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Henry VIII's Imprisoned Women (Hardback)

The Women of the Tower

P&S History > British History > Tudors & Stuarts P&S History > By Century > 16th Century P&S History > Royal History P&S History > Social History Women of History

By Neha Roy
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 216
Illustrations: 25 mono
ISBN: 9781399095761
Published: 6th March 2023

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The year is 1534. Henry VIII sits on the throne of England. He has set aside his first wife, Queen Katharine of Aragon, and has married a second time. The marriage to Anne Boleyn brings a new wave of Reformation in England dividing the people and even leading to arrests and executions, even that of some noteworthy people.

The stories of women, including Henry’s two queens, who were persecuted, condemned and ultimately executed will be explored in this book. Alice Tankerville, the first woman to escape the infamous Tower of London, albeit for a short while; Elizabeth Barton, The Nun of Kent and the only woman to be dealt the dishonour of having her head spiked on London Bridge; Queen Anne Boleyn, whose fall was as tragically spectacular as her rise to fame; Margaret Pole, the last living Plantagenet princess who was denounced as a traitor and met a merciless end in her twilight years; Queen Katheryn Howard, whose daring yet seemingly foolish decisions ultimately led to her downfall; and finally, Anne Askew, the brave Protestant who gained infamy as the only woman to be racked at the Tower.

Through the lives of these women, we will get a glimpse into the reign of the capricious monarch who changed the face of England forever. Apart from this, the book will also delve into the history of the Tower of London, provide a brief glimpse into the life of Tudor women and also into the lives of some noteworthy people of that era.

Along with an eleven page List of People Mentioned in the Book, seven pages of Endnotes, a section of black/white illustrations, a two page Bibliography and Sources, a four page Author's Note, and a three page listing of Acknowledgments, historian Neha Roy;'s "Henry VIII's Imprisoned Women: The Women of the Tower" is an exceptional work of scholarship -- making it a enduringly welcome and highly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library 16th Century British History and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for students, academia, historians, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Henry VIII's Imprisoned Women: The Women of the Tower" is also available in a digital book format.

Read the full review here

Midwest Book Review

The details in this book are very well researched and it was good to read about the lesser known women in Henry VIII's life as well as the more famous ones and also their experiences in the Tower of London. I am very much a Tudor fan so read as much as I can so it was good to read about people I didn't necessarily know as much. A great read. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

NetGalley, T B

A well researched book which explores life in medieval Europe. I would thoroughly recommend this book to anyone interested in history. Many interesting facts brought to light which had me spellbound.

NetGalley, Lional Jones

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Love the cover. This was a fascinating read! The author did a great job researching and writing. I love everything Tudor so when I can find a book from that time period (fiction/non-fiction) I am all over it. Highly recommend.

NetGalley, Heather Michael

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I love history, and am absolutely fascinated with all things Tudor. Neha Roy's subject, women, is a much-needed subject from a time when women were not as well recorded as men.
This is a well-researched book and absolutely fascinating. I knew of most of the women's stories, but Anne Askew and Alice Tankerville I have never read about or seen anything documentary-wise about, so I was really impressed how well-researched Neha Roy went. Learning more about Margaret Pole and her well-cared for stay at the tower yet still executed was really interesting. The writing is really good and keeps you interested in the subject.
I really enjoyed this and would recommend to readers who are interested in Luther-era religious change, Tudor history, English history or women's history. This would be great as an audiobook as well, which I will be on the lookout for after the publishing date-- I'd love to have another read while I'm commuting or doing chores around the house! This is a great addition to the stories of women through history.

NetGalley, Vanessa Stoner

Thank you NetGalley, author and publisher for enabling me to read this book.

I love to read anything Tudor related so I immediately applied once I saw this book. A look at the women in Henry VIIIs life and what they experienced in the Tower of London. I love that it includes stories about women who haven’t always been discussed in detail. If you are a Tudor or history fan, I’m sure you will enjoy this book and learn something new!

NetGalley, Toni Wade

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

A short but interesting and informative book about the women who were imprisoned by Henry VIII for real or imagined offenses. The more interesting women on this book are the ones that have not been figures of extensive biographies, like Margaret Pole.

NetGalley, Caroline Palmer

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

The Tudor period is one of the most notable periods in British History with Henry the 8th being one of the most notorious Monarchs of all time due to his tyranny and brutality. However what I loved about this book is, although it was about Henry in some respect it was more about the women that he had imprisoned and suffered because of him and his tyranny.
The book was full of interesting information and included some of the women that I previously knew about as well as many that I didn't and I found it fascinating, without being too heavy loaded.

NetGalley, Aria Harlow

This was interesting read on history of Henry VIII. The author gave an in depth history of the Tower of London from when it was first built to Henry VIII’s time.

We get to read about some of the lesser known figures executed during Henry VIII’s reign all of which were women.

These were brutal times for sure and it was interesting reading about the constant court intrigue that was happening.

NetGalley, Lea Day

An interesting addition to the pantheon of books on Tudor history. Neha Roy presents the reader with 10 chapters of information concerning 6 women imprisoned in the Tower by Henry VIII. The first 4 chapters give an overview concerning the history of the Tower, the life of common women in Tudor times (which is more complex than just a simple chapter), and Henry VIII himself & his inner circle. The remaining chapters cover 6 specific women, only one of which was new to me (Alice Tankerville).

The book was well-written, making it easy to read and understand. I believe it would serve as an excellent source of material for a course centered on the Tudor era, and for Tudor history buffs in general.

NetGalley, Mariama Thorlu-Bangura

Henry VIII is one of the most written-about British monarchs and this book adds detailed information about the many women he harmed in his life. There was a lot of new information, for me, beyond the well known experiences of his many wives and it was clearly well researched and well presented. An excellent addition to the genre.

NetGalley, Louise Gray

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Neha Roy examines 6 women locked in the Tower over the course of Henry VIII's reign, ranging from the obscure (Alice Tankerville) to the famous (Anne Boleyn). We don't just learn about the crimes the women were accused of and their fates, but also an intense deep dive for each of them about their own lives, their families, their political connections to the bigger picture of the Tudor reign and how their arrests reflected current events in Henry's reign.

Roy loves to give context, and we start first with a history of the Tower itself, going back to William the Conqueror, then a deep look into the causes of the War of the Roses, followed by a look at the Tudor dynasty origins and how their royal dynasty played out, as well as an intense mini-biography on Henry VIII, focusing on his instability and head-choppy attitude.

An EXCELLANT history of the Tudors, shining a well-deserved spotlight on some of Henry VIII's victims.

NetGalley, Kara Race-Moore

Henry VIII's Imprisoned Women: The Women of the Tower by Neha Roy is an interesting nonfiction and historical account of some of the women that were found to be detained and punished within the Tower of London during the reign of Henry VIII.

This is a great collection of some of the women, some more famous than others obviously, that all had something in common: they found themselves on the bad side of King Henry VIII.

Many of these women I knew quite a bit about, some less so, and was able to learn a bit more about their time of imprisonment. I have a personal soft spot for Margaret Pole and obviously gravitated towards her account first.

A great collection that gives us a glimpse into the risky and dangerous times during the Tudor period, especially for women.

4/5 stars

NetGalley, Rachel Fox

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

There were a lot of women that Henry VIII sent to that tower, that was a educational read and it did what I was hoping for when I requested this. The Tudors dynasty may be my favorite time-period, it does a great job in telling these women's story. Neha Roy has a great writing style and I was invested in what was happening to these women.

NetGalley, Kathryn McLeer

About Neha Roy

Neha Roy is an educational content writer, and her short stories have been published in her local Bengali society’s annual magazine and online on her Wattpad page. It was her grandfather who introduced her to the world of books and, later, history. He made her fall in love with history by narrating anecdotes from the past and his life experiences. She recently forayed into non-fiction when she started a blog on the Plantagenets and the Tudor dynasty, and the various Tudor books, podcasts and websites available opened up a whole new world.
She lives in Gurgaon, India with her husband, in-laws and her 4-year-old daughter. Her Twitter and Instagram handles are @withtudors.

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