Synopses & Reviews
This book tells the story of the queen whose marriage to King Henry VII ended Englands Wars of the Roses and inaugurated the 118-year Tudor dynasty. Best known as the mother of Henry VIII and grandmother of Elizabeth I, this Queen Elizabeth contributed far beyond the act of giving birth to future monarchs. Her marriage to Henry VII unified the feuding houses of Lancaster and York, and her popularity with the people helped her husband survive rebellions that plagued his first decade of rule. Queen Elizabeths gracious manners and large family created a warm, convivial Court marked by a rather exceptional fondness between the royal couple. Her love for music, literature, and architecture also helped inspire Englands Renaissance.
"This book is a welcome addition to the sparse literature about one of England's more dynastically important queens. Illuminating and fascinating." - Renaissance Quarterly
"Arlene Okerlund's lucid biography of Elizabeth of York draws on detailed research to provide a long overdue account of the tumultuous life of one of England's best loved queens. It is a compelling tale of Renaissance culture and ritual, intrigue and tragedy." - J. L. Laynesmith, Author of The Last Medieval Queens
"Arlene Naylor Okerlund's fine biography Elizabeth of York sheds important light on a largely forgotten figure who stood at the center of one of the most turbulent periods in English historyâ€¦ Written in an engaging, almost fictionlike style, this biography will have a broad appeal . . . It is unfortunate, however, that Elizabeth is so little remembered in her own right, but Arlene Naylor Okerlund's well-researched biography goes a long way toward remedying this historical shortcoming." - The Journal of British Studies
"This work aims to rescue the queen from the perception that she was a merely marginal player in the establishment of the Tudor dynasty. Forced to negotiate complex family relationships while maintaining a loving relationship with her husband and king, Okerlund's Elizabeth emerges as a figure central to the accomplishments of the first Tudor court, so much so that her early death produced a catastrophe from which Henry never recovered. Okerlund's biography produces a lively narrative and a credible portrait of the queen's character together with a meticulous reassessment of the available evidence." - Gordon Kipling, Professor of English, University of California, Los Angeles
About the Author
Arlene Naylor Okerlund is Professor Emerita of English, retired after a career of teaching Renaissance literature at San José State University in California. Her earlier biography Elizabeth Wydeville: The Slandered Queen is now available in paperback as Elizabeth: Englands Slandered Queen. Her biography of Elizabeth of York, daughter of Elizabeth Wydeville and mother of Henry VIII, continues the story of Englands royal court at the beginning of the Renaissance. At San José State University, she served six years as Dean, College of Humanities and the Arts, and seven years as Academic Vice President. In retirement, she teaches with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and continues her research in medieval and Renaissance studies. The author of scholarly articles on Shakespeare, Spenser, Marlowe, Donne, and Dryden, she also writes for popular audiences, including the newsletter of the Peninsula Banjo Band with which she plays tenor banjo.
Table of Contents
The Gracious Queen: Beginnings * Youth and tragedy *The Lady Princess Deposed * Restored to Court * Marriage to a King * Birth of a Prince * Rebellion in the Realm * The Crowning of a Queen * “My Lady the Kings Mother” * Life with Henry * The Royal Family * Festivals and Challenges * The Person Behind the Persona * A Princess Arrives in England * A Royal Wedding * Euphoria Turns Tragic * The Queens Last Year * Death of a Queen * Legacy