and enclosure on society.

Authority and Disorder in Tudor Times: 1461-1603 by Paul Thomas. Explores authority and disorder within every level of society: the family, church, parish, law courts, nobility and the monarchy itself.

Authority and Consent in Tudor England edited by George W. Bernard and Steven J. Gunn. Essays about the government, society and religion, and England's relations with its neighbors.

Defending Royal Supremacy and Discerning God's Will in Tudor England by Daniel Eppley. Scholarly exploration of the Tudor monarchs' supremacy over the English church.

Scripture and Royal Supremacy in Tudor England: The Use of Old Testament and Historical Narrative by Andre A. Gazal. Examines the development of the doctrine of Royal Supremacy, beginning with Henry VIII and continuing up to Elizabeth I and the passage of the Act of Supremacy in 1559.

Tudor Histories of the English Reformations, 1530-83 by Thomas Betteridge.

Elizabethan Politics & Government

Queen Elizabeth and the Making of Policy, 1572-1588 by Wallace T. MacCaffrey. Three volumes that chronicle the Queen's decision making throughout her reign, together in paperback.

Elizabeth's Wars by Paul Hammer. War, government, and society in Tudor England, 1544-1604.

The Sultan and the Queen: The Untold Story of Elizabeth and Islam by Jerry Brotton. After Queen Elizabeth I was excommunicated in 1570, she entered into an unprecedented alliance with the powerful Ottoman sultan Murad III. This marked the beginning of an alignment with Muslim powers not again experienced until the modern age. (Published in the UK as This Orient Isle.)

Elizabeth I and Foreign Policy by Susan Doran.

Elizabeth I: War and Politics 1588-1603 by Wallace T. MacCaffrey.

Political Culture in the Reign of Elizabeth I: Queen and Commonwealth, 1558-1585 by A. N. McLaren.

The Twilight Lords: Elizabeth I and the First Irish Holocaust by Richard Berleth.

Elizabeth I, CEO: Strategic Lessons From the Leader Who Built an Empire by Alan Axelrod. Advice on how to succeed in the corporate world by following Elizabeth's shrewd example.

Books About Elizabethan Espionage

Elizabeth's Progresses & Pageants

The Portable Queen by Mary Hill Cole. Politics and ceremony in the progresses of Elizabeth I.

Fêting the Queen: Civic Entertainments and the Elizabethan Progress by John M. Adrian. During her travels, Elizabeth I was treated by local communities to fireworks, theatrical performances, and lavish banquets.

An Elizabethan Progress by Zillah Dovey is about the queen's journey to East Anglia in 1578.

The Progresses, Pageants, and Entertainments of Queen Elizabeth I edited by Jayne Elisabeth Archer, Elizabeth Goldring, Sarah Knight. An essay collection with chapters on progress entertainments, gift-giving, women as hosts, and more.

The Progresses and Public Processions of Queen Elizabeth by John Nichols, edited by Elizabeth Goldring, Faith Eales, Elizabeth Clarke, Jayne Elisabeth Archer. Old-spelling edition of the early modern materials, based on a critical re-examination of sources. Five-volume set (very expensive).

Spectacle Pageantry and Early Tudor Policy by Sydney Anglo. Covers every royal festival, masque, and tournament of the Tudor era.

Tudor Travel and Geography

A Journey Through Tudor England by Suzannah Lipscomb. This book discusses over fifty Tudor places, including Hampton Court, Hever Castle, and Tutbury Castle, where Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned. Includes 16 pages of photos.

The Counties of Britain: A Tudor Atlas by John Speed and Alasdair Hawkyard. Published in association with The British Library. 67 of the maps are reproduced in full color.

John Leland's Itinerary: Travels in Tudor England by John Chandler. Gives an account of Leland's travels between 1539 and 1545, and records his observations of places and buildings, landscapes and monuments, crumbling monasteries, parks, suburbs, and stately homes.

Tudor Society

Birth, Marriage, and Death: Ritual, Religion, and the Life-Cycle in Tudor and Stuart England by David Cressy. Social life and customs.

Courtship and Constraint: Rethinking the Making of Marriage in Tudor England by Diane O'Hara. Looks at the structures of courtship and the role of family and community; the role of the go-betweens; dowries and property in courtship.

Princes, Pastors and People by Susan Doran. Traces the many changes in religious life that took place during the Tudor and Stuart eras.

The Life of Edward Stanley, Third Earl of Derby by Edward M. Zevin. The relationship between the 16th century English nobility and the Tudor monarchy as reflected by the career of the wealthy third earl of Derby (1521-1572).

Acton Court: The Evolution of an Early Tudor Courtier's House by Kirsty Rodwell, Robert Bell. Remodelling of this manor house reflected its owners' growing wealth and rise to royal favor, culminating in a visit in 1535 from Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn.

The Description of England by William Harrison is the classic contemporary account of Tudor social life.

Pleasures and Pastimes in Tudor England by Alison Sim. From reading, theater, dancing, and music to card games and bear-baiting, the people of Tudor society had plenty to keep them amused. The author also sketches the history of Tudor dress and discusses Tudor homes.

Travesties and Transgressions in Tudor and Stuart England: Tales of Discord and Dissension by David Cressy is about unusual behavior (such as cross-dressing) and events (such as excommunication) in Tudor times.

Tudor Women & Queens

Tudor Roses: From Margaret Beaufort to Elizabeth I by Amy License. A narrative of the Tudor era that prioritizes women's experiences and voices.

Tudor Queenship: The Reigns of Mary and Elizabeth edited by Anna Whitelock and Alice Hunt. Essays on a range of issues, issues, from politics and personnel to ceremony and costume.

Elizabeth of York and Her Six Daughters-in-Law: Fashioning Tudor Queenship, 1485-1547 by Retha M. Warnicke. This study of early modern queenship compares Henry VII's queen and the six queens of Henry VIII.

Tudor Women: Queens and Commoners by Alison Plowden. An account of the women who lay behind the scenes of 16th-century English history. The women of the royal family are the central characters: what they ate, how they dressed, the books they read, the letters they wrote.

The Tudor Queens of England by David Loades. From Elizabeth of York, wife of Henry VII, to her grand-daughter Elizabeth I.

Wicked Women of Tudor England: Queens, Aristocrats, Commoners by Retha Warnicke. A book from the Queenship and Power series.

From Heads of Household to Heads of State: The Preaccession Households of Mary and Elizabeth Tudor, 1516-1558 by J. L. McIntosh. As independent property owners, Tudor princesses attained a status usually reserved for elite men, attracted political clients, and challenged royal authority.

Women According to Men by Suzanne W. Hull is about the world of Tudor-Stuart women.

The Tudor Housewife by Alison Sim details the life of the average woman in Tudor England.

Bess of Hardwick

Devices and Desires: Bess of Hardwick and the Building of Elizabethan England by Kate Hubbard. Draws on 230 of Bess's letters, including correspondence with Elizabeth I and her councilors, missives between her husbands and children, and notes sharing court gossip.

Bess of Hardwick: Empire Builder by Mary S. Lovell. Daughter of an impoverished nobleman, Bess outlived four monarchs, married four times, built the great house at Chatsworth, and died one of the most powerful women in English history.

Bess of Hardwick: Portrait of an Elizabethan Dynast by David Durrant. Biography. Queen Elizabeth I entrusted Bess with acting as jailer to Mary, Queen of Scots. By the end of the 19th century, Bess's blood was flowing through most of the aristocratic families of England.

Venus in Winter: A Novel of Bess of Hardwick by Gillian Bagwell. Fiction. At the court of King Henry VIII, young Bess learns that marrying is dangerous. Even so, she finds the courage to wed not once, but four times.

Royalty in Shakespeare's Plays

Shakespeare's Kings: The Great Plays and the History of England in the Middle Ages, 1337-1485 by John Julius Norwich takes a look at the historical accuracy of Shakespeare's plays about English kings.

Shakespeare's English Kings: History, Chronicle, and Drama by Peter Saccio also explores the history behind Shakespeare's plays. Includes genealogical charts.

The Palgrave Handbook of Shakespeare's Queens edited by Kavita Mudan Finn and Valerie Schutte. Essays span Shakespeare's career and cover a range of queens, from the furious Margaret of Anjou in the Henry VI plays to the quietly powerful Hermione in "The Winter's Tale."

Shakespeare's Prince by Guy Story Brown. A study of Shakespeare's play The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eighth and its relation to Machiavelli's The Prince, the Christian schism in England, and the rule of the Tudors.

The Disguised Ruler in Shakespeare and His Contemporaries by Kevin A. Quarmby. In the early 17th century, the London stage often portrayed a ruler covertly spying on his subjects. The disguised ruler motif evolved in the 1580s as light-hearted entertainment, only to suffer a sinister transformation in later years.

The Philosopher's English King by Leon Harold Craig. Argues that Shakespeare's history plays present his teaching on the question of who has the right to rule.

Alterations of State: Sacred Kingship in the English Reformation by Richard C. McCoy. Looks at how writers like Shakespeare and Milton portrayed kingship during the Reformation.

Holy Estates: Marriage and Monarchy in Shakespeare and His Contemporaries by Sid Ray. Early modern political treatises adopt the language of marriage tracts, using their construction of the family unit as a model for exercising power. The metaphors often took on subversive meanings when redeployed in fiction and drama.

Movies & Documentaries

These DVDs are formatted for North American audiences.

DVDs About Henry VIII
DVDs About Lady Jane Grey
DVDs About Queen Elizabeth I

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