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Publisher's Summary

Margaret George's novel brings into focus the larger-than-life King Henry VIII, monarch of prodigious appetites for wine, women, and song.
©1986 Margaret George (P)1998 Books on Tape
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Critic Reviews

"A remarkable achievement....Magnificently researched and admirably written." (Mary Stewart)
"It doth brim with lust, violence, cruelty, and living conservation....Margaret George has found a new and fresh way to tell the story." (Detroit Free Press)
"Her novel is a...banquet feast for most readers...astonishing. There's rousing drama, robust atmosphere, and consistently solid characterization; and finally, Margaret George's triumph is anchored in the urgent rhythm her writing attains." (Forth Worth Star Telegram)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Paul Matthews on 10-04-07

Retraction

I would like to take back my earlier review. Once I became used to the voice inflection that the narrator chose to use for King Henry the book became very enjoyable. I found that it suited King Henry's personality very well after awhile. King Henry was protrayed as a conceited, self-centered, egocentric narcissist in the book. Also, I think that it must be very difficult to narrate several voices in a book and the narrator did an excellent job.

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34 of 34 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Sher from Provo on 10-17-11

If you like historical fiction . . .

. . . you will LOVE this book. The reader is lead to believe that it is more fact than fiction because of the amount of research Margaret George did in preparing this book for publication. She read and studied many books and period accounts (check out the bibliography), as well as having visited England more than once for the express purpose of researching the life and personality of Henry VIII. No one had ever thought to try to get into the mind of Henry to see what was really going on there until Ms. George did her homework for this book. I believe it is very revealing. She does not try to make him into something that he is not. We still see him as the king we love to hate - an overweight king who suffered from dementia, felt things very deeply, acted on impulse, loved women, and had people around him put to death if they didn't agree with him. But what it does show is how he came to feel and do the things that he did. One can come close to understanding him, and perhaps even empathizing with him through this book. It is very well and beautifully written. I loved the associated history that I learned along the way. My one and only criticism is that towards the end I got a little bogged down in the war and the politics. I had become so accustomed to the forward movement in this lengthy book that I was a bit disappointed when it slowed down. Just a minor criticism, however. It is overall a fabulous book.

I feel so bad for people who cannot get past the so-called aristocratic, stuck-up British accent that narrator David Case uses. It has been said that his narrations are an acquired taste. I was a bit put off at first myself. But I tell you, he is incredible! I believe that Henry VIII must have sounded just like David Case (also known as Frederick Davidson)! His characterizations are fabulous, and he runs the gamut of emotions which I feel right along with him. He brought me to tears when Brandon died, and made me feel sad at Henry's death. I was as mad at Ann Boleyn as Henry was, and I adored Jane Seymour right along with him. I was disappointed for Henry when Elizabeth was born female (definitely not like me in real life), and so sad for him when baby boy after baby boy did not survive. This book lives because of David Case's narration. If you have not acquired the taste, it will be worth it for you to persevere until you do. He is a master and has done a masterful job of narrating some of the best literature ever written!

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27 of 27 people found this review helpful

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