Apr 21, 2010

Suggested Reading for the Tudor Mania Challenge

My best fan forever, Lucy of Enchanted by Josephine, wondered what Tudor-themed reads I could recommend for my upcoming Tudor Mania Challenge. See the post here at this link that details all the Challenge details and rules. The post that you are reading right now is just for suggestions. The main thing to remember is that there will be prizes, and your reads can be either Fiction or Non-Fiction, reviews must be posted between May 1 - July 31, and the reads must land somewhere between 1485 and 1603 during the reign of the Tudors.

Tudor Mania Button

Please know that no one in their right mind would be expected to read even a 1/4 of these for the challenge. This is just everything that I can think of to include. And if you are like me, you may have some of these books in your library at home, and more than likely you will be able to find some of these at your local library if you don't already own some. These pictures are from my own shelves, and this post and the pics are just an example of choices to pick from to read for my Tudor Mania Challenge. Of course there are titles that I have NOT listed that would qualify for the Challenge, so please feel free to choose ANY Tudor Themed books for the challenge.

Some titles by Jean Plaidy that would work are:
Tudor Themed Jean Plaidy books from my shelves
Uneasy Lies the Head  (reprinted as To Hold the Crown)
Katharine the Virgin Widow(included in reissue titled Katherine of Aragon)
The Shadow of the Pomegranate (included in Katherine of Aragon)
The King’s Secret Matter  (included in Katherine of Aragon)
Murder Most Royal
St. Thomas’s Eve (reissued as The King's Confidante)
The Sixth Wife
The Thistle and the Rose
Mary, Queen of France
The Spanish Bridegroom (reprinted as For a Queen’s Love)
Gay Lord Robert  (reprinted as A Favorite of the Queen)
In The Shadow of The Crown
The Lady in the Tower
Queen of this Realm
The Rose Without a Thorn
The Royal Road to Fotheringhay
The Captive Queen of Scots

Written by Victoria Holt, aka Jean Plaidy:
My Enemy The Queen
Daughter of Satan

New Tudor Fiction that I am reading for the challenge:
Secrets of the Tudor Courts by D.L. Bogdan 
No Will But His by Sarah A. Hoyt
Tudor Themed reads include C.J. Sansom's Shardlake series

Tudor Fiction that I have not reviewed here, but would work well as I have read some of these, in no order:
The Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory (2003)
The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory (2008)
The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory (2006)
The Virgin's Lover by Philippa Gregory (2005)
The Queen's Fool by Philippa Gregory (2005)
A Lady Raised High: A Novel of Anne Boleyn (Tudor Women Series) by Laurien Gardner
Plain Jane: A Novel of Jane Seymour (Tudor Women Series) by Laurien Gardner
The Spanish Bride: A Novel of Catherine of Aragon (Tudor Women Series) by Laurien Gardner
Innocent Traitor: A Novel of Lady Jane Grey by Alison Weir
The Lady Elizabeth: A Novel by Alison Weir
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (2009)
The Concubine: A Novel by Norah Lofts
The King's Pleasure: A Novel of Katharine of Aragon by Norah Lofts
Here Was a Man: A Novel of Sir Walter Raleigh and Elizabeth I by Norah Lofts
King's Fool: A Notorious King, His Six Wives, and the One Man Who Knew All Their Secrets by Margaret Campbell Barnes
Brief Gaudy Hour: A Novel of Anne Boleyn by Margaret Campbell Barnes
My Lady of Cleves: A Novel of Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves by Margaret Campbell Barnes
The Queen's Governess by Karen Harper
The Virgin's Daughters: In the Court of Elizabeth I by Jeane Westin
The King's Daughter. A Novel of the First Tudor Queen  by Sarndra Worth
The Secret Bride: In The Court of Henry VIII by Diane Haeger
The Virgin Queen's Daughter: A Novel by Ella March Chase
Virgin: Prelude to the Throne by Robin Maxwell
Mademoiselle Boleyn by Robin Maxwell
The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn by Robin Maxwell
The Queen's Bastard by Robin Maxwell
The Last Wife of Henry VIII by Carolly Erickson
Tudor themed reads from authors like David Starkey and Robin Maxwell

A sampling of some Tudor-themed books I have read previously that are linked to my reviews, alphabetical:

Her Mother's Daughter: A Novel of Mary Tudor by Julianne Lee (2009)
Secrets of The Tudor Court: The Pleasure Palace by Kate Emerson (2009)
Secrets of The Tudor Court: Between Two Queens by Kate Emerson (2009)
St. Thomas's Eve aka The King's Confidante by Jean Plaidy (reissued in 2009)
The Boleyn Wife by Brandy Purdy (2009)
The Captive Queen of Scots by Jean Plaidy (reissue 2006)
The Other Queen by Philipa Gregory (2009)
The Royal Road to Fotheringay by Jean Plaidy (1969)
The Tudor Rose: A Novel of Elizabeth of York by Margaret Campbell Barnes (reissue 2009)
The Queen's Mistake: A Novel by Catherine Howard by Diane Haeger (2009)
Young Bess by Margaret Irwin (reissue 2010)

Tudor Non-Fiction, linked to my reviews:
Arbella by Sarah Gristwood (2005)
Bess of Hardwick: Empire Builder by Mary S. Lovell (2007)
Elizabeth's Women:The Hidden Story of The Virgin Queen by Tracy Borman (2009)
The Lady in the Tower: The Fall of Anne Boleyn by Alison Weir (2009)
Try Alison Weir for both non-fiction and fiction, or anything Elizabeth I related

 Non-Fiction Recommendations, some of which are on my TBR list for the challenge:
JANE SEYMOUR by Elizabeth Norton
MARY BOLEYN by Josephine Wilkinson
CATHERINE PARR by Elizabeth Norton
HENRY VIII: The Tudor Tyrant by Richard Rex
THE LAST DAYS OF HENRY VIII by Robert Hutchinson

Try some obscure Edward VI non fiction, or there are always your old standby's for fiction like Philippa Gregory
Do you have any suggestions to add to the list for those who are looking for Tudor Reads?
The goal is that on the Challenge post we build up a long Master List of reviews for Tudor themed reads!


  1. This is fantastic! It's like a very own Tudor Library!! Thanks Marie- I'll be referring back to this place often. I'm already planning my choices:)

  2. This is all a bit overwhelming. Just the books by Jean Plaidy would take me forever to read.

  3. You must have lots of time on your hand and read at 100mph.

    The scale here is bewildering![lol]

    Have you tried any C.J. Sansom Master Shardlake series; Dark Fire, Sovereign, Dissolution...

    Worth a look but not aimed specifically at women.


  4. Wow, what a comprehensive list! :-) You're amazing.

  5. I love that you are doing this! I have organized a lot of Tudor titles on my Tudor literature page (http://www.everythingtudor.com/tudorsinlit/litmain.html). If anyone is interested in books on specific Tudor people or time periods, I have it organized there! :)

  6. Alison Weir wrote an excellent book on Henry called well, Henry VIII

    and there is one by Antonia Fraser (non fiction) The Wives of Henry VIII that I also enjoyed

    I think this list could go on so long as to encircle the earth

  7. I just finished Virgin and the Crab by Robert Parry and it would be a great addition to this list. :)

  8. I am commenting on your side button on "suggested reads"...
    I seem to be always reading a book that I just cant get into or enjoy...always seeking my kind of read, but never finding it. Thanks to you I have found it!!!
    I am so impressed with all the books you not only have but, you've actually read!!!
    Ever since I read "The Wives of King Henry the V111" by Antonia Fraser...Ive been hooked.
    I see you have an Amozon site...I will seek out the ones you have listed, and finally enjoy!

    Not only do enjoy your blog content, I also love the look of your blog,it's trully eye candy... It sparks me to read on...


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