The Uncrowned Kings of England: The Black History of the Dudleys and the Tudor Throne by Derek Wilson
In the political ferment of 16th-century England, one family above all others was at the troubled center of court and council. Throughout the Tudor Age the Dudley family was never far from controversy. They were universally condemned as scheming, ruthless, overly ambitious charmers, with three family members even executed for treason. Yet at the opposite extreme of the spectrum, Edmund Dudley was instrumental in establishing the financial basis of the Tudor dynasty, while John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, led victorious armies, laid the foundations of the Royal Navy, ruled as uncrowned king, and almost landed on the throne. Written by award-winning historian, Derek Wilson, The Uncrowned Kings of England charts the scandals and triumphs of this legendary clan. Foremost among the family, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, was Queen Elizabeth's favorite for 30 years (and came the closest to marrying her), and governed the Netherlands in her name. His successor, Sir Robert Dudley, scholar, adventurer, and courtier, was one of the Queen's most audacious seadogs in the closing years of her reign, but fell foul of James I. The fortunes of this astonishing family rose and fell with those of the royal line they served faithfully through a tumultuous century.