It is a rare feat when a book can both entertain and inform when addressing a weighty subject matter such as the history of the Tudor dynasty but author Barb Alexander succeeds in her wonderful work The Tudor Tutor: Your Cheeky Guide to the Dynasty.
This book will thrill history aficionados and perhaps whet the curiosity of others who may not be as well versed on the history of this famous royal bloodline. Many people know about Henry VIII’s penchant for collecting and subsequently beheading wives. Most of us are familiar with the image of the infamous king as overweight. But Alexander writes, “the truth is, young Henry was a vision of hotness, a trim and handsome prince who was to jousting what David Beckham is to soccer.” Alexander introduces the reader to array of colorful and lesser known Tudor monarchs, each panel of their rule creating a rich fabric of royal history. In addition, she provides a look at these rulers as well as the societal context in which they governed. She examines the intrigue and conspiracies that was a part of the Tudor dynasty. Yet in doing so, Alexander’s writing is humorous and delightfully accessible to all readers.
Despite the fact that this book is a relatively short read, it mines a wealth of information. Further, the book is divided into chapter titles that provide an effective blueprint about the rulers. Some of the more notable chapter titles include- Henry VII: Who Died and Made Him King?, The Wives: Henry’s Half Dozen, Lady Jane Grey: Blink and You’ll Miss Her, Mary I: Bringing Catholic Back and Elizabeth I: The Grand Finale. I particularly enjoyed the chapter about the Tudor wives. I already knew about Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour. But I wasn’t as knowledgeable about royal spouses Anne of Cleves, Katherine Howard and Catherine Parr. Alexander’s skilled writing fleshed out these historical figures. Finally, Lisa Graves’ exquisite illustrations are visually appealing and marvelously accentuate the splendor of the book.
Barb Alexander is a teacher and history buff. These combined talents (passions) are clearly evident in this book.
The Tudor Tutor: Your Cheeky Guide to the Dynasty is a well written, humorous treasure. I highly recommend this book.