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Following in the Footsteps of Henry Tudor (Paperback)

A Historical Journey from Pembroke to Bosworth

Colour Books P&S History > British History > Tudors & Stuarts P&S History > 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.

The account of the Battle of Bosworth itself was particularly well written and interesting, giving a good idea of how both Richard and Henry may have felt as they made their preparations and how each of their fates rested on winning the support of Thomas and William Stanley, who waited until the very last minute to enter the battle.

Read the full review here

She Reads Novels

A book that I recommend, which perhaps will not change your mind about the goodness of Henry Tudor (for me he is always a usurper with very little legitimacy to govern), but which is useful for understanding many of the historical situations and knowing the places of the life of the first Tudor ruler, often forgotten and little understood.

Read the full Italian review here

Omne Ignotum Pro Magnifico

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I love anything Tudor and this book was right up my alley. It was so jam packed full of information... this book took us back farther and what made him who he was. Loved it.

NetGalley, Cynthia Guerra

I was interested in this subject as my son had been doing the War of the Roses and the Battle of Bosworth at school. I’d helped him with it, so had already found some information which I didn’t previously know and wanted to know more. This book looked the ideal place to start, and it follows the story of Henry Tudor. It felt like it wasn’t so much a non fiction, but a fiction or story based on true events from how it was written. There were some parts which didn’t interest me, but for the most, I was kept interested in Henry’s life and particularly his journey of the march to Bosworth and the ensuing battle.

It is very well researched and from the parts I knew, factually correct. It gives a good overview of Henry’s life and his rise to the Throne and is perfect for those who love either fact or fiction stories of the British Monarchy and British history. Rather than be used for those of school age, this is much more suited for those such as myself who know a bit about the subject but would definitely like to find out more!

NetGalley, Sharon Hunt

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Henry Tudor is a bit of a complex figure for me so reading this book aiding in my understanding. It read like a novel or a memoir of someone who was apart of Henrys life. quite excellent.

NetGalley, Makenzie Erickson

An enjoyable narrative history that focused on Henry Tudor as a man and his journey to the throne... the book was very readable and would be a good starting point for someone new to the period.

NetGalley, Asha Hartland

I enjoyed Carradice's writing style, and I found it easy to follow along with the different acts happening throughout the book, which can often be difficult in many nonfiction historical works. At times I found it hard to put the book down because even though I have already thoroughly studied the time period, Carradice's writing kept me drown into the story. A true sign of a good writer of history for the masses.

NetGalley, Tiffany Thompson

"You will lose nothing by having this on your bookshelf."

Full review

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The Henry Tudor Society

Featured on the 'Bookshelf'

Evergreen, Winter

This is the story of Henry Tudor’s march to Bosworth and a very detailed, well researched study into his life. We begin with a detailed background of his childhood and upbringing. Another interesting and enjoyable read on one of my favourite time periods.

NetGalley, Kirsty White

Deftly written with all the page-turning compulsion of a work of fiction, "Following in the Footsteps of Henry Tudor: A Historical Journey from Pembroke to Bosworth" is an impressively informative, exceptionally well organized and adroitly presented study that is unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library British History collections in general, and 15th century English History supplemental studies lists in particular.

Read the full review here

Midwest Book Review

Who Really Won the Battle of Bosworth?

Read the author's article for History Hit here

History Hit, September 2019

This is a great addition to any Tudor enthusiast's bookshelf. In this book we are following in the footsteps of Henry VII, first Tudor sovereign. What I liked the most about this book is that the author covered Henry's years in exile in Brittany - these years are usually skipped over in most of his biographies, or just mentioned in passing, so I was very excited to see a whole chapter dedicated to Henry's exile. I highly recommend this book for people interested in Henry, I feel like I know him much better now.

GoodReads, ConstantReader

This series, the "following in the footsteps" series, is one of Pen and Sword's finest, and really, there is nothing better than following in the footsteps of the man who founded the Tudor dynasty and led to the end of the bitter civil war that divided England in the late 1480s. Superb detail, reads almost like a novel.

Books Monthly

The story of the King who ended the Wars of the Roses and marked the transition from the Medieval Period to the Renaissance and the elevation of England as a major power. The story of Henry Tudor is one of twists and turns worthy of a best-selling novel, a real page turner – Recommended.

Read the full review here


This book is a detailed and comprehensive study of the life of Henry Tudor, who was to become King Henry VII, thought that the layout of the book was great and I really enjoyed the author’s writing style. I learned a lot about the time period . I highly recommend this book for people interested in Tudor history

NetGalley, Shelly Myers

Article: 'New book about Henry's march to Battle of Bosworth' as featured by

The Hinckley Times, 2nd October 2019 – words by Sam Hadadi

I found this book to be a quick read and a useful introduction to the Bosworth campaign. I recommend it for anyone wanting to get into this period.

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The Miniatures Page

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 (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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