The Children of Henry VIIIby John Guy
Behind the façade of politics and pageantry at the Tudor court, there was a family drama. Nothing drove Henry VIII, England's wealthiest and most powerful king, more than producing a legitimate male heir and so perpetuating his dynasty. To that end, he married six wives, became the subject of the most notorious divorce case of the sixteenth century, and broke
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The Children of Henry VIII based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
John Guy's latest, The Children of Henry VIII, is a well written book covering the struggle of Henry VIII to procure an heir for the Tudor throne. At just 258 pages it is a relatively quick read on the subject. In addition, it presents the essential information in a way that is uncomplicated and easy to follow. For those reasons, this would be an excellent book for anyone just beginning to read about the Tudors. For those of us that are well versed in the subject, though, there is little new information. I did, however, like the fact that this book contained a complete section on Henry Fitzroy, and did not just focus on the legitimate offspring. I was also fascinated by the author's suggestion that Henry had a rare blood condition that may have been the root of his inability to father more than one living child by any one woman. I had never heard this theory before and wish the author would have gone into a bit more depth on the subject. In fact, my biggest disappointment with this book overall was the lack of depth in general. At times it seemed to me that the author was just skimming the surface of the subject, while I was looking for more detailed information on the children and their lives. In fact, I felt the beginning of the book was more about Henry himself than the children's early lives. The good news is that the lack of depth coupled with John Guy's extremely readable writing style makes this an excellent book on Henry and his children for someone who is just starting to explore the Tudors. On the other hand, if you are like me and love all things Tudor and never tire of reading about them in general, there is a bit of new and different in this book that makes it worth the read. Thanks to Oxford Press and Netgalley for bringing this book to my attention and giving me the chance to read it in exchange for a review. (less)
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