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The Six Wives of Henry VIII Paperback – 6 Mar 1997


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Product details

  • Paperback: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Pimlico; New edition edition (6 Mar. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0712673849
  • ISBN-13: 978-0712673846
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 4.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 751,910 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Alison Weir lives and works in Surrey. Her books include Britain's Royal Families, The Six Wives of Henry VIII, Children of England, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Henry VIII: King and Court, Mary, Queen of Scots and Isabella: She-Wolf of France.

Product Description

Review

"'A thrilling and chilling story.' Sunday Telegraph 'At last we have the truth about Henry VIII's wives. This book is as reliable and scholarly as it is readable.' A.L. Rowse, Evening Standard 'An entertaining account of Henry VIII's complicated domestic history. It is full of interesting detail... Alison Weir's treatment of this perennially fascinating subject is a beguiling one.' Anne Somerset, London Review of Books"

Book Description

Thoroughly researched and with a real understanding of the times these six fascinating women lived through, Alison Weir's book reveals a Tudor England where personal needs and private emotion could, and frequently did, override or influence national events. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

111 of 113 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 25 Jan. 2002
Format: Paperback
This book was absolutely fascinating from start to finish - a wonderful period of history, to which Alison Weir has done complete justice.
Each of the wives are written about in more-than-adequate detail - if this wasn't a non-fiction piece of literature, you could say that the characterisation was top notch.
When completing this book (which shouldn't take too long as it's hard to put down), get hold of "The Children of England - The Heirs of Henry VIII", which continues where this book left off, and examines Edward VI, Lady Jane Grey and Mary I. I have just read that and can't wait to move on to Weir's biography on "Elizabeth"!
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66 of 68 people found the following review helpful By "dodo_jo" on 18 Sept. 2005
Format: Paperback
We need to rewrite the rhyme 'Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived'. In this excellent book, we learn that Henry VIII had three of his marriages annulled, he had arrest warrants drawn up for three of his wives for capital offences, he was survived by two wives and two of them died in childbirth.
Alison Weir begins with the story of the Spanish princess Katherine of Aragon. Brought to England at the age of 16 and married to Henry's brother, widowed before her 17th birthday, engaged to Henry the following year. We learn how her second marriage was put on hold for political reasons, but it was Henry's priority on becoming king. It seemed to be a love-match as much as a political one. We follow the marriage through the love, through the heart-break of losing their children and through Henry's betrayal of a loyal woman who even acted as regent during a Scottish invasion when he was at war in France.
The narrative progresses to Anne Boleyn, the ambitious woman who stirred up so much passion and was eventually cruelly convicted of crimes she probably didn't commit. But there's more to Anne than Henry's innocent victim and one of the major causes of the English Reformation. We also learn of her devious plots against her rivals. Her step-daughter Mary was particularly at risk.
Plain Jane Seymour became the third wife, Henry's favourite, but the marriage was short.
We learn about Anne of Cleves who, succeeding Jane, benefitted most from a brief marriage to Henry, transforming from impoverished German princess to Henry's wealthy 'sister'.
Then there was Katherine Howard, a silly teenager without the sense to take the opportunities thrown at her to save her own life.
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 18 July 2000
Format: Paperback
This was the first book I read by Alison Weir - and I so liked it that, since then, I have read all others !
The author as a way of being entertaining while sticking strictly to historical sources that makes the read very enjoyable: there is no feeling (and no need, in her books) of a romanced approach - reality is far more exciting that fiction.
This book is, in fact, about Henry VIII and his evolution during his reign. The description of the different "compartments" of Henry VIII's matrimonial life are interesting in that they each correspond to a different era in his reign - and of Court life and customs. I hadn't realised before that his first marriage, with Catherine of Aragon, lasted as long as all others together.
A very good and easy read, which I strongly recommend.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By jopacey@talk21.com on 30 July 2001
Format: Paperback
I thought this was one of the best history books I have ever read-the Tudor court comes alive and even though you know the story, it's impossible to put it down! Alison Weir tells us where surviving artefacts, buildings etc can be found and makes you want to dash across the country to see them for yourself. A vanished world, vividly brought to life.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. Chippindale TOP 500 REVIEWER on 13 Sept. 2007
Format: Paperback
Alison Weir has written many non fiction books on the British monarchy. Her research is always meticulous and her books are written in such a way that they can be read with enjoyment by anyone. By that I mean they are not written in the same way that historical text books were written when I attended school. They are written in a way that not only provides accurate information on the subject but also to give pleasure to the reader. I enjoyed the book enormously.

Henry VIII was one of the most intelligent and also most difficult of men. A fine athlete in his youth, a scholar and at times the most likeable of men. But as his life progressed he became more and more unpredictable and could turn on people at the drop of a hat, sometimes with fatal consequences.

For any woman to be married to such a complex character must have been a daunting experience. Probably tantamount to walking on egg shells. When the man they are married to is also the King of England there position would be virtually untenable and in a number of his marriages this proved to be the case. However the marriage started out, it soon became apparent that no woman could keep Henry happy for long.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By gchantler@yahoo.com on 12 Jan. 2001
Format: Paperback
I am a true and avid fan of Alison Weir.I have read all her books and feel that history has come alive once again. I had that feeling as a chlid,she makes all her figures so real,the detail of their lives,the relationships,the passion and the tragedy.
The past becomes a place where one wants to visit and even stay a while,in order to get to know the characters. This is the stuff of good writing which makes for great reading. Buy and read anything by her,Children of England is especially good. But the 6 wives is one of the best I have read and re-read in a long time
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