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Young Henry: The Rise of Henry VIII Hardcover – October 30, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Hutchinson complements his biography of the old king (The Last Days of Henry VIII, 2005) with this portrait of the young monarch up to the late 1520s, when Henry had turned against his chancellor, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, for failing to secure a divorce from Katherine of Aragon. She, of course, had been previously married to Henry’s elder brother, Arthur, whose death cleared the way for Henry’s ascension to the throne. Katherine’s role as her father’s diplomatic pawn is prominent in Hutchinson’s account, which, after a run through Henry’s infancy and adolescence that is replete with descriptions of his accoutrements and investitures, settles into twentysomething Henry’s effort to live up to a late medieval king’s job description as warrior in chief. He did so with his capture of a few French towns in the 1510s. Henry’s return to his realm, devotion to courtly revels, and vexation over Katherine’s inability to beget a male heir occupy the balance of Hutchinson’s narrative. Pulling quotations from the archives that convey Henry’s pious yet imperious personality, Hutchinson ably meets history fans’ unflagging fascination with Henry VIII. --Gilbert Taylor

Review

Hutchinson complements his biography of the old king (The Last Days of Henry VIII, 2005) with this portrait of the young monarch up to the late 1520s, when Henry had turned against his chancellor, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, for failing to secure a divorce from Katherine of Aragon ... Pulling quotations from the archives that convey Henry's pious yet imperious personality, Hutchinson ably meets history fans' unflagging fascination with Henry VIII. (Booklist)

Anyone who sees history as boring should be given Robert Hutchinson's book post haste. Without sacrificing facts and research, he has the ability to construct an absolutely compelling narrative and, though I never thought I'd say this of a book on Thomas Cromwell, one that is impossible to put down. He is one of the few authors who keep you up till 3 a.m. (The Bookseller)

Although Hutchinson, a British journalist and former publishing director, points out that Henry VIII was not the "great libertine with an insatiable debauched appetite that some fiction writers would have us believe," his fifth book on Tudor England (Elizabeth's Spy Master) should still please those fans of the salacious television series The Tudors who would like to set Henry's early reign in its proper factual context. (Publishers Weekly)

Robert Hutchison's Young Henry, set during the same period of Henry VIII's life as The Tudors, proves a factual complement to the television drama that has captured modern imaginations ... anyone with a passing interest in Tudor history will catch up quickly and delight in a detailed profile of one of England's most famous--and infamous--monarchs. (Shelf Awareness)

a gruesome story, of pride, greed and flaunting arrogance, blood and cruelty, cunning and stupidity... [Robert Hutchinson] has created a delightful and instructive book. (Paul Johnson, Literary Review on House of Treason)

the narrative is compelling and horrible... It is a riveting story, splendidly told. (Allan Massie, The Daily Telegraph on House of Treason)

Robert Hutchinson gives a thoughtful sideways view onto 16th century court politics in House of Treason... a fascinating account of the Howard dynasty (Dominic Sandbrook, The Daily Telegraph ‘Books of the Year' on House of Treason)

Hutchinson tell's the horrible story admirably and compellingly, acknowledging Cromwell's rare abilities, while making no excuses for his character... (Allan Massie, The Observer on Thomas Cromwell)

gripping... Hutchinson tells his story with infectious relish and vividly evokes the politics and personalities of this extraordinary decade. (Anne Somerset, Literary Review on Thomas Cromwell)

The idea of looking in depth at the 1540s is terrific... genuinely original... fresh and interesting... (The Sunday Times on The Last Days of Henry VIII)

... the scholarship of this book is meticulous... Hutchinson brilliantly conveys the atmosphere of terror... a gripping narrative... Hutchinson provides an across-the-spectrum grand slam portrait of the second Tudor monarch. No one writing about Henry VIII in the future will be able to ignore this magnificent book. (Frank McLynn, Daily Express on The Last Days of Henry VIII)

gripping... This is a scholarly but racy account focusing on the final four years of Henry's long reign. (The Field on The Last Days of Henry VIII)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; Reprint edition (October 30, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250012619
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250012616
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #958,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robert Hutchinson was Defence Correspondent for the UK national news agency, the Press Association in Fleet Street from 1978-83 before moving to Jane's Information Group to launch Jane's Defence Weekly and becoming Publishing Director, responsible for books, magazines, journals and digital titles. From 1997-2008, he was chairman of the media side of the Defence, Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee, the unique British system that protects national security in the reporting of military or intelligence issues.
He is a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, an associate tutor in church archaeology at the University of Sussex, and an expert in the arcaheology of the Reformation. He was appointed OBE in the 2008 New Year's Honours list.
A keen historian and archaeologist, Hutchinson believes that Britain's history provides stories of more drama and passion than could ever be made up for any television or film screenplay. He uses as much original documents as possible in researching his highly-acclaimed books because 'it's good to read the character's own words written at the time'.
He writes a strong narrative, with additional information on people, places and events, provided in the endnotes, so that any questions the reader might have can be quickly answered. 'The narrative is stand alone - it's up to the reader to decide whether to pause in the story to discover extra information'

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on October 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is an interesting biography of King Henry VIII that uses household accounts to provide insight into the monarch up until the birth of Princess Elizabeth in 1533. In his latest Tudor nonfiction (see Elizabeth's Spy Master and House of Treason: The Rise & Fall of a Tudor Dynasty), Robert Hutchinson makes a case that the ruler was not the debaucher that fiction depicts him to be though he was very hedonistic. Instead he makes argument that as a pampered second son, Henry understood enjoying life to the fullest cost be damned; as the shakiness of ruling England could end your rule and your head. Thus Lord Chancellor Wolsey ran the kingdom while Henry hunted, played and gambled like he did before taking the throne. Nothing changed in his lifestyle except Henry also knew he needed to eliminate all rivals, and produce the heir and the spare as that was more important to longevity than governance. Well written with some jocularity that enhances the fascinating portrayal, Tudor fans still are left wondering how such an influential historical figure seemed to do little more than self-indulgence.

Harriet Klausner
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By Barbara Johnson on March 28, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I had enjoyed reading this book about the rise of Henry VIII. The book gave a lot of details about Henry's life as a young man before becoming King of England. I'd enjoyed reading this book. I give the book 4 stars.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By brenmiy on July 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Henry isn't whitewashed here, and yet he is still somewhat of a sympathetic character. Very readable book, and provides good insight as to what created the monster he later became.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 10, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I would like a refund for this kindle puchase. Not one of the illustrations referred to in the text is included in this text.
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