This acclaimed best seller from popular historian Alison Weir is a fascinating look at the Tudor family dynasty and its most infamous ruler. The Six Wives of Henry VIII brings to life England’s oft-married monarch and the six wildly different but equally fascinating women who married him. Gripping from the first sentence to the last and loaded with fascinating details, Weir’s rich history is a perfect blend of scholarship and entertainment.
©1991 Alison Weir (P)2002 Recorded Books
Science writer in America's heartland
I read this book because I wanted to learn more about the characters I saw on Showtime's "The Tudors." And boy, did I! There's a lot of information here. My favorite part was the story of Catherine of Aragon, who didn't receive as much attention in the TV show. In real life, she was a complex person, flawed but very strong, and the book shows how she was a product of her family and the culture of her time.
The Six Wives of Henry VIII / B009PRIE2K
I gave "The Six Wives of Henry VIII" five stars when I rated the text version, and I'm happy to give this audiobook the same, or at least four-and-a-half stars. I don't care for Simon Prebble as much as for Weir's other narrators; in general I prefer narrators of the same gender as the author for non-fiction, and in specific to this case, I don't care for some of Prebble's pronunciations. I preferred Judith Boyd's ("The Lady in the Tower") smooth "Shap-we" (for Eustace Chapuys) to Prebble's "Chap-poo-we". But these are minor flaws that I'm prepared to forgive for the sake of the overall text.
If you're coming to the audiobook without having read the book, this is a solid scholarly look at the six wives of Henry VIII, from the childhood of Katherine of Aragon to the death of Anne of Cleves. I especially enjoy that this book really is about the wives and not about Henry, and I also highly recommend the following companion text "The Children of Henry VIII".
~ Ana Mardoll
I was a little hesitant about listening to a nonfiction historical biography, but Alison Weir is a favorite historian/author of mine.
She delivered with this masterpiece!
Simon Prebble delivered a perfect performance, I am not always a big fan of Simon Prebble, but he really is excellent in this narration.
Read from January 21 to February 01, 2013
Excellent read. I have read several books that cover the lives of the Tudors and more specifically Elizabeth, Mary and Henry. However, none had done much with the wives of Henry VIII beyond Jane Seymour having been the mother of Edward VI. So I picked this one up and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Weir has written several first class histories on this period so there is much overlap. The first third of the book was not only familiar, but in some cases a direct re-tracing of steps. However, the details were oriented toward the lives of the wives, not the politics or religion. In the middle of the book the story provides detail on not only the lives of the wives, but of Henry as a husband and private person. Weir creates a portrait of a powerful leader struggling with ruling a nation while growing older, heavier and having massive issues with fatherhood and fathering.
As the book gets to Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard and Catherine Parr, Weir does not disappoint. In many respects this is the same story I've read from the point of view of the Children of Henry, the Life of Elizabeth and other histories, but from the point of view and experience of these three women. Weir creates portraits of real people which allow the reader a meaningful experience beyond a simple understanding of the facts.
All six of these women had fascinating stories. Having been married to Catherine of Aragon the longest, the largest single portion involves her life. Having been married to Catherine Howard for the shortest interval, the book tells the tale and moves on. I enjoyed Weir's following through with the stories of Anne of Cleves and Catherine Parr who outlived Henry. Thus, this was truly the story of the wives from beginning to end.
In the top 10.
The beheading of Anne Boleyn and the events leading to Catherine Howard's downfall.
This was a facinating look at 6 facinating women. Ms Wier did an excellent job presenting the histories of them women and what motivated them and moved them before, during, and after their times as queen. Anyone interested in Medieval history and the history of England in general would enjoy this book.
Not a new title but a solid pick for any history buff, reality-show junkie or anyone interested in reading about a king of immense capacity, talent, drive, charm, intelligence ... and unbridled lust. From a true Renaissance man of letters and politics, Henry faces the twin drives of a need for a male heir and an unrestrained sexual appetite and proceeds through his reign with increasing frustration, desire and rapacity. As complex as he is towering, the women are treated with balance and moderation. A fine listen!
His first wife, faithful, strong and pious, sets a standard no other wives could match.
QUESTION : DOES LISTENING TO AUDIO BOOKS MAKE YOU SMARTER? If so, I'm. Freakin Genius!
Why am I so happy? Thank you for asking.
It just so happens, that Alison Weir, is one of my all time favorite authors. And if that is not enough, Simon Prebble, is (you guessed it) one of my all time favorite narrators.
Put both of those things together, and then, add the fact that I have been waiting for this book to come out in an unabridged format, for what seems like FOREVER!
So, now you know.
This book is well worth the credit! Snap it up as soon as you can. You'll be glad you did!
Best treatment of Henry's wives that I have ever, ever run across.
The wives - all six.
His authoritive, glorious British voice was able to convey a range of emotions without sounding patronizing. Very hard in this serious book.
You know the king- now meet the women behind him..
I've been listening to audible books for decades and this is absolutely my favorite.
I thought that the book was rewarding and if you have interest in this particular period of history than you will enjoy this book.
Facts Are Fun!
I appreciated that the book was based on historical facts, but not dry and uninteresting.
Great as always!
Though this book is non-fiction, the facts are still so interesting that it's occasionally hard to believe that these things actually happened.
"Brilliant book to listen to"
Giving great detail of how he conducted his life
Knowing Anne Bolyn was not as white as we had supposed when they married
No I listened over several days/weeks and enjoyed it as it went along
"Nothing short of excellent"
I cannot commend this book enough - it is everything you want from a history book - well read - perfectly written and executed - a comprehensive history of each of Henry VIII wives, from the pride of Catherine of Aragon, the boldness and arrogance of Anne Bolyne, the short lived and subdued reign of the Jane Seymour, the sadness of Anne of Cleeves, the naivety and calamity of Catherine Howard and the grace of Catherine Parr. Each one having a very special place in Henry's life - his seemly disregard for each and every one of them and the family, friends and characters that surround them. The barbarity of the Era and the beginning of the Church of England and all its pomp. Brilliantly researched and worth every penny of your money. Buy it, read it, listen to it, enjoy it.
An excellent book which introduces us to all King Henry's wives. I thought I knew a good deal about this subject but saw some of his relationships in a new light. Excellently written and well narrated. It is one of those books you don't want to end.
"Absolutely loved it...a fascinating factual story"
The whole story. It was told in a very factual way, with lots of references to historical records, but the characters were all brought to life in a very believable way.
The marriage of King Henry to Ann of Cleves, and the repercussions that followed. It all worked out well for them both in the end though.
Too many to pick just one
Although this is all based on fact, you still couldn`t help but feel sadness at the way that some of the characters were treated or met their ends.
I have to admit that this isn`t the usual genre of audiobook that I choose, but I`m so very glad that I had a dabble into our history for a change. The narration was excellent, the story flowed and the characters were all well rounded, so that you got a sense of who they were. I didn`t want a romanticised version with lots of "voices", I wanted a factual account of what life would have been like in the Tudor Court. That being said, you get all the facts...but it`s still a great story to listen to.
This is a wonderfully fluid book. The narration and detail combine to make it a treat for audio book listeners.
"Alison Weir Henry's 6 wives"
This part of History has always fascinated me, and I have read a lot about the Tudors, its
very comprehensive, and the narration flows, Love it, and will listen to again and again.
"five star excellence"
this book is for anyone wanting to know the complete history of this king and his wives, it's all here.
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