The best books for Tudor fans

Who am I?

By day, I am a freelance grant writer for impactful nonprofits…but by night I indulge a passion for the Tudor era I have harbored since I was eight years old and my parents let me stay up late to watch The Six Wives of Henry VIII and Elizabeth R. My Seymour Saga took me deep into one of the era’s central families – and now I am working on my follow up Regina trilogy, exploring Elizabeth’s journey from bastard to icon. I also run a blog where I post interesting takes on the Tudors – I need somewhere to share all the fascinating tidbits I can’t cram into my books!

I wrote...

Book cover of Jane the Quene

What is my book about?

England. 1535. Jane Seymour is 27 years old and increasingly desperate to marry and secure her place in the world. Meanwhile, King Henry VIII is 45 and increasingly desperate for an heir. As Henry begins to fear he is cursed, Jane’s honesty and innocence conjure in him the hope of redemption.

Thomas Cromwell, an ambitious clerk whose political prowess keeps the King's changing desires satisfied, engineers the plot that ends with Jane becoming the King's third wife. For Jane, who believes herself virtuous and her actions justified, miscarriages early in her marriage shake her confidence. How can a woman who has committed no wrong bear the guilt of how she unseated her predecessor?

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Autobiography of Henry VIII

Janet Wertman Why did I love this book?

The book is unique, written from Henry’s point of view, with notes from his fool, Will Somers, that help the reader separate what really happened from Henry’s own (kinda crazy) interpretations. Yes, at 950 pages, it’s a behemoth – but Henry himself was larger than life and his story really does need that long to be told fully. 

By Margaret George,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Autobiography of Henry VIII as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A paperback edition of the fictitious memoirs of King Henry VIII, published to coincide with publication of the author's new novel, MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS AND THE ISLES.

Book cover of Wolf Hall

Janet Wertman Why did I love this book?

Another long book, all the better to get you immersed in the story. I admit, it took me about thirty pages to get used to the author’s style (present tense, close third point of view) but once I did, I knew it was the perfect choice to convey Cromwell’s constant scrutiny of his every thought and gesture. I loved the sequels too, but you gotta start somewhere!

By Hilary Mantel,

Why should I read it?

19 authors picked Wolf Hall as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the Man Booker Prize Shortlisted for the the Orange Prize Shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award

`Dizzyingly, dazzlingly good' Daily Mail

'Our most brilliant English writer' Guardian

England, the 1520s. Henry VIII is on the throne, but has no heir. Cardinal Wolsey is his chief advisor, charged with securing the divorce the pope refuses to grant. Into this atmosphere of distrust and need comes Thomas Cromwell, first as Wolsey's clerk, and later his successor.

Cromwell is a wholly original man: the son of a brutal blacksmith, a political genius, a briber, a charmer, a bully, a man with…

Book cover of The Six Wives of Henry VIII

Janet Wertman Why did I love this book?

This is non-fiction that reads as smoothly as fiction (except it’s all true); there is also a “sequel” about his children that is well worth a read. Lately, Weir has been writing novels set in the period, but I don’t like her fiction nearly as much as I love her non-fiction!

By Alison Weir,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Six Wives of Henry VIII as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the most powerful monarchs in British history, Henry VIII ruled England in unprecedented splendour.

In this remarkable composite biography, Alison Weir brings Henry's six wives vividly to life, revealing each as a distinct and compelling personality in her own right. Drawing upon the rich fund of documentary material from the Tudor period, The Six Wives of Henry VIII shows us a court where personal needs frequently influenced public events and where a life of gorgeously ritualised pleasure was shot through with ambition, treason and violence.

'At last we have the truth about Henry VIII's wives. This book is…

Book cover of The Other Boleyn Girl

Janet Wertman Why did I love this book?

Sigh. No list of compelling Tudor fiction can be complete without Philippa Gregory, whose books are a guilty pleasure for many of us. They generally have a great concept and moments where the writing sings (when she’s “on”, she’s really “on”), though they are a little like junk food: you know they're not really good for you, but you eat them anyway. I found this one the best of the bunch.

By Philippa Gregory,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked The Other Boleyn Girl as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

*A stunning brand new unabridged recording*

The acclaimed international bestseller of the Tudor court, during the years of Henry VIII's pursuit of Anne Boleyn - and the revolutionary sequence of events that followed.

1521. Young Mary Boleyn arrives at court, maid in waiting and favourite to Queen Katherine of Aragon.

Yet Mary catches the eye of the capricious king and - propelled by the ambitions of the powerful Boleyn family - she betrays her queen, and takes her place as Henry VIII's new mistress.

But while Mary is in childbed, a rival comes to court - her sister Anne, a…

Book cover of Elizabeth I

Janet Wertman Why did I love this book?

To be honest, I realized I was at the end of the list and all the books I mentioned were centered around Henry VIII and his era! Elizabeth was just as important and interesting as her crazy father, perhaps even more so. This book is more non-fiction, but again beautifully readable. 

By Anne Somerset,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Elizabeth I as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Elizabeth 1 ruled England in defiance of convention, exercising supreme authority in a man's world. With courage, brilliance and style, she reigned for nearly forty-five years. Anne Somerset's penetrating biography of this complex and uniquely gifted woman is unrivalled in its analysis of both Elizabeth's personal life and her career as leader. "By applying herself industriously to the evidence, Anne Somerset presents a convincing as well as complex character at the centre of her long, but ever lucid narrative" Antonia Fraser "I strongly recommend this book...the writing is a delight" Daily Telegraph "The fullest and best biography of the queen…

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The Romantics

By Isabel Jolie,

Book cover of The Romantics

Isabel Jolie Author Of Cloak of Red

New book alert!

Who am I?

Author Nature lover Rower Reader Ad guru Dreamer

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What is my book about?

Some endings deserve a second chance.

In The Romantics, Dr. Harrison Ramsey's meticulously planned life collides with the ex he swore to forget. A prosperous plastic surgeon, Harrison is a member of an elite, exclusive Houston club, while Zuri faces professional ruin after a messy breakup. When circumstances force them back into each other's lives, old emotions resurface, and they find themselves retracing past steps in the plastic surgery practice where they both work. The two explore the complexities of letting go and evaluating life’s choices and expectations.

The Romantics is a grumpy billionaire, sizzling second chance romance between two doctors who once upon a time loved each other. Some things belong in the past, but maybe not everything.

The Romantics

By Isabel Jolie,

What is this book about?

Some endings deserve a second chance.

Dr. Harrison Ramsey has it all.

A flourishing plastic surgery practice, close friends, and a coveted membership to one of Houston's most elite and secretive clubs.

His life has followed the plan.

Dr. Zuri Lennox's life is a literal dumpster fire.

Thanks to a cheating ex whose Ferrari ran into her baseball bat, she's unemployed, at risk of losing her medical license, and maxed out on medical school loans and legal fees.

Nothing in her life has gone as planned.

When she left a decade ago, he had one request. A simple thing. For…

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