The wives of Henry VIII

Front Cover
Vintage Books, Nov 30, 1993 - Biography & Autobiography - 496 pages
21 Reviews
The wives of Henry VIII have come down to us through history narrowly defined by the roles they played in the larger story of the King's life, and most commonly remembered for the manner in which each did - or did not - survive marriage to him. Now, in this richly dramatic and singularly illuminating study, Antonia Fraser uncovers the complex and fascinating individuals whose true characters have been shrouded for centuries by stereotype and legend. In a sweeping narrative and with her own enthralling amalgam of meticulous scholarship and the lively play of ideas, Fraser makes clear the remarkably high level of strength and intelligence displayed by these six women at a time when their sex traditionally possessed little of either. She brings to light, for example: the tenacious self-possession displayed by Catherine of Aragon when, toward the end of her twenty-four-year marriage, she met the King's demands for a divorce with steadfast refusal . . . Anne Boleyn's 'curiously modern' independence of mind - initially dazzling to the King (and shocking to most everyone else), but ultimately the cause of her gruesome demise . . . the circumspect wisdom that allowed Jane Seymour to emerge as an object of universal welcome and lasting admiration in a year that saw two other queens as well ... the touching dignity of Anna of Cleves - dubbed 'The Flanders Mare' by an insensitive court - during her bewilderingly short and demeaning tenure as consort . . . the naivete of Katherine Howard - not yet twenty when the King turned his eye toward her - whose indiscretions were more nearly the result of innocence than deviousness . . . the surprisingly subversive side of the otherwise submissive CatherineParr, one of only eight women whose writings were published during the sixty years of the first two Tudor reigns. The author traces the ascent and decline of each woman - and the linkages between them - delineating the cultural, familial, and political roots of the behavior and i

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
6
4 stars
14
3 stars
0
2 stars
1
1 star
0

Review: The Wives of Henry VIII

User Review  - Heather - Goodreads

It looks like the review I added earlier did not save. Here goes (again). I'll keep it brief. I enjoy reading Fraser's historical books because they at least provide me the impression that they are ... Read full review

Review: The Wives of Henry VIII

User Review  - Alice Poon - Goodreads

This is a work of elaborate research into and objective recount of the lives and fates of the six queens of Henry VIII. Although I had to struggle with the innumerable and often confusing names and ... Read full review

Contents

III
9
IV
26
V
49
Copyright

23 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1993)

Antonia Fraser is editor of the best-selling updated edition of "The Lives of the Kings and Queens of England" (California, 1999), as well as several other best-selling histories including "The Gunpowder Plot." Text by John Gillingham and Peter Earle.