Elizabeth of York: The First Tudor Queen by Alison Weir

The book Elizabeth of York: The First Tudor Queen by Alison Weir is the first one I read written by Weir. I was expecting to love it, but some issues made me give it only 4 stars. I’ve read a historical fiction book about Elizabeth of York, written by Philippa Gregory.

The Song of Lady Bessy is mentioned multiple times as a source. It’s a ballad that might or might not have existed in the 15th century, so why is that considered an important historical document is beyond me. Also, Shakespeare is mentioned a few times, not an historical source, but a work of fiction created many years after the events happened. A poem by Giovanni de’Gigli is again mentioned several times, although his poem was a wedding gift for Elizabeth from Henry VII. I think it bothered me that fictional stories are given so much prominence in a non-fiction book. This is why the book is not a 5 stars.

Elizabeth of York The First Tudor Queen by Alison Weir

Weir believes that Elizabeth and Henry VII had a loving relationship. Furthermore she says that Elizabeth might get along fine with her mother-in-law. I don’t believe either to be true. He gave almost as much money to Queen Margaret (wife of late Henry VI) as he did to his mother-in-law. As a Queen, Elizabeth had issues with money for years. Pawning her solid gold plate to be able to pay servants and give to charity doesn’t sound like a well loved wife. Also, her mother didn’t have a similar position to Henry’s mother.
Another thing that makes me wonder if he loved her, as Weir says, is that she was crowned Queen. That happened 2 years after they got married and after giving birth to Arthur. Anyway, unless some letters are found that can shed some light on this matter, we can only speculate. But this kind of speculation is not as enticing in a non-fiction book.

Elizabeth’s story is sad. Her last year is very sad. Her son died, she was ill, and she got pregnant again, despite having some health issues during her last pregnancy and subsequent birth. I think that she learned who had killed her brothers in the Tower. At the same time, a rift happened between her and Henry. It makes me wonder what did she find out. Phillipa thinks Henry VII killed the Princes, while Weir thinks it was Richard III. We’ll never know the full story, both had motive: the English crown.

Elizabeth of York: The First Tudor Queen by Alison Weir

Details about the picture: –
My rating: 4/5 Stars.
Would I recommend it: Yes
Published by: Vintage
Year it was published: 2014
Format: Paperback
Genre(s): Non-fiction. History
Pages: 556

About the author: Alison Weir is a historian. She was interested in history as a teenager and she went on to study history at North Western Polytechnic of London. Alison published her first book in 1989, after many years of trying to get her books published.
Now is a well known history writer. In 2006, she published her first novel.
She is an honourary Life Patron of Historic Royal Palaces, Patron of the Thames Valley History Festival, and Patron of Anne of Cleves’ House, Lewes.
Website & Social Media Links: www.alisonweir.org.uk

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