Book Review: Elizabeth of York: The Forgotten Tudor Queen by Amy License

Elizabeth of York book cover

Because of the TV show “The Tudors” which aired recently, there had been an increased interest in this fascinating dynasty of English kings. Consequently, there has been an upsurge in the number of books written on the dynasty itself, as well as the many historical figures from the era. While it has been common knowledge among historians that there is very little detailed information on the life of Elizabeth of York, mother of King Henry VIII, this hasn’t stopped a couple of authors from writing biographies of her.

Alison Weir recently released her biography “Elizabeth of York: A Tudor Queen and Her World” and Amy License also penned a work on her life. License is prolific and popular writer of books, articles and blog posts about women’s and children’s issues in Tudor and medieval England. She also has appeared on television and radio in England talking about these topics.

Elizabeth of York: The Forgotten Tudor Queen unfortunately has very little information about Elizabeth herself. However, License’s style is unique in that she views her subjects from a family and feminist perspective. There is a lot of information and detail about how women lived during this era. There is some good information on Elizabeth’s mother Elizabeth Wydeville. I learned Elizabeth of York enjoyed a very close knit family, seeing her parents often and having very loving relationships with her siblings. License also has good explanations for the politics of the War of the Roses and how Elizabeth’s husband Henry Tudor dealt with the myriad of pretenders to his throne.

So while there is not as much detailed information about Elizabeth in License’s book as there is in Weir’s, it is still a worthwhile read because of License’s distinctive feminist point of view and there are also some great pictures in the book. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in Tudor women.

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