The Fighting Tudors

The Fighting Tudors

by David Loades
     
 

When Henry VII seized the throne after the battle of Bosworth, his crown was far from secure. Yet for more than a hundred years his descendants from Henry VIII to Elizabeth I ruled in England, surviving religious turmoil, rebellion, foreign armadas, diplomatic crises and losses overseas. Some of them went reluctantly to war whilst others embraced its potential, yet

Overview

When Henry VII seized the throne after the battle of Bosworth, his crown was far from secure. Yet for more than a hundred years his descendants from Henry VIII to Elizabeth I ruled in England, surviving religious turmoil, rebellion, foreign armadas, diplomatic crises and losses overseas. Some of them went reluctantly to war whilst others embraced its potential, yet all relied upon military success for reflected power and prestige-while spilling not a drop of royal blood. This fascinating story of a dynasty explores its major conflicts and their interplay with the royal image, charting monarchy's changing role amidst a power-hungry elite.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Although the Tudors ruled England for well over a century (1485-1603), in The Fighting Tudors Prof. Loades (Oxford) gives us the first general survey of the English way of war in the period, one that he argues is characterized by the “civilianization” of government functions, with a focus on war, as state institutions evolved. A short introduction on the nature of kingship is followed by reign-by-reign look at how military and naval administration, organization, and equipment evolved in the period, and, of course, the actual conduct of operations. There are short accounts of various wars and rebellions, even covert operations, and a look at the increasing integration of diplomatic and military activities as England developed into a major power. This is a good look at the development of the military side of one of the first nation-states in the modern sense, and a valuable read for those interested in British history, the Renaissance, and the rise of modern military institutions.

For those readers that have an interest in English history and particularly the glorious period of the Tudor reign, David Loades' book The Fighting Tudors is a very interesting and different approach to an aspect of the Tudors that possibly defined not only their reigns but also the future of what became the British Empire. Loades takes each King and Queen of the Tudor dynasty and focuses on their approaches to military action and how it was used as a political tool to survive and to build a kingdom that carries an image which through the future centuries has fascinated people around the world. Beginning with Henry VII's victory at the Battle of Bosworth Field, Loades gives the reader insight into the behind the scenes evolution of Henry's early approach to the military defense of England in his wanting to build a Navy. As you move through the book, you become aware of the importance of these early steps in the military preparedness of Henry VII as they influence each of his Tudor successors through Elizabeth I and the relevance of the English Navy in light of how important this would be to building an Empire with the beginning of the Age of Discovery in the new world and the rise of power of Spain with its Armada. Loades brings out how the approach to military action by the Tudors began to change the European perception of the English being somewhat barbarian, as Loades points out about Henry VIII's Field of Gold encounter with the French king, saying: "Two ancient enemies had been brought together in peaceful competition rather than in war, and Henry's image had been greatly enhanced. The general impression that the English were a collection of barbarians had been definitively dispelled." The insight into the short reign of the child king Edward VI is another aspect of this book that is not found in most history books of this period. All these accounts lead to the discussion of the reign of Elizabeth I, which takes up almost half of the book and is showing the culmination of the Tudor approach to military action and its effective use in both the political and image making context. Political leaders around the world today in these very image driven times could profit from a reading of this book. For me the book could not be read without the thought of how important these reigns were in setting the stage for such creative figures in the history of Britain as Sir Walter Raleigh, Shakespeare and Sir Thomas More. Not only is the book a very interesting and provocative read, but it is also well written and easy to comprehend.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781905615520
Publisher:
Bloomsbury Academic
Publication date:
10/19/2009
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

David Loades is Professor Emeritus at the University of Wales, and Associate of the Centre for Early Modern History at the University of Oxford and Honorary Research Professor at the University of Sheffield. A leading authority on Tudor England, he is also a well known and popular writer on its key personalities and events. He has a particular interest in the Tudor navy and has written on several of the period's monarchs and statesmen. Recent books include Henry VIII: Court, Church and Conflict and Princes of Wales; Royal heirs in waiting, both for The National Archives, as well as The Life and Career of William Paulet ( 2008) and (with Eamon Duffy) The Church of Mary Tudor (2006).

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