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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—ending the War of the Roses once and for all and launching the infamous Tudor dynasty.

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 children and twenty happy years together.
Sweeping and dramatic, To Hold the Crown brings readers inside the genesis of the great Tudor empire: through Henry and Elizabeth’s troubled ascensions to the throne, their marriage and rule, the heartbreak caused by the death of their son Arthur, and, ultimately, to the crowning of their younger son, King Henry VIII.


“Plaidy excels at blending history with romance and drama.”
New York Times


From the Trade Paperback edition.
Published: Crown Publishing Group an imprint of Random House Publishing Group on Oct 7, 2008
ISBN: 9780307450173
List price: $11.99
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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 would they try to label it as one?? 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 throne of England Henry marries Elizabeth of York, eldest daughter of Edward IV, in an effort to strengthen his claim. Despite keeping peace in the country and restoring the empty coffers, Henry is always fearful of conspiracies to challenge his reign with pretenders to the throne claiming to be one of the lost princes in the tower. So much of this book is known history, we've all read enough of the Tudors I don't need to rehash it all again. The book takes the reader from the beginning of Henry's reign until the end and at his death and the assumption to the throne of his son Henry VIII. Although I did enjoy this book very much, it was a bit dry at times, especially at the beginning, and those not familiar with the Wars of The Roses might have a difficult time picking up the story. Henry was nicely portrayed as a parsimonious penny pincher always worried about threats to his crown, the younger Henry a bit too full of himself and his "knightly" responsibilities, Katharine of Aragon suitably pious and obedient - my only complaint was the how Elizabeth of York was portrayed. A virtually non-existent character, the few times she was in the storyline she was quite vapid and very forgettable. She was pretty much there for the procreation of children. All in all a pleasant read, not the best but not the worst either.read more
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“To Hold the Crown” is not the story of Henry VII himself so much as the story of his reign. The third person narrative is omniscient in turn with specific characters: Henry VII; Elizabeth Woodville; Elizabeth of York; the future Henry VIII; Katherine of Aragon; even Katherine’s brother-in-law Philip I of Castile, also known as Philip the Handsome.Central to the story is Henry’s worry about his throne when members of the House of York - either real or imagined - threatened his claim to the crown, his worry about his heirs - weak Arthur and flashy Henry, and his attempt to be recognized by other heads of state as a legitimate ruler.Although I didn’t particularly like Plaidy’s description of Elizabeth of York as a woman who was quite content to be a milquetoast, the book as a whole was very engaging, perhaps even one of Plaidy’s better works. Plus, I quite enjoyed reading about a man who is usually skipped over in historical fiction, overshadowed by his infamous son and his controversial predecessor.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I have set myself the challenge of reading some of my Tudor novels in order. I normally read from Henry VIII onwards but decided to start with this novel which is about Henry VII when he became king. I have recently read The White Queen by Philippa Gregory which was about Elizabeth Woodville so this book although it is by a different author continues the story.This book is full of historical facts ant touches a lot on the princes in the tower. I did feel however that the story was a little flat and at times I felt I was reading a factual book, rather than a novel. The book does however stick to the facts and is not like some historical novels where authors claim to have invented certain events for fictional purposes.Jean Plaidy is a brilliant author but due to the fact that this novel was slightly slow going and as I said a little flat I have only given it 4 stars. Would I recommend this book, yes I would.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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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 would they try to label it as one?? 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 throne of England Henry marries Elizabeth of York, eldest daughter of Edward IV, in an effort to strengthen his claim. Despite keeping peace in the country and restoring the empty coffers, Henry is always fearful of conspiracies to challenge his reign with pretenders to the throne claiming to be one of the lost princes in the tower. So much of this book is known history, we've all read enough of the Tudors I don't need to rehash it all again. The book takes the reader from the beginning of Henry's reign until the end and at his death and the assumption to the throne of his son Henry VIII. Although I did enjoy this book very much, it was a bit dry at times, especially at the beginning, and those not familiar with the Wars of The Roses might have a difficult time picking up the story. Henry was nicely portrayed as a parsimonious penny pincher always worried about threats to his crown, the younger Henry a bit too full of himself and his "knightly" responsibilities, Katharine of Aragon suitably pious and obedient - my only complaint was the how Elizabeth of York was portrayed. A virtually non-existent character, the few times she was in the storyline she was quite vapid and very forgettable. She was pretty much there for the procreation of children. All in all a pleasant read, not the best but not the worst either.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
“To Hold the Crown” is not the story of Henry VII himself so much as the story of his reign. The third person narrative is omniscient in turn with specific characters: Henry VII; Elizabeth Woodville; Elizabeth of York; the future Henry VIII; Katherine of Aragon; even Katherine’s brother-in-law Philip I of Castile, also known as Philip the Handsome.Central to the story is Henry’s worry about his throne when members of the House of York - either real or imagined - threatened his claim to the crown, his worry about his heirs - weak Arthur and flashy Henry, and his attempt to be recognized by other heads of state as a legitimate ruler.Although I didn’t particularly like Plaidy’s description of Elizabeth of York as a woman who was quite content to be a milquetoast, the book as a whole was very engaging, perhaps even one of Plaidy’s better works. Plus, I quite enjoyed reading about a man who is usually skipped over in historical fiction, overshadowed by his infamous son and his controversial predecessor.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I have set myself the challenge of reading some of my Tudor novels in order. I normally read from Henry VIII onwards but decided to start with this novel which is about Henry VII when he became king. I have recently read The White Queen by Philippa Gregory which was about Elizabeth Woodville so this book although it is by a different author continues the story.This book is full of historical facts ant touches a lot on the princes in the tower. I did feel however that the story was a little flat and at times I felt I was reading a factual book, rather than a novel. The book does however stick to the facts and is not like some historical novels where authors claim to have invented certain events for fictional purposes.Jean Plaidy is a brilliant author but due to the fact that this novel was slightly slow going and as I said a little flat I have only given it 4 stars. Would I recommend this book, yes I would.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Highly recommend this outstanding read. Transports you right to the center of everything and keeps you there until the very end. You will laugh with the characters, cry with the characters, and regret the story is ending.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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 court, but that's because his father was a penny pincher. The glamour isn't there yet, but the intrigue definitely is, and so is the constant plotting to get rid of the Tudors from the English throne. I really liked the detail and effort Plaidy had put into this novel to made it as historically accurate as possible without really compromising anything. She breathed life into each of the characters so there's flesh and feeling to them and not just two dimensional things that don't develop at all, or are just there to take up a page or two. Her writing style is a little different, it's certainly more descriptive and sets the right moods and tones for the reader. The dialogue is all right and well written, and adds personality to the characters in the book. It was nice to see Katherine and Arthur again albeit for a very short period of time. She gained my sympathy towards the end of the novel for sure. I also enjoyed how Henry the VII was so worried about these pretenders to the throne, and how he was always on the edge of his seat to defend it. Also, the outcome of the Princes of the Tower was interesting and well written here. What I didn't really like about this story? Henry was a bit too cold, almost lifeless and void of any real human emotion. He was like a robot. Also, his wife Elizabeth was mentioned but not as much as I hoped. I actually wanted to hear more about the story of both of them and how they got along in their marriage. However on a lighter note, it was nice to see Henry the Eighth, same as usual, arrogant as ever. It's nice to see some things that don't change in every Tudor novel I have come across.Overall, a must read for Tudor fans everywhere. It sets the setting for Henry the Eighth and his court and keeps you wanting more to read.
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This is the first of the Tudor novels by Jean Plaidy. The back of the book led me to believe it was the love story of Elizabeth of York and Henry VII. Actually, it is the story of Henry VII and the other people who surrounded him in creating the Tudor dynasty. I found it very fascinating and historically accurate.
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