Synopses & Reviews
Praise for In The Lions Court
"I cannot praise too highly Derek Wilson's prose style, which is both masterful and lively. He writes with great conviction and a breathtaking attention to the kind of personal detail that makes his books such compelling reading." --Alison Weir
"Revealing and disturbing." --Booklist
"In this exciting, scholarly book, the reader sees England and its religion being remade as men fight for office and power under an increasingly sour, unbalanced monarch." --The Dallas Morning News
“With encyclopedic complexity, the prolific Wilson traces the political webs of the period 1499-1559, ‘the sixty most creative - and, therefore, most destructive - years in [Englands] history. Devotees of Tudor history will find much that is provocative and fresh.” --
“Wilson displays an impressive command of early Tudor history and an even more impressive ability to interweave so many separate stands of the great story. Remarkable research, a masterful synthesis” --Kirkus Reviews
The study contains a brilliant series of parallel portraits - a fresh look at each Thomas's family and social origins, his education, his entry into "the lion's den" of the royal Council chamber, and his exit therefrom." --Library Journal
Most history lovers are familiar with the story of the six wives of Henry VIII. Now Derek Wilson examines a set of relationships that illustrates even more vividly just how dangerous life was in the court of the Tudor lion. He tells the interlocking stories of six men, all called Thomas -- Wolsey, More, Cromwell, Howard, Cranmer and Wriothesley -- whose ambitions and principles brought them face-to-face with violent death. In the Lion's Court is an illuminating examination of a tumultuous reign, showing how events shaped and were shaped by relationships and personal destinies.
The story of Henry VIII and his six wives is a well-known example of the caprice and violence that dominated that Kings reign. Now renowned historian Derek Wilson examines a set of relationships that more vividly illustrate just how dangerous life was in the court of the Tudor lion. He tells the interlocking stories of six men—all curiously enough named Thomas—whose ambitions and principles brought them face to face with violent death, as recorded in a simple mnemonic: ‘Died, beheaded, beheaded, Self-slaughtered, burned, survived.
In the Lions Court is an illuminating examination of the careers of the six Thomases---
Thomas Wolsey, Thomas More, Thomas Cromwell, Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury and Thomas Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton---whose lives are described in parallel. Wilson traces their family and social origins, their pathways to the royal Council chamber, their occupancy of the Siege Perilous, and the tragedies that, one by one, overwhelmed them. By showing how events shaped and were shaped by relationships and personal destinies, Derek Wilson offers a fresh approach to the political narrative of a tumultuous reign.
About the Author
, one of our leading biographers and novelists, came to prominence thirty years ago, after graduating from Cambridge University, with A Tudor Tapestry: Men Women
and Society in Reformation England
. This was followed by several critically acclaimed and best-selling books, such as Rothschild: A Story of Wealth and Power; Sweet Robin: Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester; Hans Holbein: Portrait of an Unknown Man
; and, most recently, The King and The Gentleman: Charles Stuart and Oliver Cromwell 1599-1649.
He has also written and presented numerous radio and television programs. Now, after three decades of study and reflection, he returns to those themes he first explored in A Tudor Tapestry