I might as well just put “Happy Stacie” as the title of this blog post. I kid you not. Read the title again. Go on now, read it. Do you see that middle word, there? Tudor. Oh yes. It says Tudor. As in, my very favorite time period in the whole entire history of time periods! (With the exception of Bible times. Nothing tops that.)
I am a Tudor enthusiast. I have studied the Tudor Era from the time of Elizabeth Woodville and her husband, King Edward IV (technically not Tudors, but you get my drift) all the way down to Queen Elizabeth I and all of the branches along the way. I have my favorites (Elizabeth Woodville, Catherine of Aragon, Elizabeth I…such strong, amazing women!) and my not-so-favorites (Margaret Beaufort, Henry VIII, Catherine Howard). Yet even those that I’m not fond of, I am totally fascinated with. I mean, King Henry VIII…he is an entire blog series, all by himself! I love studying about him.
I first discovered this book after finding Barb Alexander on Twitter. Authors, can I lay something on the table for you? Interact with your readers. It makes your readers want to give you the best, most thorough review possible. Barb Alexander not only responded to my tweets, but even checked in with me at one point to see if I was enjoying her book. To which I replied with an enthusiastic “Yes!” Let me tell you why.
First and foremost, if you have never once studied a single Tudor in your entire life, this book is perfect for you. The book is laid out in an easy-to-follow fashion, and is extremely readable. I think one aspect of the Tudors that makes people nervous is trying to keep track of the family tree; who begat whom, who married whom, who killed whom, who betrayed whom…you get the idea. The author does an excellent job of keeping everything linear and orderly, so that it’s easy to see the messy, awesome family tree in a big picture.
Also? She’s hilarious. Because really, some of the Tudor history is seriously absurd (She gave birth to yet another girl? Removeth her head, I sayeth!) and the author is quick to point out the hilarity.
Secondly, if you have avidly studied the Era of the Tudors, this book is perfect for you, too! It’s readable, but not elementary. I not only learned some things that I hadn’t previously known or picked up on, but it also helped to solidify things that I had learned thus far about the Tudors. The book was also great at clearing up some things that I wasn’t entirely sure on!
The Tudor Tutor also has some beautiful illustrations of all of the key characters, which I really loved. Sometimes we look at the portraits of say, Anne Boleyn or Elizabeth Woodville, and can’t picture the actual human behind the painting. (They say Charles Brandon was heavenly; but have you looked at his portrait? Not with a ten-foot pole, buddy.)
The artist (the clearly brilliant Lisa Graves) does a fantastic job of modernizing the portraits while still sticking close to the original. My only wish was that each illustration was labeled in some way, so that I didn’t have to keep flipping to the Illustration Key to see who I was looking at.
Bottom Line: Time to become a Tudor addict, people. Go get the book! Right now. Off you go. Also, Barb? I require more books from you and your awesome brain. Maybe do a Henry VIII book. Or a book on his wives? Just give me more!