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VINE VOICEon 1 January 2010
The story of Henry VIII and his six wives is compressed into 158 pages and every word counts and hits the spot. There is no wild speculation, no rumours, no unsubstantiated fantasies and yet this is a book of thoroughly engrossing historical interpretation. The author opts for the sensible intelligent approach every time and picks the wheat neatly out of the chaff. He writes with persuasive assurance in clear prose and gives you all the facts you need to picture the various characters in this historical drama fest and understand why each marriage rose and then fell. Having read Starkey and Alison Weir, I now want to read something else by David Loades. He has certainly won me over and without giving me hundreds of pages to read.
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on 24 June 2012
Originally published in 1994 as 'The Politics of Marriage: Henry VIII and his Queens' David Loades has written a superb political history of the main theme of Henry VIII's reign; his marriages.

Firstly, it must be said that if you buy the Amberley edition entitled 'The Six Wives of Henry VIII' don't think that it will be a personal history of the six wives, like Antonia Fraser, David Starkey or Alison Weir or the like have written. It is not.

Loades purely focuses on the political side of the marriages; the need for a male heir during his first marriage to Catherine of Aragon, the subsequent break with Rome during the tail end of the first and the second to Anne Boleyn, Anne's fall amid the machinations of Cromwell and the court, the apolitical marriage with Jane Seymour, the need to counter the papal threat with the fourth marriage to Anne of Cleves, the rise of the Howards during the fifth to Katherine Howard and the sixth amid the battle between religious conservatives and evangelicals.

His writing is very concise and relevant, producing a work refreshingly far less than two-hundred pages, while it being very readable and scholarly at the same time.

What comes across is that Loades is not a Henry fan. His lack of admiration drips from every page.

A superb book.
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on 3 August 2009
David Loades is one of our finest Tudor historians. His insights are incisive and profound. I warmly recommend this book.
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on 17 September 2014
Published by Amberley (nr Stroud, Glos). Slightly small (but very clear) typeface. Some fascinating colour plates. Solid history, very few (if any) authorial flights of fancy. Arrived in pristine condition.
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on 1 October 2012
A book that truly deserves a full star rating.

Scholarly, sympathetic,vivid, thoughtful and a great read - Prof. David Loades's excellent book is wholly commendable.

Highly recommended.
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on 16 September 2010
This book is much shorter than any of the other books on Henry VIII's six wives which I have come across. I thought it was absolutely fascinating and it spurred me on to read other books by David Loades. I couldn't put it down!
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on 24 August 2015
interesting
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on 29 November 2014
book not very good
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