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The Autobiography of Henry VIII: With Notes by His Fool, Will Somers Paperback – September 15, 1998
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Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
More About the Author
Margaret's father was in the Foreign Service and so she lived overseas for her early life, in such different places as tropical Taiwan, desert Israel, and cold war Berlin, all of which were great training for a novelist to be. She started writing 'books' about the same time as she could write at all, mainly for her own entertainment. It was a diversion she never outgrew. Her published works are: THE AUTOBIOGAPHY OF HENRY VIII, MARY QUEEN OF SCOTLAND AND THE ISLES, THE MEMOIRS OF CLEOPATRA, MARY CALLED MAGDALENE, HELEN OF TROY, ELIZABETH I, and an illustrated children's book, LUCILLE LOST.
Margaret lives in Madison, Wisconsin, and Washington DC, and has a sextagenarian tortoise as a pet.
Top Customer Reviews
In many ways, this is a dark book. Henry was a complex man, and dangerous to get close to. A number of those closest to him lost their heads. Life was relatively short in those days anyway, though, and I found myself feeling for Henry by the end. In a very superstitious age, he was driven by his own inner demons. And it is apalling how superstitious these people were. There was a strong tendency to attribute every significant event as an act of God. Given the misfortunes that dogged his life, Henry was often left to wonder what he had done to offend his "God". Hence, he can convince himself that his marriage to Katherine of Aragon was incestuous when there was no hope of her giving him a son, despite many years together and the possibility that she was one of the few who really loved him. Later, he is able to convince himself that Anne Boleyn is a "witch". Disagreeable she might have been. She comes across as vain, selfish, greedy and vengeful. But, she certainly wasn't directly responsible for any of the deaths and illnesses in Henry's family. Nor is it likely that hismarriages were provoking angry responses from any vengeful deities.
If you have any interest in the life and times of Henry VIII, then you should definitely read this book.Read more ›
George's "The Autobiography of Henry VIII : With Notes by His Fool, Will Somers" is an amazing book. It's quite daunting to look at (being more than 900 pages long!) but I can assure you that, once started, you will fly through this book. As the title implies, this book is from Henry's point of view, and it is written as a journal.
In the opening pages we hear from Henry's fool Will, who is writing to Henry's illegitimate daughter Catherine (Anne Boleyn's sister Mary is the mother). Will explains that he is sending her Henry's journal, a journal that he, Will, found after Henry's death. He admits that he has read through it and added notes of his own in some sections, which is George's clever way of adding a more objective opinion to some of "Henry's" ramblings.
This book presents a fascinating, and markedly different, view of Henry than is usually presented in history books. Instead of seeing Henry VII as a mean, vindictive, overweight slob, he comes across as a mostly kind man who is haunted by inner demons (especially near the end of his life).
If you're at all interested in Henry VII (and even if you're not!), I strongly urge you to pick up this book.
George does better with the character of Will Somers, whose critical comments intrude on Henry's "manuscript" from time to time. She also does a pretty fair job of explaining a long and complicated span of English history. Character development tends to be limited to Henry and his six wives and several mistresses, but that is part of the historical romance genre. The important men in Henry's life: Wolsey, More, Cromwell, Cranmer, come off as cardboard sticks. ( I would have loved to have seen more of the inscrutable Cranmer--now THERE'S a novel for you.)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wow. So as an avid enthusiast for Tudor history, I had to get this book, and I am VERY glad I did. Most of the books of Tudor historical fiction I have read have been from the... Read morePublished 5 days ago by Amber Marie Lane
Love this book, well researched and an in depth look into the mind of King HenryPublished 1 month ago by Eli Salas 3 of Wellford
Henry the 8th is brought to life in this historical account of his life. He was tough as nails and a complete romantic always looking for love. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Christa A. Robinson
Excellent long-form novel that is well-researched and tells the story from the perspective of Henry Tudor.Published 5 months ago by SW