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Inside the Tudor Court: Henry VIII and his Six Wives through the eyes of the Spanish Ambassador Paperback – 15 Mar 2015

4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Amberley Publishing; Reprint edition (15 Mar. 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1445645599
  • ISBN-13: 978-1445645599
  • Product Dimensions: 12.4 x 3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 492,448 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

‘A superb, sound, engagingly written and much-needed study of a controversial player at the Tudor court. Highly recommended.’ (Alison Weir)

‘A wonderfully useful book that brings to life the colourful world of the Henrician court. There has long been a need for a biography of this brilliant and complex figure and Lauren Mackay has certainly delivered it.’ (Gareth Russell)

About the Author

Lauren Mackay is a historian and consultant based in Sydney, Australia. She completed her Masters of History and is currently researching her PhD on Thomas and George Boleyn, Anne Boleyn's father and brother, with University of Newcastle (Australia).


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This really is the inside view of the court of Henry Viii, from the time of his count proceedings against Katherine of Aragon, through his passionate affair and dramatic marriage to Anne Boleyn, to his decline after his campaign in France in 1545. Lauren Mackey has written a much needed and intimate biography of Eustace Chapyus, citing widely from his many letters and ambassadorial reports, some of which are blunt and brutally honest, which expels the myths that he was merely an agent of Charles V or totally biased in his views about Anne Boleyn. Ms Mackey has put some of the more Tudor triumphal polemic into context, seeing such incidents as when he appears to bow to Anne in April 1536, not through the eyes of Henry and Cromwell, but as Chapyus himself saw the incident, he was returning her courtesy, not acknowledging Anne as Queen.

We find many sides to Chapyus in this wounderful and well researched book, a man with a devotion and fatherly concern for Princess Mary, the dedicated and genuine friend of Queen Katherine, a man who in anger was not afraid to call King Henry a tyrant, who could go too far in his criticism, even of his own master, Charles V, and who drew censor from a friend. We see a man who was charming and who was more than a diplomat, who could make genuine friends in the Duke of Suffolk and even admitted to being fond of Henry with whom he had a warm relationship, despite the strains caused by the divorce and marriage to Anne. Henry's own diplomatic policy did not help matters, swinging back and forth as he did between France and Spain. Chapyus used his own judgment at times, refusing to leave London when relationships soured at times for a short period and he genuinely wanted peace.
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I have always enjoyed History and have a fascination with the Tudors. The book gives a different insight in the lives (and loves) of Henry VIII and those people in his court. It is very rare to find references about Eustace Chapuys, he is usually just mentioned in footnotes so his insight of the court of Henry VIII at this time is revealing. A good read for all those who like History.
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I liked the book. It really brought to life the realities of being an ambassador in the Henrician court and was interesting to read. Having said that, I felt that the book was a bit rushed towards the end, where it seemed to cover the period between 1540-1545 in 50 pages. Although I would only call myself a novice historian, I have read the Chapuys dispatches of that period and it would have been nice to have more of that included.
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I loved this book. It was so interesting to see the lives of Henry VIII’s wives through the perspective of Chapuys. It was fascinating to see him brought out as a historical character. It was an absolutely faultless book and really well written, I couldn’t put it down. I'd definitely recommend it to anyone interested in Tudor history.
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Excellent
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