Books by Alison Weir

This article is about the British writer. For the American political activist, see If Americans Knew. Alison Weir (born 1951) is a popular British writer of history books for the general public, mostly in the form of biographies about British kings and q


ELIZABETH OF YORK by Alison Weir
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 3, 2013

"Admitting that she was not a dynamic figure, Weir portrays Elizabeth as a passive observer or victim and often ignores her entirely as she delivers an intensely researched, opinionated, almost blow-by-blow political history of Britain during the turbulent last half of the 15th century."
Prolific, best-selling author Weir (Mary Boleyn: Mistress of Kings, 2011, etc.), who specializes in female royalty, presents another popular biography, a serious work definitely not aimed at a bodice-ripper audience. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 2, 2012

"Did Richard III do in or merely discourage—" ‘suppressed,' mark you, not murdered"—his youngster kin? Read on."
A curiously structured historical whodunit by Tudor doyenne Weir (Henry VIII, 2001, etc.). Read full book review >
THE LADY IN THE TOWER by Alison Weir
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 1, 2010

"Weir knows her subject and lends her seemingly inexhaustible interest."
Is there a facet to Henry VIII and his wives that novelist and biographer Weir (Mistress of the Monarchy: The Life of Katherine Swynford, Duchess of Lancaster, 2009, etc.) hasn't yet brought to light? Read full book review >
MISTRESS OF THE MONARCHY by Alison Weir
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 27, 2009

"Quite beguiling—but not for the genealogically challenged."
Accomplished royal biographer Weir (Queen Isabella, 2005, etc.) delves into a touching medieval love story. Read full book review >
INNOCENT TRAITOR by Alison Weir
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 1, 2007

"An affecting portrayal."
Weir's erudition in matters royal finds fictional expression in the story of England's briefest reigning sovereign, Lady Jane Grey. Read full book review >
MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS, AND THE MURDER OF LORD DARNLEY by Alison Weir
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 2003

"Strictly for those who like their murder mysteries ancient and peopled by aristocrats."
Entertaining royal historian Weir (Henry VIII: The King and His Court, 2002, etc.) falters with a dull attempt to discover who ordered the death of Mary Stuart's husband in 1567. Read full book review >
HENRY VIII by Alison Weir
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 1, 2001

"Thoroughly researched and entertaining, filled with delicious details for general readers and provocative argument for students of the period."
A detailed journey through the court and life of Henry VIII. Read full book review >
ELEANOR OF AQUITAINE by Alison Weir
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 2000

"An impeccably researched but pro forma historical biography that comes truly alive only in the vibrantly biased quotations from contemporary sources. (16 pages b&w photos)"
It's hard to make the 12th century—the time of the violent forging of European nationhood, the literary invention of courtly love, and names like Dangerosa and the Lord of Cognac—boring, but biographer/genealogist Weir (The Life of Elizabeth I, 1998) gives it the old Oxford try. Read full book review >
THE LIFE OF ELIZABETH I by Alison Weir
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 1, 1998

"A riveting portrait of the queen and how the private woman won her public role."
Acclaimed Tudor biographer Weir paints a vast canvas but maintains a sharp focus on Elizabeth's charismatic character and her reactions to people and events around her. Read full book review >
THE CHILDREN OF HENRY VIII by Alison Weir
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 1, 1996

"Nevertheless, Weir succeeds not only in bringing to life Henry VIII's heirs but also in illuminating the background to the aftermath of their turbulent years—the Elizabethan era. (12 pages b&w photos, not seen)"
 This fascinating tale of murder, jealousy, religious fanaticism, and political scandal among 16th-century British royals makes the modern dysfunctional royal family appear quaint by comparison. Read full book review >
THE WARS OF THE ROSES by Alison Weir
HISTORY
Released: Aug. 20, 1995

"A complicated story brilliantly told, but with few concessions to the general reader. (16 pages b&w photos, not seen)"
 A highly detailed narrative of 15th-century England's complex dynastic struggles, from their origins in the reign of Edward III to the murder of Henry VI in 1471. Read full book review >
THE PRINCES IN THE TOWER by Alison Weir
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 1, 1994

"A fascinating historical whodunit in which truth is more sordid than fiction. (Eight pages of b&w photographs)"
 The methods of a Mafia boss characterized the career of Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who in the 15th century briefly ruled England as Richard III. Read full book review >
THE SIX WIVES OF HENRY VIII by Alison Weir
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 1, 1992

 Weir (the genealogical Britain's Royal Family—not reviewed) here uses the many public records and personal letters of the early 1500's to offer a comprehensive, factual version of the tempestuous private and public lives of Henry VIII and his six wives. Read full book review >