The lives of Henry VIII's queens make for dramatic stories, and Alison Weir writes a series of novels that offer insights into the real lives of the six wives based on extensive research and new theories.
In all the romancing, has anyone regarded the evidence that Anne Boleyn did not love Henry VIII? Or that Prince Arthur, Katherine of Aragon's first husband, who is said to have loved her, in fact cared so little for her that he willed his personal effects to his sister? Or that Henry VIII, an overprotected child and teenager, was prudish when it came to sex? That Jane Seymour, usually portrayed as Henry's one true love, had the makings of a matriarch? There is much to reveal....
Alison writes about the wives in the contexts of their own ages and of the court intrigues that surrounded these women and - without exception - wrecked their lives. She will transport listeners into a lost and vivid world of splendour and brutality: a world in which love, or the game of it, dominates all.
©2016 Alison Weir (P)2016 Headline Digital
Love the outdoors and like to spirit a good book or audiobook into my pack. Live in the bush, grow much of my food and make stuff by hand.
It's so easy to gloss over the amazing events of Henry VIII's life with a sentence or two. Katherine of Aragon is often dismissed with a few words as Henry's first wife yet she shared more than twenty years with him, had six pregnancies of which only one produced a surviving child, Princess Mary, and she died as a virtual prisoner when he decided to get rid of her to marry Ann Boleyn. In this remarkable book, Alison Weir brings her story to life, through careful research of contemporary sources, so you feel as though you live through the whole saga at Katherine's side. A great addition to her body of historical work and a really engaging audiobook.
"Stop using Maggie Mash I beg you."
Bookwise I was hoping it was to Alison Weirs usual non-fictional, fact filled novel style of story telling but this is much more of a romantically written (as romantic as it can be for a queen who got dumped) more fictional story. I can forgive this as having actually read the book aswell as listening to it, it flows so well and the story in general is great but I've said it before and sadly having to say it again, Maggie Mash is absolutely dire.
Why, oh WHY does she read characters dialogue so slowly like she's struggling? I know that she isn't as she reads the rest of the book just fine but the dialogue quality is unforgivable. Davina Porter gave an outstanding performance in The Life of Elizabeth the first, as did Simon Prebble and Judith Boyd in other Alison Weir works but sadly this is now the third book by Maggie Mash that's just going to sit in my library and wasting my credits which is such a shame as the authoress has such a knack to tell vivid stories.
the characters are meant to be nation influencing minds and characters - but each time the narrator speaks their lines it sounds like some terrible panto
i couldnt listen to it
jimmie krankie would have been better
id really like to get the rest of the series - but please dont use maggie mash again - OR if its the producers fault that it was played like a bad childrens story then dump the producer
Ive always been fascinated by the Tudors. At first, when I realised there were 35 chapters I wondered if I would last until the end but Alison Weirs superb storytelling kept me enthralled and gave me a much greater insight to why the main characters behaved as they did. Dear Katherine of Aragon what a woman! I cannot wait for the next instalment to be released in audio format.
"A mixture of good historical work & a bad novel"
I do wish some kindly publisher would deter Alison Weir from writing novels! They're all dire and the Maggie Mash narration makes it even worse. I had thought this was a non fiction work when I bought it, but the first part is fictionalised. This bit is pure People's Friend level slush. I had to bail out of her Elizabeth book (the first I tried) after a couple of chapters because the narration made me want to hurl my faithful old Ipod out of the window.
It's not that Weir isn't a fine historian and her non fiction work is great. I found the outline of the lives of the later queens really interesting and that's why I didn't just return this work entirely. Her work on Isabella is one of my favourites and her Katherine Swinton biography is a good long read too.
Gregory et al make free with the historical facts, but that is the art of novelists after all! The ability to write decent fiction of its genre helps a lot and I really enjoy Sansom, Cornwell and Iggulden too. But please, let the excellent Alison Weir stick to her trade!
"The first of what promises to be a great series."
Slow to start, great middle and slower to finish. The novel is written from the perspective of the Queen from her arrival from Spain to marry Prince Arthur until her death. Accordingly her life did not make for such exciting reading throughout, as it does when the Boleyns arrived. I liked however how the novel does include the lesser well known periods of her life; Katherine it would appear truly was a great Queen.
It would be easy to say the Boleyn moments; for me her confinement post Queen Ann on the throne was particularly appauling. I'd previously considered with knowledge of the fate of other wives that Katherine got off lightly. Now I'm not so sure.
The performer grew on me. Her portrayal was "queenly" as suits the novel and other reviews have commented they did not care for the presentation. I was unsure to start with as Katherine is presented in a halting English accent as she is obviously grasping a new language. This took me a while to get used to, but overall I found myself really liking the presentation. I think the whole reading will stay with me for a while, it is certainly powerful.
Ann Boleyn comes across as quite the nasty bitch. Alison Weir says as much in her interviews about the book. The second in the series I am awaiting with eager anticipation! There were sufficient villainous Ann Boleyn moments in this novel to make me long for the next!
Well written, gripping from the very beginning and read in perfectly spoken English, fabulous author.
"Katherine of Aragon"
Loved this thorough narration of Katherine's life. Alison is an excellent historian but hearing this book read really does draw you into each dramatic chapter. Can't wait for the next book in this series!
very interesting book well researched.I am not of the catholic faith myself but it was interesting to hear from the other side.
This audio book is a really in depth account of Katherine of Aragon. It portrays her life as the tragic victim of circumstance she was, but also illustrates her intellect and desire to be a good queen.
Henry, as always his character is multidimensional and this book gives an insight into his early life and the tragedies that helped shape him.
I disagree with some of the unkind comments made about Maggie's narration. Whilst it is true she does read some dialogue more slowly, this is to add dimension to some of the foreign characters. Her style does not detract from my enjoyment of the book and I have liked other books she has read previously. I look forward to the next five volumes of this series and hope i don't have to wait too long!
The download wasn't the best quality; the dialogue jumps I places and fades in and out occasionally. A good historical fiction book which sticks closely to the known events.
"Queen of Sorrow"
Triumph and Tragedy. A brave courageous woman whose life slips continually from Victory to defeat in every footstep. A like-able woman who is trapped by circumstance in absolute misery.
Her final vindication, and her crushing realisation that even this will not save her.
Maria De Salinas was narrated beautifully by Maggie Mash
I wish i had the leisure to listen to this is one single sitting however i do have life to attend to, so that was not possible
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