Book Reviews, History

Review of “The House of Beaufort – the Bastard Line That Captured the Crown” by Nathen Amin (Published by Amberley Publishing)

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This book is brilliant in its meticulous research and approachable writing.

With the glut of all things Tudor (books, television, novels, series) this book fills a void going to the genealogical root, back to the bastard line of John of Gaunt and Katherine Swynford (his mistress, later wife) where it all began…the House of Beaufort.

A family whose members rose high in secular and religious society, guiding England during the tumultuous 15th century (the War of the Roses); their fall was as low as any heights they attained. With details about the life, character and motivations of each individual, a story emerges of intrigue, switched loyalties, and scandal as this family became companion to Kings and other noble families, eventually ending with King Edward IV “crushing the seed”. But did he and how would the future unfold for this line in the person of a young widow named Margaret and her son, Henry?

The author’s grasp of time and place, along with insight from contemporary and nearly contemporary writing not only enlivens these historical figures for the reader, but gives their actions credence.

Along with a detailed index, giving both name and title of key figures, equally detailed notes and bibliography, make this work accessible to the non-historian reader.

But, what was most intriguing for this reader, was the reversal of fortune into misfortune and events that with one small shift, might have altered history. A history that continues after this book ends, but not before a final paragraph which gave this reader the chills.

 

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