In the preface to this book, John Guy states that one of his aims in writing it was to provide 'a clear narrative account of the period of English history from 1460 to the death of Elizabeth I in a manner equally accessible to the general reader and to the student.' In this the book is an unqualified success; though the author presumes some familiarity with the era, it is a great narrative of England during their reign, presenting complex events in a straightforward and comprehensible manner. Guy's focus is primarily on political and religious themes of the period, though he includes chapters on the economy, society, and culture as a means of fully developing his argument. Such an approach is understandable, given that the development of the state is one of the major events of 16th century England. The key figure in this, as with so much else in Tudor history, is Henry VIII, whose innovations would be felt for the remainder of the century. Written with clarity and wit, Guy's book is the best single-volume history of the Tudor era. My only complaint is that, given his other professed goal of offering a synthesis of current research, a new edition is needed to maintain the book’s usefulness as a survey account. I can only hope that Guy does so before too many readers dismiss what is otherwise an excellent overview of Tudor rule.
Immensely informative, makes you appreciate that the history of the period was much more complex and nuanced than you were told at school! Extremely dense and not an easy read. Despite the glossary (essential!) a dictionary is recommended.
Wow, this book certainly lived up to my expectations. Professor Guy writes in just as absorbingly good a fashion as he lectures. This book is my bible, and it explains everything so clearly and the detail is amazing. I can't wait for the new one on Mary to come out. His explanation of how he had researched it was fascinating, and I relish the thought of reading it and understanding the politics and relationships completely. Brilliant!
This book is invaluable to anyone who is studying the Tudor period. It provides a good introduction to the major issues of the reign and shows thorough research. It is excellent for gaining an overview of the period, which can then be followed up by specialist studies. John Guy has a good writing style and the book flows smoothly. A must buy!