The Tudor Brandons by Sarah-Beth Watkins

Title – The Tudor Brandons
Author – Sarah-Beth Watkins
Genre – Historical Non-fiction
Length –    208 Pages
Publication – June 2016
My Rating – 4/5 Stars


This fascinating book studies the life and times of Mary Tudor and Charles Brandon, Henry VIII’s dearest sister and his closest companion. Charles rose from being Henry’s childhood friend to becoming the Duke of Suffolk; a consummate courtier and diplomat. Mary was always royalty. At first married to the King of France, Mary quickly wed Charles after Louis XII’s death in 1515, against her brother’s wishes. Their actions could have been construed as treason yet Henry chose to spare their lives. They returned to court and despite their ongoing disagreements throughout the years, especially over the king’s marriage to Anne Boleyn, the Tudor Brandons remained Henry’s most loyal subjects and perhaps more importantly, his beloved family.


Besides the reading I did in school and university this is the first real non-fiction book I’ve set myself down to read. It not that I don’t like non-fiction but I love the possibilities with fiction… I needn’t have worried though.

This book is crammed full of detail but told in such a way that it felt like a story playing out rather than just fact and fact.

We’ve all heard of Henry VIII I would hope but this is my first encounter Charles Brandon a very close friend of the King and I it enlightening to learn more about this period than was covered while I studied it at school many years ago.

Although Charles was not the nicest to woman I felt he must have been a very powerful and likeable man as he managed time and time again to keep on the good side of a king we all very much know wasn’t afraid to get rid of anyone in his way. We see Charles rise up through the ranks which seems to have caused quite a stir at the time, especially when he marries the King’s sister.

I’m not going to lie.. I’m not an English expert so I did find it hard to follow some of the text written in Older English but it didn’t take anything away from the tale.. it left me curious if anything so had me looking up little things here and there.

The only thing I would have liked elaborated on a bit further was the value of money at the time. We are told how much certain people were paid but since I’ve no knowledge of the currency system back then I’ve no idea the significance if any… that was the only note I scribbled down while reading.

If I had to pick a word to best describe this book it would have to be fascinating.. There’s so much history out there that isn’t taught at school.. you need to go out and look for it.. and when you do you find there’s some really interesting characters out there.

Anyone with an interest in the Tudors will enjoy this book and I’d highly recommend anyone like myself who has stuck to fiction to give this a go. It really was and enjoyable and engrossing read.

This is a family saga, love and death. It’s something you can really get your teeth into if you enjoy your history

Well worth reading

My thanks go to Chronos Books for the chance to read/review the work! Fascinating!

To find out more head to Goodreads, or

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