Six Wives [NOOK Book]

Overview

No one in history had a more eventful career in matrimony than Henry VIII. His marriages were daring and tumultuous, and made instant legends of six very different women. In this remarkable study, David Starkey argues that the king was not a depraved philanderer but someone seeking happiness -- and a son. Knowingly or not, he elevateda group of women to extraordinary heights and changed the way a nation was governed.

Six Wives is a masterful work of history that intimately ...

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Six Wives

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Overview

No one in history had a more eventful career in matrimony than Henry VIII. His marriages were daring and tumultuous, and made instant legends of six very different women. In this remarkable study, David Starkey argues that the king was not a depraved philanderer but someone seeking happiness -- and a son. Knowingly or not, he elevateda group of women to extraordinary heights and changed the way a nation was governed.

Six Wives is a masterful work of history that intimately examines the rituals of diplomacy, marriage, pregnancy, and religion that were part of daily life for women at the Tudor Court. Weaving new facts and fresh interpretations into a spellbinding account of the emotional drama surrounding Henry's six marriages, David Starkey reveals the central role that the queens played in determining policy. With an equally keen eye for romantic and political intrigue, he brilliantly recaptures the story of Henry's wives and the England they ruled.

The six-week New York Times bestselling history of the legendary six wives of Henry VIII--from an acclaimed biographer. "Admirably succeed(s) in bringing to life the six women who married England's ruler. . . ."--New York Times Book Review. 16 color plates. 32 pages of illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Fraser's scrupulously researched recuperative study of Henry VIII's six queens makes a major contribution to feminist scholarship. Illustrations. (Jan.)
Library Journal
Fraser here attempts to provide a fuller view of the six women who unenviably danced around the maypole that was the corpulent King of England. Fraser, the distinguished author of many historical studies, including The Weaker Vessel ( LJ 8/84), portrays in fascinating detail the women who sought to be included in and were sometimes destroyed by the power structure of the times. Inevitably, more time is spent on Catherine of Aragon (after all, Catherine and Henry were married 24 years, whereas all five of his other marriages only totaled a little over ten years), and although Fraser claims to have tried to avoid any bias, she betrays a lingering sympathy for Henry's first queen. One cannot help but speculate, as the author does, what history would have been like if Catherine had provided Henry with a male heir. Not only were Henry's wives prisoners of their biology, but also Henry himself. Fraser's readable style, empathy for her subjects, and piquant use of historical details and anecdotes make this a satisfying addition to the history shelves. Recommended for all public and academic libraries. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 7/92.-- Katherine Gillen, Denver P . L .
Brad Hooper
British schoolchildren remember the matrimonial sequence by learning this little rhyme: "Divorced, beheaded, died; divorced, beheaded, survived." Thus were the fates of the six women who--unfortunately, for most of them--entered into legal matrimony with the great Tudor king, Henry VIII. Esteemed British biographer Fraser brings her considerable talent for blending impeccable research, fresh interpretation, and an easy-flowing style to bear on a collective biography of Harry's half-dozen queens. That "the six women have become defined in a popular sense not so much by their lives as by the way these lives ended" is Fraser's point of departure; in the end, she has reconstructed cradle-to-grave portraits of Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Katherine Howard, and Catherine Parr as individuals dynamic in their own right, aside from the manner in which each was dispatched. Contrary to popular notion, King Henry was no bluebeard simply out to satisfy a gargantuan sexual appetite; Fraser's Henry is a husband who married five times for love and once for reasons of state. It's an aspect of English history--Henry and his wives--that can and has been treated either as silly or salacious. Fraser's tack is to see it in its personal and political seriousness.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061842160
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/13/2009
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 880
  • Sales rank: 126,335
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

David Starkey is the Bye Fellow of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, and winner of the W. H. Smith Prize and the Norton Medlicott Medal for Services to History presented by Britain's Historical Association. He is best known for writing and presenting the groundbreaking and hugely popular series Elizabeth and The Six Wives of Henry VIII. He lives in London.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 39 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(17)

4 Star

(15)

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(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 39 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2005

    Interesting view of the forces behind the reformation

    First of all a warning, this book deals heavily with Henry's first two wives. However, this detail allows the reader to see into the forces behind the Reformation of the Church of England. It also paints an evenhanded picture of the people involved in the events of the time. While not as much attention is devoted to the other four wives, the author does not short-change their stories either. Their effects on history are smaller as his is coverage of their lives.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2004

    Dull and long

    It's entitled 'Six Wives' but should have been called 'The Divorce.' This book deals too much with the divorce proceedings and not enough with the characters. Excellent book for someone studying the history of English Divorce & Marriage law - otherwise I suggest one of the other fine books on Henry VIII's wives.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2003

    This is a great book!

    I thought this was a great book. I'm the kind of person who really likes to read about the English monarchy. I thought this was a great book.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2012

    super history

    I so enjoyed the fresh viewpoint of Mr. Starkey. Great insight and research.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 10, 2011

    Nicely done

    This history of Henry VIII and his wives is nicely done. I loved Starkey's book on the young Elizabeth and thought that I'd try this one. There are areas at the start where the story gets bogged down in all the political events and becomes tedious, but once past this the story moves more quickly. Excellent research and some new data that Starkey has uncovered.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2015

    Good book

    Well researched and written book. Goes into depth on first 2 wives, but most of Henry's life was with these two women . Highly recommend this book.

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  • Posted August 13, 2011

    I'm totally on a Tudors kick now.

    Horrible grammar, but worth it for random trivia.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2005

    The 'Six Wives' is a wonderful book.

    This book is filled with the daring and tumultuous of Henry VII's marriages.His marriages to each of the six different women made legeds of them all. Was he just wanting a son and true love? David Starkey's novel the 'Six Wives' is must read book.I wish you happy reading and hope that you enjoy the book like I did.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 39 Customer Reviews

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