Welcome to the official website of the British author and historian Alison Weir.
For historical tours developed and led by Alison Weir, please visit www.alisonweirtours.com.
Alison Weir is the biggest-selling female historian (and the fifth best-selling historian) in the United Kingdom since records began in 1997. She has published twenty-one books and sold more than 2.7 million books - over a million in the UK and more than 1.7 million in the USA.
NEW FOR 2016!
‘Yet again, Alison Weir has managed to intertwine profound historical knowledge with huge emotional intelligence, to compose a work that throws light on an endlessly fascinating historical figure. Yet her real gift in all of this is making it feel so fresh and alive.’ (Charles Spencer)
'In this, the first novel of the Six Tudor Queens series, Alison Weir brings Katherine of Aragon dazzlingly to life. Based upon extensive new research, it is a portrayal that shatters the many myths about Henry VIII's long-suffering first wife. Far from being the one-dimensional victim of history, she emerges as a charismatic, indomitable and courageous heroine whose story never fails to enthral. The book really is just stunning and I couldn't put it down.' (Tracy Borman)
'I loved every page. Katherine was truly admirable and totally believable. It is a great book, a truly marvellous book – never falters, never fails to deliver.' (H.R.H. Princess Michael of Kent)
"It is, of course, an absolutely superb book. [Alison Weir] combines a scholar's research with a novelist's imagination to bring history enthrallingly to life." (Josephine Ross)
"I did enjoy it – thoroughly. The great thing about Alison’s work, be it fiction or factual, is that it is always underpinned with her tremendously detailed knowledge of the characters and the period she writes about. Her research is impeccable. It is so refreshing to read historical fiction that gives such a confidently accurate picture of what happened and of the times in which it is set and which so sensitively invents only where necessary. And in this book she has coupled all this with a tender understanding of and genuine sympathy for this proud, much loved and honourable Queen whom Henry treated so badly. I was gripped start to finish." (Mavis Cheek)
See below for more info...
This FREE ebook introduction to the Six Tudor Queens series ‘Six Tudor Queens: Writing a New Story’ will be out on 10th March and is now available for pre-order at http://amzn.to/1IO0XFp - and it will contain a preview of KATHERINE OF ARAGON: THE TRUE QUEEN, which is out on 5th May!
Named one of the best 6 history books of 2015 by The Independent, on 22nd January The Lost Tudor Princess hit the New York Times digital list at #13, and the combined list at #19!
The Lost Tudor Princess: A Life of Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox, was published in the U.K. and Australia on 1st October 2015; it was out in Canada on 24th November, and was published in the U.S. (right) on 5th January 2016. The UK paperback edition will be issued on 25th February.
Amazon.com's pick of the month for January 2016 in both History and Biographies and Memoirs.
SIX TUDOR QUEENS
Katherine of Aragon: The True Queen, the first novel in my Six Tudor Queens series, will be published on 5th May 2016 in the UK (above right), and on 31st May in the USA (above left), Canada and Australia. The Australian edition is below.
The Headline special edition shown below left was one of 200 advance uncorrected proof copies exclusively given to audience members at the 'H is for History' events at the Harrogate History Festival in October 2015. The right-hand image shows one of Headline's specially commissioned review copies, printed in November 2015. The symbol is Katherine's pomegranate badge.
Katherine of Aragon: The True Queen will be launched at a special event in Peterborough Cathedral, where Katherine lies buried, and at Hampton Court Palace. (See the Events page for more details.)
I support independent bookshops. If you do not wish to buy books through this website's links to online booksellers, please visit www.localbookshops.co.uk to find a stockist near you.
Historical biography, especially of people who lived centuries ago, is more often than not the piecing together of fragments of information and trying to make sense of them. We cannot know our subjects as we know those of our own time: we can only infer so much about them from the sources of the period and memorials they left behind. My favourite novelist, Norah Lofts, could not have put it more succinctly when she wrote, in The Brittle Glass (1942): 'And so out of the bits and pieces I could gather, out of my own imaginings and speculations, I built up a picture and a story... After all, how much nearer, even with much documentary evidence, can we come to understanding any one of the myriad dead who have gone to their graves, carrying their real secrets, of motive and essence and personality, into the silence with them?"
PRAISE FOR ALISON WEIR
"Alison Weir has perfected the art of bringing history to life. There is a breadth of vision to [her] research and writing that provides a sense of time and place as well as consequence." (Chicago Tribune)
“Alison Weir is our top-selling female historian and she has this incredible gift for producing high-quality, intelligent books at an astonishing rate. Kate Williams is another one. They have fantastic historical brains and yet they can really bring it alive, whether it’s history, plain and simple, or historical fiction.” (Charles Spencer)
"Alison Weir has a wonderful way of bringing… history alive." (Manchester Evening News)
"Alison Weir`s hugely popular history books are as gripping as novels." (The Times)
"Alison Weir is one of our greatest popular historians." (The Daily Mail)
"Alison Weir writes compellingly. Her art is such that the reader is swept along by the story, scarcely noticing how very complicated that story is." (The Literary Review)
"Alison Weir is one of our best popular historians and one, moreover, with an impressive scholarly pedigree in Tudor history." (Frank McLynn, The Independent on Sunday)
"Weir provides immense satisfaction. She writes in a pacy, vivid style, engaging the heart as well as the mind." (Amanda Foreman, The Independent)
"Weir is a master at elucidating the interplay of realpolitik and character…Her assiduousness and informed judgement are what make her a writer to trust." (The Boston Globe)
"I don`t know another historian who can match Weir in showing the cold political calculation, implications and ramifications of the marriages and murders of the English monarchy; so when this clear-eyed anatomist of realpolitik finds reckless passion and bruised feelings shaping history, I am inclined to believe her." (The Boston Globe)
"The scope and depth of Weir`s research provide a wealth of detail missing from many other narrative histories about the Tudors." (Publishers Weekly)
"I've been Alison Weir's publisher for about nine years, in Pimlico and Cape. We've gone from her being a respected historian to the point where she's a phenomenon. Her last Pimlico paperback, Eleanor of Aquitaine, sold 100,000 copies. Her most recent book, about Henry VIII, has sold over 25,000 in Cape." (Will Sulkin, Alison Weir's non-fiction commissioning editor, Publishing News, 2002)
"One of our most accessible historians, Weir is scholarly and straightforward." (Waterstones Books Quarterly)
"Mrs Weir is a fine story teller, basing her texts on very deep research. Her detail is immaculate. She manages her complex material well, but it is her set-piece stories that impress; many have never been told so well." (Teaching History)
"Weir`s great strengths lie in knowing which sources to choose, and her proper scepticism in sorting propaganda from accounts with the ring of truth." (The Glasgow Herald)
"Alison Weir creates engrossing narrative history." (The Boston Globe)
"Weir is so much the master of the period, so intuitive and unsentimental an interpreter of royal minds, and so upfront about her assumptions." (The Boston Globe)
"No matter who the royal subject, no matter if it is fiction or non-fiction, Alison Weir can always be counted on to tell a superb story." (Booklist)
"Alison Weir has become an authority on Britain`s royal families. She has blown the dust from archives that have mouldered for years in dusty palaces and museums. The result is a series of vivid cameos as brilliantly conceived as they are scholarly." (Birmingham Post)
"Alison Weir has a reputation for producing well-researched, well-written histories." (Yorkshire Evening Press)
"Alison Weir has a brilliant handle of character-driven history titles." (The Bookseller)
"Weir wears her learning lightly and has a pleasant habit of anticipating all the questions of a curious reader." (Publishers Weekly)
"Alison Weir [is] a robust and very readable Tudor historian." (The Daily Post)
"Weir is an expert on Tudor history, and her work is both scholarly and readable - an enviable talent to possess." (The Bookseller)
"If only Alison Weir`s works had been around when I was sitting my history A-levels." (BBC Homes and Antiques)
"Alison Weir's great strength is her ability to make dense, fact-packed history seem like a pleasurable, engaging novel." (Suite 101)
"Alison Weir, who combines exacting scholarship with the ability to make complex, indeed, labyrinthine political affairs comprehensible, engrossing and bloodcurdling, is one of the best historians of the British monarchy at work today." (The Boston Globe)
"Part of Weir's gift is relating history in a familiar, friendly, often-conversational way." (The Nashville Tennessean)
"As Weir so ably shows, there is more to writing history than comforting readers by rehearsing the familiar stories." (Lisa Jardine, The Literary Review)
"Weir is a master at weaving centuries-old details into a lively, compelling narrative." (Chicago Tribune)
"Weir is one of the best-selling popular historians. She writes entertaining, readable histories." (Hatchards)
"In the last ten years, the quality of Alison Weir's prose has made her the most popular historian writing in Britain today. No less than five of her books featured in the Waterstone's Top 20 bestselling history titles last year. There are many reasons for this. Alison Weir writes readable, enjoyable, convincing popular history - great stuff!" (Waterstone's History Guide, 2003)
"Weir is an expert on Tudor history, and her work is both scholarly and readable - an enviable talent to possess." (The Bookseller)
"Ripping good reading!" (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
"When historians go into print, they must strive to achieve a readable style without sacrificing historical accuracy. Miss Weir achieves this with consummate ease." (Yorkshire Evening Press)
"Alison Weir [is] established as one of the foremost authorities on the history of England's oft-troubled monarchy." (San Francisco Chronicle)
"Weir is a respected historian known for making her complex subjects accessible to the average reader." (Fort Worth Morning Star)
"Alison Weir [is] one of the best historians of the Tudor age." (F Magazine)
"The finest historian of English monarchical succession writing now is Alison Weir. Many and great are her books." (Boston Globe Online)
"Ms Weir cannot be faulted in her endeavour to research anywhere that will add dimension to her subject." (Surrey County Council Magazine)
"She is an expert on the [Tudor] period." (The New York Times Book Review)
"Antonia Fraser and Alison Weir are beacons of hope and real role models for aspiring female historians." (Lucy Worsley, Chief Curator, Historic Royal Palaces)
"Weir's great strengths lie in knowing which sources to choose, and her proper scepticism in sorting propaganda from truth; the result is a complex mixture of politics and personalities." (The Glasgow Herald)
"Weir is one of our top historians." (Caledonia magazine)
"Alison Weir is something of an authority on the monarchy of years gone by." (South Wales Evening Post)
"Alison Weir is a gifted writer, [Her] research is always first-rate and her narratives accessible." (Tucson Citizen)
"David Starkey and Alison Weir [are] the two best Tudor historians we have working today." (Philippa Gregory)
"Splendid . . . In giving narrative voice to her subjects, Alison Weir brings us into emotional contact with them in a way that an unadorned historical account does not." (The Boston Globe)
"Weir’s books are always compelling reading, because not only does she write clearly and engagingly, but she weighs the facts in evidence and consider the bias of multiple sources, and lets the sources speak." (www.thehistorylady.wordpress.com)
"Mrs Weir is a fine story teller, basing her texts on very deep research. Her detail is immaculate... She has read more widely in contemporary texts than recent historians... She manages her material well, but it is her set-piece stories that impress; many have never been told so well." (Teaching History)
"Alison Weir is the best kind of popular historian. She writes with an obvious wealth of research and scholarship under her belt." (The History Review from Waterstone's Booksellers)
"Alison is an impeccable researcher, a brilliant writer and a gifted storyteller." (Your Family Tree magazine)
"A fine writer with a wonderful gift for description." (The Literary Review)
From History Today, May 2013:
"One of the very best of [historical] novelists, although possibly not someone who would be comfortable described as a 'romance' writer, is Alison Weir, the acclaimed historian, whose fiction merits our attention due to its assured style and precision. Weir is the template in many ways for the historian's move to fiction; her work is strongly based on her research and attentive to the key details of the period. As a consequence her novels have sold hugely around the world. They are well written and thoughtfully plotted, and A Dangerous Inheritance is sharp and pungent at times in its consideration of early modern politics and identity. In terms of reputation Weir is not helped by the problematic marketing of her books; they look very much like [Philippa] Gregory's. Indeed, she is sometimes ignored as 'just' a writer of romance historical fiction, when her work is really worth considering alongside the best of the genre." (History Today, May 2013)
“No one knows more about this [Tudor] era than historian and bestselling author Alison Weir.” (NPR)