Tuesday 8 January 2013

Forthcoming Book Jacket; Elizabeth of York

This is the provisional cover for my next book, "Elizabeth of York, the Forgotten Tudor Queen," which tells the true story of the white princess.

Amy Licence, "Elizabeth of York, the True Story of the White Princess," Amberley, due out Feb 2013
As Tudors go, Elizabeth of York is relatively unknown. Yet she was the mother of the dynasty, with her children becoming King of England (Henry VIII), Queens of Scotland (Margaret) and France (Mary Rose) and her direct descendants included three Tudor monarchs, two executed queens and ultimately, the Stuart royal family. Although her offspring took England into the early modern world, Elizabeth's upbringing was rooted firmly in the medieval world, with its courtly and religious rituals and expectations of women. The pivotal moment was 1485. Before that, her future was uncertain amid the turbulent Wars of the Roses, as she was considered as the bride of first one man then another and witnessed the humiliation and murder of her family. Surviving the blood bath of her uncle's reign, she slipped easily into the role of devoted wife, mother and Queen to Henry VII, venerated ever since for her docility and beauty. Yet was she as placid as history has suggested? In fact, she may have been a deeply cultured and intelligent survivor who learned to walk a difficult path through the twists and turns of fortune. Perhaps she was more of a modern woman than historians have given her credit for.

Published by Amberley, April 28 2013. Available on Amazon now:



  1. Looks like it is going to be a great read! Did you talk about the alleged "affair" between Richard III and Eof Y? I hope you deal with it once and for all..... It is strange to see fictions still sensationalizing what has been refuted to be slander and misrepresentation of facts. I was also wondering about your book about Anne Nevile. How are you treating Duke of Gloucester in your book? Are you staying with the land hungry husband of a wall flower theory or taking a more revisionist stance? Hick's book on Anne Nevil has irked me so much that I am sort of scared about other books and their influence on the perception of this royal couple!

  2. Hi Ishita. Thanks for your interest in my books.
    Yes, I've dealt with the supposed "affair" between Richard and Elizabeth head on, repsonding to various interpretations and "evidence" that has been offered for it, which I do not believe in at all. I rather feel like I spent almost the whole book trying to refute various slanders and romanticised accounts, in order to get at a balanced, objective view of who Elizabeth really was and trying to interpret her actions in the context of women and queens of her age, rather than through a twenty-first century lens.
    My view of Anne Neville is that she has been wrongly cast as a passive pawn and needs to be treated as the daughter of Warwick, who had a vested interest in his schemes and was a brave and resourceful survivor. Richard, I think, is a very complex character and I am avoiding taking one overriding stance on him, instead evaluating his actions as they occured, taking all possible motives into account. I must confess to a certain fondness for him and my portrayal of him is positive but realistic. I do also address the extreme views of him and try and account for their existence. I've deliberately avoided reading fictional versions of them in order not to subconsciously absorb any views beyond the strictly factual. I approached both books without an agenda and simply followed where the evidence led me!
    I hope that sounds good to you.

    1. Amy, that does sound good. Now I am even more excited about these books! I too cannot believe that Anne Nevile or Elizabeth were wall flowers. I am glad you are taking a more open approach to these little known queens!
      I am particularly fond of Richard and would like to hear/read/watch a balanced view of him rather than another Hicks or Weir version. Cheers

  3. Hi Amy, front cover looks great, really looking forward to this read.
    Is it true that Elizabeth, her mother and her siblings hid out in Westminster Abbey during those turbulent times? I read this in PG's novel The White Queen, but I don't like to assume all is the truth. Have you visited Westminster Abbey at all? I would love to and see the room for myself.

  4. Hi Debbie. Yes, they did ! In October 1470, when Edward IV was forced into exile, a heavily pregnant Elizabeth, her mother and her daughters fled into sanctuary, within the Westminster precincts, perhaps in the Bishop's house or else in a rented property there. A month later, she had the future Edward V. A doctor was allowed to visit here there and a London butcher sent her fresh meat regularly. She had planned to lie-in at the Tower but the rooms she had furnished were then occupied by Henry VI.
    Later, in 1471, she sheltered again in the Tower while her husband was fighting Warwick and London was dangerous.
    I've not been inside Westminster- seen it from the outside- rather averse to paying to enter a church! I asked to reproduce some of their images and they wanted to charge a fair old fee!
    We're not sure exactly which property they occupied or even if it still exists. Her mother later rented a house in the grounds called Cheyneygates, part of which still stands, so it may have been there.
    Hope you get to Westminster one day soon!

  5. Hi Amy, many thanks for your reply. I always prefer fact over fiction even though its rarely as romantic, never the less I would rather pass on the truth if it comes up in conversation. Thank you for this insight. So many places to discover, so little time (and funds)!!
    Take care, Debbie.