October 1, 2013

Ask the Tudor Librarian: Most Accurate Books on Anne Boleyn and Elizabeth I

Which book is the most accurate on the life and death of Anne Boleyn and Elizabeth I? I'm having trouble finding one.

Hi Paula,
Thanks for the question! The best book on Anne Boleyn (in my and many others' opinions) is Eric Ives' The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn. The Rise and Fall of Anne Boleyn: Family Politics at the Court of Henry VIII by Retha M. Warnicke is also a great one for the political ins and outs of Anne's time.

Elizabeth I is a little more tricky. I recommend Elizabeth: Struggle for the Throne by David Starkey for her earlier life, as well as The Life of Elizabeth I by Alison Weir. Though Weir gets some bad press here and there, I've always enjoyed her works and actually own and enjoyed this biography.

Do any of you have any other suggestions?


  1. Hi!
    Can you also recommend any accurate fiction about the Tudor family and the Tudor era?

  2. Jean Plaidy's novels are the best, in my opinion. She thoroughly researched all of her novels, and though some of the information has now been proven inaccurate, it was considered accurate at the time. Her writing is also superb. She really brings her characters to life!

  3. For non-fiction, Anne Somerset's biography of Elizabeth is excellent, IMO.



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