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on 14 April 2017
A very informative detailed description of Henry V111 six wives lives

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
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on 23 July 2017
Alison Weir has written an accurate fast paced book full of historical detail. A far more accurate account without the added fictitious detail of a Philipa Gregory novel. Both authors are a joy to read but you can tell Weir is here to tell the absolute truth and has meticulously researched her subject , with a sympathetic edge to all her writing .
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on 17 February 2014
The rhyme that has stuck with me since school is divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived. Which of course refers to the final outcome of each of Henry VIII 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.
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VINE VOICEon 4 May 2014
Here is a mnemonic to help you remember which of Henry's 6 Wives met their ends.

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.
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on 9 December 2016
Extremely well written and researched and easy to read. This period of English history is so incredible that I can't imagine anyone not being interested in it. I bought the audible version as well so can flip from the audio to the book via whisper sync which I highly recommend as it is quite a long book. I have a printed copy as well and find that much easier to see the photos of the portraits which instead of being interspersed through the book are all bunched together at the end on my kindle and quite difficult to view. Alison Weir brings history to life, bravo!
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on 1 December 2012
I read this book immediately after Alison Weir's fictionalised novel about Lady Jane Gray. On reflection I think I should have waited a bit longer before plunging straight into this one which is set at virtually the identical time. I didn't enjoy it quite as much as "Innocent Traitor" which fascinated me but it was a story well told and based, the author states, on factual research - albeit told with some poetic licence. All the characters are well drawn and one comes to know them well. There is one very controversial episode where the author has allowed her imagination to run perhaps too far but taken as a whole it paints a vivid and at times quite terrifying picture of life at the Tudor court.
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on 17 December 2015
Absolutely fantastic book! I honestly didn't think I'd get so hooked on it!
If you read about Henry VIII and his wives or watched movies it won't make any difference.you will actually be surprised how little you knew, It's packed with details! Sooooo interesting!
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on 13 January 2013
This is the first Alison Weir book I've read, purchased on a friend's strong recommendation - who knows I love historical fiction. I think this is a superb book! I found myself engrossed in this story from start to finish. It's very well written, with astounding attention to detail; with a clever plot twist which makes one think. It is also quite a fast paced book, but doesn't lose the listener's attention.

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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on 6 April 2010
I have always found Tudor history very interesting, and spurred on by what i was sure were huge historical inaccuraccies in the TV series The Tudor's i bought this book after seeing the ammount of great reviews it had.

I have to admit it took me a while to pluck up the courage to start - i enjoy history but did not have the patience for the minute details of political goings on that were required during school/university study. To me the figures took away from the human element of history which is what interests me. Eventually (spurred on by the film The Other Boleyn Girl - again historical inaccuracies!!) i picked up and started reading.

Alison really does do a great job of making historical fact readable. As others have commented - you cannot put this down and it is as gripping a book as any other i have read despite my knowing the various fates of the wives in question. There are historical facts, dates and political goings on - but all covered in an accessible way that is all very much about the human aspects of all of the key players. She also includes amazing descriptions of some of the tudor fashions, creating something for everyone. I learned some things i had never known - and to be honest i had thought i knew quite a lot. The biggest surprise was regarding Anne Boleyn, whom i have seen painted in an awful light. You get the feeling Alison is not biased against any of them - giving both sides to every story.

I cannot rave about this enough - amazing for anyone wanting to get an unbiased view on this era which you cannot get from the various films and TV dramas about at the minute!!
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on 17 October 2015
I'm a great Weir fan. Enjoy all her books. A great way to introduce our history. She weaves the facts into readable stories,gives a great insight into the intrigue and politics surrounding the Throne, but never heavy going.Always delightful.
2 people found this helpful
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