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Henry VIII: The King and His Courtby Alison Weir
Synopses & Reviews
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.
"In a succession of books on medieval and early modern monarchs, Weir has established her credentials as one of the most evocative of popular historians....Weir's nose for detail, her sharpness of eye and her sympathetic touch make this a feast for the senses." Publishers Weekly
"The events surrounding Henry VIII's tumultuous life have long held public fascination. Weir (The Six Wives of Henry VIII) here examines the minutiae of his daily life and gives prominence to the background players of his court....At times, the weighty detail and numerous characters will make the work inaccessible; however, as a scholarly study it is a significant achievement." Library Journal
Bestselling author Weir renders with exquisite detail and drama the life of the charismatic King and his elaborate court. On a grand stage rich in pageantry, intrigue, passion, and luxury, Weir records the many human dramas that swirled around Henry while deftly weaving an account of the intimate rituals of his existence.
About the Author
Alison Weir is the author of Britain's Royal Families: The Complete Genealogy, The Six Wives of Henry VIII, The Princes in the Tower, The Wars of the Roses, The Children of Henry VIII, The Life of Elizabeth I, and Eleanor of Aquitaine. She lives outside London with her husband and two children.
From the Hardcover edition.
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