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Henry VIII: King and Court (2001)

par Alison Weir

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1,415209,742 (3.91)36
Henry VIII, renowned for his command of power and celebrated for his intellect, presided over one of the most magnificent - and dangerous - courts in Renaissance Europe. Never before has a detailed, personal biography of this charismatic monarch been set against the cultural, social, and political background of his glittering court and the splendor of his many sumptuous palaces.… (plus d'informations)
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I found this to be an absorbing look at Henry VIII's court, both in terms of its structure (human and material) and how it functioned (human and material, again). The author notes, with some justice, that Henry VIII's image has been subject to caricature (a la Charles Laughton), so a relatively balanced and thoughtful look is welcome. The book notes with relative degrees of passing certain events, like the Dissolution or the Pilgrimage of Grace, to focus on the functions of the court. It does very well in examining the poisonous nature of court intrigue from the period 1530 on. Recommended. ( )
  EricCostello | Mar 29, 2021 |
Interesting but tough read - As said by others the confusion of names makes for some difficult reading. Great read though of the "good guys" versus the "bad guys" of this era ( )
  busterrll | Mar 23, 2020 |
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 confusing. If his name is John Smith, please, have pity on your readers and just refer to him as John Smith, even though he later becomes the Duke of This and/or the Earl of That. Or at least provide a list of important people with their various titles. ( )
  Kuglar | Mar 28, 2018 |
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 matter is, of course, endlessly fascinating – as Alison Weir herself writes in the very last paragraph: “[Henry’s] charisma still has the power to intrigue us.” ( )
  Devatipan | May 7, 2017 |
This book is not only a biography of King Henry VIII, but it also takes a close look at the culture of the royal court in 16th century England.

I really liked this. Often, Weir's nonfiction books read like fiction and I would say this is one that did. I really enjoyed all the extra behind-the-scenes look at court life. This included detailed information on all the people at court, their positions, their pay, as well as the design of the palaces, food, fashion and probably more that is just not coming to mind as I write this review. I will say that it can be tricky to remember who's who sometimes; I've read enough of this time period that I'm mostly ok with it, but at the end of Henry's reign it got a bit trickier. What made it tricky for me is when someone's title is used rather than their name. I do mostly remember names, but sometimes remembering titles is a bit more difficult (especially, when those titles “move” from person to person sometimes!).

Overall, though, this is a really good biography of Henry that includes many behind-the-scenes details of court life and culture. ( )
  LibraryCin | May 18, 2015 |
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Henry VIII, renowned for his command of power and celebrated for his intellect, presided over one of the most magnificent - and dangerous - courts in Renaissance Europe. Never before has a detailed, personal biography of this charismatic monarch been set against the cultural, social, and political background of his glittering court and the splendor of his many sumptuous palaces.

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