Uncrowned Queen: The Fateful Life of Margaret Beaufort, Tudor Matriarch
The first comprehensive biography in three decades of Margaret Beaufort, the mother of the Tudor Dynasty.
During the bloody and uncertain days of the Wars of the Roses, Margaret Beaufort was married to the half brother of the Lancastrian king Henry VI. A year later she endured a traumatic birth that brought her and her son close to death. She was just thirteen years old.
As the battle for royal supremacy raged between the houses of Lancaster and York, Margaret, who was descended from Edward III and thus a critical threat, was forced to give up her son – she would be separated from him for fourteen years. But few could match Margaret for her boundless determination and steely courage. Surrounded by enemies and conspiracies in the Yorkist court, Margaret remained steadfast, only just escaping the headman’s axes as she plotted to overthrow Richard III in her efforts to secure her son the throne.
Against all odds, in 1485 Henry Tudor was victorious on the battlefield at Bosworth. Through Margaret’s royal blood Henry was crowned Henry VII, King of England, and Margaret became the most powerful woman in England – Queen in all but name.
Nicola Tallis’s gripping account of Margaret’s life, one that saw the final passing of the Middle Ages, is a true thriller, revealing the life of an extraordinarily ambitious and devoted woman who risked everything to ultimately found the Tudor dynasty.
Praise for Nicola Tallis and Uncrowned Queen:
Michael Jones, author of The King’s Mother: ‘A sensitive, well-rounded and moving portrayal of the woman who founded the Tudor dynasty.’
Sarah Gristwood: ‘Stunning – informed, assured, and compulsively readable. Nicola Tallis gives us not only the story of how the Tudor dynasty began, but a sympathetic and convincing portrait of the flesh-and-blood woman who was its founding mother.’
Kirkus Reviews: ‘A fresh biography of the woman who ushered in the Tudor dynasty … For fans of British royal history, Tallis is a reliable guide, and the timeline and dramatis personae are highly useful. A deeply researched work that allows this historic personage to live and breathe.’
Smithsonian (Uncrowned Queen was listed as one of Smithsonian Magazine’s top ten history books of 2020): ‘Margaret never officially held the title of queen. But as Nicola Tallis argues … she fulfilled the role in all but name, orchestrating her family’s rise to power and overseeing the machinations of government upon her son’s accession.’
Tracy Borman: ‘Impeccably researched and beautifully written, Nicola Tallis’s latest biography is her best yet. She dispels the many myths surrounding Lady Margaret Beaufort and in their place creates an altogether more compelling portrayal of a woman of extraordinary courage, vision and passion. A must read.’
The Times: ‘Tallis is a zealous destroyer of myth … [She] deploys an extraordinary eye for detail in telling this story … through this superb revisionist biography, Margaret Beaufort emerges as a fascinating and often surprisingly sympathetic matriarch.’
Wall Street Journal: ‘Ms Tallis has researched Margaret’s life assiduously, delving deep into her account books … Henry’s position would not be secure for several years, but Margaret’s patience had paid off, and Ms Tallis shows that she exerted considerable influence over the king and court. And, since she must know as much about Margaret as anyone alive, one may accept that Margaret Beaufort had managed her life’s voyage with tenacity, and no little skill, to come safe and honoured to harbour.’