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Publisher's Summary

In lively, absorbing prose that rivals the finest literary fiction, prize-winning historian Carolly Erickson recreates the life of the notorious Tudor king, Henry VIII. In his youth as a charming national hero, his reign as a monstrous king, and his final days as a tottering old man, Erickson draws a thoroughly convincing portrait of one of English history’s most notorious characters.

©1980 Carolly Erickson (P)1988 Recorded Books, LLC

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Very interesting/ intriguing history of Henry VIII

What did you love best about Great Harry?

The fact that this book covered his entire life, not just his time as King of England.It gave me a very detailed background of Henry's family & ancestors, as well as what was happening in Europe in the 15 th century. From that, I was able to piece together what made this monarch such a fascinating man in England's history. I've read many books on Henry VIII, but this one put together a lot of detail about what the European monarchies were like, and the other religious and political people who were behind the scenes, so to speak.

What other book might you compare Great Harry to and why?

Not sure right now.

Which scene was your favorite?

The betrayal of Anne Boleyn.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

The most Feared , Maniacal & Beloved Monarch of all time: Henry VIII

Any additional comments?

Because there is so much information to cover in this book, I felt it was all over the place at first, & I thought the narrator was without passion until about halfway through, but I kept listening and finally things were easier to follow, with a less

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Henry the Gr8!

This was an interesting history in that didn't centre on the well known fact he married six times but more on the man himself and the politics of the time. My criticism is that it had the feeling of a school text book as the author had a tendency to talk down to the reader.

It was also difficult to listen to one of the most well known and memorable periods of English history being told by a narrator with an American accent. Nelson Runger did a good job but accent just seemed wrong when we were being told about the greatest English King!

That said there was information that I didn't know and was most interested to hear about. I enjoyed the book and will listen to other Carolly Erickson's histories with equal interest.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Full of info, dull narration. Like a textbook.

Would you try another book from Carolly Erickson and/or Nelson Runger?

I have read Carolly Erickson books before and love them. Her attention to detail is awesome. This book seems to be just a collection of stories and facts about Henry VIII. It just doesn't have much life in it. The narrator is kind of boring and slow. It is sometimes hard to tell which character is being portrayed. This is a good book for checking facts about some of the other Henry VIII books. Other than that I'd skip it for entertainment.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Benoibe
  • New Orleans, LA, United States
  • 07-24-13

Surprisingly good, ignore bad reviews!

I have read/listened to every other Henry VIII book in Audible, both fiction and historical fiction.
I found this book to contain many things I had yet to read. The author seems more favorable toward Henry than other biographers, and it was refreshing to see another point of view.

This is ABSOLUTELY not written at children's level. I don't understand why anyone would say that. (*Before I read this book, I also read GJ Meyers Tudors biography. It is very detailed and well written, but that author has an extreme bias and offers scant, often unreliable evidence to prove a point. For example, the Meyers quotes letters written by courtly ambassadors to enemy countries and other statements made by individuals who have clear self-serving agendas, when proving a point.)

If it's a subject I'm interested in, I never take one authors conclusions or ideas too seriously. I will read many biographies on the same subject, and make up my mind for myself. There are many sides to each story, exponentially more when writing about someone's life!

I wasn't a fan of Carolly Erickson's historical fiction, which is why I waited to get this book. But I've recently purchased 3 of Erickson's histories, and each is really interesting and well written.
I have to disagree with reviews that complain this is dry material. If these subjects are interesting to you, then there is nothing dry about Erickson's writing. Then again, if you want the Tudors like you'll find on Showtime, check out Historical Fiction. Margaret George's Autobiography of Henry VIII is exceptional.

As histories are concerned, I think this is a great book to add to all Tudor collections!

Great performance!

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Juvenile book

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

A serious well balanced treatment of the subject.

What was most disappointing about Carolly Erickson’s story?

I just finished G.J Meyers "The Tudors" which was brilliantly written although scathing in its treatment of everyone after Henry VII. I was searching for a book that might lend some balance. Instead I was rewarded by writing that would have been more suitable in children's literature. Character development was superficial at best. The physical descriptions ranged on for what seemed an eternity.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

Nelson Runger is an exceptional narrator. However I have to question if he was the best choice for a book dealing with Tudor England. It was difficult connecting with the period with his voice as the vehicle of transmission. Perhaps it was a lack of imagination on my part or my growing frustration with the text that soured me on the narration. I have in the past purchased a book in which I was luke warm on the strength of a sample of his narration alone.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Great Harry?

I really couldn't be fair. The book made me cringe to the point that I could not finish it.

Any additional comments?

It was the loss of a credit and eight hours I will never get back.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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what a falling off was there

So he started off not so badly and ended notoriously. Inadequate parenting pure and simple.