10 books like Game of Queens

By Sarah Gristwood,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Game of Queens. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Six Tudor Queens

By Alison Weir,

Book cover of Six Tudor Queens: Katharine Parr, The Sixth Wife

The last in this stunning Six Wives series, this novel brings Henry VIII’s last wife to life as never before. Impeccably researched and with stunning period detail, this book paints a vivid picture of how women had to battle for survival in the Tudor world.

Six Tudor Queens

By Alison Weir,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Six Tudor Queens as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A detailed and convincing portrait of an extraordinary life... this series is a serious achievement' THE TIMES

'This brilliant series has brought Henry VIII's six wives to life as never before. This novel will enthral and inspire, just as much as it will break your heart' TRACY BORMAN

Alison Weir, historian and author of the SUNDAY TIMES bestselling SIX TUDOR QUEENS series, recounts the story of Henry VIII's last wife - Katharine Parr, the queen who survived him.

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A WOMAN TORN BETWEEN LOVE AND DUTY.

Two husbands dead, a boy and a sick man. And now Katharine is free…


Tombland

By C.J. Sansom,

Book cover of Tombland

At the time of writing, this is believed to be the last in the Shardlake novels and I, for one, am already missing them. I have loved every one of the books in the series, following the adventures of the lawyer/crime solver Matthew Shardlake and his assistants Jack Barak and Nicholas Overton. The author has a real way of bringing the Tudor age to life and as a reader you are instantly transported into the 1500s with Sansom’s descriptive and quite brilliant writing. As a general recommendation I could have picked any of the Shardlake novels but under the heading of books that made me want to know more, the reason I have selected Tombland specifically as one of my top 5 books is the author’s focus on the peasants’ revolt in Norfolk in 1549.

The rebellion was led by a man named Robert Kett and although I had vaguely…

Tombland

By C.J. Sansom,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Tombland as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Tudor England is brought vividly to life in Tombland, the seventh novel in C. J. Sansom's number one bestselling Shardlake series, for fans of Hilary Mantel and Philippa Gregory.

'When it comes to intriguing Tudor-based narratives, Hilary Mantel has a serious rival' - Sunday Times
'Sansom has the trick of writing an enthralling narrative. Like Hilary Mantel, he produces densely textured historical novels that absorb their readers in another time' - Andrew Taylor, Spectator

The Sunday Times Number One Bestseller

England, 1549: Two years after the death of Henry VIII, England is sliding into chaos . . .

The nominal…


Bring Up the Bodies

By Hilary Mantel,

Book cover of Bring Up the Bodies

Although Wolf Hall is the better-known and lauded novel, my preference is for the second book of Hilary Mantel’s trilogy. The author’s focus is Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII’s ruthlessly efficient first minister who came to prominence after Cardinal Wolsey fell from grace for his failure to solve the King’s “Great Matter.”  I admit I’ve never warmed to Cromwell, although he has been praised by illustrious Tudor historians such as GR Elton. Certainly, he was instrumental in freeing the King of his papal shackles and all that followed in the wake of England’s break from Rome. That being said, the Cromwell of the historical record hardly seems sympathetic. He was one of the wiliest serpents in the snake pit of the Tudor court. Mantel’s books attempt to show a more human side of Henry VIII’s right-hand man.

Bring Up the Bodies

By Hilary Mantel,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Bring Up the Bodies 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

The second book in Hilary Mantel's award-winning Wolf Hall trilogy, with a stunning new cover design to celebrate the publication of the much anticipated The Mirror and the Light

An astounding literary accomplishment, Bring Up the Bodies is the story of this most terrifying moment of history, by one of our greatest living novelists.

'Our most brilliant English writer' Guardian

Bring Up the Bodies unlocks the darkly glittering court of Henry VIII, where Thomas Cromwell is now chief minister. With Henry captivated by plain Jane Seymour and rumours of Anne Boleyn's faithlessness whispered by…


The Watchers

By Stephen Alford,

Book cover of The Watchers: A Secret History of the Reign of Elizabeth I

Although Elizabeth I has gone down in history as the iconic ‘Gloriana’, the longest-reigning and arguably most successful monarch from the Tudor dynasty, as queen she never enjoyed the luxury of feeling secure on her throne. This brilliant non-fiction book explores the many plots that swirled around the Virgin Queen’s throne – and the intricate spy network that helped thwart them all.

The Watchers

By Stephen Alford,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The acclaimed and enthralling story of the dark side of Elizabethan rule, from Stephen Alford

Elizabeth I's reign is known as a golden age, yet to much of Europe she was a 'Jezebel' and heretic who had to be destroyed. The Watchers is a thrilling portrayal of the secret state that sought to protect the Queen; a shadow world of spies, codebreakers, agent provocateurs and confidence-men who would stop at nothing to defend the realm.

Reviews:

'Forget Le Carre, Deighton and the rest - this is more enthralling than any modern spy fiction' Daily Telegraph

'Absorbing and closely documented ...…


How to Be a Tudor

By Ruth Goodman,

Book cover of How to Be a Tudor: A Dawn-To-Dusk Guide to Tudor Life

In this book, Ruth Goodman takes the reader through a day in the life of an ordinary person in Tudor England. Along the way she covers a wide range of topics including hygiene, clothing, education, work, leisure, and diet. This is not the only book to cover everyday life in the 16th century but it is elevated above other, similar, books by the anecdotes Goodman provides from her own experiences as a re-enactor. Where other authors might tell you what a Tudor bed was like, or how people ploughed, this book tells you what it feels like to sleep on that bed and how the oxen behaved.

How to Be a Tudor

By Ruth Goodman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Be a Tudor as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On the heels of her triumphant How to Be a Victorian, Ruth Goodman travels even further back in English history to the era closest to her heart, the dramatic period from the crowning of Henry VII to the death of Elizabeth I. A celebrated master of British social and domestic history, Ruth Goodman draws on her own adventures living in re-created Tudor conditions to serve as our intrepid guide to sixteenth-century living. Proceeding from daybreak to bedtime, this "immersive, engrossing" (Slate) work pays tribute to the lives of those who labored through the era. From using soot from candle wax…


England's Other Countrymen

By Onyeka Nubia,

Book cover of England's Other Countrymen: Black Tudor Society

In this thought-provoking book, Onyeka Nubia encourages us to re-examine Tudor concepts of race and ethnicity in Tudor (and Stuart) England without assumptions based on post-colonial narratives. What emerges is a nuanced picture of complex interactions, attitudes, and prejudices. As well as studying the writings of Tudor scholars, theologians, and authors, Nubia looks at the lives of individual Africans in England, showing that they weren’t “strangers” but lived as part of English communities - whether in cosmopolitan London parishes such as St Botolph without Aldgate, or in rural villages.

England's Other Countrymen

By Onyeka Nubia,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked England's Other Countrymen as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Tudor period remains a source of timeless fascination, with endless novels, TV programmes and films depicting the period in myriad ways. And yet our image of the Tudor era remains overwhelmingly white. This ground-breaking and provocative new book seeks to redress the balance: revealing not only how black presence in Tudor England was far greater than has previously been recognised, but that Tudor conceptions of race were far more complex than we have been led to believe.

Onyeka Nubia's original research shows that Tudors from many walks of life regularly interacted with people of African descent, both at home…


Emmie and the Tudor King

By Natalie Murray,

Book cover of Emmie and the Tudor King

Modern girl finds a cursed ring, goes back in time to the deadly Tudor era, and falls for the king. What could go wrong? This book has everything, cursed rings, time travel, swoon-worthy romance, forbidden love, and a drop-dead gorgeous Tudor King. There’s also a murder mystery as well, which adds so much depth to the plot. And I love, love, love how Murray treated the time travel aspect. There are dire consequences for changing the past and those consequences could be the worst curse of all. EATTK is YA and is suitable for younger readers and the first book in a heart-stopping trilogy.

Emmie and the Tudor King

By Natalie Murray,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Emmie and the Tudor King as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"This book will grab you and won't let go until you've reached the final page. And then it will leave you wanting more. You've been warned." - YA Books Central


One moment, eighteen-year-old Emmie Grace is writing her final high school history paper before graduation; the next, she's lost in 16th century England, where she meets a dreamy but dangerous Tudor king who is destined for a dreadful fate.


Able to travel back to her own time but intensely drawn to King Nick and the mysterious death of his sister, Emmie finds herself solving the murder of a young princess…


Houses of Power

By Simon Thurley,

Book cover of Houses of Power

A learned, yet eminently readable, book which synthesizes and knits together the findings contained in several of Thurley’s earlier, landmark publications, including The Royal Palaces of Tudor England (Yale, 1993) and Whitehall Palace (Merrell, 2008). Houses of Power is a compact volume (and available in paperback, too). I have often taken my copy with me for reference when visiting the sites described in it. Thurley’s illustrations include fascinating conjectural reconstructions of buildings that either no longer survive or have been greatly altered since Tudor times. A wonderful tool when trying to visualize now-lost buildings.

Houses of Power

By Simon Thurley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

What was it like to live as a royal Tudor? Why were their residences built as they were and what went on inside their walls? Who slept where and with who? Who chose the furnishings? And what were their passions?

The Tudors ruled through the day, throughout the night, in the bath, in bed and in the saddle. Their palaces were genuine power houses - the nerve-centre of military operations, the boardroom for all executive decisions and the core of international politics. Houses of Power is the result of Simon Thurley's thirty years of research, picking through architectural digs, and…


Shakespeare's Rebel

By C.C. Humphreys,

Book cover of Shakespeare's Rebel

I loved this swashbuckling tale of Shakespeare’s fight master because it took me back to Elizabethan England and right on to the stage at The Globe theater. There’s plenty of action and intrigue (the main character’s not only an actor and fight master but a spy!) that inspired me when I was writing the action scenes in my book. The author fills the pages with an impressive amount of historical detail while maintaining a brisk, page-turning pace.

Shakespeare's Rebel

By C.C. Humphreys,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Shakespeare's Rebel as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A gripping historical adventure packed with intrigue, deception, rebellion, politics, love and war, that fans of C.J. Sansom will love.

London 1599, a city on the brink of revolution...

He is Queen Elizabeth's last, perhaps her greatest, love - Robert Deveraux, Earl of Essex. Champion jouster, dashing general...and the man that John Lawley, England's finest swordsman, most wishes to avoid. For John knows the other earl - the reckless melancholic - and has had to risk his life for him in battle one time too many.

All John wants is to be left alone to win back the heart of…


Sisters of Arden

By Judith Arnopp,

Book cover of Sisters of Arden

Judith Arnopp has written many excellent and well-researched books about the kings and queens of Medieval and early Tudor England, but I particularly like the ones that deal with ordinary people caught up in events, rather than the movers and shakers. This one deals with a group of nuns struggling to deal with the confusion, distress, and violence of Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries and the Pilgrimage of Grace.

Sisters of Arden

By Judith Arnopp,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Far from the concourse of men..."

Arden Priory has remained unchanged for almost four hundred years when a nameless child is abandoned at the gatehouse door.

As Henry VIII’s second queen dies on the scaffold, the embittered King strikes out, and unprecedented change sweeps across the country.
The bells of the great abbeys fall silent, the church and the very foundation of the realm begins to crack.

Determined to preserve their way of life, novitiate nuns Margery and Grace join a pilgrimage thirty thousand strong to lead the king back to grace.

Sisters of Arden is a story of valour,…


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