The Children of Henry VIII by Alison Weir
When Henry VIII dies in 1547 he left three highly intelligent children to succeed him in turn - Edward, Mary and Elisabeth - to be followed, if their lines failed, by the descendents of his sister Mary Tudor, one of whom was the ill-fated Lady Jane Grey, Edward was nine years old, Mary thirty-one and Jane ten. Edward, Elizabeth and Jane were staunch Protestants, Mary a devout Catholic; each had a very different mother and they had grown up in vastly different circumstances. In "The Children of Henry VIII", Alison Weir's interest is not in constitional history but in the characters and relationships of Henry's four Heirs. Making use of a huge variety of contemporary sources, she brings to life one of the most extraordinary periods of English history, when each of Henry's heirs was potentially the tool of powerful political one religious figures, and when the realm was seething with intrigue and turbulent change.
The Secret Bride (In The Court of Henry VIII #1) by Diane Haeger
For fans of The Tudors comes a captivating drama about the only woman who could defy Henry VIII -and keep her life.
Mary Tudor, the headstrong younger sister of the ruthless King Henry VII, has always been her brother's favorite-but now she is also an important political bargaining chip. When she is promised to the elderly, ailing King Louis of France, a heartbroken Mary accepts her fate, but not before extracting a promise from her brother: When the old king dies, her next marriage shall be solely of her choosing. For Mary has a forbidden passion, and is determined, through her own cunning, courage, and boldness, to forge her own destiny.
The Secret Bride is the triumphant tale of one extraordinary woman who meant to stay true to her heart and live her life just as her royal brother did- by her own rules...
The Lady in the Tower (Queens of England #4) by Jean Plaidy
One of history's most complex and alluring women comes to life in this classic novel by the legendary Jean Plaidy.
Young Anne Boleyn was not beautiful but she was irresistible, capturing the hearts of kings and commoners alike. Daughter of an ambitious country lord, Anne was sent to France to learn sophistication, and then to court to marry well and raise the family's fortunes. She soon surpassed even their greatest expectations. Although his queen was loving and loyal, King Henry VIII swore he would put her aside and make Anne his wife. And so he did, though the divorce would tear apart the English church and inflict religious turmoil and bloodshed on his people for generations to come.
Loathed by the English people, who called her "the King's Great Whore," Anne Boleyn was soon caught in the trap of her own ambition. Political rivals surrounded her at court and, when she failed to produce a much-desired male heir, they closed in, preying on the king's well-known insecurity and volatile temper. Wrongfully accused of adultery and incest, Anne found herself imprisoned in the Tower of London, where she was at the mercy of her husband and of her enemies.
The Last Days of Henry VIII: Conspiracies, Treason and Heresy at the Court of the Dying Tyrant by Robert Hutchinson
A blazing narrative history that boldly captures the end of England's most despotic ruler and his court -- a time of murderous conspiracies, terrifying betrayals, and sordid intrigue
Henry VIII's crimes against his wives are well documented and have become historical lore. But much less attention has been paid to his monarchy, especially the closing years of his reign.
Rich with information including details from new archival material and written with the nail-biting suspense of a modern thriller, The Last Days of Henry VIII offers a superb fresh look at this fascinating figure and new insight into an intriguing chapter in history.
Robert Hutchinson paints a brilliant portrait of this egotistical tyrant who governed with a ruthlessness that rivals that of modern dictators; a monarch who had "no respect or fear of anyone in this world," according to the Spanish ambassador to his court. Henry VIII pioneered the modern "show trial": cynical propaganda exercises in which the victims were condemned before the proceedings even opened, proving the most powerful men in the land could be brought down overnight.
After thirty-five years in power, Henry was a bloated, hideously obese, black-humored old recluse. And despite his having had six wives, the Tudor dynasty rested on the slight shoulders of his only male heir, the nine-year-old Prince Edward -- a situation that spurred rival factions into a deadly conflict to control the throne.
The Last Days of Henry VIII is a gripping and compelling history as fascinating and remarkable as its subject.
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