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books about King Henry VIII & his court

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weir
Non-fiction
About the Author : Alison Weir
Before becoming a writer of both historical fiction and non-fiction, Weir was a teacher & ran her own school for special needs children. She was born in Westminster, London and now lives in Surrey,England with her husband and two children.
Submitted by: queen_elizabeth_1533

Comments: I like this book because not only does it talk about Henry's life, but it gives a lot of descriptions of life at his court that I never knew. Clothing, rules and behavior, important courtiers, palaces, and a lot more information are in this book, and brings out a little more information about some of the people associated with Henry's wives that we werent' told in The Six Wives of Henry VIII.


Submitted by: jmccoy5712

Comments: This was the book that started the fascination for me with the Tudor family. I always did enjoy learning about Queen Elizabeth and other monarchs from history, but never did I realize who Henry the Eighth really was and what he did, and why.


Submitted by:Tudorloyalist

Comments:Excellent, readable account of Henry VIII's court and its political, social and cultural importance. Stints on a few intriguing figures, but overall very good.


Submitted by: VerelaiR

Comments:Generally, I'm not a fan of Weir, as she made a number of errors in her "The Six Wives of Henry VIII". At times her research is faulty. Unfortunately, this book also suffers from mistakes: one of the most glaring is not doing her homework on the 16th C. Tower of London. The current site of the scaffold, in front of St. Peter ad Vincula, was a Victorian notion, and Anne Boleyn's coronation lodgings, where she stayed after her arrest, is not the present Queen's House (but does include salvaged architectural features). As a historian, she should not fall into the "tourist trap". However, this book reveals a superb grasp of overwhelming amounts of quirky primary source documents; quite the task. Also, it is a perfect adjunct to countless biographies that overlook this type of background material.

While not a biography of Henry VIII per se, this book is a fascinating glimpse into the machinations of his court over time. This lion king, fierce, ruthless, gifted and charming, presided over the first truly Renaissance court in England. Ms. Weir combed obscure sources for hitherto unknown insights and has written them into a cohesive social history. Who knew Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn both favoured cherries and strawberries above all other fruit? I had heard Henry VIII was fastidious in his personal hygiene, but here all is described at length: his daily routines, his eating and exercise habits, how he dined and with whom, the monumental progresses, plus his being the centre of an enormous courtly universe. What protocols his courtiers had to observe! And even Henry VIII is not the master of destiny, at least not in the minutae: he, too, was bound by conventional expectations of kingly behaviour.

Even as Henry was clean, his courtiers were hardly so: where else would find details such as crosses carved into palace walls to prevent men from urinating against them? Utterly charming.

Here we see Henry's human side; I am familiar with Scarsbrick's intellectual view of Henry -- the man of policy and passion, the ecclesiastical and political dimensions. Here we see the business of being king; one sees 'Dieu et Mon Droit' in action, the pageantry, the spectacle, the dangers associated of rising too close to this brilliant sun. Much of it all must have been tedious, but Henry was born to the task (even if he were not destined to be king).

And Henry is not the only one addressed from an unconventional angle: Ms. Weir has unearthed details regarding Henry's wives and associates which normally escapes biographers. Occasionally, however, she does go out on an unsupported, unconventional limb, but overall, this is a wonderful companion piece to more difficult scholarly analyses of the period. Indeed, the book is easy to digest, although some unfamiliar with Henry VIII's reign might find the detail overwhelming. For the aficionado it is a welcome addition.


Submitted by: Howardfan

Comments: As someone who is also not a huge fan of Weir for her findings in The Six wives of Henry VIII seem to be lacking and based on rumor rather than fact, I was skeptical of reading this but found it a very good read as this book addressed every aspect of Henry's life from his days as Duke of York, to old flatulent ailing king of England whose paranoia had taken over. Weir has very descriptive ways of writing about the clothing, food, jewels and attire of the Tudor court in the 16th century which gives the reader more of an opportunity to invision the actual gowns and robes worn by the lords, ladies and consorts of the court which is great as a lot of historians brush over the minor details of what each queen wore or what gifts were given to whom. In this book weir also paints each queen a lot more fairly than her Six wives book does. She does not slander Anne Boleyn or portray the other five queens as superior to the "concubine" as chapyus the imperial envoy referred to her. Over all a fascinating and descriptive read.

The King's reformation
The King’s Reformation: Henry VIII and the remaking of the English Church
(Yale, University Press, 2005)
Non-fiction
About the Author: G.W. Bernard
Editor of the English Historical Review & Professor of History at the University of Southampton, England.

Reviews:

'...the book is a superb achievement. It advances an extraordinarily skilled understanding of the intricate relationship of religious belief, religious life, political necessity and political opposition. It will infuriate a great many people, but inspire a great many more'
- Lucy Wooding, Literary Review

'This is a brave book, tilting at many windmills, challenging many received ideas. It will certainly stimulate discussion... Everyone interested in the Tudor Reformation will therefore want to read this book.' - Eamon Duffy, The Tablet







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Henry VIII
Non-fiction
About the Author : David Loades
Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Wales and Research Professor of History at the University of Sheffield. He is the author of many books on the Tudor period including Chronicles of the Tudor Queens, Henry VIII and his Queens, and Mary Tudor: A Life.

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Lacey Baldwin Smith
Non-fiction
About the Author: Lacey Baldwin Smith
Emeritus Professor of History at Northwestern University in New Jersey. Lives in Wilmette, Illinois


Reviews:

"The best book on Henry VIII that I have ever read. . . . Smith brings the inner man alive for us in a way no other historian has done. The portrait is as convincing as it is compelling, absolutely authentic, marvelously readable."––A. L. Rowse



Submitted by:TudorLoyalist

Comments: I first read this when I was a teen. That was awhile ago, and the book still holds up very well.



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Henry VIII by Lucy Wooding

Non-Fiction
About the author: Lucy Wooding
a Lecturer in Early Modern History at King’s College, London. Her research interests lie in the political, religious and cultural history of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, in particular the history of the Reformation. She is also the author of Rethinking Catholicism in Reformation England (2000).

‘Lucy Wooding covers the whole reign, necessarily drawing on others’ work, expounding and reviewing it in a way that students will greet with joy. A long afternoon in the company of her book, deftly used, will give them an air of easy familiarity with the great debates of the past few decades … She takes her own line at every point, formulates her judgments in fluent and pointed prose, and illustrates her case liberally with quotations from chronicles, letters and formularies of faith.’ – Times Literary Supplement

‘Lucy Wooding’s readable one-volume study comprehensively updates J.J. Scarisbrick’s classic 1968 biography and deftly charts a middle way through ongoing controversies. Unlike some other discussions of the king, it gives due weight to the years 1509-1525.’ – History Review

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JJ scarisbrick
Non-fiction
About the Author : J.J. Scarisbrick
Professor Emeritus of History University of Warwick, England.
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john Guy
Non-fiction
About the Author: John Guy
Fellow of Clare College, University of Cambridge, England where he teaches part-time so he can devote more time to his writing and broadcasting career. Read History under the supervision of Professor Sir Geoffrey Elton, the pre-eminent Tudor scholar of the late-twentieth century. Married to Julia Fox, author of Jane Boleyn. Other books, Thomas More & The Reign of Elizabeth I
Reviews:
`The most comprehensive history of Tudor England for more than thirty years.' Observer

Submitted by: TudorLoyalist

Comments: This is a very thorough 'general' textbook about the Tudor era in England.



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Young Henry by Robert Hutchinson
non-fiction
Young Henry: The Rise of Henry VIII
by Robert Hutchinson

release date: April 2011

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The Last Days of Henry VIII
Non Fiction
About the Author: Robert Hutchinson
Submitted by: Maggie-AnneB.

Comments: Robert Hutchinson likes Henry VIII. He does not like Cromwell, at all. So if you like Henry and dislike Cromwell, this book is for you. It's informed enough, but if it weren't for Hutchinson's prejudice, this bio would be good. It is a good look at the beginning of Edward VI's reign.


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England Under the Tudors
Non Fiction
About the Author: G.R. Elton
Pre-eminent British historian of the Tudor period who passed away in 1994.A very professional scholar and a formidable man with little time for those who failed to meet his exacting standards.
Elton taught at the University of Glasgow and was the Regius Professor of Modern history.He was knighted in 1986. Elton worked as publication secretary of the British Academy and served as the president of the Royal Historical Society. He married a fellow historian, Sheila Lambert.

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lion's court
Non Fiction
About the Author: Derek Wilson
Reviews:
"A dramatic story to tell in human terms...carried out with attractive energy and zest...[Derek Wilson] has written a useful and stimulating book about [Britian's] most important dynasty." - Antonia Fraser

"I cannot praise too highly Derek Wilson's prose style, which is masterful and lively. He writes with great conviction and a breathtaking attention to the kind of personal detail that makes his books such compelling reading." - Alison Weir
Submitted by: TudorLoyalist

Comments:I can't say enough good things about this book. It uses a fascinating and unique prism to analyze the reign of Henry VIII - tracing the lives and careers of six prominent men named Thomas: More, Wolsey, Cromwell, Cramner, Howard (Duke of Norfolk) and Wriothesley Amazingly detailed and very convincing.


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The Tudors Bookshelf Non fiction - The Tudors Wiki
Non Fiction
David Starkey
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The Mistresses of Henry VIII
The Tudors Bookshelf Non fiction - The Tudors Wiki
Non Fiction by Kelly Hart

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The Other Tudors by Phillips Jones


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Henry Howard; Henry VIII's last victim by Jessie Childs

Non-Fiction
Henry Howard ; Henry VIII's Last Victim
by Jessie Childs
born in 1976 and educated at West Heath and Stowe School, Childs took a first in history at Brasenose College, Oxford in 1999 and has worked in television as a researcher for historical documentaries. Her proposal for Henry VIII's Last Victim was a runner-up in the 2001 Biographers' Club/Daily Mail Prize

“Rarely have I felt so utterly captivated by a history book. It is stunning. Jessie Childs is a major new talent.” ---Alison Weir, author of The Six Wives of Henry VIII
“A truly superb biography.”---A. N. Wilson, The Daily Telegraph (UK)“Judging from her debut with this riveting life of the brilliant, doomed Earl of Surrey, Jessie Childs is a rising star among historians.Just when we thought everything had been said about Henry VIII she makes us see him from a completely new angle.Her scholarship is inspired and her prose sparkles.”The Hundred Years War ---Desmond Seward, author of “Childs’s book, beautifully written and researched, explores with subtlety the forces that made and destroyed Surrey.”---The Mail on Sunday (UK)“Childs’ description of [the] complex maneuverings[at Henry VIII’s court] is excellent . . . this book opens a fascinating window to the mid-Tudor world . . .”---The Guardian (UK)“This is a rumbustious tale and well worth the retelling but what makes this biography special is the quality of the writing. It is as fluid and engaging as the research is careful and penetrating.”---History Today (UK)“A fascinating story . . . a very readable and diligently researched book.”---The Literary Review (UK)


Mary Boleyn: The True Story of Henry VIII's Mistress
The Tudors Bookshelf Non fiction - The Tudors Wiki
Non Fiction by Josephine Wilkinson










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