This fascinating study delves into the lives of six Tudor women celebrated for their reputed wickedness. Collected here are accounts of Anne Boleyn, Katherine Howard, Anne Seymour, Lettice Dudley, and Jane and Alice More. Warnicke rescues these women from historical misrepresentations and helps us to rediscover the complex world of Tudor society.
A “brilliantly written and meticulously researched” biography of royal family life during England’s second Tudor monarch (San Francisco Chronicle). Either annulled, executed, died in childbirth, or widowed, these were the well-known fates of the six queens during the tempestuous, bloody, and splendid reign of Henry VIII of England from 1509 to 1547. But in this “exquisite treatment, sure to become a classic” (Booklist), they take on more fully realized flesh and blood than ever before. Katherine of Aragon emerges as a staunch though misguided woman of principle; Anne Boleyn, an ambitious adventuress with a penchant for vengeance; Jane Seymour, a strong-minded matriarch in the making; Anne of Cleves, a good-natured woman who jumped at the chance of independence; Katherine Howard, an empty-headed wanton; and Katherine Parr, a warm-blooded bluestocking who survived King Henry to marry a fourth time. “Combin[ing] the accessibility of a popular history with the highest standards of a scholarly thesis”, Alison Weir draws on the entire labyrinth of Tudor history, employing every known archive—early biographies, letters, memoirs, account books, and diplomatic reports—to bring vividly to life the fates of the six queens, the machinations of the monarch they married and the myriad and ceaselessly plotting courtiers in their intimate circle (The Detroit News). In this extraordinary work of sound and brilliant scholarship, “at last we have the truth about Henry VIII’s wives” (Evening Standard).
This is the story of England’s most famous, and notorious, king. The facts of Henry VIII’s life and reign were more astonishing, poignant and outlandish than the plot twists of most fiction. Henry’s character was complex: he was a charismatic, ardent – and brash – young lover who married six times; a scholar with a deep love of poetry and music; an energetic hunter who loved the outdoors; a monarch whose lack of a male heir haunted him incessantly; and a ruthless leader who would stop at nothing to achieve his desires. His monumental decision to split from Rome and the Catholic Church was one that would forever shape the religious and political landscape of Britain. Combining magnificent storytelling with an extraordinary grasp of the pleasures and perils of power, Margaret George delivers a vivid portrait of Henry VIII and Tudor England and the powerhouse of players on its stage: Thomas Cromwell, Cardinal Wolsey, Thomas More and Anne Boleyn. It is also a narrative told from an original perspective: Margaret George writes from the King’s point of view, injecting irreverent comments from Will Somers – Henry’s jester and confidant.