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I do recommend the Antonia Frasier biography of the six wives; very useful and some tidbits of it have still stuck with me. The Jean Plaidy novels are not awful (I read her alot when I was a teenager) but they are definitely not intellectual reads.


The biography by Antonia Fraser is indeed excellent ( check her other biographies if you haven't done so already, they're really good ).
However, I thought The Other Boleyn Girl a particularly painful read : she assumes that Anne was guilty of what she was accused of during her trial ( incest and witchcraft, among others ), I suppose for dramatic effect but in my opinion it wasn't necessary, I hope that people read a biography like the one by Fraser after reading such nonsense. Also, her writing style is awful, it's heavy, she repeats sentences and words 20 times in 50 pages just so you get it and her vision of things is just too manichean : Anne's evil, Mary's good. I thought the parts about Mary were terrific, though but that's the only good point.


I'm so impressed by the way you put these lists together, Danielle! I know nothing about the Tudors, so I think I ought to read something from this list!


Jill--There are so many Plaidy novels out there--I was wondering about them. I have the Fraser bio sitting by my bed. If I didn't already have another NF started I would begin reading now!
Sibylle--I've heard various things about the Gregory book. If I do pick it up anytime soon I will definitely take it all with a grain of salt! I love historical fiction, and I realize that sometimes authors will need to take a little 'poetic license' with events to work out their plots, but I do like to think that the major events and details are at least accurate. Anne Boleyn is such a fascinating historical person that I do want to find a biography about just her.
Litlove--I know you don't generally read really long books (and the George is at least 800 pages), but it is very interesting. What's really bad is that I think I read more British history books than American. But they were such fascinating people.

Pamela HD

Jean Plaidy books are easy reads, but pleasant and fairly accurate, for historical fiction. She also wrote as Victoria Holt (gothics) and Phillipa Carr.
Have you visited this site for information on the Tudors? The owner also has a podcast (the transcript is available, but, while you get the details you might miss on the podcast, you miss the lovely music.)


I thought The Other Boleyn Girl was very readable but I did wonder a bit about the "real" Anne Boleyn. Now I want to see the movie though. I've often wondered about the Plaidy books, my mom used to read those but that was before I got into historical fiction so I never borrowed her books.

Dorothy W.

I was quite obsessed with Elizabeth I when I was much younger, and it would be fun to go back and read further in the time period. As always, this is a wonderful list; thanks for putting it together!


Pamela--I'll have to give the Plaidy book I own a try. I'm glad to hear her books are fairly accurate. I didn't realize she was also Victoria Holt. And thanks also for the link--I will have to listen to their podcast!! It looks like they have lots of interesting information.
Iliana--A lot of my coworkers have read the Gregory book and I hear it is very readable indeed. I will likely read it (keeping in mind that it's fiction), as I also want to see the movie. I saw the Plaidy books in the bookstore with lovely new covers some time back and couldn't resist buying one.
Dorothy--I was more interested in Elizabeth I, too, but after reading about Henry and his wives I became more interested in the whole Tudor family. It was an interesting historical period that's for sure.

Mindy Withrow

Alison Weir's _Six Wives_ is about the best non-fiction treatment of the Tudors, if you're interested in the scholarly side.

I've long had an interest in Katharine Parr, Henry's sixth wife. My husband and I included a chapter on her in our children's history series (vol 3, in which she appears, is called Courage and Conviction), and hubby (who has a PhD in historical theology) has a book about her coming out late this year. So much has been written about the Tudors, but it seems much more is left to be said!

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