I am pleased to announce that my new book, The Temptation of Elizabeth Tudor, has now been published in the UK by Head of Zeus (5 November 2015). The US edition will be published in January 2016.
England, late 1547. Henry VIII is dead. His 14-year-old daughter Elizabeth is living with the old king's widow Catherine Parr and her new husband, Thomas Seymour. Ambitious, charming and dangerous, Seymour begins an overt flirtation with Elizabeth that ends in her being sent away by Catherine.
When Catherine dies in autumn 1548 and Seymour is arrested for treason soon after, the scandal explodes into the open. Alone and in dreadful danger, Elizabeth is closely questioned by the king's regency council: Was she still a virgin? Was there a child? Had she promised to marry Seymour? In her replies, she shows the shrewdness and spirit she would later be famous for. She survives the scandal. Thomas Seymour is not so lucky.
The Seymour scandal led to the creation of the Virgin Queen. On hearing of Seymour's beheading, Elizabeth observed 'This day died a man of much wit, and very little judgment'. His fate remained with her. She would never allow her heart to rule her head again.
'A stunning achievement'. ' 'I was spellbound by this beautifully produced book. This is how historical writing should be: well-paced, engaging, packed with fascinating detail and soundly researched. Elizabeth Norton writes a captivating narrative, drawing the reader into the world of the Tudors, evoking it so compellingly, and arguing her conclusions convincingly. I can't praise it highly enough. It's stunning - the best history book I've read in a long time.' Alison Weir
'a quick and enjoyable read' The Kirkus Review
'Although it's a non-fiction book, I really enjoyed the narrative and almost felt like I was reading a novel at times. It really was compelling reading and I congratulate Elizabeth Norton on this book... A brilliant book'. The Anne Boleyn Files
'In another of her well-researched and intriguing Tudor period titles, with this volume, historian Norton (England's Queens, The Anne Boleyn Papers) thoroughly conveys the environment that bred Queen Elizabeth I, the Virgin Queen, and brought her to the attention of the ambitious (and married) Thomas Seymour... Highly recommended for readers interested in British history and the Tudor dynasty. Fans of historical fiction such as Philippa Gregory's "Tudor Court" series will also find themselves invested in the real-life scandal that befell one of England's most famous queens'. Library Journal
'It is a soundly researched and very readable history, and Ms Norton vividly conveys the atmosphere of intrigue between members of the power-hungry families at the top who were perpetually locked in a war of wits with each other... this vivid account is a more than worthy addition to the shelves'. The Bookbag
'Elizabeth Norton brings this fraught and fascinating drama to brilliant life in another book sure to confirm her reputation as one of our finest historical biographers'. History Book Club