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The Six Wives of Henry VIIIby Alison Weir
Synopses & Reviews
Henry VIII is perhaps England's most infamous monarch, especially when it comes to matters of the heart. He was married to six distinctly different women, and in this richly detailed and meticulously researched history, these remarkable, often misunderstood queens come to life once again: Katherine of Aragon, stubborn and devoutly Catholic; Anne Boleyn, proud and fiercely ambitious; Jane Seymour, deceptively strong-willed; Anne of Cleves, unappealing and uncomplaining; Katherine Howard, young and foolish; and finally, Katherine Parr, brave, practical and intelligent. Their full histories and personalities emerge at last, giving voices to the six extraodinary women who left their distinctive marks on the English throne and thereby changed the course of British history.
"Brilliantly written and meticulously researched...Alison Weir is adept at bringing to life these historical figures." San Francisco Chronicle
"Impeccable research...Entertaining...The story of England's second Tudor monarch and his rather sordid marital life has been told often. But never has it been told as well....[The Six Wives of Henry VIII] combines the accessibility of a popular history with the highest standards of a scholarly thesis." Detroit News
"The wives of possibly England's greatest monarch were as varied as they were many, as this compelling biography reveals....Alison Weir has a wonderful way of bringing them and history alive. A joy to read from cover to cover." Manchester Evening News
The tempestuous, bloody, and splendid reign of Henry VIII of England (1509-1547) is one of the most fascinating in all history, not least for his marriage to six extraordinary women. In this accessible work of brilliant scholarship, Alison Weir draws on early biographies, letters, memoirs, account books, and diplomatic reports to bring these women to life. Catherine of Aragon emerges as a staunch though misguided woman of principle; Anne Boleyn, an ambitious adventuress with a penchant for vengeance; Jane Seymour, a strong-minded matriarch in the making; Anne of Cleves, a good-natured and innocent woman naively unaware of the court intrigues that determined her fate; Catherine Howard, an empty-headed wanton; and Catherine Parr, a warm-blooded bluestocking who survived King Henry to marry a fourth time.
Weir has tirelessly made her way through the entire labyrinth of Tudor history to tell the collective story of the six wives of Henry VIII--a vivid, full-blooded portrait of six very different women--in a work of sound and brilliant scholarship. Illustrations.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 573-610) and index.
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