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6 Tudor historical fiction books that will transport you!

The Murder of Edward VI is a historical fiction novel by David Snow from GenZ Publishing, which tells the story of Edward VI, the only son of Henry VIII, and half-brother to Mary I and Elizabeth I. From 1547 to his death in 1553, Edward VI was the king of England and Ireland. Like everything else in the Tudor era, his cause of death was also mired in speculation. Rumours of poisoning abounded in the 16th century. David Snow reimagines Edward VI’s relatively short rule into a story of intrigue and murder.

To prepare for your reading of The Murder of Edward VI, we’ve prepared a historical fiction marathon of the stories just before and just after Edward VI’s in history. Follow along with some of the most interesting of the Tudors (and their spouses) with this list.


What is historical Fiction?

Historic Fiction became a popular literary genre in 1819 with Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe. Ivanhoe was set in 12th century England and revolved around Wilfred of Ivanhoe’s struggle for power and love. Typically, historic fiction is set at least 30-50 years in the past, usually during a significant event or time period. Historic fiction can also be a combination of real or fictional characters set in a real, or imaginary, time & place. The essential elements that carry the reader to a different era are in the details – mannerisms, customs, cultures, social conditions, language, clothing, and other details of the depicted period.

Who were the Tudors?

The Tudors were the most intriguing family to rule England, with their dynasty on the throne from 1485 to 1603. The six Tudor monarchs included Henry VII, Henry VIII, Edward VI, Lady Jane Grey, Mary I, and Elizabeth I. The Tudor family, and their era, has been the one of the most popular subjects of historical fiction in books, movies, plays, and TV shows.

Here’s your free ticket to the ultimate historical fiction guide from the Tudor era:

  1. Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa Gregory

#1 New York Bestselling Author Phillipa Gregory delights us with this lesser known story of three Tudor sisters who shared an everlasting bond, but broke each other’s hearts as the queens of England, Scotland, and France: Margaret Tudor, Mary I, and Catherine of Aragon. The book opens in the year 1501.








  1. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

Henry VIII wants to annul his marriage of 20 years on a false account of incest and marry Anne Boleyn, which The Pope and most of Europe oppose. Step-by-step, Thomas Cromwell – an ambitious and cunning man – helps him defeat the opposition. Set between 1500-1535, Hilary Mantel provides a sympathetic depiction of Thomas Cromwell and his rise to power in this 2009 Man Booker Prize winner.








  1. Brief Gaudy Hour: A Novel of Anne Boleyn by Margaret Campbell Barnes

Brief Gaudy Hour by Margaret Campbell Barnes gives an intimate look into the life of Anne Boleyn, the enigmatic queen of England from 1533-1536 and the second wife of King Henry VIII. Originally published in 1969, it is a classic historical fiction and one of the very few books that humanizes the notorious queen.








  1. The Murder of Edward VI by David Snow

Here’s where GenZ Publishing’s newest historical fiction release fits into the Tudor timeline. After Catherine of Eragon and Anne Boleyn produced one daughter each (Mary and Elizabeth, respectively), Henry VIII’s third wife, Jane Seymour birthed his only son, Edward VI. This is his story…

Two months into his ninth year, Edward ascended to the throne of England. He was the last male of the House of Tudor and died, under somewhat dubious circumstances, at the young age of fifteen. Was it poison that killed Edward, or was it tuberculosis? Was Edward’s half-sister, Bloody Mary, the murderer?

In The Murder of Edward VI, readers follow castle intrigue through the eyes of Richard Barton, a fictional protagonist who takes part in the events of the period. What starts as a story of King Henry’s desperate efforts to obtain a healthy male heir ends in murders.




  1. Innocent Traitor: A Novel of Lady Jane Grey by Alison Weir

Lady Jane Grey was the Queen of England for nine days in 1553. The book begins with the birth of Lady Jane in 1537 and takes us through her conversion to Protestant faith, her forced and unwanted marriage, and her final days. Innocent Traitor is written by Alison Weir, a historian and a well-known non-fiction author.








  1. Legacy: The Acclaimed Novel of Elizabeth, England’s Most Passionate Queen and the Three Men Who Loved Her by Susan Kay

Mixing verifiable information with fiction, Susan Kay traces Elizabeth’s life from a lonely childhood to her need for men and the challenges it brought her. This was Susan Kay’s debut novel and won her Georgette Heyer Historical Novel Prize and Betty Trask Award in 1985. Set in the years between 1533-1603, it is a cradle-to-grave story of Queen Elizabeth I.







Update your reading list and get through these books in time for the release of GenZ Publishing’s new book, The Murder of Edward VI by David Snow, out on Edward VI’s birthday, October 12th.


By Lauren Johnson, 2020

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