Video: Alison Weir
“Historical biography, especially of people who lived centuries ago, is more often than not the piecing together of fragments of information and trying to make sense of them. We cannot know our subjects as we know those of our own time: we can only infer so much about them from the sources of the period and memorials they left behind.” Alison Weir.
Alison Weir is the bestselling female historian in the UK and an authority on the Kings and Queens of Britain in Medieval and Tudor times. A writer of both non-fiction and historical fiction novels, she is highly praised for the painstaking research that underpins every one of her works. The New York Times has described her as ‘a meticulous scholar’ and she has stressed herself that in both her non-fiction and her novels, she feels ‘that an author has a responsibility to be as true to the facts as is possible’.
Her career as an author began in 1989 with the publication of Britain’s Royal Families but she is said to have first become interested in history aged 14 when she read a book on Katherine of Aragon. Most notably, Weir’s writing has contributed in a significant way to the resurgence in interest in the Tudor Period of British history. It was, she says, a time of magnificence, a vivid and dramatic period with characters and events that are stranger than fiction. Royal marriage in Britain was altered forever by Henry VIII and Weir’s current ambitious writing project is to capture each of the lives of his six wives; her new release will be the first of a six book series and is, fittingly, her own take on Katherine of Aragon: Katherine of Aragon, The True Queen.
In the following clip, Alison Weir reads a passage from the book while standing in Katherine of Aragon's original apartments at Hampton Court Palace: