Henry VIII: King and court

Front Cover
Jonathan Cape, 2001 - Biography & Autobiography - 639 pages
This magnificent new book is Alison Weir's greatest achievement to date: a detailed biography of Henry VIII, set against the cultural, social and political background of his court - the most magnificent court ever seen in England - and the splendour of his many sumptuous palaces. Seen from this new perspective, Henry VIII emerges as a fully-rounded and ralistic personality, not the two-dimensional caricature of popular misconception.Alison Weir has also breathed new life into a vast supporting case of queens, nobles, courtiers, artists, scholars, entertainers, ladies-in-waiting and servants. Henry's ministers, nobles and wives were formidable figures in their own right, and on a grand stage rich in pageantry, intrigue, passion and luxury, Weir records the many complex human dramas that swirled around him. Every aspect of Tudor court life is here, the state occasions, banquets, tournaments, pageants, sports, art, music, dress and intellectual pursuits, with particular reference to the King's own daily life.We also find out what it was like to be employed at the court, how the King's household was managed, how people copied in plague epidemics, and what sanitary conditions were like in an establishment that sometimes comprised well over 1000 people. The excitement, the plotting, the vicious jostling for place and preferment, and the very real dangers inherent in courtier life are brought vividly and dramatically to life.This book is a comprehensive analytical study of the development of both moarch and court during a crucial period in English history. As well as challenging some recent theories, it offers controversial new conclusions based on contemporary evidence that has until now been overlooked, notably about the reasons for the execution of Anne Boleyn.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Kuglar - LibraryThing

There were some very interesting details about Henry's life and I have a new "visual" of him. However...there was a lot of "castle talk" (he bought this and that) and the noblemen's titles got ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Devatipan - LibraryThing

This book has its weaknesses, the lack of a coherent thread to its account early on being one of them. But the level of detail and depth of research shown more than make up for that. And the subject ... Read full review


A Most Accomplished Prince I
The Triumphal Coronation
A Prince of Splendour and Generosity

65 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2001)

Writer Alison Weir received training to be a teacher with a concentration in history from the North Western Polytechnic. Before becoming a full-time writer, she worked as a civil servant and ran her own school for children with learning difficulties from 1991 to 1997. Her first book, Britain's Royal Families, was published in 1989. She is primarily a non-fiction author who writes about British royalty. Her books included The Six Wives of Henry VIII; Children of England; Eleanor of Aquitaine; Henry VIII: King and Court; Mary, Queen of Scots; and Isabella. Her first novel, Innocent Traitor, was published in 2006. In 2008 her second novel, The Lady Elizabeth, was published. Her most recent work is entitled, The Lady in the Tower: The Fall of Anne Boleyn. This book covers the last four months of Anne Boleyn's life. She lives in Surrey, England with her husband and two children.

Bibliographic information