tudor books

The Illustrated Six Wives of Henry VIII


Henry VIII had the most controversial love life of the Tudor period, and he remains Britain's most famous king because of it. His pursuit of a male heir for his throne led him to cast aside five consecutive wives and bring about the reformation of the Catholic Church, changing the face of British history as he broke from the pope and tradition. But who were the women who were instrumental in causing this change? Why was Catherine of Aragon divorced and Anne Boleyn beheaded, and what happened to the last wife, Catherine Parr.

Elizabeth Norton provides a lavishly illustrated guide to the six wives of Henry VIII, exploring their private lives as well as the reasons behind the fundamental changes they caused in Tudor history. With a chapter on each wife, and an extra section on his mistresses, this is the ultimate companion to the six wives of Henry VIII. 

Published by Amberley Publishing 


The Illustrated Six Wives of Henry VIII Reviews 

Tudor Times http://tudortimes.co.uk/books/book-reviews/the-illustrated-six-wives-of-henry-viii 

'Norton does not indulge in speculation about what the women were thinking or feeling, she allows the facts to support themselves'.

'Calm and unbiased'

'Norton's style is clear and uncluttered, making the book easy to absorb and informative'. 



The Tudor Treasury


A time of treason, rebellion, exile and intrigue, three generations of Tudors ruled England for nearly 120 years, from 1485 to 1603. These years were some of the most prosperous England had ever seen, and dramatically altered the course of world history.

The Tudor Treasury delves into the archives of British history to reveal why this period has caught people's imaginations like no other, including:

Important additions to the worlds of poetry and literature, with William Shakespeare and his contemporaries bringing the theatre to the masses.

The invention of the flushing toilet and its seal of approval by Elizabeth I

English piracy as one of the direct causes of the Spanish Armada.

The beheading of three English queens.

With fascinating facts and stories, The Tudor Treasury tells the public and private story of England's most famous royal family and the people they ruled. 

 Published by Andre Deutsch


Elfrida, The First Crowned Queen of England

queen elfrida

Contrary to popular belief, the Anglo-Saxons had queens, with the tenth-century Elfrida being the most powerful and notorious of them all. She was the first woman to be crowned Queen of England, sharing her husband King Edgar's imperial coronation at Bath in 973. The couple made a love match, with claims that they plotted the death of her first husband to ensure that she was free. Edgar divorced his second wife, a former nun, after conducting an adulterous affair with Elfrida, leading to an enmity between the two women that lasted until their deaths. During her marriage, Elfrida claimed to be the king's only legitimate wife, but she failed to secure the succession for her son, Ethelred. Elfrida was implicated in the murder of her stepson, King Edward the Martyr, who died on a visit to her at Corfe Castle. She then ruled England on behalf of her young son for six years before he expelled her from court. Elfrida was eventually able to return to court but, since he proved himself unable to counter the Viking attacks, she may have come to regret winning the throne for Ethelred the Unready.

Wife, mother, accused murderer, ruler, crowned queen. The life of Queen Elfrida was filled with drama as she rose to become the most powerful woman in Anglo-Saxon society.

Published by Amberley 


Elfrida Reviews

BBC History Magazine (March 2014) by Ryan Lavelle

'Elizabeth Norton attempts to tell the life-story of this remarkable figure, if not precisely from the tie of her birth, then certainly from a young age, all the way up until her death'.

'Norton...shows a queen mother in her final years evidently remaining active as well as legally and socially influential. It is this picture of Aelfthryth that deserves to endure'. 


All About History Magazine (January 2014)

'An engaging portrait'and 'providing an insight into life in England' 


The Lady, 18 October 2013

Book of the week

'In her biography of the 10th century Queen Elfrida, Elizabeth Norton leaves us in no doubt of their [Anglo-Saxon queens'] existence - and their influence'.

'Carefully reconstructing Elfrida's life through surviving documents, many of the more spectacular myths about her are debunked'.

'This enticing glimpse into a world of warring kings, zealous churchmen and marauding Vikings definitely whets the appetite: let's hope this is the start of a trend for more biographies from this fascinating era'.

'For anyone interested in English history from the fifth century to the Norman conquest, this is an excellent starting point, with a full bibliography for further reading'.



The Historical Association

'This is a well-written, interesting book on a neglected figure in late-Anglo-Saxon England and it is eminently readable'



The Good Book Guide (January/February 2015 edition)

'Elfrida's life is as good as any thriller and is depicted vividly in this new biography'. 


Carolyn Harris, Royal Historian

'Provides the first full biography of the controversial queen, revealing the full extent of her influence over 10th century England and evidence pointing to what really happened at Corfe Castle in 978'.

'Norton provides a vivid account of how Elfrida defied all these expectations for the wives of Saxon kings'

'Norton demonstrates how Elfrida stood out from both her contemporaries and the previous wives of Saxon kings as a political player and religious reformer in the 10th century. Elfrida: The First Crowned Queen of England rescues a key historical figure from obscurity and provides a possible solution to a thousand year old murder mystery'.




'Elfrida's life has been stolen from her. Historian Elizabeth Norton... tell[s] her story'.



Queen Anne Boleyn Historical Writers

'Elizabeth Norton does an outstanding job viewing Queen Elfrida's life objectively, and in doing so confirms some long-held beliefs, while dispelling many others.Queen Anne Boleyn Historical Writers very highly recommends Elfrida, The First Crowned Queen of England for anyone interested in learning about Anglo-Saxon history, the history of queenship or Women's Studies'.



Pop Sugar

'Best new books of August 2013', their August must read.

'With royal baby fever still running high, it's the perfect time to dive into Elfrida: The First Crowned Queen of England by Elizabeth Norton'


Also, one of their 'Favorite Books of 2013' and a '2013 Must Read'



Impressions in Ink Blog

'Norton wanted to look beyond Elfrida's infamous past and find other "attributes" that would define her'.

I'm impressed with Norton's ability to write a biography on a historical character that is both notorious and slight on information. She poured through records... Carefully she ascribed her work. It would have been easy to write a book on the authors thoughts and leanings; instead Norton focused on the facts'. 

'A strong point of the book is that it gave me a better view of life in England during the later years of the Viking raids and before William the Conqueror invaded'.



History of Royal Women Blog

'This book is very well researched and finally shows us Elfrida as the queen she really was'.

'Overall I loved reading about Elfrida'.

'Please go and read about Elfrida!'



Wellington City Libraries

One of their 'Biography picks for March [2014]'




The Boleyn Women 

boleyn women

The Boleyn family appeared from nowhere at the end of the fourteenth century, moving from peasant to princess in only a few generations. The women of the family brought about its advancement, beginning with the heiresses Alice Bracton Boleyn, Anne Hoo Boleyn and Margaret Butler Boleyn who brought wealth and aristocratic connections. Then there was Elizabeth Howard Boleyn, who was rumoured to have been the mistress of Henry VIII, along with her daughter Mary and niece Madge, who certainly were. Anne Boleyn became the king's second wife and her aunts, Lady Boleyn and Lady Shelton, helped bring her to the block. The infamous Jane Boleyn, the last of her generation, betrayed her husband before dying on the scaffold with Queen Catherine Howard.

The next generation was no less turbulent and Catherine Carey, the daughter of Mary Boleyn, fled from England to avoid persecution under Mary Tudor. Her daughter, Lettice, was locked in bitter rivalry with the greatest Boleyn lady of all, Elizabeth I, winning the battle for the affections of Robert Dudley but losing her position in society as a consequence. Finally, another Catherine Carey, the Countess of Nottingham, was so close to her cousin, the queen, that Elizabeth died of grief following her death.

The Boleyn family was the most ambitious dynasty of the sixteenth century, rising dramatically to prominence in the early years of a century that would end with a Boleyn on the throne.

Published by Amberley 


The Boleyn Women Reviews

The Herald Scotland

'Elizabeth Norton depicts the lives of eight generations of Boleyn women, from the heiresses who brought riches and social position to the family, to the most famous Boleyn daughter, Elizabeth I'.

'Mary [Boleyn] is a tantalising figure; little is known about her but Norton gives a vivid account of how she was pushed to the sidelines by her more cunning sister'.

'Norton's painstaking research is admirable in its scope, resulting in an intelligent history of the fascinating Boleyn women'.



Women's History Review vol 24 (2015) - Maureen M. Meikle, Leeds Trinity University 

'the hard work the author put into producing this interesting book.'

'Anne Boleyn is well known to history, but we do not know much about her ancestors such as her great-grandmother Anne Hoo Boleyn, grandmother Anne Boleyn Heydon, or her mother Elizabeth Howard. This book highlights these women's neglected importance'.

'The final part of the book, 'The Lost Boleyn Women 1536-1603' is fascinating and not just about Elizabeth I'.

'There is a very good illustration section mid-book that looks at the houses, tombs and portraits of these women. Overall, this is a well-written history of a very interesting and influential line of women who collectively deserve more attention than they have received to date'. 


The Good Book Guide (November 2013)

'Norton shows how the women connected with Anne Boleyn were important in the major events in the 16th century'. 


Tudor Life Magazine (January 2015)

'For anyone wanting to find out more about Mary Boleyn, I would suggest this book'.

'An exciting and surprising ride'.

'I would recommend this to anyone wanting to read about the Boleyn family, not even just the Boleyn women'. 


Anne Boleyn: From Queen to History

'Elizabeth Norton's book is a captivating and compelling read'.

'Elizabeth Norton gives these women life, gives them a voice by which to tell their stories, their life's adventures and their rise'. 

'This was a wonderful, captivating and thoroughly enjoyable book and I would recommend it to anyone interested in Tudor history or the study of women'. 



Anne Boleyn: From Queen to History (Top 10 Books of 2015)

'I thoroughly enjoyed Elizabeth Norton's book on the Boleyn Women'.

'This was a wonderful, captivating and thoroughly enjoyable book and I would recommend it to anyone interested in Tudor history or the study of women'.



Carolyn Harris, Royal Historian

'Elizabeth Norton... reveals the true story of eight generations of Boleyn women, placing the famous Anne Boleyn and Queen Elizabeth I within the fascinated context of the Boleyn extended family'.

'The best chapters of The Boleyn Women are the sections that reveal how little known members of Queen Anne's extended family navigated the treacherous politics of the Tudor court'. 

'Norton's book reveals that there were divided loyalties between the supposedly united "Boleyn faction" and that a number of Anne's aunts and cousins in addition to her sister-in-law remained at court after the famous queen's execution'. 

'Elizabeth Norton reveals the complex role of the Boleyn wives, daughters, mothers, aunts and cousins in the rise and fall of the famous family'. 




'It is not often the women of a medieval family overshadow the men. The enigmatic Anne Boleyn continues to capture our imagination, but her family story is just as compelling.'

'The Boleyn Women is the first book of its kind, an exhaustive and intricately researched account of eight generations of the women of the Boleyn family'.



Sylwia S. Zupanec, The Daring Truth of Anne Boleyn

'I enjoyed reading about the female relatives of Anne Boleyn and I think it's important to learn more about ancestors of famous historical figures'.


Impressions in Ink Blog

'This is the third book I've read by Elizabeth Norton. In all three books I've come to enjoy the detailed significant research brought forth, certain points I'd not read about before, an unbiased opinion, and characters in history that are dimensional'.

'5 stars'



Bessie Blount: Mistress to Henry VIII

bessie blount

One of the earliest known and the longest-lasting mistress of Henry VIII, Bessie Blount was the king's first love. More beautiful than Anne Boleyn or any of Henry's other wives or concubines, Bessie's looks and other charms ensured that she turned heads, winning a place at court as one of Catherine of Aragon's ladies. Within months she was partnering the king in dancing. The affair probably lasted five years (longer than most of Henry's marriages) and in 1519 she bore Henry VIII a son, Henry Fitzroy. As a mark of his importance Cardinal Wolsey was appointed his guardian and godfather. Fitzroy was not the only issue of the relationship and the evidence suggests that Bessie also bore the king a second illegitimate child.

Supplanted by Mary Boleyn, Bessie's importance rests on the vital proof she gave Henry VIII that he could father a healthy son and, through Henry Fitzroy, Bessie remained a prominent figure at court. She was also able to build a relationship with her eldest son, as well as raising her own family and running her own estates following her marriages. In the country at large her position as mother of such an important child made her an object of interest to many of her contemporaries.

Published by Amberley 


Bessie Blount Reviews

The Sun (January 2012)

'Secret of the queen Britain lost'


The Independent (24 November 2013)

'Thoughtful and well-researched, it will be of use to students of the era'. 


The Good Book Guide (April 2012 Issue) - Editor's Choice

'A lucid, readable, intelligent account of the life of a woman who might have been queen'


The Good Book Guide (November 2013) - Paperback Review

'Bessie Blount was an important mistress of Henry VIII's youth... This is a lucid, readable, intelligent account of the life of a woman who could have been queen'. 


The Anne Boleyn Files (16 March 2012)

'Meticulously researched'.

'Bessie is usually such a shadowy figure, the beautiful mistress who gave Henry VIII a son and then was married off to a nobleman and forgotten, but this book brings her to life and follows her right through to her death. It is a fascinating read for any Tudor history buff'




Women's History Magazine (Issue 75, Summer 2014) - Review by Ruth E. Richardson

'The author's detailed, and dedicated, research has now established that Bessie died in childbirth'.

'A most interesting, new, biography of a remarkable lady'. 



The Tudor Enthusiast

'...a beautiful and extremely well-researched biography... I encourage everyone to buy this book!'


Carolyn Harris - Royal Historian 

'Norton does a masterful job of interpreting documents pertaining to the Blount family, Henry Fitzroy, and other sixteenth century court women to restore Bessie Blount to her rightful place in Tudor history'

'An engaging and readable biography of an often overlooked figure at Henry VIII's court. Norton effectively reconstructs the life and times of the King's most prominent mistress revealing her historical significance and place within Tudor court politics'.



Sylwia S. Zupanec - The Daring Trust About Anne Boleyn

'Meticulously researched'

'I really enjoyed reading about the early stages of Bessie's relationship with Henry VIII and her later life'.

'Bessie Blount by Elizabeth Norton is a great book and deserves to be read and appreciated. I give it 5 stars'.



Impressions in Ink Blog

'Bessie Blount: Mistress to Henry VIII is the first book I've read by Elizabeth Norton, it will not be my last. I have long anticipated reading one of her books and it is my pleasure to review it'.

''Elizabeth Norton knows British history, specifically medieval history. Suffice it to say, I'm impressed. The book begins with the genealogy of Bessie's family. Norton must have read and studied paperwork up to above her eyebrows. Not only do I admire her but I trust the information she's presented'. 



The Tower Magazine (May/June 2014)

'An essential purchase'. 



England's Queens: The Biography

Please note, the first part of this book has been reissued as England's Queens: From Boudica to Elizabeth of York). The second part has been reissued as England's Queens: From Catherine of Aragon to Elizabeth II.

england''s queens 

Nearly eighty women have sat on the throne of England, either as queen regnant or queen consort, and the voices of all of them survive through their own writings and those of their contemporaries. The primary role of the queen over the ages was to provide an heir. Catherine of Aragon found this to her cost, divorced by Henry VIII for failing to produce a healthy son. Anne Boleyn was executed shortly afterwards for the same reason. The birth of an heir was also a route to power for a queen and Eleanor of Aquitaine became the most powerful woman in Europe during the reigns of her sons. Emma of Normandy was so desperate to be queen mother that she manipulated her three sons in an attempt to ensure that at least one would ascend to the throne. Two succeeded and became kings in turn with their mother as a leading advisor. Strong relationships could also develop between the queens and their husbands. Richard II and Anne of Bohemia made an arranged marriage but quickly fell deeply in love and, on Anne's death at Sheen Palace, Richard's grief was so intense that he ordered the palace to be destroyed. Edward VIII even abandoned his throne when forced to choose between the crown and his lover, Wallis Simpson. Not all marriages were happy and queens such as Isabella of France and Catherine Howard took lovers as a form of escape. The unhappy Sophia Dorothea of Celle was imprisoned for over thirty years by her husband George I when her affair was discovered. Her lover, Count von Konigsmarck, was murdered. Most queens made arranged marriages and were used by their families to build alliances. Some queens were able to break away from this control. Queen Victoria spent her childhood secluded with her overprotective mother, even sharing the same bedroom until the day when she was proclaimed queen and finally freed herself from her mother's control.

For the first time, the voice of each individual queen can be heard, charting the course of English queenship through nearly two thousand years of history. Each played her own part in shaping what the role of queen would become and it developed through the lives and actions of each of the women in turn.

Published by Amberley 


England's Queens Reviews

 The Anne Boleyn Files (30 September 2011)

'It introduced me to a whole host of women who are deserving of my admiration women who were more than submissive wives, women who acted as regents or who had real influence over their husbands and an impact on the country. Wow!'

'I found it a truly enlightening read'.


Evergreen Magazine (Winter 2011)

'One of the main merits of England's Queens: The Biography is that it draws extensively on the writings of the subjects and of their contemporaries, thereby adding a particular vitality to this latest work from the gifted pen of Elizabeth Norton'

'This is the telling of history, finely written and unfailingly engrossing, at its best'.


The Historical Association ( http://www.history.org.uk/resources/general_resource_6146.html)

A 'grand narrative'

'Deal[s] succinctly with the 'private lives' of her [Elizabeth II's] female predecessors extending back even beyond the historical regional Celtic tribal leaders of Boudicca and Cartimandua to the mythical figures of Cordelia and Guinevere. Tracing the emergence of national monarchy from the Anglo-Saxon era, queen consorts are also included in her survey of almost eighty women who have sat on the throne of England during a period of nearly two thousand years of history.'


The Good Book Guide (January - February 2013)

'Covering two thousand years, this book looks at the lives and reigns, however brief, of each queen from the supremely powerful Eleanor of Aquitaine, ruler of half of France in her own right, through the unfortunate Sophia Dorothea, locked up by her husband George I for more than thirty years, to Caroline of Brunswick who terrorised her husband so much that he would not allow her to attend his coronation'.


The Good Book Guide (March 2015)

'Covering two thousand years, this book looks at the lives and reigns, however brief, of each queen'. 


History of Royal Women (http://www.historyofroyalwomen.com/elizabeth-woodville/englands-queens-boudica-elizabeth-york-elizabeth-norton/ )

Review for England's Queens: From Boudica to Elizabeth of York


'There are some queens who don't have biographies of their own so it is nice to finally be able to read about them. I was surprised to learn that I definitely have things that I have yet to learn'.

'I love Elizabeth Norton's writing style and this book gives an excellent glimpse into the lives of these women. I would highly recommend it to all history lovers. I'm really looking forward to the second part'.



Anne Boleyn, In Her Own Words and the Words of Those Who Knew Her (Hardback)

The Anne Boleyn Papers (Paperback)

Please note that these books are identical. Please do not buy The Anne Boleyn Papers if you already have Anne Boleyn In Her Own Words!

anne boleyn 

Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII, caused comment wherever she went. Through the chronicles, letters and dispatches written by both Anne and her contemporaries, it is possible to see her life and thoughts as she struggled to become queen of England, ultimately ending her life on the scaffold. Only through the original sources is it truly possible to evaluate the real Anne.

George Wyatt's Life of Queen Anne provided the first detailed account of the queen, based on the testimony of those that knew her. The poems of Anne's supposed lover, Thomas Wyatt, as well as accounts such as Cavendish's Life of Wolsey also give details of her life, as do the hostile dispatches of the Imperial Ambassador, Eustace Chapuys and the later works of the slanderous Nicholas Sander and Nicholas Harpsfield. Henry VIII's love letters and many of Anne's own letters survive, providing an insight into the love affair that changed England forever. The reports on Anne's conduct in the Tower of London show the queen's shock and despair when she realised that she was to die. Collected together for the first time, these and other sources make it possible to view the real Anne Boleyn through her own words and those of her contemporaries.

Published by Amberley 


Anne Boleyn: In Her Own Words Reviews 

Tracy Borman in BBC History Magazine (February 2014)

'A valuable resource for historians and general readers alike' and an 'enlightening collection'. 


The Good Book Guide (November 2013)

'This book looks at primary sources, including the letters that Henry VIII wrote to Anne expressing his undying devotion for her before they were married, and puts each extract in context'.

'The reader has a very vivid picture of the infamous 'Mistress Anne''. 


The Anne Boleyn Files http://reviews.theanneboleynfiles.com/anne-boleyn-papers/1080

'A great addition to any Tudor history lover's bookshelf'

'It really is a wonderful resource for researchers and those studying Anne Boleyn. To have a collection of primary sources at your fingertips like that saves a lot of time'.

'I'd highly recommend adding it to your Tudor book collection'.


Anne Boleyn: From Queen to History http://queentohistory.blogspot.co.uk/2011/08/anne-boleyn-in-her-own-words-words-of.html

'Now for the first time I have all of the letters, documents, accounts of Anne Boleyn's life etc. compiled into one fantastic book'.

'I absolutely adored reading this book. It was marvellous to get such in depth details and accounts of Anne Boleyn and her life from her own letters, sources close to her and from accounts written in the years following her death. Within the pages of the book Norton not only included the accounts that were most favourable to Anne, she also included biographies and records that spoke ill of Anne and tried to cast her life in a very negative shadow. I thought this was quite an intelligent inclusion as it gave the reader a chance to decide their own thoughts and feelings about Anne Boleyn and the type of woman she was'.

'Elizabeth Norton's book is a fantastic resource to any lover of Anne Boleyn or in fact any person interested in Tudor history' 


Nerdalicious http://nerdalicious.com.au/history/the-anne-boleyn-papers-with-elizabeth-norton/ 

'The Anne Boleyn Papers provides a comprehensive and important collection of contemporary sources and a paper-trail of influential writingthat formed the myths and fuelled the centuries of debatesurrounding one of England's most influential and enigmatic queens'. 


Kent Family History Society Journal vol 13 no.10 (March 2013)

Recommended in the journal. 


Impressions In Ink

'Norton, with precise fashion, has arranged a wonderful account of  Anne's life through its collection of papers.'

'I've read several books on Anne Boleyn. This is the first book I've read that is in its entirety an account of her life through letters, memoirs, poems'.

'I feel this book breathed a life into Anne that I'd not felt before in other accounts of her life. I feel at ease with a book that shows me the "real" Anne, not a fictional account, but her very presence'. 



The Huffington Post

Recommended in the Huffington Post  



Newstalk Radio

Recommended as one of 'the best books to read on history and historical figures'. 



The Tudor Roses

'This book is a valuable resource for anyone interested in Anne Boleyn, but a must for those doing research'.

'Elizabeth Norton's introductions are excellent'.

'A highly refreshing way of presenting contemporary source information about Anne in a compelling and impartial manner'.

'For me this book is up there in my top books to have close to hand'.



Margaret Beaufort, Mother of the Tudor Dynasty

 margaret beaufort

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 crown of England to her son, Henry VII, the first of the Tudor monarchs.

Margaret's royal blood placed her on the fringes of the Lancastrian royal dynasty. After divorcing her first husband at the age of ten, she married the king's half-brother, Edmund Tudor, becoming a widow and bearing her only child, the future Henry VII, before her fourteenth birthday. Margaret was always passionately devoted to the interests of her son who claimed the throne through her. She embroiled herself in both treason and conspiracy as she sought to promote his claims, allying herself with the Yorkist Queen, Elizabeth Woodville, in an attempt to depose Richard III. She was imprisoned by Richard and her lands confiscated, but she continued to work on her son's behalf, ultimately persuading her fourth husband, the powerful Lord Stanley, to abandon the king in favour of Henry on the eve of the decisive Battle of Bosworth. It was Lord Stanley himself who placed the crown on Henry's head on the battlefield.

Henry VII gave his mother unparalleled prominence during his reign. She established herself as an independent woman and ended her life as the chief advisor to her seventeen year-old grandson, Henry VIII.

Published by Amberley 


Margaret Beaufort Reviews 

Michael Jones - The Women of the Cousin's War (with Philippa Gregory and David Baldwin)

'A good, readable recent study that pays proper tribute to her [Margaret's] political role'


The Anne Boleyn Files




Tudor Times

'another in her series of very readable portraits of English queens'.



Carolyn Harris - Royal Historian 

'Elizabeth Norton's well written and well researched biography'



The Independent - 27 November 2011

'Account of a complex moment in history' 


Women's History Magazine, Issue 70 (Autumn 2012) 

'A very readable and interesting biography that brings clarity to the convoluted politics of the period'.


Oxbow Books http://www.oxbowbooks.com/oxbow/margaret-beaufort.html

'A narrative account of Margaret Beaufort's extraordinary life, and its twists and turns, frames by an image with which she was all too familiar - the wheel of fortune. Norton shows that Margaret was in no way a passive participant in the turbulent politics of the later fifteenth century'


Sylwia S. Zupanec - The Daring Truth About Anne Boleyn

'Effectively retrieved Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII, from obscurity and shed more light on this woman's movements during the turbulent times of war'.

'This book delivered a well-researched and sympathetic account of her life. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Margaret better'.


Flashlight Commentary

'A wonderful biography of Margaret Beaufort'.

'Norton's work is wonderfully detailed'.




'A concise and balanced account with frequent reference to historical sources'.



The Freelance History Writer Blog by Susan Abernethy

'Norton has certainly done her research and her writing tyle makes this an informative and pleasant read'.

'I enjyed the book very much and came to admire Margaret Beaufort as the formidable survivor that she was'.



Rebecca Henderson Palmer, Author

'Filled with detail'. 

'Analytical, yet evenhanded, this is a solid read for those who want to push past the hype and consider the facts of this remarkable figure'.



Catherine Parr

catherine katherine parr 

Catherine Parr was enjoying her freedom after her first two arranged marriages when she caught the attention of the elderly Henry VIII. The most reluctant of all Henry's wives, she offered to become his mistress rather than submit herself to the dangers of becoming Henry's queen. This only increased Henry's enthusiasm for the vibrant, intelligent young widow and Catherine was forced to abandon her handsome lover, Thomas Seymour, for the decrepit king. She quickly made her role as queen a success, providing Henry VIII with the domestic tranquillity that he had not known since the early days of his first marriage. For Henry, Catherine was a satisfactory choice but he never stopped considering a new marriage, much to Catherine's terror.

Catherine is remembered as the wife who survived but, without her strength of character it could have been very different. It was a relief for Catherine when Henry finally died and she could secretly marry Thomas Seymour. Left with no role in government affairs in her widowhood, she retired to the country, spending time at her manors at Chelsea and Sudeley. It was here that her heart was broken by her discover of a love affair between her stepdaughter, the future Elizabeth I, and her husband. She died in childbirth accusing her husband of plotting her death.

Traditionally portrayed as a matronly and dutiful figure, Elizabeth Norton's new biography shows another side to Catherine. Her life was indeed one of duty but, throughout, she attempted to escape her destiny and find happiness for herself. Ultimately, Catherine was betrayed and her great love affair with Thomas Seymour turned sour.

Published by Amberley 


Catherine Parr Reviews

BBC History Magazine (December 2011) by Sarah Gristwood

'Elizabeth Norton's eminently readable biography... Norton's strength is her use of original sources'.


The Financial Times (1 May 2010) by Jenny Uglow

'Norton cuts an admirably clear path through tangled Tudor intrigues'.


 The Anne Boleyn Files (8 June 2010)

'Historian and author Elizabeth Norton's biography of Catherine Parr was published by Amberley Publishing earlier this year and, like her other books, it is meticulously researched and a great read'.

'I would heartily recommend this biography to anyone who wants to know the truth about Henry VIII's sixth wife and who wants to know her full story, from birth to death'.


 Herstoria Magazine (Autumn 2010)

'the real Catherine Parr, far from being a nursemaid, was arguably one of Henry VIII's greatest queens - something that is celebrated in this wonderful new biography by Elizabeth Norton'.

'Informative, highly-readable and well-presented'

'The moving story of how this queen came to be given a 'fitting' resting place is a beautiful ending to an excellent book'


Tudor Times

'A good introduction to the topic, covering the main aspects of Katherine Parr's life, with plenty of interpretation'.

'A very readable work'.

'A welcome addition to a reader seeking a wide range of interpretations into Katherine's life'. 


Anne of Cleves, Henry VIII's Discarded Bride

 anne of cleves

'I like her not!' was the verdict of Henry VIII on meeting his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves, for the first time. Anne could have said something similar on meeting Henry and, having been promised the most handsome prince in Europe, she was destined to be disappointed in the elderly and corpulent king. Henry also felt that Anne was not as she had been described, complaining that he had been sent a 'Flanders' Mare'. Forced to proceed with their wedding for diplomatic reasons, Henry and Anne tried to make the best of the situation, but attempts to consummate the match were farcical. After only seven months of marriage Henry was so desperate to rid himself of Anne that he declared himself impotent in order to secure a divorce. Anne was also eager to end her marriage and, with her clever handling of Henry obtained one of the biggest divorce settlements in English history. Following her diborce, Anne made good use of her many properties, including Richmond Palace, Hever Castle and the house at Lewes now known as 'Anne of Cleves House'.

Anne of Cleves is often portrayed as a stupid and comical figure. The real Anne was both intelligent and practical, ensuring that, whilst she was queen for the shortest period, she was the last of all Henry VIII's wives to survive. Henry's chief minister, Thomas Cromwell lost his head for his role in the Cleves marriage, but Anne's shrewdness ensured she kept hers. Anne of Cleves led a dramatic and often dangerous life but, for all this, of Henry VIII's six wives, she is truly the wife that survived.

Published by Amberley 


Anne of Cleves Reviews

Crickhollow Books http://crickhollowbooks.com.au/blog/2012/04/26/in-brief-jane-seymour-and-anne-of-cleves-by-elizabeth-norton/

'Norton presents a compelling account of the life of the wife who survived them all'

'A thoughtful and believable account of Anne's entry into England and her disastrous first meeting with Henry' and a 'detailed account of Anne's life after the divorce'.

'A detailed and well-written biography with some nice personal insights into the somewhat mysterious Anna of Cleves, and thoroughly recommended'


Jane Seymour, Henry VIII's True Love

jane seymour 

Jane Seymour is often portrayed as meek and mild and as the most successful, but one of the least significant, of Henry VIII's wives. The real Jane was a different character, demure and submissive yet with a ruthless streak - as Anne Boleyn was being tried for treason, Jane was choosing her wedding dress.

From the lowliest origins of any of Henry's wives her rise shows an ambition every bit as great as Anne's.

Elizabeth Norton tells the thrilling life of a country girl from rural Wiltshire who rose to the throne of England and became the ideal Tudor woman.

Published by Amberley 


Jane Seymour Reviews

The Anne Boleyn Files

'the book...really did build up a picture of this queen who gave Henry VIII exactly what he wanted but at an awful price'.


The Tudor Enthusiast http://thetudorenthusiast.weebly.com/tudor-books.html

'very informative' 


Crickhollow Books

'A challenging subject for a biography'



 Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII's Obsession

 anne boleyn

Anne Boleyn was the most controversial and scandalous woman ever to sit on the throne of England. From her early days at the imposing Hever Castle in Kent, to the glittering courts of Paris and London, Anne caused a stir wherever she went. Alluring but not beautiful, Anne's wit and poise won her numerous admirers at the English court, and caught the roving eye of King Henry VIII.

Anne was determined to shape her own destiny, first through a secret engagement to Henry Percy, the heir of the Earl of Northumberland, and later through her insistence on marriage with the king, after a long and tempestuous relationship as his mistress. Their love affair was as extreme as it was deadly, from Henry's 'mine own sweetheart' to 'cursed and poisoning whore' her fall from grace was total.

Neither saint or seductress, victim or witch Anne Boleyn was essentially a modern woman. She saw her opportunities and took them, causing a scandal that shocked England and Europe.

Published by Amberley 


Anne Boleyn Reviews

Eric Ives (Journal of Ecclesiastical History 62, 2011 p763)

'Anne Boleyn on trial again...[one of] two new biographies'


The Anne Boleyn Files http://www.theanneboleynfiles.com/q-a/is-elizabeth-nortons-novel-about-anne-anne-boleyn-henry-viiis-obsessioni-believe-any-good-truth-and-engaging-wise/

'A good read for Anne Boleyn beginners'


She Wolves, The Notorious Queens of England

 she wolves

From the wicked Anglo-Saxons to warmongering Tudors, She Wolves recounts the turbulent and ambition-filled lives of these alluring female personalities.

She Wolves deals with the bad girls of England's medieval royal dynasties - the queens who earned themselves the reputation of being somehow notorious. Some of them are well known and have been the subject of biography - Eleanor of Aquitaine, Emma of Normandy, Isabella of France and Anne Boleyn, for example - others have not been written about outside academic journals. The appeal of these notorious queens, apart from their shared taste for witchcraft, murder, adultery and incest, is that because they were notorious they attracted a great deal of attention during their lifetimes. She Wolves reveals much about the role of the medieval queen and the evolution of the role that led, ultimately, to the reign of Elizabeth I and a new concept of queenship.

Published by The History Press 


She Wolves Reviews

Herstoria Magazine

'...Norton's book has much to commend it. It is clearly organised and informative about the changing norms of queenship over the period. The broad chronological span allows the patterns that I have been discussing to become apparent. And there is fascinating incidental information about each of these queens and the political worlds they inhabited. Her book contains more than enough to spur interested readers to learn more about particular queens, and to delve more deeply into the fascinating world of medieval and early modern queenship'.


Ian Mortimer, The Guardian 6 November 2010

Compared to Helen Castor's later book which re-used the title, although 'Castor's book differs from Norton's in that it is limited to just five queens'.


Oxbow Books http://www.oxbowbooks.com/oxbow/she-wolves.html

'A lively, well researched attempt to explain why there are so many 'bad' queens in the medieval chronicles, to popularise some of those that are less well known, and to rehabilitate the reputations of some of those who are only too well-known. Examining the notorious queens chronologically Elizabeth Norton also develops a model for the behaviour of a 'good' queen'

'Norton shows that the 'tight-rope walking' involved in medieval queenship meant that condemnation was almost inevitable'


How to purchase

All books are available to buy direct from the publishers (Andre Deutsch for  Th Tudor Treasury, The History Press for She Wolves and Amberley for all other books). Alternatively, they can be purchased from Amazon and all major booksellers.





Personalised signed books now available. Please contact mail@elizabethnorton.co.uk with your request.