David Loades has written a rather average and incredibly dull overview of the Tudor dynasty. I compare his work unfavourably with Richard Rex's 'The Tudors' which gives a lively, incredibly readable yet scholarly account in just over 200 pages.
To his credit, Loades takes a thematic approach, covering the main topics of the Tudor era. Chapters covering the rise of the Tudors during the 16th century, the two Henry's marriages and divorces, Mary and Elizabeth's search for an heir, religion and how the Tudors sold themselves were interesting and at times enlightening reading.
However, chapters on parliament, the economy and foreign policy were either incredibly dull or bog-standard affairs and grammatical errors litter the book.
Loades also gives some strange opinions. He gives a clear description on Henry VIII's marriage to Anne of Cleves, ignoring debate, and states categorically that Elizabeth fell in love with Robert Dudley in 1559, when no-one really knows if they did so before it, saying rather clumsily "she swore that she had never had intercourse with him, and that was almost certainly the truth". Almost certainly? Oh please, David!!!
Richard Rex's 'The Tudors' is still the definitive introduction. Buy that instead!
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