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Publisher's Summary

Margaret George's novel brings into focus the larger-than-life King Henry VIII, monarch of prodigious appetites for wine, women, and song.
©1986 Margaret George; (P)1998 Books on Tape

Critic Reviews

"A remarkable achievement....Magnificently researched and admirably written." (Mary Stewart)
"It doth brim with lust, violence, cruelty, and living conservation....Margaret George has found a new and fresh way to tell the story." (Detroit Free Press)
"Her novel is a...banquet feast for most readers...astonishing. There's rousing drama, robust atmosphere, and consistently solid characterization; and finally, Margaret George's triumph is anchored in the urgent rhythm her writing attains." (Forth Worth Star Telegram)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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  • Overall
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blew my mind

I never knew much about Henry VIII except that God most famous pictures were of a fat, apparently super indulgent monarch. This head totally rewritten history for me, and I appreciate the effort. I listened raptly for 40+ hours and may yet again. well done!

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Mixed feeling

I have mixed feelings about this book. While the storytelling is good, the prose goes on and on and on. I am not a historian but I questioned the validity of many of the statements in the book. That may be because the other books I have read have been from the wives' point of view.

It was not riveting, but I was unable to just not read it. It took me three months. An audiobook usually takes me 2 to 3 weeks. This audiobook, however, was the longest by far.

It appears to be well researched but I just can't tell. I would not recommend this to anyone who is not a serious inquirer regarding Tudor England but I feel it was an interesting, different point of view relevant to the serious fan of the time.

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Not riveting. Stately

The narrator perfectly captures the tone of Both Henry & Will. And the story is one we know well. But the entirely different perspective makes it all new again!

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  • Synn66
  • Knighdale North Carolina
  • 08-17-15

fantastic it's one of my faves!


well worth the read I love this time period and this book delivers better than most

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  • Leslie
  • abingdon, MD, USA
  • 06-16-15

Entertaining Historical Fiction

The book is interesting enough to have kept me listening to all 40+ hours. That being said, I constantly found myself questioning the accuracy of the history presented due to the obviously fictionalized conversations and scenes presented as memories documented by Henry VIII - and his trusty fool. Regardless of this issue, the narrator is outstanding - and probably one of the reasons I listened to the end.

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well researched, supremely entertaining

Would you listen to The Autobiography of Henry VIII again? Why?

probably, because it is full of historical facts.

Which character – as performed by David Case – was your favorite?

henry and will

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

the truth about henry

Any additional comments?

loved the narrator!

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  • Performance
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I love the Tudors!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, if they like audible books and are prepared to a LONG listen (41 hrs and 20 mins). And they love history and want a view into the huge cast of characters from that era. Many books/movies have been done about them but some with less vividness. Some bits of history that have been skipped over or briefly mentioned are fleshed out here (thus the reason for the length of the novel!).

Who was your favorite character and why?

That's a hard question to answer. Henry VIII is so very complex. I got the book because I wanted to learn more about him. Henry was a very complex man; sometimes very wise and talented, sometimes very ruthless and selfish. He was THE KING! He was THE POWER! He was a man of his time and the view of the time was very interesting.

What about David Case’s performance did you like?

It's worth the time as David Case (narrator) does such a good job! And it is one of the better historical novels I've read or listened to...there is a lot good historical data here that only an excellent narrator can keep listener invested in listening to the end. He did that for me!

Who was the most memorable character of The Autobiography of Henry VIII and why?

Henry VIII!! Who else has had so much written about him, even when he was not the main character. How could any media production be done of his time without alluding to him in one way or another?

Any additional comments?

I've read Ms. George's tombs about Elizabeth I and Cleopatra. They too are very lengthy. I prefer the audio version as holding the paperback gets difficult when reading in bed! Probably, Ms. George could have cut some of the rhetoric in all 3 books and still had good novels but I did not skip over any part of any of the novels (audible or written). There are no abridged versions of any of her audible books. I assume it is because cutting them would just be such a Herculean task.

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  • Nora
  • Pocatello, ID, United States
  • 07-30-14

A Favorite Book

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This book captires you in every way. I have relistened several times.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Henry of course! I KNOW what he was really like, truly evil a really bad human being. BUT this book has a way of hooking your interest and keeping it. Very well researched. For me a book has to be well researched and this one is.

What does David Case bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I loved the narration, beautifully done.

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

Hypnotic

Any additional comments?

A GREAT listen

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I thought the book was good overall

What did you love best about The Autobiography of Henry VIII?

The book was well written and well researched. Margaret George did a great job taking into account the time and setting of the book, letting the listener/reader know exactly where they were and what could be expected to be encountered.

Would you listen to another book narrated by David Case?

No. When I first began the book, I could hardly understand the accent he was putting on for King Henry. After I got used to it, I found that he did male characters very well, but all his female characters sounded exactly the same, even though many times they were from different countries or regions. They had a bit of a lilt and rolled their R's. It was kind of frustrating that I couldn't tell one woman from the next. <br/>I probably wouldn't listen to it again or recommend it to anyone else. Just read the book instead of listening to it.

Any additional comments?

Some parts were a bit dry. Towards the ending, I didn't really like the character of King Henry, who became a mean, old arrogant, selfish coot. I don't suppose that is the fault of Margaret George however, she was just reporting the story through the research she found.

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Interesting & entertaining presentation

Any additional comments?

I've read many books on King Henry VIII, but the concept of an autobiography was intriguing and not disappointing. The narrator's tone and inflection added greatly to the story by matching historical descriptions of the King's demeanor. Although it is a fictional book based upon historical facts, it quickly became easy to forget that and believe that King Henry VIII had actually left the manuscript for us to find after his death.