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Customer Review

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Easy assured style, but not for the beginner, 1 Nov. 2011
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This review is from: Henry VIII (Hardcover)
I enjoyed this book. It is written in a relaxed, but very accomplished and assured style with a good level of detail, at least for the most part; but perhaps slightly more hurried towards the end.

All historians will put their own spin on things and there is no shortage of spin here, in some cases being quite contrary to what I had learned hitherto (Henry's will and the shenanigins that followed it for example). Sometimes it felt like more than just spin with actual facts being at variance to what I had previously understood (Catherine Howard's sexual history for example).

There is a chapter on Ireland that struck me as having been an afterthought. Some of the detail is repeated later on and the repeated detail would have been enough on its own. This Irish chapter seemed quite out of place and could have been easily skipped.

It is not a book for someone taking their first steps into the period. A lot of knowledge is assumed. Characters and events often being referred to with no preamble or explanation as to who or what they were or when they occurred or why and how. This was fine, and I do not criticise it for that - but merely warn others that they could get a bit lost if they do not already know a good deal about Henry's reign.

I found three misprints which probably means there were a lot more. Is it that I am getting old or is my sense that books are not adequately proofed these days true?

I am just now starting on Loades's book on Mary and I am looking forward to it.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 5 Nov 2011 17:34:34 GMT
I'm have recently become a Loades fan and have just finished his new book on the Boleyns and Mary. The words concise, relevant, readable, scholarly and effortless (which it should be for an expert in his late 70s!) come to mind, things that a lot of Tudor writers should aim for nowadays. He always answers those centuries old questions but in a refreshing way. The only thing that puts me off the Henry book is it's length!

Posted on 5 Nov 2011 17:45:19 GMT
I have just flicked through your reviews and will try to read them all in the near future. I, like you am a hobby historian and more so this year when I made a New Year's resolution to read a book every two weeks, and have also reviewed them on Amazon, much to the anger of Elizabeth Norton and Amberley probably!

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Jan 2012 14:04:14 GMT
Graham James says:
Hi K J
Greenland

Thank you for your replies to my posts. I have just finished Loades - The Boleyns. I was disappointed. I am a bit busy to compose my review as yet - and I deliberately try not to read other reviews until I have written mine in case it colours what I want to say - but in due course, I would be very interested in your views on The Boleyns.

Graham James

Posted on 2 Jul 2013 13:08:04 BDT
Last edited by the author on 2 Jul 2013 13:08:22 BDT
Great review!

"Is it that I am getting old or is my sense that books are not adequately proofed these days true?"

Cost-cutting by publishers, I think!
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