18 March 2017

New Book Launch – HENRY Book Three of the Tudor Trilogy



(Audiobook coming soon)

Bosworth 1485: After victory against King Richard III, Henry Tudor becomes King of England. Rebels and pretenders plot to seize his throne. The barons resent his plans to curb their power and he wonders who he can trust. He hopes to unite Lancaster and York through marriage to the beautiful Elizabeth of York. With help from his mother, Lady Margaret Beaufort, he learns to keep a fragile peace. He chooses a Spanish Princess, Catherine of Aragon, as a wife for his son Prince Arthur. His daughters will marry the King of Scotland and the son of the Emperor of Rome. It seems his prayers are answered, then disaster strikes and Henry must ensure the future of the Tudors.

I began the Tudor Trilogy with a challenge. The known facts of Owen Tudor’s life are so sparse it’s little wonder so few writers have tackled his story. There are no images of him and historians even debate his name. Undaunted, I persevered and uncovered an amazing life of adventure which ended in tragedy when Owen was about the same age I am now.

The records were far more detailed for the second book, the story of Owen’s second son Jasper Tudor, and although he spent many years in exile I had no shortage of material. As my research progressed I began to wonder how the story would end. Henry was born in the first book, comes of age in the second and becomes King of England in the final book of the trilogy.

The problem now was too much information. Henry left a wealth of detailed records, often initialling every line in his ledgers, which still survive. At the same time, I had to deal with the contradictions, myths and legends that cloud interpretation of the facts. It troubled me to realise how, even in my own history lessons, we skipped over Henry’s contribution to learn about his son (and his six wives).

How could I begin to do justice to the life of such a complex and little understood man? Why did his son turn out as he did? I decided the only way was to immerse myself in Henry’s world and explore events as they might have appeared from his point of view. I stood in the small room in Pembroke Castle where Henry Tudor is thought to have been born, (within sight of where I was born) and began three years of intensive research about this enigmatic king.

I bought every book I could find about Henry and his times. I travelled to remote Brittany to visit the cobweb-festooned chateau in theforest where he lived in exile. I stood on the pebble beach at Mill Bay wherehe landed with his invasion fleet. I walked across Bosworth field and watched hundreds of re-enactors recreate the battle, complete with cavalry and cannon fire. I saw the Torrigiano bust of Henry at the V&A Museum, his portraits at the National Portrait Gallery and finally visited his tomb at Westminster Abbey.

My hope is that I can offer readers an insight into Henry’s life and make them want to learn more about one of our least understood kings. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the readers around the world who have been on this journey with me. Although this is the end of the Tudor trilogy, I am now researching the lives of Henry's daughter Mary and her husband Charles Brandon, so the story of the Tudors is far from over.

Tony Riches

2 comments:

  1. Really want to read this one! Henry is so overlooked same as the other early Tudors and it's nice to finally see a new portrayal of him.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you - I agree, Henry deserves to be better understood!

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