Tony Riches – 'Do we need more books about the Tudors?'

What a question! I’m intrigued about how Tony is going to answer this one… After writing several successful non-fiction books, Tony decided his real interest is in the history of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and now his focus is on writing historical fiction about the lives of key figures of medieval history.

His Tudor Trilogy has become an international best-seller and he is in regular demand as a guest speaker about the lives of the early Tudors. This was followed by his Brandon trilogy, about Charles Brandon, his life, career and his complex marriages including with Mary Tudor, princess of England and Queen of France. 

Tony’s blog, The Writing Desk, has well over a million visitors, and his popular podcast, Stories of the Tudors has had over 90,000 downloads. Tony returned to Pembrokeshire, an area full of inspiration for his writing, where he lives with his wife. In his spare time he enjoys sailing and sea kayaking.

Over to Tony!

I was born in Pembroke, not far from the impressive castle which was the birthplace of Henry VII, the first Tudor king. I couldn’t find any well researched novels about his life, so began collecting primary sources, and soon found I had enough material for at least three books. These became my Tudor trilogy, with Henry born in the first book, coming of age in the second, and becoming King of England in the third.

The trilogy became a best-selling series in the US, UK and Australia. Then came a series of questionable television dramas. These took liberties with the facts (like ‘merging’ Henry VIII’s sisters), and it was much the same when I studied history at school. I remember how we went straight to Henry VIII and his unlucky wives – then on to Elizabeth I seeing off the Spanish Armada.

I can understand anyone who suggests authors should avoid the Tudors as they’ve already had more than enough attention. When I began my research, however, I soon discovered the wealth of information which will be new to all but the most well-informed readers.

Writers such as C J Sansom, with his Shardlake series, and Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall trilogy inspired me to really thing about the world of the Tudors. I decided to follow the Tudor trilogy with a ‘sequel’ which explored the less well known but fascinating life of Henry VIII’s youngest sister, Mary, who became Queen of France and risked everything to marry Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk.

This led to my popular Brandon trilogy, and visits to the actual locations in Suffolk and Lincolnshire. A particularly poignant moment was when I visited St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle and saw Brandon’s tomb. I was also able to visit Grimsthorpe Castle, where he lived with his last wife, Katherine Willoughby and see the famous portraits of them side by side.

Grimsthorpe Castle

I realised my books provided a continuous line, telling the stories of the Tudors from Owen Tudor’s first meeting with Queen Catherine of Valois. I’m now working on an Elizabethan series, which will bring the intriguing world of the last Tudor queen to life.


For more information about Tony, do visit his website and his blog The Writing Desk.
You can find him on  Facebook and Twitter @tonyriches


Read Tony’s latest about Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex

Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, is one of the most intriguing men of the Elizabethan period. Tall and handsome, he soon becomes a ‘favourite’ at court, so close to the queen many wonder if they are lovers.

The truth is far more complex, as each has what the other yearns for. Robert Devereux longs for recognition, wealth and influence. His flamboyant naïveté amuses the ageing Queen Elizabeth, like the son she never had, and his vitality makes her feel young.

Robert Devereux’s remarkable true story continues the epic tale of the rise of the Tudors, which began with the best-selling Tudor trilogy and concludes with the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.

Buy from Amazon:  US   UK   Canada   Australia


Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers –  INCEPTIO, CARINA (novella), PERFIDITAS, SUCCESSIO,  AURELIA, NEXUS (novella), INSURRECTIO  and RETALIO,  and ROMA NOVA EXTRA, a collection of short stories.  Audiobooks are available for four of the series. Double Identity, a contemporary conspiracy, starts a new series of thrillers.

Find out more about Roma Nova, its origins, stories and heroines and taste world the latest contemporary thriller Double Identity… Download ‘Welcome to Alison Morton’s Thriller Worlds’, a FREE eBook, as a thank you gift when you sign up to Alison’s monthly email newsletter. You’ll also be among the first to know about news and book progress before everybody else, and take part in giveaways.

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