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Read from January 21 to February 01, 2013
Excellent read. I have read several books that cover the lives of the Tudors and more specifically Elizabeth, Mary and Henry. However, none had done much with the wives of Henry VIII beyond Jane Seymour having been the mother of Edward VI. So I picked this one up and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Weir has written several first class histories on this period so there is much overlap. The first third of the book was not only familiar, but in some cases a direct re-tracing of steps. However, the details were oriented toward the lives of the wives, not the politics or religion. In the middle of the book the story provides detail on not only the lives of the wives, but of Henry as a husband and private person. Weir creates a portrait of a powerful leader struggling with ruling a nation while growing older, heavier and having massive issues with fatherhood and fathering.
As the book gets to Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard and Catherine Parr, Weir does not disappoint. In many respects this is the same story I've read from the point of view of the Children of Henry, the Life of Elizabeth and other histories, but from the point of view and experience of these three women. Weir creates portraits of real people which allow the reader a meaningful experience beyond a simple understanding of the facts.
All six of these women had fascinating stories. Having been married to Catherine of Aragon the longest, the largest single portion involves her life. Having been married to Catherine Howard for the shortest interval, the book tells the tale and moves on. I enjoyed Weir's following through with the stories of Anne of Cleves and Catherine Parr who outlived Henry. Thus, this was truly the story of the wives from beginning to end.
32 of 32 people found this review helpful
What did you love best about The Six Wives of Henry VIII?
Not a new title but a solid pick for any history buff, reality-show junkie or anyone interested in reading about a king of immense capacity, talent, drive, charm, intelligence ... and unbridled lust. From a true Renaissance man of letters and politics, Henry faces the twin drives of a need for a male heir and an unrestrained sexual appetite and proceeds through his reign with increasing frustration, desire and rapacity. As complex as he is towering, the women are treated with balance and moderation. A fine listen!
What was one of the most memorable moments of The Six Wives of Henry VIII?
His first wife, faithful, strong and pious, sets a standard no other wives could match.
20 of 20 people found this review helpful
I cannot commend this book enough - it is everything you want from a history book - well read - perfectly written and executed - a comprehensive history of each of Henry VIII wives, from the pride of Catherine of Aragon, the boldness and arrogance of Anne Bolyne, the short lived and subdued reign of the Jane Seymour, the sadness of Anne of Cleeves, the naivety and calamity of Catherine Howard and the grace of Catherine Parr. Each one having a very special place in Henry's life - his seemly disregard for each and every one of them and the family, friends and characters that surround them. The barbarity of the Era and the beginning of the Church of England and all its pomp. Brilliantly researched and worth every penny of your money. Buy it, read it, listen to it, enjoy it.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
An excellent book which introduces us to all King Henry's wives. I thought I knew a good deal about this subject but saw some of his relationships in a new light. Excellently written and well narrated. It is one of those books you don't want to end.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
I thoroughly enjoyed this book - it was well written and the narrator was excellent. Weir pays close attention to each wife and gives great detailing about Henry - the book has encouraged me to read other titles by the author.
Very much enjoyed this book! A great listen for any history nut :) defiantly one to recommend!