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Posted August 8, 2011
The Lowdown on Henry VIII
As an English Literature major in college, I had courses that dealt with the Tudor family. However, none of the books in my classes or in extra-curricular reading gave me the information that this book did. Phillipa Jones covers ALL of Henry's known affairs and children born "on the wrong side of the blanket," including a son, Henry Fitzroy, who was the result of Henry's affair with Bessie Blount, and who was acknowledged by his father, and treated as a royal son. Had Fitzroy lived longer, history would have been changed. Jones also presents facts about Henry VIII's behavior when he had a pregnant wife--those times were when Henry would go looking for love from women in the court circle, There are diagrams of family genologies preceding chapters in which an illegitimate son or daughter is presented. Ironically, most of Henry's illegitimate progeny were males,with one known exception. Of course, the fact that his legal wives could not produce a male child was a major factor in Henry's continual divorce or execution proceedings. The one daughter born out of wedlock to Henry, Ethelthreda Malde,Jones shows, was provided for by Henry shortly before his death. Also of interest to the reader are the illustrations which present images of many of the children of Henry that history has ignored--until now. A must read for history buffs, especially those interested in the Tudor period. Highly recommended.
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