Hi, everyone!! 🙂
It’s Tuesday so that means it time for Top Ten Tuesday, one of my favorite memes since I live by making lists, lists, and more lists!! And today is a special day…the ladies over at The Broke and Bookish blog who host the Top Ten Tuesday meme return with their official themes after being on a summer hiatus! Welcome back, ladies!!
First, though, before I make today’s list, I want to make an announcement. As most of you know, I’ve been on vacation the past week and a half, and I’d planned to take a hiatus from my blog lasting through mid-September until I had things completely organized after returning to work and school in two days (eek!), but I just couldn’t stay away from my blog for that long!! I can’t tell you how much I have missed everyone and all the interactions that go on between the blogs while I was on my vacation the past 10 days! 🙂
So I’ve decided starting today I’m going to TRY very, very hard to post something, anything (a book review, a Top Ten Tuesday post, a Throwback Thursday post, an Award or Tag, a Discussion post, etc) one day a week unless I just can’t post anything at all because of time restrictions, school commitments, or both so I can keep in touch with everyone and keep blogging away since I love my blog! And what better day to return to my blog than when Top Ten Tuesday officially returns! Perfect timing, right?? I’m excited!
Alright then! This week’s official theme is a bit of a freebie where we get to pick our personal book recommendations directed toward specific book lovers. So this week I’m picking my Top Ten Book Recommendations for Lovers of Tudor/Elizabethan Historical Fiction since that is my absolute favorite time period in history. If I didn’t teach English, I would most definitely teach British History (that’s why I minored in history with a focus on British history) because I’m more than a bit obsessive about it!
I’m writing on borrowed time here since I’m (supposed to be) finishing up my packing to head home from my vacation a little later today, so I’m just going to give the book recommendation and book synopsis from Goodreads. These are my personal favorites, and I hope if you like Tudor or Elizabethan historical fiction or historical fiction in general and haven’t read these that you will give them a try and if you are new to the historical fiction genre, you will find something you might like to read! 🙂 These are in no particular order by the way!
Number Ten: Dissolution (Matthew Shardlake #1) by C.J. Sansom
*These are a series of 6 books (as of now) that is a wonderful mystery series set in the court of King Henry VIII with lots of intrigue, murder, and mayhem.*
It is 1537, a time of revolution that sees the greatest changes in England since 1066. Henry VIII has proclaimed himself Supreme Head of the Church. The country is waking up to savage new laws, rigged trials and the greatest network of informers ever seen.
And under the orders of Thomas Cromwell, a team of commissioners is sent throughout the country to investigate the monasteries. There can only be one outcome: dissolution.
But on the Sussex coast, at the monastery of Scarnsea, events have spiralled out of control. Cromwell’s Commissioner, Robin Singleton, has been found dead, his head severed from his body. His horrific murder is accompanied by equally sinister acts of sacrilege.
Matthew Shardlake, lawyer and long-time supporter of Reform, has been sent by Cromwell to uncover the truth behind the dark happenings at Scarnsea. But investigation soon forces Shardlake to question everything that he hears, and everything that he intrinsically believes . . .
Number Nine: The Last Boleyn by Karen Harper
She Survived Her Own Innocence and the Treachery of Europe’s Royal Courts
Greed, lust for power, sex, lies, secret marriages, religious posturing, adultery, beheadings, international intrigue, jealousy, treachery, love, loyalty, and betrayal. The Last Boleyn tells the story of the rise and fall of the Boleyns, one of England’s most powerful families, through the eyes of the eldest daughter, Mary.
Although her sister, Anne, the queen; her brother, George, executed alongside Anne; and her father, Thomas, are most remembered by history, Mary was the Boleyn who set into motion the chain of events that brought about the family’s meteoric rise to power, as well as the one who managed to escape their equally remarkable fall. Sent away to France at an extraordinarily young age, Mary is quickly plunged into the dangerous world of court politics, where everything is beautiful but deceptive, and everyone she meets is watching and quietly manipulating the events and people around them. As she grows into a woman, Mary must navigate both the dangerous waters ruled by two kings and the powerful will of her own family in order to find a place for herself and the love she so deeply desires.
Number Eight: Brief Gaudy Hour: A Novel of Anne Boleyn by Margaret Campbell Barnes
*First published in the 1949, this one is a bit dated, but it is a true classic and remains an excellent portrayal of Anne Boleyn.*
The enigmatic Anne Boleyn comes to life in this charming, brilliant portrayal by acclaimed British novelist Margaret Campbell Barnes.
The infamous love of King Henry VIII and the mother of Queen Elizabeth I, Anne Boleyn undertook a rocky journey from innocent courtier to powerful Queen of England. A meticulous researcher, Margaret Campbell Barnes immerses readers in this intrigue and in the lush, glittery world of the Tudor Court. The beauty and charms of Anne Boleyn bewitched the most powerful man in the world, King Henry VIII, but her resourcefulness and cleverness were not enough to stop the malice of her enemies. Her swift rise to power quickly became her own undoing.
The author brings to light Boleyn’s humanity and courage, giving an intimate look at a young woman struggling to find her own way in a world dominated by men and adversaries.
Number Seven: The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn by Robin Maxwell
In this “energetic” (Kirkus Reviews) re-creation of Anne Boleyn’s tragic life — and death — Robin Maxwell offers a pitch-perfect version of a bawdy and exuberant time filled with lust, betrayal, love, and murder.
When the young Queen Elizabeth I is entrusted with Anne Boleyn’s secret diary, she discovers a great deal about the much-maligned mother she never knew. And on learning the truth about her lascivious and despotic father, Henry VIII, she vows never to relinquish control to any man. But this avowal doesn’t prevent Elizabeth from pursuing a torrid love affair with her horsemaster, Robin Dudley — described with near-shocking candor — as too are Anne’s graphic trysts with a very persistent and lustful Henry. Blending a historian’s attention to accuracy with a novelist’s artful rendering, Maxwell weaves compelling descriptions of court life and devastating portraits of actual people into her naughty, page-turning tale. The result is a masterpiece of historical fiction — so prophetic of our time that one would think it was ripped from today’s headlines.
Number Six: The Lady Elizabeth by Alison Weir
Following the tremendous success of her first novel, Innocent Traitor, which recounted the riveting tale of the doomed Lady Jane Grey, acclaimed historian and New York Times bestselling author Alison Weir turns her masterly storytelling skills to the early life of young Elizabeth Tudor, who would grow up to become England’s most intriguing and powerful queen. Even at age two, Elizabeth is keenly aware that people in the court of her father, King Henry VIII, have stopped referring to her as “Lady Princess” and now call her “the Lady Elizabeth.” Before she is three, she learns of the tragic fate that has befallen her mother, the enigmatic and seductive Anne Boleyn, and that she herself has been declared illegitimate, an injustice that will haunt her.
Number Five: Wolf Hall (Thomas Cromwell, #1) by Hilary Mantel
England in the 1520s is a heartbeat from disaster. If the king dies without a male heir, the country could be destroyed by civil war. Henry VIII wants to annul his marriage of twenty years and marry Anne Boleyn. The pope and most of Europe opposes him. Into this impasse steps Thomas Cromwell: a wholly original man, a charmer and a bully, both idealist and opportunist, astute in reading people, and implacable in his ambition. But Henry is volatile: one day tender, one day murderous. Cromwell helps him break the opposition, but what will be the price of his triumph?
Number Four: The Last Wife of Henry VIII by Carolly Erickson
Courageous, attractive, romantic, intelligent, Catherine Parr became the sixth wife of Henry VIII. Her story, as Carolly Erickson re-creates it, is page-turning drama: from the splendors of the Field of the Cloth of Gold to the gory last years of the outsize King Henry, when heads rolled and England trembled, Catherine bestrode her destiny and survived to marry her true love.
Catherine Parr attracted the king’s lust and, though much in love with the handsome Thomas Seymour, was thrown into the intrigue-filled snake pit of the royal court. While victims of the king’s wrath suffered torture and execution, Catherine persevered—until, at last, she came within the orbit of the royal fury. King Henry toyed with her, first ordering her arrested, then granting her clemency. She managed to evade execution, but she knew that the king had his wandering eye fixed on wife number seven.
She was spared by his death and married the attractive but dangerously unbalanced Seymour. Her triumph was shadowed by rivalry with the young Princess Elizabeth, whose lands and influence the lecherous Seymour coveted. Catherine won the contest, but at great cost.
In The Last Wife of Henry VIII, critically acclaimed author Carolly Erickson brings this dramatic story of survival and redemption to life.
Number Three: The Boleyn Inheritance (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels #10)
by Philippa Gregory
Three Women Who Share One Fate: The Boleyn Inheritance
Anne of Cleves
She runs from her tiny country, her hateful mother, and her abusive brother to a throne whose last three occupants are dead. King Henry VIII, her new husband, instantly dislikes her. Without friends, family, or even an understanding of the language being spoken around her, she must literally save her neck in a court ruled by a deadly game of politics and the terror of an unpredictable and vengeful king. Her Boleyn Inheritance: accusations and false witnesses.
She catches the king’s eye within moments of arriving at court, setting in motion the dreadful machine of politics, intrigue, and treason that she does not understand. She only knows that she is beautiful, that men desire her, that she is young and in love — but not with the diseased old man who made her queen, beds her night after night, and killed her cousin Anne. Her Boleyn Inheritance: the threat of the axe.
She is the Boleyn girl whose testimony sent her husband and sister-in-law to their deaths. She is the trusted friend of two threatened queens, the perfectly loyal spy for her uncle, the Duke of Norfolk, and a canny survivor in the murderous court of a most dangerous king. Throughout Europe, her name is a byword for malice, jealousy, and twisted lust. Her Boleyn Inheritance: a fortune and a title, in exchange for her soul.
The Boleyn Inheritance is a novel drawn tight as a lute string about a court ruled by the gallows and three women whose positions brought them wealth, admiration, and power as well as deceit, betrayal, and terror. Once again, Philippa Gregory has brought a vanished world to life – the whisper of a silk skirt on a stone stair, the yellow glow of candlelight illuminating a hastily written note, the murmurs of the crowd gathering on Tower Green below the newly built scaffold. In The Boleyn Inheritance Gregory is at her intelligent and page-turning best.
Number Two: My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows
*Not historically accurate at all but I love, love, love this book!! It is so much fun-a fantasy, historical fiction!*
The comical, fantastical, romantical, (not) entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey. In My Lady Jane, coauthors Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows have created a one-of-a-kind fantasy in the tradition of The Princess Bride, featuring a reluctant king, an even more reluctant queen, a noble steed, and only a passing resemblance to actual history—because sometimes history needs a little help.
At sixteen, Lady Jane Grey is about to be married off to a stranger and caught up in a conspiracy to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But those trifling problems aren’t for Jane to worry about. Jane is about to become the Queen of England.
Number One: Legacy by Susan Kay
The much-praised Legacy offers an exquisite psychological portrait of the Queen who defined an era, beloved and touted by readers for its stunning storytelling and intriguing take on the monarch’s life. From the spectacular era that bears her name comes the mesmerizing story of Elizabeth I: her tragic childhood; her ruthless confrontations with Mary, Queen of Scots; and her brilliant reign as Europe’s most celebrated queen. And into this beautiful tapestry, Susan Kay weaves the vibrant and compelling image of Elizabeth the woman. Proud, passionate, captivating in her intensity, she inspired men to love her from the depths of their soulsand to curse the pain of that devotion. Teasing out an intriguing answer to the central mystery of the Virgin Queen-satisfying to readers new to Elizabeth’s life as well as die-hard fans of the Tudors-here is a premier exploration of the woman who changed the course of history, and three men whose destinies belonged to her alone.