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Following in the Footsteps of Henry Tudor (Paperback)

A Historical Journey from Pembroke to Bosworth

British History P&S History Colour Books Tudors & Stuarts Royal History

By Phil Carradice
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Series: Following in the Footsteps
Pages: 127
Illustrations: 20
ISBN: 9781526743305
Published: 4th September 2019


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The story of Henry Tudor’s march to Bosworth and the throne of England began long before the fatal summer of 1485, with his birth in Pembroke Castle. The gigantic fortress where he spent his childhood years lay some 12 miles inland from the spot where Henry was supposed to have landed in Milford Haven when he came to challenge Richard III in August 1485.

Henry’s landing and progress to Bosworth Field were a gamble, but by 1485 the last of the Lancastrian princes had little option but to ‘chance his arm’. He had worn out his welcome on the Continent and, despite his unpopularity in some quarters of English society, there was the real risk that Richard’s reign might finally begin to create stability and financial success – Yorkist stability and success. A gamble, yes, but one that had to be taken if the House of Lancaster was to survive.

In Following in the Footsteps of Henry Tudor, we hear of the many fascinating stories from Henry’s march and the places he visited – a journey that took just over two weeks. It was a time of treachery and double dealing but it culminated with the establishment of the Tudor dynasty, the end of the Wars of the Roses and the beginnings of the modern world.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It may be small, but it is rather mighty with all the information that it contains. Carradice’s writing style makes this book feel like a historical fiction novel with a plethora of information one expects from a historical nonfiction book. If you want a great introduction book to Henry Tudor’s march to Bosworth Field and the beginning of the Tudor dynasty, I highly recommend you read, “Following in the Footsteps of Henry Tudor: A Historical Journey From Pembroke to Bosworth” by Phil Carradice.

Read the full review here

Adventures of a Tudor Nerd

I love to read historical nonfiction. This was a good read... I would recommend this.

NetGalley, Alicia Powell

When we think of Tudor times, many of us will think of Henry VIII as the most [in]famous monarch, but the Tudor lineage began with his father Henry VII. In this fascinating book the writer examines primary and secondary sources to draw a portrait of this enigmatic King and his journey to the throne. Henry spent many years in exile as England was embroiled in the Battle of the Roses, and this book charts his childhood and preparation to face the most significant battle of the 15th century against Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth. Vastly outnumbered and seen as the underdog, Henry was nevertheless able to defeat Richard's troops and claim the throne of England. Thus began the reign of the Tudors. Seen as miserly and unpopular, Henry VII was responsible for bringing stability to the country' after years of bloodshed' and was seen by many as an 'astute and capable diplomat'. He increased the wealth of the country, encouraged trade and the arts and would appear to have been a more complex individual than some sources have suggested. Plagued by epidemics, pretenders to the throne and the loss of his wife, he became burdened and died at the age of 52. But there is no doubt that his unlikely victory on Bosworth Field paved the way for what was to become the strongest of monarchies in the shape of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I.

NetGalley, Lou Barber

As usual with a Carradine book is very well written and informed and if you want more than just the basics in a book, Carradine does and excellent book.

A book I would highly recommend and an excellent intro into Tudor life. Pen & Sword books really do publish good royalty books.

Read the full review here

UK Historian

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I cannot do less than give this book fives stars! Once I had shrugged off a couple of peeves – I was entirely hooked on both the subject and the way it was related to the reader.

If you’re like me and like to keep your fact and fiction clearly divided I’d advise not to miss out and I would recommend you read this book – facts were delivered in such a relaxed and comfortable way – I read this very quickly and I was immensely sorry when it ended – I’d have loved to have read on or for the author to have delved further into Henry’s day-to-day rule.

NetGalley, Shar Daws

A good overview of important places in Henry VII's rise to the throne. It starts from birth and takes you through the battle that made him king. It's short but it had a lot of information packed in it. I liked how Carradice used as many primary sources as he could, but also leaned on some other recent authors who have written on this topic. I'd definitely have this on my shelf if I can ever find a cheap copy of it somewhere!

NetGalley, Caidyn Young

Nice look at his life and the family he was born into. Nice for those who like English or royal history. You are getting a decent amount of information with some primary quotes/information put throughout.

NetGalley, Alexandra Roth

I am a massive fan of the Tudor period and I have devoured many books that cover this era. Living pretty much on the doorstep of the location of the famous battle between King Richard III and Henry Tudor which started the now famous Tudor dynasty I am always intrigued when there is a book released by an unknown author to me.

I thought that the layout of the book was great and I really enjoyed the author’s writing style. He has a really good talent that brought the scenes to life and at times you could almost feel that you were there with Henry and his troops on their march through to the ultimate battle that took place on the outskirts of Market Bosworth.

I thought that the chapter length was perfect too and it was spot on to keep me fully engaged and this would be an ideal introduction too to people who want to learn more about how the Tudor dynasty came to be as it covers the period prior to Henry’s birth and you get an introduction to one of my ultimate favourite historical figures – Margaret Beaufort.

It is 4 stars from me for this one, I really enjoyed the layout and the length of the chapters in the book, this is the perfect introduction to Henry Tudor and the famous (or infamous) Tudor Dynasty! Highly recommended!!

NetGalley, Donna Maguire

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Although I have read many books about the Tudors, the life of Henry VII before he became King is often glossed over so I was glad to be given the opportunity to read Following in the Footsteps of Henry Tudor: A Historical Journey from Pembroke to Bosworth. I found this book to be an interesting and well researched look at Henry's life from his departure from Pembroke to escape the clutches of Edward IV, his life in Brittany, his return to Wales and his journey to Bosworth. The writing was engaging and informative and I enjoyed learning more about the man who began the Tudor dynasty. An excellent read!

NetGalley, Jen Lynch

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This book is well researched and looks at the life of the first, and most overlooked Tudor king.
It is written to be easily accessible with fun anecdotes and interesting facts,
If you want a deep scholarly tome then this isn’t for you, but it Is a lively and enjoyable read trip through Henry’s reign.

NetGalley, Rebecca B

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

There are a startling lack of books about Henry VII, so I was pleased to see this one appear on Netgalley. Whilst this is not an intensely long book, it gives the history in a detailed enough way that you feel better informed after reading it and in such a manner that it is not simply a dry, historical account as so many of these books tend to be.

The author does not go deeply into the later politics of Henry VII when he would suffer a lack of support from his people due to taxation and other matters, but it does do a good job explaining Bosworth and the events that led to the downfall of Richard III. This was a fun book to read and I encourage others to check it out.

Seeing as Henry the VII has been far overshadowed by his children and grandchildren, it was nice to see another author put some effort into uncovering the mysteries of this Tudor king. Recommended for anyone interested in Tudor history.

NetGalley, Ionia Froment

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I don’t read many non-fiction books. Truth be told, I usually find them boring. This book, however, managed to tell me all about the history of Henry Tudor in a way that actually kept me reading. It’s non-fiction, but engaging. I know a considerable amount about his descendants, but knew next to nothing about the man himself, so I’m glad I got to read this.

NetGalley, Kaitlin Ayres

An accurate account of the Wars of the Roses and Henry Tudor's life; from his birth, adolescence and exile to his return and his ascend to the throne after defeating King Richard III on 22 August 1485 (The Battle of Bosworth).

An interesting book for those who would like to know more about the least known of all the Tudor kings and queens, whose reign lasted 24 years and laid the foundations for the most powerful dynasty Britain had ever seen.

NetGalley, Carmen L

This book is a detailed and comprehensive study of the life of Henry Tudor, who was to become King Henry VII. I have read a great deal about Henry VII and his marriages and children, but not very much on Henry VII. I was anxious to read more about his history. The book is well documented and pulls from references such as Polydore Vergil (Henry's chronicler), a contemporary of Henry Tudor's. Many treatises of Henry's landing in Wales with his troops were written years later and the author gave copious reasons why these references should not be taken at face value.

Henry's seizure of the Crown of England and his marriage to Elizabeth, a Yorkist princess, effectively put an end to the War of the Roses and the very old battle between Yorkist and Lancastrian factions.

The book is well annotated and reads easily. I found the material to be interesting and it added to my store of Tudor knowledge. His descriptions of the Battle of Bosworth, while in parts surmised, was very well done. His attention to detail is fantastic. Mr. Carradice's writing style is more story-like rather than dry pure historical. I enjoyed reading this book and look forward to reading more of his work.

NetGalley, Joyce Fox

The truth is that the history of the Tudors is fascinating to me, so from the beginning this book was ahead of the world. Reading is also quite easy and enjoyable, the author manages to see practically everything in truth through the eyes of the protagonist.

NetGalley, Rebeca Nuñez

I found this to be an informative book which I'd recommend to any fan of the Tudors.

NetGalley, Amy McElroy

A really good introduction to Henry VII and a good foundation for understanding the complicated alliances that fluctuated during the Wars of the Roses. The book ‘follows in the footsteps’ of Henry VII but it would have been useful to have had some sketch maps illustrating his route through Wales to Bosworth, and indeed some maps of the two variants of the battle to show unit dispositions. Otherwise a good read.

Michael McCarthy. Battlefield Guide

Michael McCarthy

About Phil Carradice

Phil Carradice is a well-known writer and historian with over 60 books to his credit. A poet, story teller and broadcaster, his most recent books are “The Cuban Missile Crisis” (for Pen and Sword), “The Call Up” (Fonthill) and the novel “Stargazers” for Accent Press. He is a regular broadcaster on BBC Radio and TV, presents the BBC Wales History programme “The Past Master” and is widely regarded as one of the finest creative writing tutors in Wales.

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