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The Six Wives of Henry VIII Hardcover – 27 Jun 1991
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bodley head hb/dj,1991,illustrated
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One hundred per cent researched and a true insight into Tudor life at the royal court
Written in factual form. but surprisingly interesting and I feel so more knowledgeable after reading this book
One feels as if you are there yourself and you can not help but feel sorry and glad at the same time for the inevitable outcome for his wives
This is a well reasserted book, packed full of details and anecdotes about the martial affairs of Henry VIII. Weir has gone into great depth, especially on the first two wives, Katherine of Aragon and Anne Bolyen. The book goes into detail on the character of the six ladies, and all the court intrigue and political posturing that went on during his region.
Henry was infatuated with women, and as well as marrying these ladies, also conducted numerous affairs. There was no comeback on his behaviour, even though he has his penultimate wife executed for adultery and treason. Katherine of Aragon, Jane Seymor and Katherine Parr come across as being kind and well meaning, but Anne Bolyen is shown to be scheming and manipulative, and is linked to a suspected poisoning. Anne of Cleves was a political marriage, but Cromwell who arranged it suffered a political fall when Henry decided that Anne was not the beauty that he had been led to believe that she was.
I could not believe just how decadent the time was. Weir describes the amour of clothes, jewellery and gifts that he showered on those women that took his fancy. Especially when you consider that most of his subjects were in poverty and suffered horrendously from disease. He was a huge mane, greedy too as he reached a point where his suit of armour has a waist line of 54"! He spent the fortune that he inherited from his father very quickly, and was always looking for extra sources of income.
Weir has written a comprehensive account of one of the significant monarchs of our country, and the effect that his insistence on marrying who he wanted had on the religious, social, political infrastructure of our country. Well worth a read if you enjoy history, and want to discover more of this time.
Divorced, Beheaded, Died, Divorced, Beheaded, Cried.
Henry the VIIII's first Wife was Katherine of Aragon who had previously been married to his younger brother Arthur who died before consummating their marriage. Although the Bible expressly forbade a man to marry his Wife's widow, Henry went ahead and married her. Unfortunately she only gave him a daughter after numerous miscarriages and still births. This Henry decided it was divine retribution so he managed to divorve her leaving him free to marry Anne Boleyn. This as we know ended in her being beheaded. However, her legacy to the world was Elizabeth I.
The book recounts all of his marriages and his gradual decline from a handsome young man into a gross parody of himself....with a suppurating ulcer on his leg that stank to high heaven and quite possibly contributed to his foul moods and eventual demise at a relatively young age.
An incredibly interesting book which makes the subject of History come vividly alive.
I feel I must mention the reader, Actress Emma Fielding - whose voice was a perfect fit for this novel.
This may be my first Alison Weir book, but it won't be my last! I received Innocent Traitor, as a present recently, which I am looking forward to reading
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