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HENRY VII - WINTER KING

Author Thomas Penn explores one of England's most fascinating monarchs a man who went from upstart usurper to renaissance monarch and finally to Machiavellian schemer. This is the story of Henry VII and the birth of Tudor England. Henry VII was the founder of one of England's greatest royal dynasties,the Tudors. But he also violently stole a throne to which he barely held a claim. Thomas Penn's journey begins in Wales. In August 1485 Henry of Richmond landed here with a small group of fellow travellers and mercenaries. Just two weeks later, he achieved a miracle; a devastating victory against Richard III at the battle of Bosworth. At a stroke, Henry killed his enemy and became Henry Tudor, King Henry VII, a king out of nothing. Despite Henry's obscure origins, Thomas Penn will explore how he seemed born to rule in this murky and violent age - a master of realpolitik who was charming on the outside but savage underneath. His unexpected and unsettling reign, a quarter-century long, spanned a time in which the violent feuds of the Wars of the Roses give way to a glorious age of Renaissance. Henry trusted no one and relied on spies, subterfuge and the manipulation of hard cash to control his lands and secure the succession and the triumph of the Tudors. Thomas Penn will trace Henry's story through the places, documents and objects associated with him: Bosworth Field where a twist of fate ensured the death of Richard III rather than Henry; Westminster Abbey with its magnificent mausoleum to Henry and his beloved wife Elizabeth of York. By 1501 Henry might have believed he had laid the ghosts of civil war to rest. But the death of his first born son Arthur, and soon after that his wife, left him vulnerable, wrenching the dynasty off course. Now, his hopes would rest entirely on his second son, Prince Henry, the young boy who would become Henry VIII. This is the remarkable and revealing story of a dynasty's birth, of the founder of a family that would dominate and transform England. It goes right to the heart of what it was to be a Tudor.

Price: £12.99


Editors Choice
D-DAY - THE LAST HEROES

D-Day was truly one of those days that changed the course of History. What was at stake was nothing less than the freedom of the western world. In a major two-part series, Dan Snow examines how two years of meticulous planning, espionage and the analysis of millions of three-dimensional aerial reconnaissance photographs shaped the planning for that day. D-Day The Last Heroes is also a powerful and compelling story of heroism and self-sacrifice and this is perhaps the last chance to hear the extraordinary first-hand testimonies of those who risked their lives to save the world from Nazi tyranny. With unprecedented access to thousands of top secret 3D spy photographs, compelling story telling, state of the art CGI, rare archive colour footage and dramatic reconstruction, Last Heroes of D-Day brings one day in June 1944, into sharp focus. Part One examines how two years of meticulous planning, espionage and aerial reconnaissance helped the Allied Forces gain a foothold in Northern France. Part Two tells the powerful and heroic stories of those who risked their lives on the beaches of Normandy, to save the world from Nazi Germany. Fascinating viewing full of inspirational stories and action scenes, this is a compelling account of D-DAY.

Price: £12.99

COASTAL VILLAGES

Dame Penelope Keith returns for more travels through Britain's villages armed with her trusty Batsford guides. In this series, she's exploring an integral part of Britain's national character: its stunning coastline. Penelope seeks out the community heartbeat that's unique to coastal village life; from fishing and lifeboats to pleasure boating and holiday making, the sea brings both joy and danger; Penelope delves into local crafts and industry as well as arts, history, literature and local stories. She visits three distinct parts of the British coastline and contrasts what the writers of the Batsford guides discovered in the first half of the 20th century with what she sees today. In the first episode, Penelope discovers the seaside villages of West Sussex and the Isle of Wight and is soon immersed in the stories of seafarers, smugglers and shipwrecks. In the village of Bosham she uncovers the real reason behind King Canute's battle with the tide. In this second episode, Penelope discovers the seaside villages of Northumberland and the Scottish Borders and finds herself swept up by coastal tales of epic heroism, intrepid horticulture and smoked herring! One of her destinations is the beautiful island of Lindisfarne. In the third episode, Penelope discovers the idyllic coastal villages of East Anglia where she is plunged into tales of bravery, scandal and intrigue.

Price: £14.99

HENRY AND ANNE - LOVERS WHO CHANGED HISTORY

Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn are one of history's greatest love stories. In a story that is part historical drama, Suzannah Lipscomb delves into what really happened between Henry and Anne the lovers who changed history . Through stylish re-enacted drama, and investigative research, this film will reveal the darker side of love and power in Tudor England. Historian Dr Suzannah Lipscomb unfolds the extraordinary story of the tumultuous love affair between Henry VIII & Anne Boleyn, and asks: Was it really love that brought them together and was it love that tore them apart? Using first-hand accounts from the time and visiting the places where Henry and Anne lived and stayed, the film delves into their passionate and volatile relationship. One which would send a Queen to her death, amputate England from Europe, and lead to hundreds of years of religious conflict. Their love for each other was nurtured over many years yet after only 1000 days on the throne as Queen, Anne would be beheaded at Henry's orders. This is their insightful story.

Price: £12.99