The Age of Henry VIII : The Great Courses: Renaissance & Early Modern History

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Dale Hoak
  • Series: The Great Courses: Renaissance & Early Modern History
  • 12 hrs and 19 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

Henry VIII, who ruled England for almost four decades, provokes questions. What is greatness? How should we judge character? Who or what can be said to "make" or cause history? England's most famous king ruled an island only about the size of Pennsylvania, inhabited by fewer than three million people nearly 500 years ago - yet he remains instantly recognizable to this day, his barrel-chested and bejeweled figure immortalized by the brush of Hans Holbein the Younger.
In this series of 24 revealing lectures, an honored teacher offers an intimate portrait of the monarch who, in a recent biographer's words, "changed the heart, mind, and face of Britain more than anything between the coming of the Normans and the coming of the factory" - a despot who became an accidental great-grandfather of English-speaking democracy.
You'll learn how Henry gave Protestantism its powerful purchase in the English-speaking world and how, given Britain's later significance in world history - made possible in part by Henry himself - he must be accounted a towering figure of history. The Henry VIII who emerges from these lectures is a man of both great charm and terrifying, self-pitying ferocity. He harbored ruthless ambitions and spun grand schemes, yet in the end was shadowed by the historical irony of expectations gone awry. At the same time, you'll grasp how his reign contributed an important legacy to British history and the modern world. The revolutionary effect of the Act of Appeals was to make law itself, or the king-in-Parliament, the supreme authority. Parliamentary law became the basis of the new constitutional monarchy, and Henry's navy was the first standing military force in his day.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Fascinating and enthralling!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This book is a prime example of history being far more far-fetched than fiction could be. I was familiar with all the characters from previous reading, but this has really fleshed them out for me (and made me shake my head over them a lot more than I previously had!).

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I didn't listen to it all in one sitting because to be honest, one has to do one's day job sometime. But I did listen eagerly to several hours at a stretch.

Any additional comments?

Well done all around, and thank you!

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- Fara

Emphasis on AGE not on Henry

Would you try another book from The Great Courses and/or Professor Dale Hoak?

Absolutely from GC; Absolutely NOT from Prof. Dale Hoak.

Would you ever listen to anything by The Great Courses again?


Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Professor Dale Hoak?

Someone who doesn't interrupt themselves in mid-sentence or in mid-word (yes, he did!), and who doesn't use "umm" or "uhh" when he forgets what he wants to say.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment. I (and my wife) expected to hear about the age of Henry VIII, with an emphasis on Henry and the people or places with regard to their relationship to Henry. We got a lot about the AGE, the history of the AGE, the causes of the AGE, the history of those causes of the AGE, people who had a precipitating affect on the people who lived in the AGE, etc.

Any additional comments?

How did this professor and this course plan ever make it through the filters as a Great Course?

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- Amazon Customer

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-08-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses