Henry VIII: King and court
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.