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Interesting facts let down by a dry writing style,
This review is from: Winter King: The Dawn of Tudor England (Hardcover)
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Falling between the well-known eras of the Wars of the Roses and the reign of his son Henry VIII, Henry VII has perhaps not received the attention he deserves. In Winter King, Thomas Penn attempts to address this lack, constructing a biography of the first Tudor monarch and the last king to win his throne on the field of battle.
While this book is certainly filled with interesting facts and insights into Henry VII's rule, it nonetheless suffers on several fronts. After describing how Henry took the throne, the early years of his reign are glossed over in order to lavish almost excessive amounts of detail on the last decade of his reign, and the financial rapacity that characterised it. Events often get bogged down in tedious levels of detail, with minor personalities sometimes receiving a disproportionate number of pages dedicated to their situation. It doesn't help that the writing style is largely very dry and academic; for every point where I found myself absorbed by the narrative, there were even more expanses where I simply found myself unable to focus on the book.
Overall, then, I'm ambivalent about this book - I certainly learned a lot, but it came at the cost of an overwhelming feeling that I was undertaking a near-endless slog. Definitely one to borrow from a friend or the library before committing yourself to purchasing a copy.