A Dangerous Inheritance: A Novel of Tudor Rivals and the Secret of the Tower

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In this engrossing novel of historical suspense, New York Times bestselling author Alison Weir tells the dramatic intertwined stories of two women—Katherine Grey and Kate Plantagenet—separated by time but linked by twin destinies . . . . involving the mysterious tragic fate of the young Princes in the Tower.
 
When her older sister, Lady Jane Grey, the Nine Days’ Queen, is executed in 1554 for unlawfully accepting the English crown, Lady Katherine Grey’s world falls apart. Barely recovered from this tragic loss she risks all for love, only to incur the wrath of her formidable cousin Queen Elizabeth I, who sees Katherine as a rival for her insecure throne.
 
Interlaced with Katherine’s story is that of her distant kinswoman Kate Plantagenet, the bastard daughter of Richard III, the last Plantagenet king. In 1483, Kate travels to London for Richard’s coronation, and her world changes forever.
 
Kate loves her father, but before long she hears terrible rumors about him that threaten all she holds dear. Like Katherine Grey, she falls in love with a man who is forbidden to her. Then Kate embarks on what will become a perilous quest, covertly seeking the truth about what befell her cousins the Princes in the Tower, who may have been victims of Richard III’s lust for power. But time is not on Kate’s side, or on Katherine’s.
 
Katherine finds herself a prisoner in the Tower of London, the sinister fortress that overshadowed the lives of so many royal figures, including the boy princes. Will Elizabeth demand the full penalty for treason? And what secrets will Katherine find hidden within the Tower walls?
 
Alison Weir’s new novel is a page-turning story set within a framework of fascinating historical authenticity. In this rich and layered tapestry, Katherine and Kate discover that possessing royal blood can prove to be a dangerous inheritance.

Look for special features inside and an excerpt from Alison Weir's Captive Queen. Join the Random House Reader’s Circle for author chats and more.

Praise for A Dangerous Inheritance
 
“Highly compelling [with] plenty to keep readers enthralled.”—Historical Novel Review
 
“A page turner . . . too juicy to put down . . . Alison Weir’s strong suit as a fiction writer is making her novels living history.”—The Courier-Journal
 
“With its evident in-depth research and creative twists, this tale of two women trying to make sense of the power of the English crown . . . is nothing short of riveting.”—Library Journal (starred review)
 
“No one alive knows as much about the Tudors as Weir. . . . Any reader of Hilary Mantel’s excellent Tudor evocations will want to explore this book as well.”—Kirkus Reviews
 
“Stunning . . . A richly layered cake of love, sex, danger, death, and mystery.”—Sunday Express (UK)
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In the first volume of an exciting new series, bestselling author Alison Weir brings the dramatic reigns of England’s medieval queens to life.

The lives of England’s medieval queens were packed with incident—love, intrigue, betrayal, adultery, and warfare—but their stories have been largely obscured by centuries of myth and omission. Now esteemed biographer Alison Weir provides a fresh perspective and restores these women to their rightful place in history.

Spanning the years from the Norman conquest in 1066 to the dawn of a new era in 1154, when Henry II succeeded to the throne and Eleanor of Aquitaine, the first Plantagenet queen, was crowned, this epic book brings to vivid life five women, including: Matilda of Flanders, wife of William the Conqueror, the first Norman king; Matilda of Scotland, revered as “the common mother of all England”; and Empress Maud, England’s first female ruler, whose son King Henry II would go on to found the Plantagenet dynasty. More than those who came before or after them, these Norman consorts were recognized as equal sharers in sovereignty. Without the support of their wives, the Norman kings could not have ruled their disparate dominions as effectively.

Drawing from the most reliable contemporary sources, Weir skillfully strips away centuries of romantic lore to share a balanced and authentic take on the importance of these female monarchs. What emerges is a seamless royal saga, an all-encompassing portrait of English medieval queenship, and a sweeping panorama of British history.

Praise for Queens of the Conquest

“Best-selling author [Alison] Weir pens another readable, well-researched English history, the first in a proposed four-volume series on England’s medieval queens. . . . Weir’s research skills and storytelling ability combine beautifully to tell a fascinating story supported by excellent historical research. Fans of her fiction and nonfiction will enjoy this latest work.”—Library Journal (starred review)
 
“Another sound feminist resurrection by a seasoned historian . . . Though Norman queens were largely unknowable, leave it to this prolific historical biographer to bring them to life. . . . As usual, Weir is meticulous in her research.”—Kirkus Reviews
The surprising and dramatic life of the least known of King Henry VIII’s wives is illuminated in the fourth volume in the Six Tudor Queens series—for fans of Philippa Gregory, Hilary Mantel, and The Crown.

Newly widowed and the father of an infant son, Henry VIII realizes he must marry again to ensure the royal succession. Forty-six, overweight, and suffering from gout, Henry is soundly rejected by some of Europe's most eligible princesses. Anna of Kleve, from a small German duchy, is twenty-four, and has a secret she is desperate to keep hidden. Henry commissions her portrait from his court painter, who depicts her from the most flattering perspective. Entranced by the lovely image, Henry is bitterly surprised when Anna arrives in England and he sees her in the flesh. Some think her attractive, but Henry knows he can never love her.

What follows is the fascinating story of an awkward royal union that somehow had to be terminated. Even as Henry begins to warm to his new wife and share her bed, his attention is captivated by one of her maids-of-honor. Will he accuse Anna of adultery as he did Queen Anne Boleyn, and send her to the scaffold? Or will he divorce her and send her home in disgrace? Alison Weir takes a fresh and astonishing look at this remarkable royal marriage by describing it from the point of view of Queen Anna, a young woman with hopes and dreams of her own, alone and fearing for her life in a royal court that rejected her almost from the day she set foot on England’s shore.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Ballantine Books
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Published on
Oct 2, 2012
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Pages
560
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ISBN
9780345535948
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Biographical
Fiction / Historical / General
Fiction / Sagas
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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In this compelling novel of Tudor drama and suspense, acclaimed author Alison Weir brings to life one of England’s most scandalous royal love affairs: the romance between the “Virgin Queen” Elizabeth I and her courtier Lord Robert Dudley.
 
Only twenty-five and newly crowned, Elizabeth vows to rule the country as both queen and king. But her counselors continually press her to form an advantageous marriage and produce an heir. Though none of the suitors have yet worked their way to her throne, the dashing—though married—Lord Robert lays claim to Elizabeth’s heart. Their flagrant flirting, their unescorted outings, and the appointment of Lord Robert to Master of Horse inspire whispers through the court, and even rumors that Elizabeth has secretly given birth to Lord Robert’s child.
 
Events take a dark turn when Robert’s wife is found dead. Universal shock is followed by accusations of murder. Despite the scandal, Elizabeth and Robert manage to navigate the choppy political, economic, and religious waters around them. But the greatest obstacle to marriage between the Queen and her true love may come not from outside forces, but from within.
 
With intricate period detail and captivating prose, Alison Weir explores one of history’s most provocative “Did they or didn’t they?” debates. The Marriage Game maneuvers through the alliances, duplicities, intrigue, and emotions of a woman intent on sovereignty—over her country and herself.

Praise for The Marriage Game
 
“Entrancing . . . Weir manages to weave actual history and the imagined kind together seamlessly.”—Huntington News
 
“Weir’s credible characters and blend of the personal and political will sweep up readers of this engrossing behind-the-scenes psychological portrait of Elizabeth.”—Publishers Weekly
 
“Based on historical events, letters and conjecture, Weir paints a fascinating picture of Elizabeth’s years as queen. . . . There is enough drama here for a PBS series.”—RT Book Reviews
 
“Weir’s impeccable reputation as both a historian and a master storyteller guarantees a huge audience for another intriguing Tudor-themed tale.”—Booklist
 
Praise for Alison Weir
 
A Dangerous Inheritance
 
“A juicy mix of romance, drama and Tudor history . . . pure bliss for today’s royal watchers.”—Ladies’ Home Journal
 
“Highly compelling [with] plenty to keep readers enthralled.”—Historical Novel Review
 
Captive Queen
 
“Should be savored . . . Weir wastes no time captivating her audience.”—Seattle Post-Intelligencer
 
“Stunning . . . As always, Weir renders the bona fide plot twists of her heroine’s life with all the mastery of a thriller author, marrying historical fact with licentious fiction.”—The Denver Post
 
The Lady Elizabeth
 
“Intrigue and maneuverings. Scandal. Schemers and innocents put to death. [This] history of Tudor England is an engrossing story. . . . Weir marries conjecture with what is known about the life of Elizabeth I from childhood to coronation, and it makes for ripping good reading.”—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
 
“A compelling, even irresistible, read.”—Booklist (starred review)
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY RT BOOK REVIEWS

Perfect for fans of Philippa Gregory, Alison Weir, and Showtime’s The Tudors, The Boleyn King is the first book in an enthralling trilogy that dares to imagine: What if Anne Boleyn had actually given Henry VIII a son who grew up to be king?
 
Just seventeen years old, Henry IX, known as William, is a king bound by the restraints of the regency yet anxious to prove himself. With the French threatening battle and the Catholics sowing the seeds of rebellion at home, William trusts only three people: his older sister Elizabeth; his best friend and loyal counselor, Dominic; and Minuette, a young orphan raised as a royal ward by William’s mother, Anne Boleyn.
 
Against a tide of secrets, betrayal, and murder, William finds himself fighting for the very soul of his kingdom. Then, when he and Dominic both fall in love with Minuette, romantic obsession looms over a new generation of Tudors. One among them will pay the price for a king’s desire, as a shocking twist of fate changes England’s fortunes forever.
 
Includes a preview of Laura Andersen’s The Boleyn Deceit

Praise for The Boleyn King
 
“Imaginative . . . Andersen focuses on creating an exciting, action-driven plot containing strong doses of both intrigue and romance. Tudor-era historical fiction fans who are willing to accept the unusual premise will be rewarded with an original and entertaining read that’s reminiscent of the best of Philippa Gregory.”—Library Journal (starred review)
 
“Gripping . . . Andersen delves into an alternative Tudor England geared to rivet period fans and newcomers alike. . . . Perfect for Philippa Gregory fans.”—Booklist (starred review)
 
“A surprising gem and a thoroughly enjoyable read.”—Historical Novels Review
 
“Andersen’s novel, alive with historical flair and drama, satisfies both curious and imaginative Tudor aficionados. . . . Her multidimensional characters are so real that readers will wish it was history and eagerly await the next in the trilogy.”—RT Book Reviews (Top Pick)
 
“A wonderfully imaginative and well-written tale of intrigue, high court politics and desperate love.”—Deseret News
 
“ ‘What if . . .’ With these tantalizing words, Laura Andersen creates a fresh and vividly realized alternative world where Anne Boleyn not only lives, but also gives birth to a healthy son who will become King. With the introduction of Minuette, Princess Elizabeth’s lady-in-waiting, we meet an extraordinary young woman who embodies love and loyalty, and who fights to find the humanity at the heart of the most glamorous—and dangerous—court in Europe.”—Susan Elia MacNeal, author of Mr. Churchill’s Secretary
 
“Full of intrigue, conspiracies, and the accurate details so essential to good historical fiction . . . Anyone who has even the slightest fascination with the Tudors will want to devour this delectable novel in a single sitting.”—Tasha Alexander, New York Times bestselling author of Death in the Floating City

Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader’s Circle for author chats and more.
“An impressive debut. Weir shows skill at plotting and maintaining tension, and she is clearly going to be a major player in the . . . historical fiction game.”—The Independent

I am now a condemned traitor . . . I am to die when I have hardly begun to live.

Historical expertise marries page-turning fiction in Alison Weir’s enthralling debut novel, breathing new life into one of the most significant and tumultuous periods of the English monarchy. It is the story of Lady Jane Grey–“the Nine Days’ Queen” –a fifteen-year-old girl who unwittingly finds herself at the center of the religious and civil unrest that nearly toppled the fabled House of Tudor during the sixteenth century.

The child of a scheming father and a ruthless mother, for whom she is merely a pawn in a dynastic game with the highest stakes, Jane Grey was born during the harrowingly turbulent period between Anne Boleyn’s beheading and the demise of Jane’s infamous great-uncle, King Henry VIII. With the premature passing of Jane’ s adolescent cousin, and Henry’s successor, King Edward VI, comes a struggle for supremacy fueled by political machinations and lethal religious fervor.

Unabashedly honest and exceptionally intelligent, Jane possesses a sound strength of character beyond her years that equips her to weather the vicious storm. And though she has no ambitions to rule, preferring to immerse herself in books and religious studies, she is forced to accept the crown, and by so doing sets off a firestorm of intrigue, betrayal, and tragedy.

Alison Weir uses her unmatched skills as a historian to enliven the many dynamic characters of this majestic drama. Along with Lady Jane Grey, Weir vividly renders her devious parents; her much-loved nanny; the benevolent Queen Katherine Parr; Jane’s ambitious cousins; the Catholic “Bloody” Mary, who will stop at nothing to seize the throne; and the protestant and future queen Elizabeth. Readers venture inside royal drawing rooms and bedchambers to witness the power-grabbing that swirls around Lady Jane Grey from the day of her birth to her unbearably poignant death. Innocent Traitor paints a complete and compelling portrait of this captivating young woman, a faithful servant of God whose short reign and brief life would make her a legend.

BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Alison Weir's Mary Boleyn.
Dangerous court intrigue and affairs of the heart collide as renowned novelist Jean Plaidy tells the story of Katherine Parr, the last of Henry VIII’s six queens.

Henry VIII’s fifth wife, Katherine Howard, was both foolish and unfaithful, and she paid for it with her life. Henry vowed that his sixth wife would be different, and she was. Katherine Parr was twice widowed and thirty-one years old. A thoughtful, well-read lady, she was known at court for her unblemished reputation and her kind heart. She had hoped to marry for love and had set her heart on Thomas Seymour, the dashing brother of Henry’s third queen. But the aging king—more in need of a nurse than a wife—was drawn to her, and Katherine could not refuse his proposal of marriage.

Queen Katherine was able to soothe the King’s notorious temper, and his three children grew fond of her, the only mother they had ever really known. Trapped in a loveless marriage to a volatile tyrant, books were Katherine’s consolation. But among her intellectual pursuits was an interest in Lutheranism—a religion that the king saw as a threat to his supremacy as head of the new Church of England. Courtiers envious of the Queen’s influence over Henry sought to destroy her by linking her with the “radical” religious reformers. Henry raged that Katherine had betrayed him, and had a warrant drawn up for her arrest and imprisonment. At court it was whispered that the king would soon execute yet another wife. Henry’s sixth wife would have to rely on her wits to survive where two other women had perished. . . .
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