Synopses & Reviews
No one in history had a more eventful career in matrimony than Henry VIII. His marriages were daring and tumultuous, and made instant legends of six very different women. In this remarkable study, David Starkey argues that the king was not a depraved philanderer but someone seeking happiness and a son. Knowingly or not, he elevated a group of women to extraordinary heights and changed the way a nation was governed.
Six Wives is a masterful work of history that intimately examines the rituals of diplomacy, marriage, pregnancy, and religion that were part of daily life for women at the Tudor Court. Weaving new facts and fresh interpretations into a spellbinding account of the emotional drama surrounding Henry's six marriages, David Starkey reveals the central role that the queens played in determining policy. With an equally keen eye for romantic and political intrigue, he brilliantly recaptures the story of Henry's wives and the England they ruled.
"Truly, this is history made as fluent and compelling as excellent fiction."
Booklist (Starred Review)
"A rich account....[E]minently interesting if sometimes overly detailed....A boon to fans of English royal history, full of murder and mayhem, but also of solid analysis of a maddeningly complicated era." Kirkus Reviews
"Caught between scholarly work and storytelling, the book gives us high drama at a languid pace, with overwhelming detail often slowing the narrative....[A] strong, entertaining and occasionally audacious interpretation." Publishers Weekly
"Solidly researched and delightfully told, this is highly recommended." Library Journal
"Exciting....Very acute....It is so gripping that one finishes it wishing it were even longer." Mail on Sunday (U.K.)
"Extraordinary....With each queen, Starkey offers a vivid character study."
Sunday Times (London)
"Acute and imaginative....[Starkey's] communication of subtle points in simple and vivid language is masterly." Sunday Telegraph (London)
"Brilliant....Six Wives provides an intriguing new perspective on this key period in English history." Daily Telegraph (London)
New facts and fresh interpretations are blended into a spellbinding account of the emotional drama and political intrigue that attended Henry's marriages.
About the Author
David Starkey is the Bye Fellow of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, and the author of Elizabeth: The Struggle for the Throne. A winner of the W. H. Smith Prize and the Norton Medlicott Medal for Services to History presented by Britain's Historical Association, Mr. Starkey lives in London.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Henry's Weddings 1
Pt. 1 Queen Catherine of Aragon 11
Pt. 2 Rival Queens 197
Divorcing Catherine 197
Anne Boleyn 257
Jane Seymour 584
Pt. 3 The Later Queens 611
Anne of Cleves 617
Catherine Howard 644
Catherine Parr 690