Whilst this book is an excellent work, the Kindle edition which I purchased is let down by a poor conversion. Here's some examples:
- The table of contents lists simply the chapter numbers rather than names; - References numbers appear in the text but are not hyperlinked. To make things worse, they start at 1 at the beginning of the book and continue to increment throughout - ignoring the chapters. Of course, this doesn't tie in at all with the references themselves which are ordered by chapter. This is a great pity as a lot of research must have gone into the book and it would be nice to see where some of this was sourced without having to calculate the number you actually need by reference to the book-long numbering system adopted during the Kindle conversion process; - the photos for the entire book appear out of nowhere in the middle of a chapter. Whilst photos are always going to be a compromise in a Kindle book, I feel that they are better placed in a separate section at the end.
Having said all that I paid under a fiver for this so it can hardly be seen as bad value. But I would rather have paid a tenner and had a decent job made of the Kindle conversion.
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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