- Hardcover: 640 pages
- Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1st American ed edition (May 1, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780345436597
- ISBN-13: 978-0345436597
- ASIN: 0345436598
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.5 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 174 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #148,891 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
Henry VIII: The King and His Court Hardcover – May 1, 2001
|New from||Used from|
See the Best Books of 2018
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Contemporary observers described the young king in glowing terms. At over six feet tall, with rich auburn hair, clear skin, and a slender waist, he was, to many, "the handsomest prince ever seen." From this starting point in Henry VIII, the King and His Court, biographer extraordinare Alison Weir reveals a Henry VIII far different from the obese, turkey-leg gnawing, womanizing tyrant who has gone down in history. Henry embodied the Renaissance ideal of a man of many talents--musician, composer, linguist, scholar, sportsman, warrior--indeed, the Dutch humanist Erasmus (not a man inclined to flattery) declared him a "universal genius." In scholarly yet readable style, Weir brings Henry and his court to life in meticulous, but never tedious, detail. Weir describes everything from courtly fashions to political factions and elaborate meals to tournament etiquette. Along the way she offers up charming--if all too brief--glimpses of Henry's court: tiny Princess Mary, still a very young girl, at her betrothal ceremony saying to the proxy, "Are you the Dauphin of France? If you are, I want to kiss you"; Henry weeping with joy as he held his long-awaited son and heir for the first time; Henry showing off his legs to the Venetian ambassador ("Look here! I have also a good calf to my leg"); Henry's courtiers dressing in heavily padded clothes to emulate--and flatter--their increasingly stout monarch. She also reveals some surprises, for example, that Henry and Katherine were still hunting together as late as 1530, even though Henry was desperately trying to have their marriage annulled. Weir also describes surprisingly happier times in their relationship; Henry loved to dress up in costume, and "was especially fond of bursting in upon Queen Katherine and her ladies in the Queen's Chambers.... Henry took a boyish delight in these disguisings and Katherine seemingly never tired of feigning astonishment that it was her husband who had surprised her." Henry's queens receive relatively little attention here (for them, see Weir's excellent Six Wives of Henry VIII), but this book is fascinating and a joy to read. Alison Weir has done it again. --Sunny Delaney
From Publishers Weekly
In a succession of books on medieval and early modern monarchs, Weir has established her credentials as one of the most evocative of popular historians. In Eleanor of Aquitaine (which will be reissued in paperback to tie in with this publication), she brushed aside a forest of scholarly debate in favor of fully rounded human portraits. She now turns to the colossal figure of Henry VIII, aspiring chivalric hero and accidental spearhead of the Reformation. In the age's luxurious ceremony, Weir is thoroughly in her element. She revels in the Field of Cloth of Gold, an elaborate showpiece where Henry met his French counterpart; in the zesty supporting cast; and even in the less appetizing duties of the Groom of the Stool. Henry's passions were many and charming: his beloved dogs Cut and Ball were evidently so prone to getting lost that he would pay some 225 to their finder. Weir's fondness for her character has its difficulties. While admitting that the king proved to be "an imperious and dangerous autocrat who became mesmerised by his own legend," she too is seduced by the myth. Given to romantic hyperbole, she concludes with the largely unsupported sentiment that Henry "excelled all who ever wore a crown"; chalk up another victory for his propagandists. Other problematic characters, like Thomas More ("calm, kind, witty and wise"), are also let off lightly. Still, Weir's nose for detail, her sharpness of eye and her sympathetic touch make this a feast for the senses. (May 1)Forecast: Weir always gets excellent reviews, and Ballantine says there are 500,000 copies of her books in print, and yet she hasn't broken out big-time. Her choice of subject here may make this the one. It is a dual main selection of BOMC, as well as a selection of the Literary Guild, the History Book Club and QPB.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features:
Read reviews that mention
Showing 1-5 of 174 reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I wouldn't mean anyone to infer that I think anything I said above to be a drawback--quite the opposite. Weir immerses you in the court of the Henry VIII and really makes it come alive for the reader. All of the information she gives serves that noble end, and it's worth every moment spent studying the densely arrayed pages.
This comprehensive covers just about everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Henry VIII. From his undergarments, weapons, food, servants and so on, it is a complete picture of a day in the life of this King. The book is far more detailed than any prospective reader can imagine.
Ms. Weir briefly discusses the six wives, but this is primarily a book about Henry, not his wives. It speaks of the separate chambers and the servants both Henry and his wives had, and the rooms and rooms in which they had to live.
The book discusses the changes in the Privy Council and the various political machinations that occurred during Henry’s reign. The political infighting was very bad and the backstabbing and maneuvering for position went on constantly.
It also covers the seven year journey to the break with the Catholic Church and the reasons behind it. Those who disagreed with the creation of the Church of England such as Sir Thomas More and Cardinal Fisher, among many others, were put to death. (Sir Thomas More was later declared a saint by the Catholic Church.)
Ms. Weir’s writing is easily accessible to all readers. The book is brilliantly written and plotted. It moves linearly from one part of Henry’s life to another. It includes where one can see the surviving homes and castles, as well as papers, texts and other artifacts of Henry’s household and tells of those that did not survive. The book also includes quotes from people who lived with Henry, as much as could be found.
I really enjoy reading Alison Weir’s books. I have read several now, and will continue to do so for as long as she writes.
I enjoy Weir's descriptions because she doesn't present herself as a pompous historian. She makes sense of the intricacies of the court that are otherwise extremely confusing. So many books about Henry VIII are regarding politics and the Great Matter but this book gives insight to a personal side of Henry and what it was like to actually live at his court. Weir describes the roles of each order and their significance, something that other writers either overlook or choose not to take the time to explain.
When watching a film about the Tudors, everything is always opulent and correct; one never considers any senses but sight. Weir describes the mourning of Queen Jane: "Queen Jane's body was dressed in gold tissue and laid out in the presence chamber, with a crown on her head and rings on her fingers". This is a typical representation of what a viewer would see in a film. What that audience would not be privy to is how the mourners kept "perpetual vigil on their knees beside the bier" and how the body "remained in the presence chamber for a week before it was embalmed." Regardless of how many pomanders graced the noses of the nobles, it would be impossible to mask the stench of death after a week in a room with a corpse. Weir doesn't say tell the audience that the corpse stinks; she isn't Philippa Gregory. She gives the audience the facts and allows them to draw their own inferences.
In my opinion, this ability to create a historical scene without interjecting overly descriptive language is Weir's gift.