At his death in 1547, King Henry VIII left four heirs to the English throne: his only son, Prince Edward; his two daughters, Mary and Elizabeth; and his great-niece, Lady Jane Grey. In this riveting account, Alison Weir paints a unique portrait of these extraordinary rulers, examining their intricate relationships to each other and to history. of ...Read MoreAt his death in 1547, King Henry VIII left four heirs to the English throne: his only son, Prince Edward; his two daughters, Mary and Elizabeth; and his great-niece, Lady Jane Grey. In this riveting account, Alison Weir paints a unique portrait of these extraordinary rulers, examining their intricate relationships to each other and to history. of photos.Read Less
I am reading it at this time. I am enjoying it. I wanted it as a reference. MJB
Oct 14, 2010
A gripping read
Alison Weir is noted for taking on complex and involved history lines and making them approachable and easy to digest. The Tudor area is a drama rich in religious turmoil, classic bad guys and mysterious behind the scenes deals. One faces a heady task in trying to keep all the characters straight and getting a grip on how the drama realistically unfolds. Weir makes this inquisitive search an easy one as she is so well researched and explains all in a accessible and fascinating way.
One finds the subjects draw us in in a human way and this delightful page turner is involved but structured for the readers enjoyment. One can keep track easily of the who's who and where and when the story unfolds, so the reader isn't left out in the cold due to too many dry facts and lofty historical conclusions. It's a book I didn't want to put down, but forced myself to so I could absorb the rich tapestry of time, place and those people involved. I didn't have to wait long as Weirs organized and enjoyable writing made everything clear and left me wanting more.
I will definitely be reading another of her books with the almost guilty pleasure of seeing and understanding the complex and fascinating lives of these historical people and their incredible lives.
Publishers Weekly, 1996-05-27 The tragedy of four accidental rivals to a throne, three of them childrenæby different mothersæof a much-married despot, seems to lose none of its drama by frequent retelling. Along with the royal siblings, Weir (The Six Wives of Henry VIII) includes their cousin, the doomed Lady Jane Grey. Guiltless of the intrigues committed in the name of religion, power and property, Queen Jane was forced at 15 to reign for nine days in a futile attempt to block the accession of the fanatically Catholic Princess Mary. The 300 burnings for heresy during the five years Mary ruled were eclipsed statistically by the hangings and beheadings for conspiracy and treachery. In the 11 years between the death of Henry VIII and the survival of his adroit daughter Elizabeth into the succession in 1558, rapacity had at least as much to do with the turbulence and the terror as religion. So many ennobled miscreants grasped for land, loot and legitimacy that readers will need a scorecard to match their names with their new titles. Weir adds nothing fresh to the story, but her sweeping narrative, based on contemporary chronicles, plays out vividly against the colorful backdrop of Tudor England. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Aug.)
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