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The Six Wives of Henry VIII Paperback – January 10, 1991
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- Debbie Hyman, R. E. Lee High School, Springfield, VA
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Katherine of Aragon (mother of Queen 'Bloody' Mary) was a loving and devoted wife to Henry for 24 years. When he ultimately cast her aside in hopes of finding a more fruitful wife (one who would provide him with a male heir, which Katherine had failed to do), she firmly maintained that she was the King's true wife, the Queen, and always would be. For the rest of her life, she never permitted anyone to call her anything but 'Queen', even though she lived out her last miserable years in a dank, unhealthy estate, with insufficient resources.
Anne Boleyn (mother of Queen Elizabeth I) was an outspoken and ambitious young woman, originally one of Katherine's waiting women. She caught the King's attention and Henry developed an overwhelming passion for her. His desire to rid himself of Katherine and marry Anne ultimately led the King to break with the Roman Catholic Church, something scandalous and unthinkable to most of his contemporaries.Read more ›
Henry was highly intelligent, and, as a youth, quite athletic. Described by a contemporary: "He speaks good French, Latin and Spanish; is very religious; heard three masses daily when he hunted ... He is extremely fond of hunting, and never takes that diversion without tiring eight or ten horses ... He is also fond of tennis." He wrote books and composed music, and was a lavish patron of the arts. As the author of a best-selling book, which went through 20 editions in England and Europe, attacking Martin Luther and supporting the Roman Catholic Church, Henry was given the title "Defender of the Faith" in 1521 by the Pope.Read more ›
But, as the title suggests, the primary thrust of this book is not so much Henry VIII as each of his unfortunate wives. One learns a great deal more about them than the usual lines given by armchair historians. For example, "saintly" Jane Seymour, usually depicted as a meek and mild young thing, was just as much a deliberate factor in the downfall of Anne Boleyn as her royal husband-to-be. And as one reads about Anne Boleyn's temper, one teeters between sympathy for her and ... a vague feeling that perhaps Henry beheaded her not so much for failing to produce an heir as to get her to shut up and cease her constant nagging and ill-tempered outbursts. (Of course, then you swing back into Anne's camp, figuring anyone living with someone like Henry would be ill-tempered ... or perhaps worse!)
And so it goes ...
Fascinating, chock full of details of court life and rife with facts from many primary sources, Alison Weir's account of Henry VIII and his wives remains a standard of its genre.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The Six Wives of Henry XIII by Alison Weir is an excellent biography of the wives of King Henry XIII of England who reigned from 1507 until his death in 1547. Read morePublished 11 days ago by S. Warfield
The amount of detail is extraordinary from to start to finish about the number of people is involved. The detailed references are impressive. Read morePublished 14 days ago by D. A. Clifford
I never get tired of reading any of Ms. Weir's books. This one is just as great, with many details of his life that I didn't know about. Read morePublished 14 days ago by C. Sandru
great writing and though I have seen BBC productions about Henry's escapades many times and read a couple of biographies of him, this felt like new material.Published 24 days ago by chrisbmartin
I love this book!! So much information on the background of Henry and his wives, from the beginning of their lives right through to the tragic ends. Read morePublished 25 days ago by lisa green
Learned a great deal about Henry VIII and his wives. He was well learned. His wives were diversified and interesting especially Katherine ParrPublished 27 days ago by J. Santos
I love history and especially this panoramic, detailed one. Now to read more of her works. Wish it was not over!Published 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
Excellent, easy-to-read biography! There are many books on Henry's six wives - including the ones by David Starkey & Antonia Frazier (& not to mention the many fictionalized... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Gayathri B. Pratap