Welcome to the official website of the British author and historian Alison Weir.



Booking is now open to the public for Alison Weir Tours' Great Queens Tours (June and August 2015). Led respectively by Alison Weir and Sarah Gristwood, these 11-night tours will offer exciting, slightly varied itineraries, visiting sites that are mostly new to AWT. Please visit our website at If you would like to make a booking, please contact us at

Due to a cancellation, Alison Weir Tours can offer ONE double room (for one or two persons) on Mary, Queen of Scots, our October 2014 tour; the June tour is sold out. If you would like to book, please contact

Alison Weir is delighted to announce that her next non-fiction book will be The Princess of Scotland, a life of Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox, whose eventful career spanned the reigns of four Tudor monarchs.

Royal Tudor blood ran in her veins. Her mother was a queen, and she herself was the granddaughter, niece, cousin and grandmother of monarchs, and some thought that she should be queen of England. Beautiful and tempestuous, she defied her uncle, Henry VIII, and created scandal by indulging in two illicit affairs. She was forgiven, however, and served four of Henry’s wives. She was fortunate too in that the marriage arranged for her turned into a love match. A born political intriguer, she was imprisoned in the Tower of London on several occasions, notably for helping to bring about one of the most notorious royal marriages of the sixteenth century. Yet it brought her only tragedy. Her son and her husband were brutally murdered, and there would be rumours that in the end she herself was poisoned. She warred with two queens, Mary of Scotland and Elizabeth of England, and plotted with the renowned Bess of Hardwick. A brave survivor, she was instrumental in securing the Stuart succession to the throne of England for her grandson. Lady Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox, was a prominent and important figure in Tudor England, and yet today she is largely forgotten and overlooked. Her story deserves to be better known.
(See the News page for more.)


Mary, Queen of Scots, Alison Weir Tours' June 2014 tour, has sold out, but we are delighted to announce that the best-selling historian Sarah Gristwood, who has proved so popular with previous tour guests, has agreed to lead a second tour from 9th to 18th October 2014, with Alison Weir guesting. For further information please visit

Alison Weir

Here you will find news and information on upcoming books, a biography, details of upcoming events and tours, and more.



Alison supports independent bookshops. If you do not wish to buy books through this website's links to online booksellers, please visit to find a stockist near you.


This book was published on 7th November 2013 in the U.K. and on 3rd December in the U.S.A..
It was 2013's second best-selling U.K. historical biography, after War Dog by Damien Lewis.
It will be published in paperback on 23rd September 2014 in the U.S.A.


Alison's next novel, The Marriage Game, the sequel to The Lady Elizabeth, will be published in the U.K. (left) on 26th June 2014 and in the U.S.A. (right) on 2nd October 2014.


Alison is now working on a completely revised, re-researched and expanded version of The Six Wives of Henry VIII, for publication in the U.K in 2015. 

"When the original version of this book first appeared in 1991, there had been no serious collective biography since 1905 when M. A. S. Hume's The Wives of Henry VIII was published. Since then, Antonia Fraser, David Starkey and David Loades have all written books on the six wives, and there have been numerous individual biographies, notably by Giles Tremlett, Eric Ives, Susan James and Linda Porter. Each has contributed greatly to our understanding of the subject. I myself have done much further research in the twenty-three years since my own book was completed, and this long-overdue revised and rewritten version incorporates the newer findings. The 1991 edition was adapted from my original manuscript of 1974, which ran to 1024 single-spaced pages. Much of necessity was cut, a lot of it original source material, but a considerable amount of that has been restored to this new edition. Back in 1990, it was felt by my publishers that notes and references were not appropriate in a ‘popular’ history book – instead I was to indicate the sources in the text. Fortunately the original notes and references survive, and they have been restored here. It was also felt that the bibliography should be in narrative form, but for ease of reference I have now converted it into the more conventional list. It is a huge pleasure revisiting this book and my original manuscript. Already new perspectives are emerging."


From History Today, May 2013:

"One of the very best of [historical] novelists, although possibly not someone who would be comfortable described as a 'romance' writer, is Alison Weir, the acclaimed historian, whose fiction merits our attention due to its assured style and precision. Weir is the template in many ways for the historian's move to fiction; her work is strongly based on her research and attentive to the key details of the period. As a consequence her novels have sold hugely around the world. They are well written and thoughtfully plotted, and A Dangerous Inheritance is sharp and pungent at times in its consideration of early modern politics and identity. In terms of reputation Weir is not helped by the problematic marketing of her books; they look very much like [Philippa] Gregory's. Indeed, she is sometimes ignored as 'just' a writer of romance historical fiction, when her work is really worth considering alongside the best of the genre."

Praise for Alison Weir 

"Alison Weir has perfected the art of bringing history to life. There is a breadth of vision to [her] research and writing that provides a sense of time and place as well as consequence." (Chicago Tribune)

"Alison Weir has a wonderful way of bringing… history alive." (Manchester Evening News)

"Alison Weir`s hugely popular history books are as gripping as novels." (The Times)

"Alison Weir is one of our greatest popular historians." (The Daily Mail)

"Alison Weir writes compellingly. Her art is such that the reader is swept along by the story, scarcely noticing how very complicated that story is." (The Literary Review)

"Alison Weir is one of our best popular historians and one, moreover, with an impressive scholarly pedigree in Tudor history." (Frank McLynn, The Independent on Sunday)

"Weir provides immense satisfaction. She writes in a pacy, vivid style, engaging the heart as well as the mind." (Amanda Foreman, The Independent)

"Weir is a master at elucidating the interplay of realpolitik and character…Her assiduousness and informed judgement are what make her a writer to trust." (The Boston Globe)

"I don`t know another historian who can match Weir in showing the cold political calculation, implications and ramifications of the marriages and murders of the English monarchy; so when this clear-eyed anatomist of realpolitik finds reckless passion and bruised feelings shaping history, I am inclined to believe her." (The Boston Globe)

"The scope and depth of Weir`s research provide a wealth of detail missing from many other narrative histories about the Tudors." (Publishers Weekly)

"I've been Alison Weir's publisher for about nine years, in Pimlico and Cape. We've gone from her being a respected historian to the point where she's a phenomenon. Her last Pimlico paperback, Eleanor of Aquitaine, sold 100,000 copies. Her most recent book, about Henry VIII, has sold over 25,000 in Cape." (Will Sulkin, Alison Weir's non-fiction commissioning editor, Publishing News, 2002)

"One of our most accessible historians, Weir is scholarly and straightforward." (Waterstones Books Quarterly)

"Mrs Weir is a fine story teller, basing her texts on very deep research. Her detail is immaculate. She manages her complex material well, but it is her set-piece stories that impress; many have never been told so well." (Teaching History)

"Weir`s great strengths lie in knowing which sources to choose, and her proper scepticism in sorting propaganda from accounts with the ring of truth." (The Glasgow Herald)

"Alison Weir creates engrossing narrative history." (The Boston Globe)

"Weir is so much the master of the period, so intuitive and unsentimental an interpreter of royal minds, and so upfront about her assumptions." (The Boston Globe)

"No matter who the royal subject, no matter if it is fiction or non-fiction, Alison Weir can always be counted on to tell a superb story." (Booklist)

"Alison Weir has become an authority on Britain`s royal families. She has blown the dust from archives that have mouldered for years in dusty palaces and museums. The result is a series of vivid cameos as brilliantly conceived as they are scholarly." (Birmingham Post)

"Alison Weir has a reputation for producing well-researched, well-written histories." (Yorkshire Evening Press)

"Alison Weir has a brilliant handle of character-driven history titles." (The Bookseller)

"Weir wears her learning lightly and has a pleasant habit of anticipating all the questions of a curious reader." (Publishers Weekly)

"Alison Weir [is] a robust and very readable Tudor historian." (The Daily Post)

"Weir is an expert on Tudor history, and her work is both scholarly and readable - an enviable talent to possess." (The Bookseller)

"If only Alison Weir`s works had been around when I was sitting my history A-levels." (BBC Homes and Antiques)

"Alison Weir's great strength is her ability to make dense, fact-packed history seem like a pleasurable, engaging novel." (Suite 101)

"Alison Weir, who combines exacting scholarship with the ability to make complex, indeed, labyrinthine political affairs comprehensible, engrossing and bloodcurdling, is one of the best historians of the British monarchy at work today." (The Boston Globe) 

"Part of Weir's gift is relating history in a familiar, friendly, often-conversational way." (The Nashville Tennessean)

"As Weir so ably shows, there is more to writing history than comforting readers by rehearsing the familiar stories." (Lisa Jardine, The Literary Review) 

"Weir is a master at weaving centuries-old details into a lively, compelling narrative." (Chicago Tribune) 

"Weir is one of the best-selling popular historians. She writes entertaining, readable histories." (Hatchards)

"In the last ten years, the quality of Alison Weir's prose has made her the most popular historian writing in Britain today. No less than five of her books featured in the Waterstone's Top 20 bestselling history titles last year. There are many reasons for this. Alison Weir writes readable, enjoyable, convincing popular history - great stuff!" (Waterstone's History Guide, 2003)

"Weir is an expert on Tudor history, and her work is both scholarly and readable - an enviable talent to possess." (The Bookseller)

"Ripping good reading!" (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

"When historians go into print, they must strive to achieve a readable style without sacrificing historical accuracy. Miss Weir achieves this with consummate ease." (Yorkshire Evening Press)

"Alison Weir [is] established as one of the foremost authorities on the history of England's oft-troubled monarchy." (San Francisco Chronicle)

"Weir is a respected historian known for making her complex subjects accessible to the average reader." (Fort Worth Morning Star)

"Alison Weir [is] one of the best historians of the Tudor age." (F Magazine)

"The finest historian of English monarchical succession writing now is Alison Weir. Many and great are her books." (Boston Globe Online)

"Ms Weir cannot be faulted in her endeavour to research anywhere that will add dimension to her subject." (Surrey County Council Magazine)

"She is an expert on the [Tudor] period." (The New York Times Book Review)

"Antonia Fraser and Alison Weir are beacons of hope and real role models for aspiring female historians." (Lucy Worsley, Chief Curator, Historic Royal Palaces)

"Weir's great strengths lie in knowing which sources to choose, and her proper scepticism in sorting propaganda from truth; the result is a complex mixture of politics and personalities." (The Glasgow Herald)

"Weir is one of our top historians." (Caledonia magazine)

"Alison Weir is something of an authority on the monarchy of years gone by." (South Wales Evening Post)

"Alison Weir is a gifted writer, [Her] research is always first-rate and her narratives accessible." (Tucson Citizen) 

"David Starkey and Alison Weir [are] the two best Tudor historians we have working today." (Philippa Gregory)

"Splendid . . . In giving narrative voice to her subjects, Alison Weir brings us into emotional contact with them in a way that an unadorned historical account does not." (The Boston Globe) 

"Weir’s books are always compelling reading, because not only does she write clearly and engagingly, but she weighs the facts in evidence and consider the bias of multiple sources, and lets the sources speak." (

"Mrs Weir is a fine story teller, basing her texts on very deep research. Her detail is immaculate... She has read more widely in contemporary texts than recent historians... She manages her material well, but it is her set-piece stories that impress; many have never been told so well." (Teaching History) 

"Alison Weir is the best kind of popular historian. She writes with an obvious wealth of research and scholarship under her belt." (The History Review from Waterstone's Booksellers)

"Alison is an impeccable researcher, a brilliant writer and a gifted storyteller." (Your Family Tree magazine)

“No one knows more about this [Tudor] era than historian and bestselling author Alison Weir.” (NPR)