From the arrival of Henry Tudor and his army, at Milford in 1485, to the death of the great Queen Elizabeth I in 1603, this was an astonishingly eventful and contradictory age. All the strands of Tudor life are gathered in a rich tapestry - London and the country, costumes, furniture and food, travel, medicine, sports and pastimes, grand tournaments and the great flowering of English drama, juxtaposed with the stultifying narrowness of peasant life, terrible roads, a vast underclass, the harsh treatment of heretics and traitors, and the misery of the Plague.
Jasper Ridley was a former barrister turned author and became one of England's leading biographers, recent works including lives of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. His Lord Palmerstone was winner of the James Tait Black prize. His last work, The Freemasons, was highly acclaimed.