Six Wives: The Queens of Henry VIII

Front Cover
Harper Collins, Oct 13, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 880 pages

No one in history had a more eventful career in matrimony than Henry VIII. His marriages were daring and tumultuous, and made instant legends of six very different women. In this remarkable study, David Starkey argues that the king was not a depraved philanderer but someone seeking happiness -- and a son. Knowingly or not, he elevateda group of women to extraordinary heights and changed the way a nation was governed.

Six Wives is a masterful work of history that intimately examines the rituals of diplomacy, marriage, pregnancy, and religion that were part of daily life for women at the Tudor Court. Weaving new facts and fresh interpretations into a spellbinding account of the emotional drama surrounding Henry's six marriages, David Starkey reveals the central role that the queens played in determining policy. With an equally keen eye for romantic and political intrigue, he brilliantly recaptures the story of Henry's wives and the England they ruled.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

SIX WIVES: The Queens of Henry VIII

User Review  - Kirkus

A rich account of the six long-celebrated women who, for better or worse, shared the throne with the ax-happy Tudor king.Legend has treated Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of ... Read full review

Six wives: the queens of Henry VIII

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In 16th-century Europe, monarchies primarily viewed marriages as political alliances. According to Starkey (Bye Fellow, Fitzwilliam Coll., Cambridge; Elizabeth: The Struggle for the Throne), Henry ... Read full review

Contents

The aftermath
248
Anne Boleyn 39 Beginnings
257
Dehut
264
Henry in love
278
Sole mistress
284
Our Matter
285
Mistress and Minister
294
Annes envoy
304

Delays
31
Dogma
33
The journey
38
Arrival
40
Meeting
44
Huhris
48
London
52
Wedding and hedding
58
The morning after
62
Nemesis
73
A new marriage?
79
Hard rimes
87
Harder rimes
93
Hope and despair
99
Queen
106
Honeymoon
114
A son
120
War
123
Regent
135
The hreach with Spain
149
The quest for an heir
155
On the shelf
160
Mary
164
Marrying Mary
179
RIVAL QUEENS
195
Divorcing Catherine 32 The preliminaries
197
Trial in secret
205
Between trials
212
The legate
221
The Brief
225
Trial in open court
232
Wolsey reascendant
313
Cooperation?
317
Wolseys triumph
325
The sweat
330
Turning point
335
Disillusionment
339
Wolseys fall
355
Injurious remedies
367
Cranmer
384
The Royal Supremacy
408
Wolseys end
421
Attacking Catherine
433
Preliminaries to marriage
445
Annes marriage
462
Archhishop
467
Divorce Ahsolute
477
Coronation
489
Christening
503
Resistance
510
Hearts and minds
524
The death of Catherine of Aragon
541
Reaction
549
Fall
554
The Tower
569
Jane Seymour
584
THE LATER QUEENS
609
Catherine Howard
644
Interlude
685
Notes
766
Index
819
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 498 - And the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favour in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti.
Page 409 - By the permission and ordinance of God we are King of England, and the Kings of England in times past had never any superior, but God only. Therefore know you well that we will maintain the right of our crown, and of our temporal jurisdiction as well in this, as in all other points, in as ample manner as any of our progenitors have done before our time.
Page 6 - I N. take thee N. to my wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death us do part, if Holy Church will it permit, and thereto I plight thee my troth.
Page 338 - The legate which we most desire arrived at Paris on Sunday or Monday last past, so that I trust by the next Monday to hear of his arrival at Calais: and then I trust within a while after to enjoy that which I have so long longed for, to God's pleasure and our both comforts.
Page 6 - I take thee to my wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish till death do us part, according to God's holy ordinance, and thereto I plight thee my troth.
Page 470 - I protest before you all, there was never man came more unwillingly to a bishopric, than I did to that. Insomuch that when king Henry did send for me in post, that I should come over, I prolonged my journey by seven weeks at the least, thinking that he would be forgetful of me in the mean time.
Page 558 - There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from all people; neither keep they the king's laws ; therefore it is not for the king's profit to suffer them.
Page 510 - God of His infinite goodness send prosperous life and long to the high and mighty princess of England, Elizabeth!
Page 242 - And with that she rose up, making a low courtesy to the king, and so departed from thence. Many supposed that she would have resorted again to her former place ; but she took her way straight out of the house, leaning (as she was wont always to do) upon the arm of her general receiver, called Master Griffith. And the king being advertised of her departure, commanded the crier to call her again, who called her by the name of 'Katharine Queen of England, come into the court, &c.' With that quoth Master...

About the author (2009)

David Starkey is the Bye Fellow of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, and winner of the W. H. Smith Prize and the Norton Medlicott Medal for Services to History presented by Britain's Historical Association. He is best known for writing and presenting the groundbreaking and hugely popular series Elizabeth and The Six Wives of Henry VIII. He lives in London.

Bibliographic information