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The Six Wives of Henry VIII Paperback – 15 Apr 2009
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Neither Starkey nor Weir has the assurance and command of Loades' (SIMON HEFFER LITERARY REVIEW)
About the Author
David Loades was Emeritus Professor of the University of Wales and an Honorary Member of the University of Oxford, History Faculty. He was also a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, Vice-President of the Navy Record Society and former President of the Ecclesiastical History Society. He was the author of over thirty books on the sixteenth century, specializing in the Tudors. Sadly he has passed away.
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Firstly, it must be said that if you buy the Amberley edition entitled 'The Six Wives of Henry VIII' don't think that it will be a personal history of the six wives, like Antonia Fraser, David Starkey or Alison Weir or the like have written. It is not.
Loades purely focuses on the political side of the marriages; the need for a male heir during his first marriage to Catherine of Aragon, the subsequent break with Rome during the tail end of the first and the second to Anne Boleyn, Anne's fall amid the machinations of Cromwell and the court, the apolitical marriage with Jane Seymour, the need to counter the papal threat with the fourth marriage to Anne of Cleves, the rise of the Howards during the fifth to Katherine Howard and the sixth amid the battle between religious conservatives and evangelicals.
His writing is very concise and relevant, producing a work refreshingly far less than two-hundred pages, while it being very readable and scholarly at the same time.
What comes across is that Loades is not a Henry fan. His lack of admiration drips from every page.
A superb book.
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