The acclaimed Penguin Monarchs series: short, fresh, expert accounts of England's rulers - now in paperback
Henry VIII's reign transformed the physical and spiritual landscape of England. Magnificent, tyrannical, a strong ruler, a 'pillager of the commonwealth', this most notorious of kings remains a figure of extreme contradictions: a devout traditionalist who oversaw a cataclysmic rupture with the church in Rome; a talented, charismatic, imposing figure who nevertheless could not bear to meet people's eyes when he talked to them. In this revealing new account, John Guy explores how Henry himself understood the world and his place in it - from his sheltered and increasingly isolated upbringing and the blazing glory of his accession; to his desperate quest for recognition, fame and an heir, and the terrifying paranoia of his last, agonising, 54-inch-waisted years - and in doing so casts new light on his choice of wives and ministers, his impact on the European stage, and his extraordinary legacy.
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