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Margaret Beaufort: Mother of the Tudor Dynasty
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Margaret Beaufort: Mother of the Tudor Dynasty

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  450 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
Divorced at ten, a mother at thirteen & three times a widow. The extraordinary true story of the 'Red Queen', Lady Margaret Beaufort, matriarch of the Tudors. Born in the midst of the Wars of the Roses, Margaret Beaufort became the greatest heiress of her time. She survived a turbulent life, marrying four times and enduring imprisonment before passing her claim to the ...more
Hardcover, 255 pages
Published September 15th 2010 by Amberley Publishing (first published September 1st 2010)
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Jul 06, 2010 rated it really liked it

I really enjoyed this book and it was interesting to read about the real Margaret. As a secret long time fan of hers, I now feel justified in believing there was so much more to this woman than is usually presented by (popular) historical fiction authors.

While this biography could probably be classed as 'history lite' it was accessible, readable and informative. While there are probably more thorough biographies out there, this is a great place start.
Caidyn (BW Book Reviews; he/him/his)
And, now I'm back in my comfort zone. The Tudors, and Margaret Beaufort is one of the most important members of that family, even though she was only one by marriage for a short space of her life. She was absolutely interesting and amazing, the woman who certainly pioneered for her son throughout their whole lives. It never fails to amaze me that she had Henry VII at 13, then from that time and on, she was basically a power mom who seems way older than that.

The only downside to this is that ther
Dec 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Margaret Beaufort: Mother of the Tudor Dynasty reminds me a great deal of the non-fiction history I just finished; Jane Boleyn: The Infamous Lady Rochford. Both had as their subject an historical figure about whom only scraps of evidence survive to present day, and as a result have rather sparse material to work with. As a direct consequence, specific biographic detail on their chosen individuals is somewhat scarce and meagre fare. However, whilst Julia Fox padded out her work with vivid descrip ...more
Jul 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
Find the enhanced version of this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

The thing I appreciate most about this book is that Norton doesn't try to recreate Margaret’s personality. She hints here and there but it is always based on Margaret’s own words or actions. For example, Norton covers the intense feelings Margaret had regarding the early marriage of her granddaughter but she doesn’t make assumptions about Margaret's emotions during her own early marriage to a man near
Jun 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
I listened to the audio version of this book. Despite the somewhat monotonous tone of the narrator, which might be offputting for some, it is worth reading through. Not least because it serves to challenge a lot of popular misconceptions that have grown up around Lady Margaret recently- propogated by works of popular fiction like 'The White Queen' TV series and the novels it was based on.

Beaufort does not equal evil, or mother of Henry Tudor, super evil. Margeret was actually known as being a p
Dec 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
Already have a book on Margaret Beaufort (and have her covered via books on other Tudors) and find her a fascinating biography. Norton did a good job of laying out the bare bones of Margaret’s life—using many primary sources and quoting from them extensively. Wouldn’t say there was a great deal of analysis but there really isn’t the need. Margaret managed to survive and formulate much of her life in an era when women had little power let alone rights. She did become a huge influence (not in any ...more
Feb 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this biography of Margaret Beaufort very much. She was such an interesting woman with a passion for her family and a love of learning. It was good to read about her actual life rather than the usual panto bad guy you get it many works of fiction. It turns out that Margaret was an actual woman, a woman with beliefs and dreams, a pious, intelligent and brave woman. Not deserving of that Mag-The-Hag monika that she seems to unfairly be given in recent times.
It was okay, a bit on the light side but for anyone with only the basic knowledge this would be a great bio to get to know Margaret Beaufort better.
Jan 04, 2011 rated it really liked it

While this could have been simply yet another re-telling of the War of the Roses, Norton really digs in deep to pull out every primary source she can get her hands on to try and shone a light on Margaret Beaufort, quite rightly given the title “Mother of the Tudor Dynasty.”

While I LOVED all the primary sources she quoted I think it wouldn’t have hurt her historiography street cred to update the language to modern spelling – ye ole spelling maketh my eyes bleed’d.

Also, she keeps jumping forward i
Aug 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Fairly quick read about a woman intent on shaping her son's destiny. Margaret was married off much too young, "spoiled" quickly by her husband, and took matters into her own hands at fifteen when arranging a more advantageous match. The book painstakingly details all there is to know about her, which admittedly is not much -- her character is only fleetingly outlined by her contemporaries (primarily by the adoring Bishop Fisher), so most of what we are left with are the plain facts of her risks, ...more
A fascinating and detailed study of the life of Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII, grandmother of Henry VIII.
Sara G
Jul 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Margaret Beaufort is one of those enigmatic figures from late medieval history. Obviously she was an important woman of her time, but we know little about her due to the lack of primary (and even secondary!) sources. This author does a great job of finding as much as she can about Margaret, and the conclusions she comes to absolutely make sense. For example, the idea that she cared deeply for her second husband (Stafford), due to the fact that they were known to celebrate their anniversary.

May 14, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bios
You can't blame the lack of sources on biographers, but books on poorly documented figures get frustrating to read if their authors don't al least try to fill the gaps with something other than "may or may not". In Margaret Beaufort's case the context is so wide and fascinating any writer is spoiled for choices, so I can't help but think this book could have been far richer and incredibly more engrossing. Still, I quite enjoyed its first part.
Tony Riches
Apr 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Very readable and informative, Elizabeth Norton’s book is packed with fascinating snippets of information about Margaret Beaufort and the times she lived in. I particularly liked the well-chosen excerpts from letters and writers of the time. Often portrayed as an austere, domineering figure, it was refreshing to see examples of Margaret Beaufort’s sense of humour and evidence that she did have a sensitive side.

It can’t have been easy for her to be betrothed at the age of six then married to Edmu
Fliss Bridgwater
Apr 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was so engrossed in this book that I couldn't put it down to walk down the stairs - as a result I missed 2 steps, and injured my ankle quite badly. I finished reading the book in bed - which is testament to how engrossing it is!

I find the women of the late Plantagenet / Tudor period fascinating, and Margaret Beaufort is a prime example of a woman surviving and even excelling, in what was very much a man's world. This book sets out the facts of her life clearly but not coldly.
Dec 20, 2015 rated it liked it
An interesting and well researched book about a somewhat lesser known figure of the early Tudor age. The author doesn't delve deeply into Margaret's head, but more or less presents the facts as they are known, with lots of cites from contemporary writings. There are a lot of excerpts of letters of the time, and the appendices have all of Margaret's surviving letters in full.
Sep 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Thought this was a great book about Margaret Beaufort. Not too long and exactly what I was looking for.
Highly recommended.
May 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Very informative about a woman we only know much about later in life. I had no idea about some of the things that were in thia book.
Jane Massy
Mar 26, 2012 rated it liked it
Extraordinary woman with a fascinating life. Worth reading , easy if a little plodding
May 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
I have read a number of books on Margaret Beaufort and this is definitely the best. Informative and interesting.
Cate Gow
Dec 13, 2011 rated it liked it
It is interesting
Susan Abernethy
Oct 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Link to my review of this book: http://flhwnotesandreviews.wordpress....
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Feb 11, 2015 09:04AM  
  • Elizabeth Wydeville: The Slandered Queen
  • Katherine Swynford
  • Edward VI: The Lost King of England
  • Arbella: England's Lost Queen
  • The Last White Rose: Dynasty, Rebellion and Treason. The Secret Wars against the Tudors
  • Katherine the Queen: The Remarkable Life of Katherine Parr
  • Queens Consort: England's Medieval Queens
  • Lady Jane Grey: A Tudor Mystery
  • The Mistresses of Henry VIII
  • Elizabeth's Women: Friends, Rivals, and Foes Who Shaped the Virgin Queen
  • Queen Emma: A History of Power, Love, and Greed in 11th-Century England
  • Tudor Women: Queens & Commoners
  • A Daughter's Love: Thomas More and His Dearest Meg
  • Traitors of the Tower
  • Elizabeth of York: The Forgotten Tudor Queen
  • Margaret of York: The Diabolical Duchess
  • The Lady Penelope: The Lost Tale of Love and Politics in the Court of Elizabeth I
  • Tudor Queens of England
Elizabeth Norton is a British historian specialising in the queens of England and the Tudor period. She obtained an Master of Arts in Archaeology and Anthropology from the University of Cambridge in 2003 and a masters degree in European Archaeology from the University of Oxford in 2004.

Elizabeth Norton is the author of five non-fiction works: She Wolves, The Notorious Queens of England (The Histor
More about Elizabeth Norton

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