'An outstanding work of historical artistry, a brilliantly woven and pacy story of the men who surrounded, influenced and sometimes plagued Henry VIII.' Alison Weir Henry VIII is well known for his tumultuous relationships with women, and he is often defined by his many marriages. But what do we see if we take a different look? When we see Henry through the men i...
|Title||:||Henry VIII and the men who made him: The secret history behind the Tudor throne|
|Number of Pages||:||512 pages|
Henry VIII and the men who made him: The secret history behind the Tudor throne Reviews
Over the last few years I have come to rely on Tracy Borman’s books about Tudor England. She is an excellent historian, and has a clear-eyed and fresh approach to this well-traveled subject. In this book we do not spend the majority of our time on Henry’s wives, interesting though they are, nor on his split with Rome, momentous as that was. This book is a look at the men with whom Henry surrounded himself, men great and small, and their influence on the king.
Henry was not meant to be king, as th ...more
Seventy-odd years ago as children going to school, we surveyed Holbein’s famous painting of Henry VIII standing there, tallish for his day, red bearded, broad shouldered, deep chested, in ‘party dress’, with his – ahem – enormous codpiece protruding through the split at the front of his pantaloons, and laugh at the buffoon he so obviously was. Our English history teacher (English as in teacher and in history) upbraided us for our levity and explained that Henry was much more than the fool we tho ...more
Much to the ire of Tudorphiles everywhere - I did not find this especially enlightening. And like Oliver Twist - I wanted more and was left wanting.
This book was interesting from the perspective that the focus was on the men who surrounded Henry VIII and not him. The book addressed the relationships with some of the better known names of that time - Cardinal Wolsey, Thomas More, Thomas Cromwell and Charles Branson (Duke of Suffolk) and also a number who are not as well known. It clearly shows that being a part of the court of Henry VIII was a challenge due to the swings in mood and personality of the monarch that would have someone in favor ...more
I am a Tudorphile. A stimulating and refreshing way to look at probably the most written about king in English history. For all the 'high' and 'low' men that were in Henry's orbit there is a sense of irony that one of his favourites was his fool, Will Jester “ few men were more beloved than was his Fool…..Thus Will exiled sadness many a time” . This book was written very well that made it feel as if it was 'just' a novel...am sure more by TB will be read.
II would give this book a four on just based on its readability. There were some historical figures around Henry VIII that I found uninteresting. However, they might have been interesting to a British audience so I was a little generous in my rating. I am an American and frequently I find when I read English history books I feel that if I were British I would know something about the subject but because I am an American I am totally confused.
The strengths of the books are that I learned a lot a ...more
Read More Book Reviews on my blog It's Good To Read
“Divorced, Beheaded, Died, Divorced, Beheaded, Survived”
Thus goes the old mantra on how to remember what happened to Henry VIII’s six wives. It is accepted as fact that his marital intrigues were all about begetting a male heir, to bolster and shore up the shaky claim the Tudors had on the throne.
Most books on Henry deal with the man’s marital status, but this one is different. The author looks at the king from a viewpoint rarely if ...more
This has got to be by far one of the most interesting reads I have ever had; rivaled by Sharon Penman herself, who I hold as the best of historical writers and my favorite author in general.
I have always wanted Penman to continue from her Sunne in Splendour and have been disappointed in the attempts of authors who have ventured to touch on the reigns that followed Bosworth. I was relieved to find one who stood out.
Tracy Borman’s take on Henry VIII was refreshing, interesting, which one might e ...more