Many are familiar with the story of the much-married King Henry VIII of England and the celebrated reign of his daughter, Elizabeth I. But it is often forgotten that the life of the first Tudor queen, Elizabeth of York, Henry' s mother and Elizabeth' s grandmother, spanned one of England' s most dramatic and perilous periods. Now New York Times bestselling author and acclaimed historian Alison Weir presents the first modern biography of this extraordinary woman, whose very existence united the realm and ensured the survival of the Plantagenet bloodline. Her birth was greeted with as much pomp and ceremony as that of a male heir. The first child of King Edward IV, Elizabeth enjoyed all the glittering trappings of royalty. But after the death of her father; the disappearance and probable murder of her brothers-- the Princes in the Tower; and the usurpation of the throne by her calculating uncle Richard III, Elizabeth found her world turned upside-down: She and her siblings were declared bastards. As Richard' s wife, Anne Neville, was dying, there were murmurs that the king sought to marry his niece Elizabeth, knowing that most people believed her to be England' s rightful queen. Weir addresses Elizabeth' s possible role in this and her covert support for Henry Tudor, the exiled pretender who defeated Richard at the Battle of Bosworth and was crowned Henry VII, first sovereign of the House of Tudor. Elizabeth' s subsequent marriage to Henry united the houses of York and Lancaster and signaled the end of the Wars of the Roses. For centuries historians have asserted that, as queen, she was kept under Henry' s firm grasp, but Weir shows that Elizabeth proved to be a model consort-- pious and generous-- who enjoyed the confidence of her husband, exerted a tangible and beneficial influence, and was revered by her son, the future King Henry VIII.
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by Alison Weir
"The use of quotations and other scholarly references in nonfiction can be a challenge for both narrator and listener. With Maggie Mash narrating, though, this potential problem is no problem at all. Mash uses accents, changes in tone, and brief pauses to make the nuances of Alison WeirÕs text abundantly clear in this biography of Elizabeth of York, daughter of Plantagenet king Edward IV and wife of Tudor king Henry VII. As a link between the two royal houses, Elizabeth is a hugely interesting but often under-researched British queen. WeirÕs research is top-notch, and her insights very smart. Her work is not only supported but also enhanced by MashÕs impeccable narration. J.L.K. © AudioFile 2014, Portland, Maine"
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