Tudor Queens Book Tag

I've been tagged by Jess @Jessticulates  to do her brand new 'Tudor Queens' book tag, which looked like a lot of fun. Thanks Jess! The Tudors aren't my favourites (after reading Sunne in Splendour I can't help but feel antagonistic towards their whole dynasty) but they're definitely interesting and I've devoured a lot of Tudor-y stuff in my time. Can't wait to see Mary Queen of Scots, although of course it will never beat the wonderful weirdness that is Reign. If you fancy doing this tag yourself go for it, just make sure you credit back to Jess :) 

Elizabeth of York

elizabeth of york

Elizabeth of York became the first Tudor queen when she married Henry VII in 1486, a marriage which brought an end to the Wars of the Roses. Even though their match grew into a genuine love match, Henry had to kill Elizabeth’s own uncle, Richard III, at the Battle of Bosworth to become king, so choose a book with a complicated family

Cheating a bit, because it's three books, but I'm going to go with the Welsh Princes Trilogy by Sharon Kay Penman. The first and the third one are so, so good (and the middle one is okay) but I found myself drawing family trees constantly. Also the family relationships are so messy - in the first book King John's Illegitimate daughter Joanna, marries Llewellyn Prince of Gwynedd and when relations between their countries get tricky so do personal lives. It's all very Game of Thrones and I love it.

Katherine of Aragon

katherine of aragon

Katherine was the first of Henry VIII’s six wives, and when Henry sought to divorce her she fought until the bitter end to remain his queen. It was a battle she ultimately lost. Choose a book you forced yourself to finish even though you weren’t enjoying it

When I was doing my degree I got to a stage on one module where I hadn't read any of the course books all the way through for...a while. (Thank God for Wikipedia summaries.) Meanwhile, in  The Mediator books by Meg Cabot, Suze talked about how Jesse tried to read aloud to her sometimes and "The Sound and the Fury, when read by Jesse, was at least something worth hearing." The title makes it sound exciting too so I set myself the challenge of reading it through to the end. If I'm honest I didn't understand a word. I couldn't tell you what it was about, who the characters were, or what was the point. But I finished it. Maybe it just needs to be read-aloud by the ghost of a hot Spanish rancher.

Anne Boleyn

anne boleyn

Henry was so enamoured by his second queen that he broke away from Rome and founded his own church just so he could marry her, but when she didn’t give him the son she promised he sent poor Anne to her death. Choose a book you used to love but wouldn’t love as much if you read it again now

When I was eleven I thought The Prophecy of the Gems was the best thing since sliced bread. Three girl heroines in a medieval fantasy world, called Jade, Opal and Amber! One a peasant, one a commoner and one a lady, all with a different hair colour! A prophecy, magic, romance galore - and in fairness it was very original. It was written by a twelve year old French girl, which is probably why it was exactly the kind of story I'd have liked to write myself at that age. Not sure what I'd think of it now, but from what I can remember it was a good story - and that twist at the end!

Jane Seymour

jane seymour

Queen number three was only queen for a year and a half. She gave Henry the son he longed for, but died days later. Choose a book that was short and sweet

I re-read Small Steps recently, and it definitely fits this description. A sort of sequel to Holes (but not really) this follows Armpit, one of the other Camp Green Lake boys, as he tries to get his life back on track. There's a sweet (if unlikely) romance, an exciting (if unlikely) B plot (which all intertwines in that way the author has) and I especially liked Armpit's un-complicated friendship with the little girl next door, who has cerebral palsy. 

Anne of Cleves

anne of cleves

Henry chose to marry his fourth queen after only seeing a portrait of her. Choose a book you bought/read because of the cover

That dress though. Of course that was what enticed me to pick up The Luxe, and it was a mixture of more pretty cover dresses, and the books themselves, that made me finish the series. They were fun actually, basically 19th Century Gossip Girl. I didn't fall in love with any of the characters particularly, and the boys were all a bit 2D, but the plots were nice and twisty and full of drama.

Kathryn Howard

kathryn howard

Henry’s fifth queen was the youngest of his wives and the least experienced for life at court. When she was accused of adultery, Henry sent her to the block. Choose a book with a forbidden romance

An Anne of Cleves book for the Kathryn Howard topic? Yes, I went there. But they actually both have forbidden romances in this one. I really love this book, and not just because it gives Anne a voice. The author imagines that the reason behind that gorgeous Holbein portrait, was that Holbein saw something in Anne that others didn't. The romance between Holbein and Anne is more of an emotional affair, it's done believably and it's such an interesting dilemma. If he hadn't made her beautiful, she wouldn't have had to marry Henry in the first place. 

Katherine Parr

katherine parr

Katherine has long been remembered as Henry’s sixth wife, but what she should be remembered for is being the first woman to publish an English book in England under her own name. Choose a book about books

My second foray into Georgette Heyer, Sylvester started a bit slow, and is old fashioned but a lot of fun. Set in Jane Austen-y times as they all are, the heroine has written a book under a pseudonym and cast Sylvester (a rakish member of the ton who snubbed her at a party during her first season) as her villain. When their paths are thrown together for a second time, in a mad set of circumstances, she starts to realise he isn't as bad as he seems. But then the book comes out... Oh why did she put in that bit about his distinctive eyebrows?!

Lady Jane Grey

lady jane grey

Poor Jane was forced onto the throne to prevent her Catholic cousin, Mary, from taking charge in what had become a Protestant country. Mary brought an end to her reign after only nine days, and poor Jane paid the ultimate price for the position she’d been put in by the men around her when Mary sent her to the block. Choose a book that ended too soon

Is it sad that the whole Midnight Sun saga still bothers me? Yes. I wasn't a crazy Twilight fan, but I was a fan. I read all the books and watched the films. And I was enjoying reading the leaked version of Twilight from Edward's perspective. But because it did get leaked, Stephanie Meyer lost her mojo with it and never finished it. So annoying. It was just getting to the good stuff. 

Mary I

mary i

Commonly know as Bloody Mary, Mary restored England to Catholicism and, during her four year reign, burned over 300 Protestants at the stake. Choose a book you would burn every copy of:

The most boring thing I have ever been forced to pretend to read. I did lots of wonderful modules on my uni course, but literary theory was not one of them. This book also cost me thirty quid

Elizabeth I

elizabeth i

Though Anne Boleyn failed to give Henry a son, the daughter she gave him would rule England for 44 years and bring about what was known as The Golden Age. Choose a book with a royal main character:

I will never not love Mia. I should really read some more of Meg Cabot's adult stuff. 

Are you a Tudors fan? Why not give the tag a go? 


  1. Thanks so much for doing the tag, Catherine! I desperately need to read some Sharon Kay Penman - I have a copy of Here Be Dragons so I need to get to it soon, especially as I've lived and worked in Wales before and I don't know enough about Welsh history. My Lady of Cleves and Small Steps are going straight on my TBR - I loved Holes when I was younger, so it's about time I read Armpit's story - and I know what you mean about Midnight Sun. It is awful that someone leaked the chapters like that, but Meyer seems to have a habit of promising things and not delivering them - like the sequels The Host was supposed to have. Hahaha, ah I remember that Literary Theory book - I hated having to lug it around campus!

    1. I knew there was something else I hated about that book - so heavy! Loving Sharon Kay Penman at the minute, got the first of her Eleanor of Aquitaine trilogy to start, she's really good but her books are all massive. And I'm sure Stephanie Meyer promised Twilight sequels too (I think one about Leah?) but she just wrote that terrible gender swapped Twilight instead :/ Thanks for the tag really enjoyed doing it :D


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