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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Whole New Look
I picked it up as a bit of light reading on the side and was quickly hooked. It's full of different insights on all the queens. She uses references to other authors and looks at each queen as a woman and not as a historical figure persay.
I was greatly impressed by the Anne of Cleves chapter. I have always found it odd that he divorced her because she was plain and...
Published on 5 Jan 2003

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A biased but well written book
This is a well researched and written book that gives a gliding over view of each of Henry's wives. Each of the wives, however, are not given equal page space, and as you can well imagine, Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn have about four chapters to themselves whilst Jane Seymour has one, but is barely mentioned in it as the author goes on tangents about other things...
Published on 3 Dec 2008 by Nicola Jarvis


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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A biased but well written book, 3 Dec 2008
By 
Nicola Jarvis (Herts, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Divorced, Beheaded, Survived: A Feminist Reinterpretation Of The Wives Of Henry Viii (Paperback)
This is a well researched and written book that gives a gliding over view of each of Henry's wives. Each of the wives, however, are not given equal page space, and as you can well imagine, Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn have about four chapters to themselves whilst Jane Seymour has one, but is barely mentioned in it as the author goes on tangents about other things. After the more fully developed chapters on the two first wives, the other four seemed to be tacked on as almost an afterthought.

This is quite understandable, given how much we know about Seymour, and how much we know about Boleyn and not to mention just how much had to occur to get Boleyn on the throne. However, Catherine Howard's and Katherine Parr's chapters are almost neglected, only Parr's chapter is fleshened out by the authors addition of Anne Askew; a Protestant Martyr. Whilst very interesting, the author, who did her PhD research project on Anne Askew, has clearly thrown her in Parr's chapter because the author favours her, and gives her the most tenuous link to Parr to justify it. Anne of Cleve's chapter is detailed and refreshing, full of the author's personal insight as to what really caused the annulment between Henry and Anne. The short marriage is actually quite detailed.

The author promises a feminist approach to the analysis, and that promise has not been taken lightly; she verges on misandry. I consider myself a feminist, but this kind of feminism is what gives it a bad name. Although I do not like Henry VIII myself, I think the author goes too far to dismiss every decision he made and simplify his actions by stating they were all selfish. The sentences with his name always contain some negative adjective before or after, most often 'tyrannical' and 'selfish'. She never stops for a moment to suggest what political pressure he was under, and that he ever cared for any of his wives. She is even as bold as to say that Henry VIII could not love. She even dismisses his earlier time of his reign when he was charming and generous to be something of an act. On top of that, she constantly pokes fun at his weight. There is plenty of room for argument that Henry did good things in his time but she acknowledges none of it. Any man in this book is given ill treatment by Lindsey in fact and that is NOT what feminism is. She is also hopelessly modern in her interpretation of their actions. Lindsey very often forgets the context of the time that she writes in, which is a major flaw.

This book is not for the more informed of the Tudor era, as it is pretty much a summary, and there are also some patronising explanations (e.g. she felt the need to explain that Charles Brandon marrying Charlotte Willoughby, his ward, was not paedophilia as such marriages were legal and common back then). It is, however, a good summary, written with some humour and great accessibility. It also includes a chapter on Margaret Beaufort (Henry VIII's grandmother, as the author credits HER for getting Henry VII on the throne - nothing to do with the men winning the battle, of course!) and an epilogue that very quickly glides over Edward's and Mary's reign before concluding that Elizabeth took the throne and was simply awesome.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Whole New Look, 5 Jan 2003
By A Customer
I picked it up as a bit of light reading on the side and was quickly hooked. It's full of different insights on all the queens. She uses references to other authors and looks at each queen as a woman and not as a historical figure persay.
I was greatly impressed by the Anne of Cleves chapter. I have always found it odd that he divorced her because she was plain and didn't behead the artist, it doesn't really add up. I liked Lindsey's version much better, and she supports it by facts and it completely makes sense.
It's a great book and not hard to read. Can be read by people who know Tudor England and also by people who don't know much.
Wonderful :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Book I've Read on the Tudor Period, 17 Jun 2008
This review is from: Divorced, Beheaded, Survived: A Feminist Reinterpretation Of The Wives Of Henry Viii (Paperback)
Karen Lindsay's book concentrates on Henry VIII's six wives, but also provides an insight into Henry VIII's character and the whole Tudor period. This is an excellent book for two reasons: (1) The author's witty, engaging writing style which really makes the Tudor era come to life and the (2) refreshing and interesting observations on each of the six wives.

While I don't agree with all of Karen Lindsay's conclusions (Elizabeth I would have married if politically convenient?), this is an extremely thought-provoking and engaging book.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Book on the Wives of Henry VIII, 11 Dec 2005
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This review is from: Divorced, Beheaded, Survived: A Feminist Reinterpretation Of The Wives Of Henry Viii (Paperback)
Brilliant! This is the best book on "The Wives" I have read and written with refreshing new facts and opinions. Unlike other more famous historians, Karen Lindsey paints the ladies as interesting, intelligent characters and in a more positive way. She writes with emotion and is far more human. Other authours I have read often write very negatively about these women, Lidsey really captures what a selfish tyrant Henry really was.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Feminist reinterpretation?, 19 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Divorced, Beheaded, Survived: A Feminist Reinterpretation Of The Wives Of Henry Viii (Paperback)
Perhaps I was foolish to be expecting more from the feminist side of things. The book is very well written and informative about all of Henry's wives; however I feel that the feminist approach was more the way the author looked at how they were strong women for their time rather than their influence and how they may have changed other women's behaviour.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lively and factual, 12 Jan 1998
By A Customer
Possibly the best book ever written on the subject of Henry Tudor's wives. Incredible scholarship joined with insight - all presented with wit and style. Read this and then watch the BBC series "6 Wives of Henry VIII".
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, with some errors and poorly referenced, 6 Sep 2010
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This review is from: Divorced, Beheaded, Survived: A Feminist Reinterpretation Of The Wives Of Henry Viii (Paperback)
I enjoyed this book, it refers to primary sources and is written in an accessible and interesting fashion. However, my lecturer encouraged me not to use it as there are NO references, just a bibliography. Therefore, I couldn't verify any of the facts. There were also a few inconsistencies and errors, such as people's dates of birth. Overall, I'd recommend this as a good read, but not for study as it's too frustrating trying to track down her sources.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended Tudor Book, 14 April 2008
By 
CL Catchpole (South Yorkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Divorced, Beheaded, Survived: A Feminist Reinterpretation Of The Wives Of Henry Viii (Paperback)
Fantastic book, very well written and highly interesting! Ideal for a beginner and anyone who is equally interested in learning more about all of Henry VIII's wives instead of reading a biography on each of them. It also includes a small section at the front of the book listing the people mentioned throughout the chapters which is ideal if your not familiar with whos who in Tudor England. I would have appreciated this when I first started reading about Tudor history. The author also writes a few pages on Margaret Beaufort and Mary & Elizabeth Tudor which are equally as interesting. Couldn't find any faults with this book - deserves its full 5 stars!
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5 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Getting chummy with royalty, 31 Oct 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Divorced, Beheaded, Survived: A Feminist Reinterpretation Of The Wives Of Henry Viii (Paperback)
"I thought I knew" all about King Henry and his wives, but Lindsey's spirited chronicle gives us a close look at the actual "gameboard" for 16th century women, and others who hoped to profit from their accidental (and even unwilling) promixity to the 'seat' of power. Her choice of details seems designed to remind us that "survived" was no accident, that Princess Di had a lot of predecessors both in talent and (alas) in luck. In the end you may feel you know Anne of Cleves and Catherine of Aragon "at least" as well as our current royalty...all rather chummy but a not unpleasing illlusion.
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