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Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars makes Tudor history come alive, 18 Feb. 2012
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This review is from: Six Wives: The Queens of Henry VIII (Paperback)
This is a magnificent book which draws the reader into the Tudor world. So well described are the scenes and characters that you can almost see and feel the times as if you were there. For me to have enjoyed this book so much it had to overcome two obstacles - the dreadfully boring teaching of the Tudor period at school, which i thought had put me off the period for life, and a rather negative impression of David Starkey, from television. The rudest man in Britain and all that...

Far from now seeing Tudor history as boring this book has so engaged me that i want to learn more and more of the period. And my preferred guide in further reading - David Starkey. This is a great book indeed, which although quite long at around 800 pages, is compulsively readable.

Starkey writes with flair and wit, and offers fascinating analyses of the motivations of the characters who made the history described in these pages. He draws heavily on contemporary accounts, and personal letters and testimony of the participants, some of which we are told are being considered here for the first time by any historian, and paints a very human picture of the key players.

Starkey provides a biographical section about each of Henry's Queens in chronological order, explaining something of their lives before meeting the King, and what propelled them to take the actions and roles they did as Queen. Ann Boleyn, and the events of her life, is given the greatest share of the book. Catherine of Aragon, who was forced to make way for Anne Boleyn, is also featured strongly, but all the Queens, and their children, are covered fairly and extensively. The times and lives of the participants are so brilliantly described here that I found myself seeing each of the characters as real people, rather than just historical figures - and sympathising with each of the them for the human dramas they lived through, and often created. How must it have been for the children...

This is magnificent - and I have already ordered two more of David Starkeys's books.

Highly recommended. 5 stars
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 27 Sep 2012 15:46:41 BDT
TurvyAxe says:
It's"Boleyn" not"Bolyen"

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Sep 2012 17:00:18 BDT
markr says:
thanks - it was a typo - now corrected

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Oct 2012 15:26:20 BDT
TurvyAxe says:
Sorry I must have been in a nit picky mood. Very good review by the way!
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