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  • Hodder Paperbacks
  • Hodder & Stoughton
  • Hodder & Stoughton

The Private Lives of the Tudors: Uncovering the Secrets of Britain's Greatest Dynasty

Tracy Borman

8 Reviews

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Prose: non-fiction, History, Early modern history: c 1450/1500 to c 1700

Tracy Borman, author of the bestselling biography of Thomas Cromwell, takes us behind the scenes to reveal the intimate secrets of the Tudor court and the private lives of Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth I and more.

'I do not live in a corner. A thousand eyes see all I do.' Elizabeth I.

The Tudor monarchs were constantly surrounded by an army of attendants, courtiers and ministers. Even in their most private moments, they were accompanied by a servant specifically appointed for the task. A groom of the stool would stand patiently by as Henry VIII performed his daily purges, and when Elizabeth I retired for the evening, one of her female servants would sleep at the end of her bed.

These attendants knew the truth behind the glamorous exterior. They saw the tears shed by Henry VII upon the death of his son Arthur. They knew the tragic secret behind 'Bloody' Mary's phantom pregnancies. And they saw the 'crooked carcass' beneath Elizabeth I's carefully applied makeup, gowns and accessories.

It is the accounts of these eyewitnesses, as well as a rich array of other contemporary sources that historian Tracy Borman has examined more closely than ever before. With new insights and discoveries, and in the same way that she brilliantly illuminated the real Thomas Cromwell - THE PRIVATE LIFE OF THE TUDORS will reveal previously unexamined details about the characters we think we know so well.

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Praise for The Private Lives of the Tudors: Uncovering the Secrets of Britain's Greatest Dynasty

  • Borman approaches her topic with huge enthusiasm and a keen eye for entertaining...this is a very human story of a remarkable family, full of vignettes that sit long in the mind. - The Sunday Times

  • Tracy Borman's eye for detail is impressive; the book is packed with fascinating courtly minutiae... this is a wonderful book. - The Times

  • A rich and intimate portrait. - Stylist

  • A riveting behind-the-scenes re-creation of court life. - The Bookseller

  • Borman is an authoritative and engaging writer, good at prising out those humanising details that make the past alive to us. - The Observer

  • The glittering, jewel-encrusted private world of Britain's five Tudor monarchs is gloriously brought to life here. - The Scotsman

  • Fascinating, detailed account of the everyday reality of the royals... This is a book of rich scholarship. Tracy Borman is a chief curator of Historic Royal Palaces and she knows her Tudor history inside out. - Daily Mail

  • Tracy Borman's passion for the Tudor period shines forth from the pages of this fascinatingly detailed book, which vividly illuminates what went on behind the scenes at the Tudor court. Reading it is as good as looking through a keyhole, because it keeps its focus on the personal and private lives of the ever-intriguing Tudors, revealing their most intimate moments and even their poignant vulnerability - a far cry from the public images we have of them. - Alison Weir

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Tracy Borman

Tracy Borman is joint Chief Curator of Historic Royal Palaces and Chief Executive of the Heritage Education Trust. She studied and taught history at the University of Hull and was awarded a PhD in 1997.

Tracy is the author of a number of highly acclaimed books including The Private Lives of the Tudors: Uncovering the Secrets of Britain's Greatest Dynasty, Thomas Cromwell: The Untold Story of Henry VIII's Most Faithful Servant, Matilda: Wife of the Conqueror, First Queen of England, Elizabeth's Women: The Hidden Story of the Virgin Queen and Witches: A Tale of Sorcery, Scandal and Seduction. Tracy is also a regular broadcaster and public speaker, giving talks on her books across the UK and abroad.

Follow Tracy on Twitter @TracyBorman

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