This is the story of England s most famous, and notorious, king.Henry was a charismatic, ardent and brash young lover who married six times a scholar with a deep love of poetry and music an energetic hunter who loved the outdoors a monarch whose lack of a male heir haunted him incessantly and a ruthless leader who would stop at nothing to achieve his desires His mThis is the story of England s most famous, and notorious, king.Henry was a charismatic, ardent and brash young lover who married six times a scholar with a deep love of poetry and music an energetic hunter who loved the outdoors a monarch whose lack of a male heir haunted him incessantly and a ruthless leader who would stop at nothing to achieve his desires His monumental decision to split from Rome and the Catholic Church was one that would forever shape the religious and political landscape of Britain.Combining magnificent storytelling with an extraordinary grasp of the pleasures and perils of power, Margaret George delivers a vivid portrait of Henry VIII and Tudor England and the powerhouse of players on its stage Thomas Cromwell, Cardinal Wolsey, Thomas More and Anne Boleyn It is also a narrative told from an original perspective Margaret George writes from the King s point of view, injecting irreverent comments from Will Somers Henry s jester and confidant.
The Autobiography of Henry VIII With Notes by His Fool Will Somers This is the story of England s most famous and notorious king Henry was a charismatic ardent and brash young lover who married six times a scholar with a deep love of poetry and music an energetic
The way I felt about this book was perhaps much like Henry VIII felt about one of his doomed wives. At first I was entranced, captivated, under a spell of sorts - I couldn't put the book down. However, about halfway through the honeymoon was over (so to speak), and I began to be annoyed at the little things This was perhaps not the match made in heaven that I thought it was. Perhaps I had been led atray. By the end there was nothing but the most urgent desire to be done with it - let it die alre [...]
I'm ashamed by how long this book took me to read, but my defense is that it's a big thick thing, over 900 pages long. Not one you should pick up unless you're planning to be in it for the long haul and are genuinely interested in the subject matter.After years of seeing Henry portrayed as a fat, greedy slob whose only concern in life was to have a son, this book made a wonderful change. Finally Henry gets a chance to defend himself. Margaret George clearly put in a lot of work and research into [...]
This is a very long but readable novel purporting to be the autobiography of Henry VIII, with commentary by his court fool. It tracks the king's life from his earliest memory at the age of three until shortly before his death. It is vividly told, and even though scenery and small details are mentioned with photographic accuracy for the reader's benefit, it is done so subtly that said reader doesn't really mind. It gives us a glimpse into the innner life of someone often thought of as a "monster" [...]
By the end, it was difficult to decide who is more self-absorbed: the author or her subject.Margaret George said she wanted to give King Henry better PR. She failed totally. The plot was (naturally?) given over to his various wives/political schemes, but in 900 pages George really, really could have gone a little further than cliche: the betrayed wife, the scheming bitch, the virtuous woman, the stupid slut, the ugly dog, and the useful nurse. I find it intensely disturbing and frankly unbelieva [...]
Another flawlessly researched and written book by Margaret George. I knew quite a bit about Henry before I read this, but it added a dimension that I hadn't expected to his character. Years after reading it I traveled to England and was surprised what a celebrity he still is there. Truthfully, though he's known for the outrageous elimination of his wives, we sometimes forget what an amazing effect he had on the progress of Great Britain by severing ties with Rome. George represents him as a tort [...]
932 pages. You’re probably thinking: “That’s a lot of pages!” I admit I was a bit intimidated by the length of Margaret George’s novel on Henry VIII. However, I assure you, the length is less of an issue than the actual content of this gargantuan book.Disappointment arose quickly, as the beginning of The Autobiography of Henry VIII “welcomed” me with a very slow and dull start. The first several chapters were drab recaps of the events of Henry’s youth which lacked any emotion, ex [...]
Review+ Superb pace and research+ Engaging and extremely readable+ Detailed, engrossing characters+ A window on historyFirst and foremost Margaret George is a superb historian and writer, she has the ability to make history alive and incredibly engaging. This hefty book makes you feel like it opened a window into Tudor England and dropped you right in the midst of Henry's long and tumultuous reign, and the voyage is always exhilarating and unforgettable. I did not always like Henry, I did not al [...]
"I'm Henry VIII, I am, I'm Henry VIII I am, I am!" Wow! There's never a dull moment with old Henry. Teenage King, always warring with France, cuts ties with Rome and changes the course of history just so he can get a divorce, six wives - two have their heads lopped off, one dies in childbirth, one is too ugly, one won't provide him with a son (tsk! what was she thinking?) and the other gets to mop up his gangrenous leg until he dies. Phew!!!This is a fabulous book: long, but so worth it. Written [...]
Five stars does not feel like enough for this book. It took me a little longer than usual to read the 932 pages, but I think that's because there were passages I re-read over and over for their beauty. My book is riddled with post-its to mark quotes I didn't want to forget, and had I not already purchased this book before reading, I would have done so just to have those quotes at my fingertips whenever I wanted them. It was that good. I don't know why I'm surprised because The Memoirs of Cleopat [...]
I really enjoyed looking at things from Henry's POV. If i hadn't read any other historical fiction or biographies about the time I might be of the opinion that Harry was just a tragic figure cursed by run after run of bad luck. However, I have read a lot about Henry's England. That, and the fact that George uses Will Somer's notes as a warning not to believe all that Henry writes, and one can see that this journal of Henry's is rife with dissembling, rationalizing, and self-deceit. It is NEVER H [...]
After 172 pages I have decided to dump this.I do NOT enjoy reading it and I have given it a fair try. I am often hesitant toward autobiographies, particularly when they are historical fiction. An autobiography cannot, by definition, provide an impartial view on the events that occurred. Margaret George is an author known for her thorough research, but in that which is not known she has made suppositions that I cannot accept. In my mind it is very clear that Henry was motivated by power. He was a [...]
VIII. Henrikről mindenki tudja, hogy egy rakás felesége volt és néhányat le is fejeztetett közülük. Kegyetlen, nagydarab, rettegett király hírében áll, de szerintem a rossz hírneve miatt nem igazán akaródzik senkinek közelebb kerülni hozzá, hogy jobban megismerje. Ez a könyv azonban erre hivatott. Természetesen nem valódi önéletrajz, hanem fiktív, de nagyon jól visszaadja, hogy milyen lehetett Henriknek lenni, milyen lehetett hercegként, magányban, szeretettelenül ne [...]
A huge book--over 900 pages. But worth every one! We've all read about Henry VIII and his six wives. Dry, historical facts and events. This book delves into what kind of man (and king) he may have been. His fears, his strengths are discussed here in the form of a diary that has been discovered after his death and is being sent to an illegitimate daughter of Henry by his "fool", Will Somers. The word "fool" refers to someone who is permitted to speak plainly to the King or Queen. To tell the trut [...]
I've been on a huge kick for historical ficton lately especailly the Tudors. Henry VIII is the most amazing character in British history. This book allows you to look a his life on a whole not just one portion of it.It talks of his youth. His marriage to Katherine of Aragon. Anne Bolyn. (alot) and all his other wives. I never really paid much attention to his life except for the well told tales with Anne Bolyn so it was great to get an over look at all his loves and loses.This book kinda drags o [...]
Yep Finished a week, and I'm listening to it again ******************************************************Book: 6starsNarrator : 6++++ starsThe best book I've read this year. I intend to write a review that is worthy of this grand book. I encourage anyone interested in this historical masterpiece to buy this as an audiobook. This is a novel that is made even more compelling by outstanding the perchance of the narrator, (It is rumored that the author was the director of the audio performance)
Henry Explains Himself. Fictionally Much has been said about Henry VIII so what is his side of the story? Why did he behead two of his 6 wives? their associates/relatives? two of his closest friend-advisors? hundreds of alleged treasonists? protestants? whole monestaries full of monks? Henry explains all this and more.If you know the story of the Tudors, this will have you laughing out loud. He looks at his daughter Mary dressed in black translating pious works and remarks how like her mother s [...]
This has to be the best way to learn about history - read a fictional account of a particular subject. This makes things interesting and educational.932 pages - you have everything you could want to know about Henry VIII and what drove him to make the well known decisions. He comes out of this book with many merits. He may have made mistakes but everything he did, he did for the right reason.500 pages in and we are still on Katherine of Aragon. But then again, he was married to her for 20 odd ye [...]
This was the book that jolted my interest in the Royal line of Britain. I went from Henry VIII to learning everything I could about the entire line and it all started with this marvelous work of fiction by Margaret George.
This was nothing short of phenomenal! It was utterly amazing! Being obsessed with Tudor England, I have read many a fiction and non fiction book depicting this maniac and will read many a more! But this one definitely goes in a league of its own! The writing was EXCEPTIONAL! If I didn’t know better, I would’ve thought I was reading Henry’s true life memoirs. The way he thought about each one of his wives, from his brother’s intended, Katherine of Aragon (I mean he really thought in the e [...]
Rarely do I tackle books this long but I really enjoyed all 932 pages. All the way through the book was interesting and entertaining. Certainly a more fun way to learn about Henry VIII than some dry academic biography.
If you like historical fiction, you will LOVE this book. The reader is lead to believe that it is more fact than fiction because of the amount of research Margaret George did in preparing this book for publication. She read and studied many books and period accounts (check out the bibliography), as well as having visited England more than once for the express purpose of researching the life and personality of Henry VIII during the 15 years it took her to write it. No one had ever thought to try [...]
The Autobiography of Henry VIII is the first novel published by esteemed historical fiction novelist Margaret George. Although this book may seem like a real autobiography at first glance based on the title (of course it's not - how is that even possible?), this novel is actually a fictional firsthand account of the life of Henry VIII, as told by his fool, Will Somers.Sitting at a very thick 960 pages, The Autobiography of Henry VIII may seem an overwhelming feat to some readers, especially thos [...]
I really wanted to like this book, and I did for the most part. I liked seeing Henry's relationship with Catherine of Aragon, because most of the time writers skip over their relationship to get to the Anne Boleyn drama and we are left to wonder why he married her in the first place. I understand she did love him, but from Henry's POV, it seemed she was slightly obsessed with him, which I guess is okay, because it's coming from his mind, as delusional as it was. Henry's relationship with Anne Bo [...]
Langatmige GeschichtsstundeDieses Buch ist das (fiktive) Tagebuch des als Blaubart in die Geschichte eingegangenen englischen Herrschers. Besonders witzig fand ich die Idee, dazu noch Anmerkungen des Hofnarren einzuflechten um dem ganzen einen kritischeren Touch zu geben. Die großen Vorzüge des Buches sind mit Sicherheit die gute Recherche und der Versuch das Leben eines der verrufendsten Könige der Geschichte aus seiner eigenen Sicht zu erzählen. Dadurch wird dem Leser eine aufregende Gesch [...]
I had been looking forward to reading this novelization of life of Henry VIII for quite some time. With 932 pages it took a bit of effort for me to finish, especially because I never felt particularly drawn into this novel. I did learn a lot about the early years of Henry's marriage to Katherine of Aragon and many other things which were interesting. Unfortunately, I never got any sense of depth or realism from the historical figures as people, everyone came across as flat. It almost felt as if [...]
This book thrust me into what I now call my "Tudor period." The book is fiction, but loaded with historical facts. I followed it with nearly half a dozen non-fiction books about the Tudors. It's hard to pick which one is the most interesting. Henry VII, who was a soldier who won his right to the throne, and as a result, was a very hard man. Henry VIII, one of history's most misunderstood men. Thirty-eight when he died, people! That famous portrait you see of him--he's about 36!! Thirty-six! That [...]
Overall, I loved this book. It was fascinating to read about the life of Henry VIII through his perspective. Seeing it that way helped make more sense of some of the decisions he made while King. I thought everything surrounding the Boelyn drama was fantastic. I loved the vivid descritions of the emotional roller coaster he seemed to be on for the majority of his life. I could hardly put this book down during the first few hundred pages. However, I admit I got a little "stir crazy" towards the e [...]
Omg, words can not express how much I adored this book. Wowsers, each word was perfect and I was on awe every second. This book is crack for the Tudor lovers soul!
I've read more than my fair share of Tudor historical fiction. This, however, is the first I've read told from Henry's perspective, which is a nice change of pace. As a fictional character, you can't help feeling sympathy for the Boy who wasn't raised to be King, and yet became one at a young age with no mentorship or trusted guidance. He was rash and impulsive, romantic and eager to please. He was spoiled and indulged to the point of destruction.His wants contradicted one another. He wanted bot [...]
5 starsWhat a great book! I really wished there were more asides by Will Somers, though. I enjoyed those immensely. This is a brilliant work. It was well written and researched. It doesn't matter that I have read a great deal about King Henry VIII, I truly enjoyed this book. It tells of Henry's life from his earliest memory through his last days - from his point of view. Of course, some of it had to be surmised, but it was fun reading to say the least. I will continue to read Margaret George's b [...]