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Customer Review

on 13 April 2007
I found this hard going. While Starkey's research is admittedly admirable, what I found very strange about this book is that he completely compartmentalises each of the wives, as though they existed entirely separately from each other. For instance, in the section on Catherine of Aragon, there is NO mention of Anne Boleyn, even once you get to the parts about the divorce, etc. I found this frankly peculiar, and more than a little frustrating and irritating. Anne was a member of Catherine's court; Catherine knew exactly who she was, and that she was the one her husband was leaving her for. I don't see how you can explore Catherine's story with any humanity and depth without going into these relationships, which were of such wrenching impact at the time.

Similarly, I felt that while the political aspects of each wife's reign were gone into in great detail, there was a lack of the personal which for me made the book much duller and dryer than expected. I greatly preferred Antonia Fraser's treatment of this subject.
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