An Illustrated Introduction to the Tudors by Gareth Russell


I’m so glad that Amberley Publishing has brought out this book in time for Christmas because it really is the perfect stocking filler for those people in your life who need indoctrinating with Tudor history – you know, the ones who are really important to you but whose eyes take on that glazed look when you try to share your passion for Tudor history.

It’s under a tenner, it’s got pictures (and lovely ones too), it’s accurate and it’s highly readable. Gareth Russell just has a way with words and manages to bring history alive in an entertaining way. The entertainment, however, is never at the cost of history. Gareth is an excellent historian and I know from having corresponded with him for some years with regards to his historical research that he is meticulous and that he digs deep, relying on primary sources rather than secondary ones. This is good history but told in a way that will appeal to people at all levels of historical knowledge, from newcomers to Tudor history to those who have expertise but would like a short snappy book to dip into and give them the nuts and bolts about the Tudors.

It is only 96 pages, but Gareth manages to convey an incredible amount of information about each Tudor monarch, and personalities like Henry VIII’s wives, in those few pages. Along with biographies of each monarch, there are portraits, photos of places and statues, highlighted boxes giving trivia and extra information, a helpful timeline, an overview of the Tudors (The Tudors in Five Minutes) and a list of books for further reading.

When you’re buying one for that friend, make sure you grab a copy for yourself as this will be a useful reference book for your bookcase. It really is a one-stop book for the vital info you need on the Tudor monarchs. Excellent!

(This review is based on an e-book copy of the book – I expect the illustrations look even better in the paperback version.)

Book Details

The six monarchs of the Tudor dynasty are phenomenally well-known. Henry VII succeeded in ending the Wars of the Roses, Henry VIII formed the Church of England and famously married six times: Katherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard and Katherine Parr. His three children, Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I, would all ascend to the throne, as would his great-niece Lady Jane Grey. Between them they ruled for an eventful 118 years. This easy-to-follow introduction to the Tudors follows the major events and personalities of the age.

Paperback: 96 pages
Publisher: Amberley Publishing (15 Oct 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1445641216
ISBN-13: 978-1445641218
ASIN US: B00O92PCMG (This is my affiliate link for and I may receive a small payment if you buy the book through this link).

Available from, Amazon UK or your usual bookstore.


Originally posted on November 17, 2014.

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