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To Hold the Crown: The Story of King Henry VII and Elizabeth of York (Tudor Saga #1)

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  2,864 Ratings  ·  149 Reviews
From exile and war to love and loss—every dynasty has a beginning.

Henry Tudor was not born to the throne of England. Having come of age in a time of political turmoil and danger, the man who would become Henry VII spent fourteen years in exile in Brittany before returning triumphantly to the Dorset coast with a small army and decisively winning the Battle of Bosworth Field
ebook, 0 pages
Published October 7th 2008 by Broadway Books (first published 1982)
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May 25, 2010 Ami rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It is quite clear that the person who wrote the synopsis of the story found on the back cover of this book never actually read it. It reads: "As Henry’s claim to the throne was tenuous, his marriage to Elizabeth of York, daughter and direct heir of King Edward IV, not only served to unify the warring houses, it also helped Henry secure the throne for himself and for generations to come. And though their union was born from political necessity, it became a wonderful love story that led to seven c ...more
Nov 04, 2008 Misfit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From the back cover “And though their union was born from political necessity, it became a wonderful love story…” Huh? You have to wonder sometimes what is going through the publisher’s heads – the marriage of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York was not a love match by any means – why they would try to label it as such??

Originally published as Uneasy Lies the Head, this book covers the reign of Henry VII following the defeat of Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth. With a very tenuous claim on the
Jan 13, 2014 Kavita rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Evil Henry Tudor. He only thinks of what would be best for Henry Tudor, and hence pardons Lambert Simnel. Henry Tudor is very self centred, and hence errr ... pardons most of the Cornish rebels. Henry Tudor concentrates solely on what is good for Henry Tudor and ummm ... was against war. Oh yes, Henry Tudor knew what was good for Henry Tudor, never mind that it benefited the masses. It’s not as if he was even interested in them!

I am sick and tired of pro-Ricardian crap and while I would never ju
Although I didn't think much of Mary, Queen of France by this author, I thought I would give her another try. According to the plot synopsis on the back of the cover, this book was supposed to be the story of the great romance between Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. Well, the story barely touched on Elizabeth of York and when she did actually appear in the progression of the novel, I think she was treated as nothing more than breeding stock. A very disappointing read...

I also found fault with
Jul 23, 2010 Jennifer rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Tudor Lovers, Royalty/History Buffs
Recommended to Jennifer by: Tudor History Lovers GR
Read for Tudor History Lovers Group Read ~ July/August 2010

I liked this book but I didn't love it.

I enjoyed reading about Henry VII but, while I was really looking forward to reading about Elizabeth of York, I feel like I still know nothing about who she was. I realize that there's not a whole bunch of information available about her, but come on... it's supposed to be a book about the love story between her and Henry and she's barely in it. Oh, and there's no love story. Was Elizabeth of York
I decided to give Plaidy another try after giving up on her "Plantagenet Prelude" swearing that I would never purchase one of her books again. Looking for something on Elizabeth of York and finding such novels in short supply, I attempted Plaidy again with the hope that this more recent novel would see improvements in her writing. It is improved in that I finished it. This at times required some perseverance on my part. Much to my dismay, Elizabeth is not even a major character in the book.

Sep 07, 2010 Paula rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Blech! I soo wanted to like this book, but it was just so poorly written and such a stretch from the truth that I couldn't get into it. I finished it because I have a good streak going of actually reading the group read selections from the Tudor group, but otherwise probably would have been tempted to throw this into the fire this past Labor Day weekend. Who am I kidding, I was tempted, but it goes against every fiber of my being to burn a book!

The plot was weak - there basically wasn't one, act
Feb 13, 2009 Val rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tudors
I was really looking forward to reading this book. Even though it was another fictionalized account of Henry VII & Elizabeth of York, I was eager to read about the events from a different view. As much as I hate to say it, this book was almost painful to get through at times.

In contrast with The King’s Daughter, a book that grabbed me and pulled me in, To Hold the Crown just seemed to gloss over the characters & events of the book. Elizabeth of York hardly played a part in this book. Re
Ana T.
Apr 16, 2008 Ana T. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After having read Victoria Holt in my teens and having heard rave reviews of Jean Plaidy's historical fiction novel I finally tried one - Uneasy Lies the Head is the story of Henry VII. The man who defeated Richard III at Bosworth, united the Lancaster and York Houses and spent his ruling years getting rid of potential rivals to the throne.

In the aftermath of the bloody Wars of the Roses, Henry Tudor has seized the English crown, finally uniting the warring Houses of York and Lancaster through h
King Henry VII ended The War of the Roses by uniting his House of Lancaster with the House of York by marrying Elizabeth of York. Even with the birth of two sons, Henry still feels paranoid about losing his throne. He seeks an alliance with the rulers of Spain, while fighting off rebels who support other claimants to the throne. He feels more secure when his son Arthur marries Katherine of Aragon, the young Spanish Princess but disaster is waiting just around the corner.

This book was a good back
The book was a decent read, a good tale of the story of Henry VII and his court. The only issues I take is the portrayal is that of his relationship with Elizabeth of York, which historically they loved one another and Elizabeth did hold some sway, and in reality she worked with Margaret Beaufort on various projects. Also the implications that Henry VII killed the Princes in. The Tower is quite a street. The blame for that can be laid at Richard III's feet, for it was during his rule that the Pr ...more
Ashley Cooprider
Oct 12, 2016 Ashley Cooprider rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love historical fiction and have read many books from around this genre. This book was unique - it talked about many things re: the reign of Henry VII, and from a different angle than usual. Philipa Gregory is so obviously NOT a fan of the Tudors in her writing, and that can be a little off-putting in my judgment. Other authors either follow suit, or are so obviously written in favor of Elizabeth I, or Edward IV, or Richard III, etc. So to read a book that covers many points of view without be ...more
Annette O'grady
Nov 22, 2016 Annette O'grady rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Have found this book. Very interesting to read loved it
Michele Lacroix
DNF got bored
Regina Beard

To Hold the Crown by Jean Plaidy delves into the beginnings of the Tudor dynasty in England. The historical events are well researched and her assumptions about what happened to the two Princes in the Tower are logical; however, the characterization and dialogue are flat and confusing. For example, the Tudor children often have thoughts and conversations much too adult for the ages of three- and five-year-old children. The retelling of historical events can be difficult, but the author should ma

I’ve been on a Tudor kick recently. It started with Elizabeth Fremantle’s Queen's Gambit, led to fond memories of Scholastic’s Royal Diaries series which I loved as a kid, was stoked into a fervour when I went to watch the RSC’s “Wolf Hall” and “Bring Up the Bodies” stage adaptations (both on the same day!—honestly, those productions are theatre greatness and I’m going to see them again), and then I ravenously set about sating my appetite for all good Tudor fiction in any way I could. Because I’ ...more
Ashley W
Boy, was this book boring! I put this book down several times because I simply could not read straight through without falling asleep. To Hold The Crown chronicles the reign of Henry VII and his Queen Elizabeth of York, and it was VERY dry. Also, the blurb on the back of the book lied to me, because there was absolutely zero love story anywhere in this book, let alone between Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. Elizabeth of York only appeared when she was pregnant or when she was being told what do ...more
June Louise
You know when you have spent hours reading a book and have learned a lot of things from it, that it has been time well spent. I feel just like that on finishing "Uneasy Lies The Head".

The uneasy head of the title belongs to King Henry VII - the Lancastrian king who married the Yorkist Elizabeth - daughter of Elizabeth Woodville. Having come across this motley bunch in Philippa Gregory's The White Queen (and also Henry's mother, Margaret Beaufort in the Red Queen), I had a little knowledge of the

First things first, the packaging and subtitle of To Hold the Crown are not at all accurate to the actual text. If you were thinking of reading this is in the hope that it focuses on the romance between Henry VII and Elizabeth of York you’ll be disappointed. A more accurate description would be the story of Henry VII and a young Henry VIII, because despite Elizabeth being the focus of the first chapter she quickly disappears from the narrative, becoming little more than Henry’s meek wife bent to

Lyn (Readinghearts)
Jul 19, 2010 Lyn (Readinghearts) rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Tudor or Royalty history buffs
Recommended to Lyn (Readinghearts) by: THL group read
I finally finished To Hold the Crown: The Story of King Henry VII and Elizabeth of York by Jean Plaidy. The month of July has been so busy for me, I have been having a hard time getting time to read.

If you follow my reviews, you know I usually start with a story. Well the story about this book is that it was picked as a group read for the Tudor History Lovers group here on Goodreads. In this group we pick a Tudor figure every two months to read a book about. For June and July that person was El
Mar 27, 2010 Sensitivemuse rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to say, I enjoyed reading this book. At first, it was a little hard for me to get into, as the plot did not grasp at my attention, and there is a slight confusion to all the names being thrown out to you as a reader. Hence why there are detailed family trees in the beginning for your reference. After getting the characters straightened out the plot gets more intriguing and the Tudor court suddenly comes to life. Albeit, not as dashing and charming as you might find in Henry the Eighth's c ...more
Jul 12, 2010 Amber rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Only if you're a really dedicated Tudor fan - to compare it to other books.
Shelves: group-reads
I have TONS of Jean Plaidy books on my TBR and this is the first novel by her that I have ever read. I am a member of the Tudor History Lovers group on Goodreads and this book was voted in as the group read for July/August (my first group read since joining the group). The actual group read experience is an enjoyable one: we can all read at our own pace and then discuss different parts of the book on the forum and what we thought of it. Now, the actual book itself...I will just leave you with tw ...more
Sang Ayu Putu
This book frustrates me! The prose is derivative (holy hell and how…?), relies too much on repeated exposition where characters hammered motives and intentions to other characters for the ‘reader’s sake’ as if they are in the midst of intense battle in fighting the honorable title ‘Sir Obvious of Expositionville’. There are no discernable backbone of a story, inconsistent characterizations (how in the name of logic a 3 years old Henry VIII could spar with 5- I think- years old his sister about t ...more
Lou Robinson
Sep 17, 2016 Lou Robinson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I studied Tudor history for A never occurred to me to read any historical fiction set in that era at the time. But you know what, I really think it might have made it more interesting. I can't remember an awful lot about Henry VII, but enjoyed this recap. He was a bit of a miser, certainly compared to his son to come. Not a literary masterpiece, but certainly an easy read.
Gail Amendt
Mar 01, 2014 Gail Amendt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is hard for me to rate this book, as it definitely has its flaws, but I came to it expecting these and thus could quite easily overlook them. For I do not come to Jean Plaidy's books for their literary value, but for the concise, well researched, and easy to read history lesson that they give. And this book did give me what I was looking understanding of what came before the well known story of Henry VIII, that being the story of his parents. As others have pointed out, it is rather ...more
Kilian Metcalf
If there is a character in English history who doesn't show up in a Jean Plaidy/Victoria Holt novel, that person isn't worth knowing about. I remember reading her novels mumblety-mum years ago in high school, and I decided to revisit her work in light of the current wave of interest in the Wars of the Roses and the Tudor court. Using various pen names, Eleanor Hibbert wrote numerous workmanlike books of historical fiction.
Rereading them after all these years is a pleasant, if undemanding, task.
I generally like Plaidy's novels but this one was a bit of a disappointment being that we saw very little of Elizabeth of York's character. I believe this to be so because history tells us that Elizabeth was amiable and docile, one of the main reasons she was chosen by the Countess of Richmond to be her son's Queen. Many throughout history question Elizabeth's loyalties as the mystery of what happened to her brothers (the Princes in the Tower)is allegedly on the hands of her husband, Henry VII, ...more
Donna Mcaleavy Ⓥ
Took a while to get into this book and think a lot of bad reviews I read after starting probably put me off, however after a few chapters I got into it, I liked the fact the book explored many different character not only Henry the 7th but the pretenders to the throne perkin warbeck and lambert simnel as well as Katherine of Aragon, henry the 8th, James tyrell and others it wasn't just a viewpoint of one person. I do however, have absolutely no idea why this book is put in the queens of England ...more
I am a total sucker for well-written historical fiction, with an emphasis on the fiction element, and this is pretty darn good historical fiction. Chronicling Henry VII’s shaky tenure on the throne, the book moves through various character’s points of view including Henry, his Queen, their children and even Katherine of Aragon (poor dear) as she ends up marooned in England sans husband upon the death of Arthur.

I am sure major liberties were taken as we don’t know just what was said at some of t
Jul 29, 2014 Linda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was disappointed in this book. It was very readable but was laden with errors. The theme reminded me of Henry II who maniacally searched for a young wife to give him more heirs while he already had three. Henry VII had an heir but desperately wanted many spares. With Henry VIII, the nut did not fall far from the tree. Personally, I think he had a chromosone problem.
The book had many themes, but I focused on the Tower Princes and Henry VII's lust for money, heirs and a good name among the Euro
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 12, 2015 12:09PM  
  • The Tudor Rose
  • Plain Jane
  • The King's Daughter. A Novel of the First Tudor Queen (Rose of York)
  • The Secret Bride (In The Court of Henry VIII, #1)
  • The Pleasure Palace (Secrets of the Tudor Court, #1)
  • Three Maids for a Crown
  • Young Bess (Elizabeth Trilogy, #1)
  • Mademoiselle Boleyn
  • The Concubine
  • The Queen's Governess
  • The Queen's Lady (Thornleigh, #1)
  • The Virgin's Daughters: In the Court of Elizabeth I
  • Her Highness, the Traitor
  • Her Mother's Daughter: A Novel of Queen Mary Tudor
  • The Queen's Pawn
  • The King's Grace
Eleanor Alice Burford, Mrs. George Percival Hibbert was a British author of about 200 historical novels, most of them under the pen name Jean Plaidy which had sold 14 million copies by the time of her death. She chose to use various names because of the differences in subject matter between her books; the best-known, apart from Plaidy, are Victoria Holt (56 million) and Philippa Carr (3 million). ...more
More about Jean Plaidy...

Other Books in the Series

Tudor Saga (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Katharine, the Virgin Widow (Tudor Saga, #2)
  • The Shadow of the Pomegranate (Tudor Saga, #3)
  • The King's Secret Matter (Tudor Saga, #4)
  • Murder Most Royal (Tudor Saga, #5)
  • The King's Confidante (Tudor Saga, #6)
  • The Sixth Wife (Tudor Saga, #7)
  • The Thistle and the Rose (Tudor Saga, #8)
  • Mary, Queen of France (Tudor Saga, #9)
  • The Spanish Bridegroom (Tudor Saga, #10)
  • Gay Lord Robert (Tudor Saga, #11)

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“People always grumbled. If things went well they wanted them to go better. Give them comfort and they wanted luxuries.” 6 likes
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