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Was Henry VII a conventional late medieval nobleman? How did his upbringing affect his later kingship? What was the nature of Henry's marriage to Elizabeth of York? And how and why did he become the main rival to Richard III following the disappearance of Edward V and his brother in July 1483? The reign of the first tudor was a turning point in the progress towards modern constitutional government. Henry VII's reign (1485 - 1509) was vitally important in stabilising the English monarchy and providing the sound financial and institutional basis for later developments in government. But until now the details of Henry as a person and as a king, his court and household, his subjects, and his country have remained little known. This new biography illuminates the life of Henry VII himself, how he ran his government, how his authority was maintained, and the nature of the country over which he ruled since he first claimed the throne in 1485.