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Alison Weir is a British historian and author that writes both fiction and nonfiction. She spends a lot of time writing about the female members of the English royal family and their roles in specific historical settings.
Order of Six Tudor Queens Series
|1||Katherine of Aragon, The True Queen||2016||Description / Buy|
|2||Anne Boleyn, A King's Obsession||2017||Description / Buy|
|3||Jane Seymour, The Haunted Queen||2018||Description / Buy|
|4||Anna of Kleve, The Princess in the Portrait||2019||Description / Buy|
|5||Katheryn Howard, The Scandalous Queen||2020||Description / Buy|
|6||Katharine Parr, The Sixth Wife||2021||Description / Buy|
Order of Elizabeth I Series
|1||The Lady Elizabeth||2008||Description / Buy|
|2||The Marriage Game||2014||Description / Buy|
Order of England's Medieval Queens Series
|1||Queens of the Conquest||2017||Description / Buy|
|2||Queens of the Crusades||2021||Description / Buy|
|3||Queens of the Age of Chivalry||2022||Description / Buy|
Order of Tudor Rose Series
|1||Elizabeth of York: The Last White Rose||2022||Description / Buy|
|2||The King's Pleasure||2023||Description / Buy|
Order of Alison Weir Standalone Novels
|1||Innocent Traitor||2006||Description / Buy|
|2||Captive Queen||2010||Description / Buy|
|3||A Dangerous Inheritance||2012||Description / Buy|
Order of Alison Weir Short Stories/Novellas
|1||Traitors of the Tower (Short Story)||2010||Description / Buy|
Order of Alison Weir Non-Fiction Books
|1||Britain's Royal Families||1989||Description / Buy|
|2||The Six Wives of Henry VIII||1991||Description / Buy|
|3||The Princes in the Tower||1992||Description / Buy|
|4||The Wars of the Roses||1995||Description / Buy|
|5||The Children of Henry VIII||1996||Description / Buy|
|6||The Life of Elizabeth I||1998||Description / Buy|
|7||Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Life||1999||Description / Buy|
|8||Henry VIII: The King and His Court||2001||Description / Buy|
|9||Mary, Queen of Scots, and the Murder of Lord Darnley||2003||Description / Buy|
|10||Isabella: She-Wolf of France, Queen of England||2005||Description / Buy|
|11||Katherine Swynford / Mistress of the Monarchy||2009||Description / Buy|
|12||The Lady in the Tower||2009||Description / Buy|
|13||The Ring and the Crown||2011||Description / Buy|
|14||Mary Boleyn||2011||Description / Buy|
|15||Elizabeth of York||2013||Description / Buy|
|16||Richard III and the Princes in the Tower||2014||Description / Buy|
|17||The Lost Tudor Princess||2016||Description / Buy|
|18||A Tudor Christmas||2018||Description / Buy|
Born in 1951 in London, Alison spent her childhood in Westminster. After attending the City of London School for Girls, she trained as a teacher at the North-Western Polytechnic of London. Weir taught history for a while before taking issue with the teaching methods taking root in the education system.
The author left to become a civil servant. After a while, her role as a wife (to Rankin Weir) and mother became a priority. Her interest in history was ignited when she read ‘Henry’s Golden Queen.’ At 14, Weir was probably too young to read the lurid adult novel.
Nonetheless, the novel entranced her. She started reading history books to determine whether or not the novel’s events were based on reality. Weir spent the next few months using contemporary resources (partly) to write an Anne Boleyn biography, not to mention a reference work on the Tudor dynasty.
The 3-volume project was just the starting point. If the author had her way, she would have become a published author in the 1970s. But even though she spent four years researching and writing about Henry VIII’s six wives, publishers rejected her manuscript because it was too long.
Fortunately, Weir was unwilling to abandon ‘The Six Wives of Henry VIII.’ It came out in 1991 after undergoing revisions. Interestingly enough, it was the second manuscript she published.
The first was ‘Britain’s Royal Families,’ which came out in 1989. Years earlier, she wrote a book about Jane Seymour. But once again, publishers rejected the manuscript because of the length (Too Short).
It took Weir 21 years and eight revisions to get ‘British Royal Families’ right. The Bodley Head liked Weir’s work and agreed to publish it. This paved the way for the author’s career, turning Alison Weir into an author of historical nonfiction.
When Random House took over The Bodley Head, Weir jumped to Jonathan Cape. Her books have been published in the UK, US, Spain, Turkey, France, Russia, and more.
In the early 2000s, she finally turned her attention to fiction. After writing nonfiction for so many years, Weir decided that she liked the idea of writing in a field that did not expect her to adhere to the rules. She was still determined to stick to the facts. But the notion of concocting brand-new stories from her head as opposed to repeating historical facts excited her. The transition wasn’t easy.
She clashed with her publishers on some occasions because they wanted her to cut specific historical facts that obstructed the narrative instead of enhancing it. But after a bit of practice, Weir got the hang of things.
The Tudor period fascinates her because it is highly dramatic. So much happens, and the events during this period are driven by individuals with strong personalities.
Weir has a rich collection of sources to draw from for her Tudor-related books, including documents that provide a detailed look at the private lives of Europe’s Kings and Queens.
Best Alison Weir Books
Some academics have criticized the author for writing popular history. But Weir takes pride in the fact that she presents history in a manner that is not only entertaining but easier to digest for the layperson. She rejects scholars who act like history belongs to them alone. Weir’s best books include:
The Six Wives of Henry VIII: This book explores the life of Henry VIII. The monarch was obsessed with siring a son, and he was not afraid to break social conventions and religious traditions to get his way.
Weir explores the women that Henry pulled into his circle in his attempt to create an heir, women he manipulated and pitted against one another.
The Life of Elizabeth I: Queen Elizabeth I was an enigma. She valued her privacy above all else, keeping her own counsel and choosing to keep her closest advisers at arm’s length. As a result, people have numerous misconceptions about the woman.
Weir uses this book to dispel some of those misconceptions. She gives readers a glimpse of the real person behind the myth.
When Does The Next Alison Weir book come out?
The next book by Alison Weir is The King's Pleasure and will be released on May, 30th 2023. It is the newest book in the Tudor Rose Series.