Thomas Penn

Thomas holds a Ph.D. in medieval history from Clare College, Cambridge, and is an editorial director at Penguin UK. His first book, the bestselling Winter King: Henry VII and the Dawn of Tudor England (Penguin Press UK; Simon & Schuster US) won the HW Fisher Prize and was named a Book of the Year in nine different publications, and its success led to him presenting an hour-long BBC documentary, Henry VII: Winter King.  Since then, Thomas has written on Edward V for Penguin’s Monarchs series, and played cricket for the Authors XI*, a team composed of English writers, while working on his upcoming book, The Brothers York: An English Tragedy, which will be published in October 2019.

The Brothers York brings England’s White Rose to spectacular life, shedding new light on a dynasty that could have been as powerful as the Tudors had it not destroyed itself, within a single generation, in a catastrophic maelstrom of rebellion, vendetta, usurpation and regicide.

A gripping, complex and sensational story, told with calm narrative command. It’s a story we think we know – but most accounts leave the personnel as frozen as portraits in stained glass. Here, the three York brothers spring to ferocious life, and you need strong nerves to meet them. With insight and skill, Penn cuts through the thickets of history to find the heart of these heartless decades.Hilary Mantel

The Brothers York is not just a magisterial work of sublime scholarship, it’s a pure page-turner. I couldn’t put it down. The wonderful thing about Thomas Penn is that he makes some of the most familiar stories in English history feel fresh and exciting. – Amanda Foreman

An immense, sinewy political thriller… Savage, exciting, blisteringly good. – Jessie Childs


*originally founded in 1891, when it boasted Arthur Conan Doyle, PG Wodehouse and AA Milne as members, the Authors XI released a book about their exploits in 2013, A Season of English Cricket from Hackney to Hambledon, to which Thomas contributed a chapter.

Photo courtesy of Suki Dhanda