The Last Days of Henry VIII: Conspiracy, Treason and Heresy at the Court of the Dying Tyrant Hardcover – 10 Mar 2005
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The idea of looking in depth at the 1540s is terrific... genuinely original... fresh and interesting... (THE SUNDAY TIMES)
... the scholarship of this book is meticulous... Hutchinson brilliantly conveys the atmosphere of terror... a gripping narrative... Hutchinson provides an across-the-spectrum grand slam portrait of the second Tudor monarch. No one writing about Henry VIII in the future will be able to ignore this magnificent book. (Frank McLynn DAILY EXPRESS)
Htuchinson's narrative, level-headed and carefully researched... enjoyable. (SPECTATOR)
gripping... This is a scholarly but racy account focusing on the final four years of Henry's long reign. (THE FIELD)
This book may be called biograpical history at its best... the corruption it portrays still has the power to shock. (CONTEMPORARY REVIEW)
Conspiracies, treason and heresy at the court of the dying tyrantSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Although the early parts of his life and former five wives are mentioned, the main detail of this book is the era of about 1543-47. It provides some wonderful insights on how Katherine Parr dealt with such an infamous husband, and managed to bring all the family(various half-siblings) together in Henry's last years....in particular forming a close bond with the future Edward VI, and Elizabeth I.
There is a lot of information on the politics of the court over those last few years, and perhaps some of the most interesting details are theories on the health of the king. Some new and very convincing arguments are written about the illnesses of Henry.
This is the first book on Henry VIII where as a reader I have felt most close to knowing the man's character. It is very hard not to feel a certain amount of sympathy for him after reading this book, in spite of all his cruel and tyrannical acts of so called justice. There are fascinating details about the king's various Wills and ultimately what happened upon his death, and his funeral, which are often left out of other books.
In conclusion, if you like this period of history and want to know more about the later years of Henry, then buy this book, you won't be disappointed. 5 stars!!
The dying days of Henry are examined by theme, and Hutchinson brings to life subjects such as the control of the wooden stamp of Henry's signature vividly. He even admits pity for the disease-ridden tyrant, and reveals the true nature of the ilnesses that turned the ageing king into a dying beast. There is a real pathos in the sad history of Henry's tomb that closes the book.
I have his biography of Walsingham on the pile to read next, and I'm looking forward to it. Hutchinson brings humour, insight and freshness to a well-documented period.
The account of the years leading up to Henry's death (from the search for a third wife), the account of his death, the riddle of the will, the internecine bickering in his court and the attack on Catherine Parr are all delivered in a well written yet easy going style and are a pleasure to read. Right to the end Henry was truly imperious in his management of his court, playing one off against the others by turn until none knew from one day to the next where they stood.
Henry aside, the book also provides an interesting insight into court life in Middle Ages England. The shenanigans of the privy council in their attempts to get 'one up' on their peers are truly spectacular.
The book's not a long read, just under 300 pages and it leaves you wanting just a little more. Despite never having any interest in Henry I've come to respect the way he valued and promoted a meritocracy within his court and never let the senior peers of the realm tread all over the little guy. Thoroughly worth a look.
The young Henry was a sportsman of some renown and his vibrant personality and good looks attracted many beautiful women. The old Henry was fat, dirty, riddled with disease and took most of his pleasure from watching other people suffer, including those closest to him.
Robert Hutchinson's book on the final years of Henry's life, brings forth many startling revelations of the intrigues, plot and counter plot of the time. He has unearthed death warrants, confessions, pleas for clemency and many other, until now, little documented facts.
I enjoyed the book immensely, but it was tinged with sadness for me. Henry VIII might (who can say) have been one of the greatest King's England has ever had. But like so many great men he had the fatal flaw in his make-up, which eventually makes them press the self destruct button.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was a bit disappointed by this. As others have said it is less last days than half his reign as in order to fill out the book it has been necessary to take the story back to the... Read morePublished 13 days ago by D. J. Favager
Full of very interesting information and details, a good read,Published 13 months ago by Joseph Fletcher
Well written as one would expect from Robert Hutchinson. He tells one all the things that T.V. plays and films don'tPublished 24 months ago by louby lou
I could not put this book down. The writing style, and the intermingling of primary sources with a novel esque biographical format made for a supremely interesting page turner,... Read morePublished on 25 April 2014 by Jamie
Excellentt purchase. thank you My husband was very pleased with the purchase. it was in excellent condition thank you very muchPublished on 1 Mar. 2013 by Barbara Massey
From the blurb, this book looks promising but disppaointment is in store. Far from being just about the king's last days, its scope stretches from 1537 to the end of Edward VI's... Read morePublished on 4 May 2012 by Stephen Bishop
A well written book, which I couldnt put down. Very easy to read and as gripping as a thrillerPublished on 11 May 2011 by hilda wood