The shocking and extraordinary story of the most-conniving, manipulative Tudor family you've never heard of—the dashing and daring House of Dudley.
Each Tudor monarch made their name with a Dudley by their side—or by crushing one beneath their feet.
The Dudleys thrived at the court of Henry VII, but were sacrificed to the popularity of Henry VIII. Rising to prominence in the reign of Edward VI, the Dudleys lost it all by advancing Jane Grey to the throne over Mary I. That was until the reign of Elizabeth I, when the family was once again at the center of power, and would do anything to remain there. . . .
With three generations of felled favorites, what was it that caused this family to keep rising so high and falling so low?
Here, for the first time, is the story of England's Borgias, a noble house competing in a murderous game for the English throne. Witness cunning, adultery, and sheer audacity from history's most brilliant, bold, and deceitful family.
Joanne Paul is Senior Lecturer in Early Modern History at the University of Sussex. A BBC/AHRC New Generation Thinker, her research focuses on the intellectual and cultural history of the Renaissance and Early Modern periods. She has written for the Cambridge University Press 'Ideas in Context' series and has been widely praised for her work on Thomas More, William Shakespeare, Machiavelli and Thomas Hobbes. The House of Dudley is her first book. She lives in Sussex.
“An enthralling read told with great verve and an eye for the telling detail.”
– The Literary Review
“Exciting and immersive. An immensely entertaining history, capturing in full Tudor brilliance the cut-throat glamour of the English throne and the most audacious family to play its game.”
– The Sunday Times (London)
“Breathes new life into an old and familiar Tudor story. It's delightful, a joy to read.”
– The Times (London)
“This is riveting stuff: death, desire, power and scandal. Game of Thrones looks tame compared with the real-life machinations of the Dudleys."
– The Spectator
“Rich and compelling. Conjures up the look and feel of Tudor life. You will find yourself drawn in, fascinated, and richly informed.”
– The Daily Telegraph
“A full-blooded affair, as good on the horrors of war as it is on the soft power of the Dudley women, and written in a lively, episodic style that presents each Dudley as a foil to the monarch they served.”
– Jessie Childs, author of God’s Traitors and The Siege of Loyalty House
'The crowning jewel in its genre. I can't recommend this book enough. Unputdownable.”
– Lindsey Fitzharris, author of The Facemaker and The Butchering Art
“When reading Joanne Paul's lively history of the house of Dudley, it is impossible not to be reminded of Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall trilogy.”