This is not a book for someone who knows nothing about the Reformation to begin with--the theological distinctions between Luther and Calvin, let alone Zwingli and Melanchthon, are hard for a non-Protestant to understand, and the relative brevity of the work doesn't give him time to really hash it out (to be fair, the issues that separated these guys are sometimes hard to appreciate, even when they're understood). However, it is very well-written, and since the author is one of the best-known scholars on the subject it is certainly reliable. It is an excellent overview of a complicated subject. In addition, the narrator is excellent.
This is the first modern biography of Henry VII, and it is long overdue. Penn does an excellent job of pulling together the complicated story of Henry's reign, its improbable and contested beginning, and its tragedies and betrayals. Henry is a difficult man to sympathize with, which perhaps explains the dearth of biographers, but the strains and disappointments of his reign explain a good deal about the subsequent Tudor preoccupations with legitimacy, continental standing, and continuity. This should satisfy both serious history students and those wishing for a general introduction to Tudor England. The narrator is quite good, as well.
It's an interesting premise, comparing the two queens, and it is both useful and thought-provoking. There was a fair amount of repetition of ideas, though, of the kind of summary one expects from the introduction or the ending of a work, not continually reiterated within it. The reader's voice is fine, not annoying at all.
Join me on GoodReads too!
Like (I assume) many of you reading this review, I had never heard of Nancy Wake before coming across this book. What a find! Her story was fascinating.
If you enjoy stories set in WW2 like I do, you'll enjoy this captivating biography of "The White Mouse" as she was referred to by the Gestapo.
She served as a British agent during the later part of World War Two and became a leading figure in the Maquis groups of the French Resistance. Up until this point, I thought the Maquis was a rebel group of space fighters (Chakotay, Seska and B'Elanna) battling against the Cardassians! HA! How stupid do I feel now?
Many people feel that the author's writing style was too humorous and therefore inappropriate but I disagree. I think the slightly dry, sarcastic tone fits the character perfectly! No nonsense, straight forward, not afraid to call a spade a spade. I enjoyed the writing style very much.