I bought this book without realizing this was an "actual" history book and not a historical fiction novel. I listened; I feel like I know so much more now about Henry the VII and his time. It does not make for pleasant pastime: I was shocked by his "regime"'s brutality, deceit, systematic destruction of his subjects' lives and highway robbery of their assets. I can see why "monarchy" and "tyranny"are so close - practically synonyms. I did get quite depressed listening to it, but I would listen to more of Penn's writings if it becomes available on audio.
But I got lost many times with so many names thrown out and I felt sometimes the narration diverted to stories of other people when it should be more on the reign of the King. Most of the details were like.. Junk. But overall one would learn a thing or two listening to this.
Get it if you have any interest in the period. Nothing startling and new but delivered in a clear way that others could do well to emulate.
I dont know. I didnt read the print version.
Learning about the domestic and foreign policies of Henry VII and how he ran his kingdom in comparison to his more famous son
Im not sure. He was good. But Im not sure he was transcendent or anything..
A good historical book. The topics back then are all the same.. intrigue, secret plots, marriage alliances, doing odd things in the name or religion... if youre interested in the history and can get through the first part. its a good listen
Definitely would listen to this one again. Nonfiction can be dry but this was well-written and well read. There was a lot of information presented that I'd come across before but it was woven into a pretty smooth narrative. The author does have a couple of phrases, expressions, words, that are noticeably repeated, but I didn't find this to be an annoyance, just something I noticed.
The subject matter here makes it difficult to compare to another book. SB Chrimes wrote the Yale English Monarchs series entry on Henry VII and that suffers a bit from being that type of dry academic work that is so difficult to stick with to the last page. If you like David Starkey's biographies, this is probably up your alley.
His voice was even and steady but not at all monotonous.
Given that Henry VII was a cipher in life and has remained so or become more of one in death, it isn't surprising that this book comes across as a portrait of a man painted by filling in the space around him. It is nearly impossible to know much of Henry that isn't a reflection off of someone or something else. This is more apparent in the 2nd half of the book, as first Prince Arthur's and then Queen Elizabeth's death marks the point at which Henry, always secretive, always guarded, retreats and even the glimpses of a happy behind-the-scenes family life fall away and all we are left with are records of a reign descending into a feudal police state. The book ends with the beginning of the reign of Henry VIII and based on what he's done in Winter King, I'm hoping that Mann will continue into that reign with his work.
I'm a bibliophile since early childhood. Love speculative fiction, odd premises, mystery novels that teach about different places and times.
I've been working my way backward and forward through British royalty, starting with Elizabeth 1. This is a nicely done history that is juicy enough to keep you going. More than anything, it reminded me how very unpleasant it has to be to be so public that all your quirks and warts are there for all to see.
All in all, a good read.
As a history buff, unscripted actor and a renaissance faire fan, I really looked forward to this book. As a source of information it was excellent, but a bit dry. I would love to have seen the story fictionalized per CJ Sansom or Ken Follett. For an enterprising writer, there must be about 10 novels in this narrative.
It was hard to listen to this book and know what was fact and what was fiction, since he starts off with some unsubstantiated facts. For instance, there is no record of the marriage of Catherine, widow of Henry V to the father of her subsequent children, but the author states it as fact. This calls into question the rest of the "facts" in this book. Although this is a period that interests me greatly, the authors biases are too strong to make his surmises acceptable.