©1996 Alison Weir (P)2003 Recorded Books
"Like anthropology, history and biography can demonstrate unfamiliar ways of feeling and being. Alison Weir's sympathetic collective biography, The Children of Henry VIII does just that, reminding us that human nature has changed--and for the better. . . . Weir imparts movement and coherence while re-creating the suspense her characters endured and the suffering they inflicted." (The New York Times Book Review)
This really was a fantastic audiobook. I read the book a few years ago and really enjoyed it - I am a big follower of Alison Weir - but I had forgotten that when I purchased the audiobook. But it made no difference. I really enjoyed the audiobook: it over along at a terrific pace, it was an engaging story and the narrator was terrific. I would highly recommend it if you're interested in the subject.
Faced with mindless duty, when an audio book player slips into a rear pocket and mini buds pop into ears, old is made new again.
Royalty, religion, and rule, like the three heads of Cerberus, protect 16th century England, after the death of Henry the VIII. Cerberus defends royalty. Alison Weir tells the story of England’s royal succession. Weir explains that 3 children, from different mothers, succeed Henry the VIII. The youngest, and first in line, is King Edward VI. Young Edward is nine years old when King Henry dies.
King Henry identifies the order of succession in his will; first is King Edward, then Queen Mary, and finally Queen Elizabeth. King Henry designates King Edward VI as first successor because he is a male. However because he has not reached the age of majority, Edwards rule is subject to a guardianship that will govern the Empire until he reaches the age of 18. As fate (or poison) would have it, King Edward dies at 15. Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth are next.
Queen Elizabeth survives a multitude of accusations, threats, and imprisonments to finally succeed to the throne at 25 years of age when Queen Mary succumbs to pneumonia at 42. Elizabeth goes on to be ruler of England for nearly 40 years. She is considered by most to have been a highly successful monarch with excellent skill as statesman and ruler of an independent nation that shed the shackles of a Roman Papacy, and the seductive temptation of alliance with stronger nations.
Royalty, religion, and rule are watchwords for understanding the history of 16th century England. Weir does a nice job of explaining what happened in England after the death of King Henry the VIII.
The information presented was very interesting and factual. There isn't much as far as performance is concerned with this type of information. I have on previous occasions I have listened to stories related to the Tudor dynasty by Philippa Gregory and I find them to be equally informative and accurate but much more entertaining.
I would. I love history and particularly European history, but I have a short memory! This book was well round and broad, and the narrator was perfect for the task.
That she covered the interactions and feelings of the four inheritors to each other. There seems to be a lack of many histories that cover Edward, Mary, and Jane Grey in any detail, so this was the perfect supplement.
He has such a nice accent and a dignified demeanor, it seemed perfect for the subject.
I always looked forward to listening to it.
My only disappointment with this book was that Elizabeth only got 10 minutes of dedicated time on her reign at the end of the book. 10 minutes! Arguably the most famous and most beloved of all of Henry VIII's children, she was given the shortest amount of attention. Of course, there is a disclaimer at the beginning of the book that says that this book is about the relationships between the sibling and by the time Elizabeth comes to the thrown, there are no more siblings to be compared to.... but the others all had quite a bit on their reign and politics of the time, not just their relationships, so I really feel that both Elizabeth and I, as the reader, were short changed. It seems clear to me that the author did this deliberately so she could sell her book on Elizabeth, and I think that's kind of crappy.
I enjoyed every minute of this book, I was captivated by the 4 heirs of Henry VIII, each told in its own descriptive history, all their battles and seems like few wins. It was such a cuththroat time but I guess seeking power brings out the worst in people. I enjoyed Mary Tudor's story the best, as I listened, I felt like I got to know her inner thoughts, her bittersweet life, mostly sad though. I am looking forward to listening to more of Alison Weir's books
Psychologist, nuclear researcher, runner
Would it be crazy to almost shed a tear, after so much time, for a queen who would be later known as Bloody Mary? That should tell you what a gripping story this is, and so well read.
The previous book in history by the same author on the wives of Henry VIII
No unnecessary histrionics, but with impeccable phrasing and weight
The final death of Queen Mary
Recommend this to someone who thinks they only like crime and suspense novels.
It is a lively account and provided valuable insights and details.
The relatively intimate portrait of Queen Mary, who apparently had a kind, generous nature and in her youth was known for her "goodness". This and her initial popularity notwithstanding, an obstinate religious fervor drove her to burn almost 300 protestants and turned her into the hated "Bloody Mary". She perfectly illustrates Nobel physicist Steven Weinberg's remark: "Without [religion], you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, it takes religion."
Queen Mary, who appears as a pathetic and all-too human figure driven by Catholic ardor and tormented by frustrated feminine passion.
Mary's pathetic love for Philip II to whom she was apparently physically repellent, though he treated her correctly; and her pitiful self-delusion in her two false pregnancies.
Well done but it is really about Mary, and it end's at her death, so the title is misleading. When it ends, you think you have an entire monarch to go!
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