Tudor: The Family Story – Win a copy and Q&A with author Leanda de Lisle

Thank you to everyone who entered the competition. Look out for Leanda’s answers to your questions.

‘This fresh take on the Tudor dynasty is history at its best.’

(Publishers Weekly)

(c) Chatto & Windus

(c) Chatto & Windus

‘Tudor: The Family Story’ by Leanda de Lisle is published in the UK on 29th August by Chatto & Windus.

‘The Tudors are a national obsession; they are our most notorious family in history. But, as Leanda de Lisle shows in this gripping new history, beyond the well-worn headlines is a family still more extraordinary than the one we thought we knew.

By creating a full family portrait set against the background of this past, Leanda de Lisle enables us to see the Tudors in their own terms, rather than ours; and presents new perspectives and revelations on key figures and events. We see a family dominated by remarkable women doing everything possible to secure its future; understand why the Princes in the Tower were disappeared; look again at the bloodiness of Mary’s reign; at Elizabeth’s relationships with her cousins; and re-discover the true significance of previously overlooked figures. We see the supreme importance of achieving peace and stability in a violent and uncertain world, and of protecting and securing the bloodline.

Tudor tells a family story like no other, and brings it once more to vivid life.’ (Chatto & Windus)


To celebrate, The Lady Jane Grey Reference Guide offers you the chance to win a copy of this fascinating book and to ask the author any burning questions you have about the Tudors…

Leanda will choose some questions to answer and the Q&A will appear at this blog.

Thanks to Chatto & Windus you can win one of five copies in a UK, European and Commonwealth give-away!

To enter:

Submit a question to Leanda by emailing me at and leaving your name and country.

The competition ends at midnight (UK time) on Friday 6 September.

I will post the questions on this page.

You can submit the same question as someone else, as all names will be entered into the draw.

The five winners will be selected at random.

If you live outside the UK and Commonwealth you can still submit a question to be answered but it will not be entered into the draw.

Good luck!

You can follow Leanda de Lisle at:

Leanda de Lisle.com




Sarah B
Who is your favourite personality from the Tudor period and why?

Who is your favourite Tudor personality and why?

How do you think Henry VIII would have been if he hadn’t of had his accident at the joust in 1536? Would his reign have been any different if the accident had never occurred?

Why did the Princes in the Tower really disappear? Were they regarded as a major threat to Henry Tudor’s claim to the throne, even though Richard III had declared his brother Edward IV’s marriage to Elizabeth Woodville was invalid, and the two princes were illegitimate?

Who is your favourite Tudor personality and why?

What made you decided to write a book on the family story of one of the most notorious royal families in England?

What do you think happened in Anne Boleyn’s fall? Was it all Cromwell, who wanted her out of his way, or Henry ordered Cromwell to make Anne disappear and Thomas just obliged?

With all the negativity towards Anne Boleyn, Do you
think she did what she was tried for, or was it all a big mistake by people
just wanting her out of the way? Anne is my favourite of all Henry’s wives and I look forward to hearing your honest opinion….

Which previously overlooked person actually played a major role in changing history and how?

What made you become interested in the Tudor period?

If Prince Arthur had of lived what impact do you think that would have had on the country today?

What influence (if any) do you feel that Margaret Beaufort had on Henry?

Why do you think Elizabeth did not want Katherine Grey’s son, Edward, to succeed her?

Bearing in mind Henry VIII dark reputation regarding his treatment of his wives, why, during a reign of fear, did nobles believe that their daughters, should they marry Henry, would not meet a grisly end?

Do you think Hilary Mantel’s softer, family man interpretation of Thomas Cromwell has any bearing in reality, or was he just as cunning and ruthless as most historians tend to interpret him as?

Elizabeth was close with her cousins from her mother’s side of the family. Is there any evidence that Elizabeth ever discussed their family history with her Boleyn cousins?

Given the amount of books already written about the Tudors, did you feel a pressure to deliver something completely different as to what had already been published?

Over the last couple of years, Tudor history has been given a new life with more interest invested in it. What do you feel is the most significant idea put forward so far and do you feel that there is any areas which have been grossly misinterpreted or neglected?

What are your thoughts on how Thomas Cromwell has been treated by history?

If Katherine Grey had been allowed to live with her husband Hereford how would that have affected Elizabeth’s sense of security over her throne?

If Lady Jane Grey had not been forced into marriage and the thrown how do you think her life would have unfurled in England of the 16th Century?

Which Tudor personality do you think is the most underrated and why?

Henry VIII was believed to idolise King Henry V who, though a forerunner, was not his direct ancestor. Given that the Tudor dynasty sprung instead from the middle Lancastrian’s widow Catherine of Valois, how frustrating do you think Henry found being so close to and yet so obviously far from the hero of Agincourt, and how far do you think that his descent from Charles VI of France through Catherine was in his mind when he ‘reopened’ the Hundred Years War in 1513, despite the fact that emphasising this claim may have in turn emphasised the dubious nature of his conventional claim to the French throne via Margaret Beaufort, and indeed the English crown itself?

Do you think/feel that Queen Elizabeth I ever regretted putting her paternal cousins, the Ladies Catherine and Mary Grey under house arrest? Lady Catherine was imprisoned for 7 years until her death at age 28. Was her death the reason why she took Lady Mary out of house arrest and made her one of her Ladies-in-Waiting?

Which historic person from the Tudor period would be most at home in the 21st Century ?

If Jane Seymour had not died after giving birth to a son, do you think that the marriage would have lasted and been his final marriage?

Sarah L
I would like to know what your opinion of Jane Seymour is? History has painted her as a fairly bland character when compared to Anne Boleyn, someone who was coached by others in order to ensure she was appealing to the King. Do you think she was the meek mild woman she has been portrayed as or do you think she was every bit as ambitious as Anne was?

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