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The King's Reformation: Henry VIII and the Remaking of the English Church [Paperback]

G W Bernard
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 18.00
Price: 15.30 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

17 Aug 2007
Henry VIII's reformation remains among the most crucial yet misunderstood events in English history. In this substantial new account, G. W. Bernard presents the king as neither confused nor a pawn in the hands of manipulative factions. Henry, a monarch who ruled as well as reigned, is revealed instead as the determining mover of religious policy throughout this momentous period. In Henry's campaign to secure a divorce from Catherine of Aragon, which led him to break with Rome, his strategy, as Bernard shows, was more consistent and more radical than historians have allowed. Henry refused to introduce Lutheranism, but rather harnessed the rhetoric of the continental reformation in support of his royal supremacy. Convinced that the church needed urgent reform, in particular the purging of superstition and idolatry, Henry's dissolution of the monasteries and the dismantling of the shrines were much more than a venal attempt to raise money. The king sought a middle way between Rome and Zurich, between Catholicism and its imputed superstitions on one hand and the radicalism of reformers on the other. With a ruthlessness that verged on tyranny, Henry VIII determined the pace of change in the most important twenty years of England's religious development.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (17 Aug 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300122713
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300122718
  • Product Dimensions: 23.3 x 16.1 x 4.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 426,146 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"The work is very readable thanks to Bernard's fluid prose, and the reader is rewarded with a vivid ... account." --Russell P. Dawn, Anvil, Volume 24, No.2 2007

About the Author

G.W. Bernard is professor of early modern history at the University of Southampton. His books include Power and Politics in Tudor England.

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Customer Reviews

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3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Paperback
This is not a light or easy read and there is an assumption that the reader comes with a fairly extensive prior knowledge of the subject (I am afraid I let the author down in this respect). However, it is wonderful to see that perhaps Henry was not an air head ruled from his pantaloons, falling in love like a puppy dog for every bit of skirt. Instead he is shown to be a manipulative and sinister character with very cerebral imperatives - personally I found this both more credible and far more interesting.

I surprise myself in writing this, but actually I would have liked more about his wives, their politics and their religion. Catherine is discussed in some detail, but I found myself left curious about what were Anne Boleyn's views on the reformation. I'd also have liked to know a little bit about where her father actually stood in this matter.

It is worth the effort to read through and at the end you will have a warm glow of achievement and you will know a lot more about this well known but often over romanticized period of English history.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Review of The King's Reformation 23 Jun 2013
By Jean
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book arrived promptly and in the condition stated by the seller. I have not read much so far, but teh depth of knowledge and ideras of the author are astonishingly good and give a very broad coverage of all aspects, virtually, of the Reformation. As a clinician used to science texts and papers until recently, I do find the author's style a little verbose and the ideas a little difficult to follow, at times, in this book. Very well worth having and buying, though, overall.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A welcome change from the wave of over romanticised versions of Tudor history 7 Dec 2013
By W Greenhalf - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is not a light or easy read and there is an assumption that the reader comes with a fairly extensive prior knowledge of the subject (I am afraid I let the author down in this respect). However, it is wonderful to see that perhaps Henry was not an air head ruled from his pantaloons, falling in love like a puppy dog for every bit of skirt. Instead he is shown to be a manipulative and sinister character with very cerebral imperatives - personally I found this both more credible and far more interesting.

I surprise myself in writing this, but actually I would have liked more about his wives, their politics and their religion. Catherine is discussed in some detail, but I found myself left curious about what were Anne Boleyn's views on the reformation. I'd also have liked to know a little bit about where her father actually stood in this matter.

It is worth the effort to read through and at the end you will have a warm glow of achievement and you will know a lot more about this well known but often over romanticized period of English history.
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