Fangs At Ten Paces.

Ever wondered what would have happened if Henry VII had made a pact with druids to turn himself into a Vampire so he could defeat Richard III through fang power? Me neither, but you can read all about it in this, er, interesting looking hist fic novel about him.

But in all seriousness, I was looking around for some fictional portrayals of Henry VII in literature, and there really doesn’t seem to be much out there. Although, I have heard good things about Roberta Gellis’ “The Dragon and the Rose”.  The cover, however, was enough to put me right off. A bit “Mills and Boon” looking.

Anyway, I was wondering if anyone has seen any more fictional protrayals of King Henry VII? I’d be interested in seeing how is commonly portrayed by novellists. Whether he tends to be demonised, or whether there are some who look past the immediate facts and see something more in him. I ask for fictional portrayals as they tend to be able to go to the places that biographers cannot. Of course, this should always be treated as fiction, but all the same, I think it can be an enlightening read.


16 thoughts on “Fangs At Ten Paces.

  1. Daphne says:

    Don’t let the cover of Gellis’s book scare you off. Although I haven’t read this one, I’ve read some of her other medieval books (with similar or worse covers) and they are actually pretty good. A little bit of romance in there, but not bodice rippers by any means. Here are a few fiction books that I’m aware of with focus on Henry, his wife or his reign (several are out of print but you can sometimes find used):

    Uneasy Lies the Head by Jean Plaidy (reissued a few years ago as To Hold the Crown)
    The Tudor Rose by Margaret Campbell Barnes (also reissued a few years ago)
    The King’s Daughter by Sandra Worth (released a couple of years ago)
    An Unknown Welshman by Jean Stubbs
    Richmond and Elizabeth by Brenda Honeyman
    Courts of Illusion by Rosemary Hawley Jarman
    The Wrong Plantagenet by Marian Palmer
    Elizabeth the Beloved by Maureen Peters
    A Royal Alliance by Brenda Clarke

    • Cora Lee says:

      I did read Roberta Gellis’s The Dragon and the Rose, despite its cover, and it’s the best Henry VII fiction I’ve found so far. Not much romance in it (again, despite the cover) but a decent read.

  2. anevillfeast says:

    I have Brenda Honeyman’s ‘Richmond and Elizabeth’, though it’s a while since I read it (decades!); and I did have ‘The Tudor Rose’, and I want to say Margaret Campbell Barnes there. That’s all I know!

  3. Susan Higginbotham says:

    There’s a novel devoted entirely to Henry, “An Unknown Welshman” by Jean Stubbs. It’s a sympathetic portrayal of Henry, but it stops shortly after his marriage to Elizabeth of York.

    Most of the other novels I can think of are Ricardian ones that take the “Poor Elizabeth, sold into to marriage to this horrible man!” tack.

  4. ellie666 says:

    Thanks for all the recommendations, ladies! I’ll try and track a few down.

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  7. Check out the Jean Plaidy one. I’d always recommend Plaidy for historical fiction. In fact, just read all her novels.

    On another note … hi dad! 😀

  8. Kendall says:

    In case you don’t already know, Susan Higginbotham above, has written a novel that features Henry VII, The Stolen Crown. It’s told through the POV of the Duke of Buckingham and his wife, Katherine Woodville. Henry Tudor only appears in about 2 scenes (one during Henry VI’s brief restoration to the crown, the other after Bosworth) but he is portrayed sympathetically.

  9. Leigh R says:

    Not a novel, but “the 6 wives of Henry Viii” an old (1970ish?) 6 part TV drama from the BBC.
    Ep.1 “Catherine of Aragon” seems to be more focused on Henry7 than anyone esle. And he is shown in this as a man who prefers a good laugh to money. Takes delight in trying to trick the Spanish just for the sake of it. Its really the only fiction of him I’ve seen/read that doesnt just have him counting gold.

  10. nathenamin says:

    I can’t praise “an Unknown Welshman” enough. Brilliant book by Jean Stubbs and as a very manly man myself with little time or interest in works of fiction I’ve read the book in three nights. Brilliantly put together and faithful to the actual story bar for one or two slight and inconsequent errors. Strongly recommend you all try and get your hands on that. Any questions about the Tudors Welsh origins, I’m writing a book about it so just ask me at my website

    Meanwhile there is a petition here for a statue for Henry VII, please sign it for this great man and father of a dynasty

  11. nathenamin says:

    Annoying, I wrote a lengthy article praising this book and about how I read it in 3 nights (an achievement for a man’s man reading fiction!) And my comment didn’t post. Silly wordpress making me log in.

    Anyway, if you can all take time to sign this petition for a statue for Henry VII that would be great, the father of a dynasty deserves a rememberance

  12. ellie666 says:

    Thanks for the info! I posted a link to the petition, too. I hope it is a success, and King Henry get’s a little limelight. Also, will be looking out for the book.

  13. Susan says:

    Have you read Phillipa Gregory’s “The Constant Princess” about Catherine of Aragon? Henry VII has a very prominent role in the story,

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