Henry VIII

Henry VIII

The King And His Court

Book - 2001
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Henry VIII, renowned for his command of power, celebrated for his intellect, presided over the most stylish--and dangerous--court in Renaissance Europe. Scheming cardinals vied for power with newly rich landowners and merchants, brilliant painters and architects introduced a new splendor into art and design, and each of Henry's six queens brought her own influence to bear upon the life of the court. In her new book, Alison Weir, author of the finest royal chronicles of our time, brings to vibrant life the turbulent, complex figure of Henry VIII and the glittering court he made his own. In an age when a monarch's domestic and political lives were inextricably intertwined, a king as powerful and brilliant as Henry VIII exercised enormous sway over the laws, the customs, and the culture of his kingdom. Yet as Weir shows in this swift, vivid narrative, Henry's ministers, nobles, and wives were formidable figures in their own right, whose influence both enhanced and undermined the authority of the throne. On a grand stage rich in pageantry, intrigue, passion, and luxury, Weir records the many complex human dramas that swirled around Henry, while deftly weaving in an account of the intimate rituals and desires of England's ruling class--their sexual practices, feasts and sports, tastes in books and music, houses and gardens. Stimulating and tumultuous, the court of Henry VIII attracted the finest minds and greatest beauties in Renaissance England--poets Wyatt and Surrey, the great portraitist Hans Holbein, "feasting ladies" like Elizabeth Blount and Elizabeth FitzWalter, the newly rich Boleyn family and the ancient aristocratic clans like the Howards and the Percies, along with the entourages and connections that came and went with each successive wife. The interactions between these individuals, and the terrible ends that befell so many of them, make Henry VIII: The King and His Court an absolutely spellbinding read. Meticulous in historic detail, narrated with high style and grand drama, Alison Weir brilliantly brings to life the king, the court, and the fascinating men and women who vied for its pleasures and rewards.
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, 2001
Edition: 1st American ed
ISBN: 9780345436597
0345436598
Branch Call Number: B HENRY VIII
Characteristics: viii, 632 pages :,illustrations (chiefly color) ;,25 cm

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r
rpavlacic
Feb 27, 2017

Exhaustive but outstanding review of the life of England's most powerful and most controversial monarch. Author Alison Weir's thorough research produces a book that reads like a novel but tells an entirely true story. Among the surprises are just how extravagant Henry's court was as well as his personal expense account (making today's royal family in Britain seem relatively poor by comparison), while many of his servants got paid meagre wages (how poorly is demonstrated when the author provides currency conversions to today's pounds, usually an increase factor of 300). The book also details the reasons for England's break with Rome, as well as how it is almost certain that Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard were both wrongly executed over accusations of adultery. Having read this book, I look forward to reading Weir's other books about European royalty ... she knows how to tell truthful stories while keeping the reader in suspense.

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vicsailgarden
Apr 30, 2013

This book gives a very good idea of what life was like at the court of Henry VIII. The foods they ate, the sports they engaged in, the fashions they wore, and how they worshiped. And each of his wives are clearly described. I plan to read more from this author; she gives thorough descriptions without a lot of unnecessary drama. Life then was drama enough!

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vicsailgarden
Apr 30, 2013

page 400
After the funeral, Henry emerged from seclusion and was reported to be "in good health and merry as a widower may be." Already, he was considering taking another wife.

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