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The Autobiography of Henry VIII


The Autobiography of Henry VIII Cover

ISBN13: 9780312194390
ISBN10: 0312194390
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Much has been written about the mighty, egotistical Henry VIII: the man who dismantled the Church because it would not grant him the divorce he wanted; who married six women and beheaded two of them; who executed his friend Thomas More; who sacked the monasteries; who longed for a son and neglected his daughters, Mary and Elizabeth; who finally grew fat, disease-ridden, dissolute. Now, in her magnificent work of storytelling and imagination Margaret George bring us Henry VIII's story as he himself might have told it, in memoirs interspersed with irreverent comments from his jester and confident, Will Somers. Brilliantly combining history, wit, dramatic narrative, and an extraordinary grasp of the pleasures and perils of power, this monumental novel shows us Henry the man more vividly than he has ever been seen before.


Evocatively written as Henry VIII's private journals, Margaret George tells the former king's life, using her now trademark mix of history and imagination to tell the story as he might have told it.


Includes bibliographical references.

About the Author

Margaret George is the author of Mary Queen of Scotland and the Isles, The Memoirs of Cleopatra, and Elizabeth I: A Novel, among others. George first got the idea to write historical fiction when, after reading numerous novels that viewed Henry VIII through the eyes of his enemies and victims, she started to wonder if there might be another story. She became determined to let Henry speak for himself, and it took fifteen years, about three hundred books of background reading, three visits to England to see every extant building associated with Henry, and five handwritten drafts for her to answer the question: What was Henry really like? Margaret George was born in Nashville, Tennessee, and has traveled extensively. She and her husband live in Madison, Wisconsin.

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cariola119, November 29, 2009 (view all comments by cariola119)
What a wonderful book! At the beginning, Henry has died, and Will has found the diary he supposedly kept since his youth. He sends it to the daughter of Anne Boleyn's sister Mary, who he believes is in truth Henry's daughter. Will, whose father died when he was very young, does this because he believes that a child should know his or her father.

George has really done her research, but instead of plodding through history, she gives Henry a realistic voice that is at time maddening, at other times sympathetic; in other words, she turns this huge historical figure into a man, like others, with both strengths and weaknesses. The interjections by Will, who, despite his cynical tone, obviously loved Henry, give us further insights into his character. Along the way, she gives us a delightful picture of life, love, and politics at the Tudor court.
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Product Details

Sommers, William
St. Martin's Griffin
George, Margaret
New York :
Historical - General
Historical fiction
Biographical fiction
Literature-A to Z
Edition Number:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series Volume:
no. 5
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
9.25 x 6.13 in

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The Autobiography of Henry VIII New Trade Paper
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Product details 960 pages St. Martin's Press - English 9780312194390 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Evocatively written as Henry VIII's private journals, Margaret George tells the former king's life, using her now trademark mix of history and imagination to tell the story as he might have told it.
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