Henry VII and the Tudor Pretenders: Simnel, Warbeck, and Warwick

By Nathen Amin

Amin’s book explores the reign of Henry VII from his triumphant victory against Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, until the time of his death in April 1509. Specifically, he focuses on the men that rose to prominence throughout the first Tudor King’s reign to make their own challenge for the throne. Examining the lives of Simnel, Warbeck, and Warwick, Amin explores how each man rose to a position in which they could make a challenge for the crown, who supported them, both in England and in Europe, and their tactics and manoeuvres. Amin then meticulously details Henry VII’s reactions to each claimant, the decisions he made to counter these threats to his throne, and at times he even led his army into battle to protect his crown.

More than just a book looking at those who challenged the first Tudor King, this is a detailed study of how Henry VII was able to keep his throne, from his underdog victory at Bosworth to the successful passing of his crown to his son. Amin shows what an incredibly intelligent and cunning man Henry Tudor was, how he was able to make alliances and allegiances with major powers throughout Europe which not only benefited England but also helped to quash multiple potential threats to his throne. In addition to this, Amin is also able to show the man behind the crown, Henry Tudor the man who fought for his family, for what he felt to be true and right, and the man that showed forgiveness only to be betrayed.

What I loved about Amin’s book is that he lays out the pros and cons against each pretender and leaves the reader to decide these men had a legitimate claim. Amin’s book is an intelligent read, pulling from a vast array of sources, often delving into rarely used archives to gather as much information as possible in order to present a well-balanced and full picture of the happenings and movements of the times.

I highly recommend Amin’s book on Henry VII’s reign and the men that challenged him for the crown. Well written and thoroughly engaging this book is a must read for anyone looking to further their knowledge of the first Tudor King and just how hard he fought to keep his crown.

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