What a fantastic read. I have always been a fan of history since school and always found the Tudors the most engaging and exciting of the Kings and Queens of Great Britain. What is so great about this book is that it actually goes into a lot of detail. All fans know of Henry VIII and his character etc etc but we don't know too much of the Queens before, during and after his reign. I particularly enjoyed reading Elizabeth of York and Margaret of Anjou. As already mentioned this is great book in order to get to grips with the main aspects of each Queen. If your looking into each more deeply for a dissertation or a thesis then maybe other books are more relevant but I feel that you learn a great deal from reading this book. I was fascinated with the chapter on Jane Grey and Mary Stuart.
I take my hat of to David Loades. What a fantastic read. I'm more of a fictional reader myself and enjoy a good story but this has been my bedtime book for the past week and can say it's been one of the most gripping books I've read in a good while.
This book was really excellent. I had read Loades's book on the six wives of Henry VIII before and this book is, in many ways, very similar. I think I preferred this book overall though as Loades looks at all the Tudor queens, not just Henry VIII's wives. He also gives information on some of the pre-Tudor queens , such as Catherine of Valois, which I thought helped to explain the ways that the Tudors acted in many respects. I agree with the previous reviewers and think that I learned a great deal from the book.
For me personally, at least, it is wonderful to have a book especially on this particular subject, since the English Tudor period is my favourite in history and its number of Queens far outweigh its number of Kings, thanks mainly to King Henry VIII., who of course supplied eight Tudor Queens in the form of six wives and two daughters. With the possible exception of Henry himself, the Tudor Queens also possessed far more interesting characters than their male counterparts.
I like the author's style (I have read his biography of Queen Mary I.), and it is good to have a chapter dedicated to Queen Jane (Lady Jane Grey), whose nine-day reign is often over-looked or ignored by other historians. The question of whether her reign (by right) should have happened or not is irrelevant when considering its inclusion in any historical documentation of the Tudor period. Whether right or wrong it DID happen, and therefore it is a grave error to entirely omit any detail or mention of it.
The subjects of this book are many, and therefore it is impossible to include in-depth details upon the lives of all of them. If this is required then individual biographies of each Queen, of which there are several, should be sought. Certain events here are naturally passed over briefly. In my opinion the main asset of the book is two-fold. It is firstly fascinating to compare the differences in the roles, duties and characters of Queen Consorts with Queen Regnants (which this book explores admirably), and secondly, as I said at the start of this review, it is so useful to have the lives of the subjects of this book all within one volume. For a lover of the Tudor period and the women who dominated it, this book is certainly a necessity.
I couldn't put this book down. It is brilliantly detailed and informative and a joy to read. Definitely a book worth returning to, Loades brings the lives of the Tudor Queens to life in a fresh way and casts light on them in a new way.The perennial story of the wives of Henry VIII never gets dull in the retelling and Loades does a fine job of doing so with lots of incidental detail. Although one might feel a lot more sympathetic towards Katherine Howard, a least Loades gives us a window into Henry's realization that he was no longer the strapping youth he once was.I didn't altogether agree with his depiction of Anne Boleyn but it is so commendably articulated and mounted. It is still hard to leave behind the traditional assessments of Anne but Loades does a good job.
Altogether an excellent book, both academic and enjoyable.