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Publisher's Summary

Henry VIII is best known in history for his tempestuous marriages and the fates of his six wives. However, as acclaimed historian Tracy Borman makes clear in her illuminating new chronicle of Henry’s life, his reign and reputation were hugely influenced by the men who surrounded and interacted with him as companions and confidants, servants and ministers, and occasionally as rivals - many of whom have been underplayed in previous biographies.  

These relationships offer a fresh, often surprising perspective on the legendary king, revealing the contradictions in his beliefs, behavior, and character in a nuanced light. They show him capable of fierce but seldom abiding loyalty, of raising men up only to destroy them later. He loved to be attended by boisterous young men, the likes of his intimate friend Charles Brandon, who shared his passion for sport, but could also be diverted by men of intellect, culture, and wit, as his longstanding interplay with Cardinal Wolsey and his reluctant abandonment of Thomas More attest. Eager to escape the shadow of his father, Henry VII, he was often trusting and easily led by male attendants and advisors early in his reign (his coronation was just shy of his 18th birthday in 1509); in time, though, he matured into a profoundly suspicious and paranoid king whose ruthlessness would be ever more apparent, as Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk and uncle to two of Henry’s wives, discovered to his great discomfort, and as Eustace Chapuys, the ambassador of Charles V of Spain, often reported.   

Recounting the great Tudor’s life and signal moments through the lens of his male relationships, Tracy Borman’s new biography reveals Henry’s personality in all its multi-faceted, contradictory glory, and sheds fresh light on his reign for anyone fascinated by the Tudor era and its legacy.

©2018 Tracy Borman, Hodder & Stoughton Limited (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Henry VIII and the Men Who Made Him

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Great new perspective on Henry VIII

Really enjoying this book. The new perspective of the 'men' in Henry's life is both interesting and refreshing! It has definitely added to my overall study of Henry VII. We need more books like this. And the performance is very, very good. Recommend this to anyone that enjoys this time in history.

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Very enjoyable!

Although there's a lot of books out there about the men that surrounded Henry VIII, Tracy Borman does a great job describing each one of their lives and how they influenced the king and the history of England. It covers pretty much all of Henry's life (since infancy) without being pretentious or going into too much details about politics and religion.
Julie Teal now is my most favorite narrator!
I definitely recommend it!

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Exceptional.

I truly loved this book. I listened to it while I was in the hospital and it was so fascinating it made a particularly bad admission tolerable.
I don't recall ever having this particular narrator, but she is exceptional, clear, and concise.
The author did an excellent job making these historical figures come to life. I felt fully vested in the outcome of the main people involved and even the "supporting" characters gave weight and depth to everyone involved.
WHAT A GREAT BOOK!

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Enjoyed this audiobook! King Henry VIII.

Fascinating Medieval history about the men in King Henry VII's court. So many were executed regardless of years of faithful service. Interesting read.

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Spectacular in-depth look into the men around a tyrant

I loved every moment of this book! Well written, beautifully performed and chock full of insight. If you are Tudor fan you will certainly glean some new bits of knowledge. I will be seeking more titles by Tracy Borman and would be equally inclined to find other titles narrated by Julie Teal. Fantastic book!

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a complex story

this is an interesting take on the men that made Henry VIII. this "tyrant" was easily manipulated not by his infamous wives but by his loyal men.

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Superb!!

Brilliant presentation of a King whose life, beliefs and ideas shaped the future of the world! Superbly written and narrated , this book probes the intricate life of a monarch whose been all too completely obscured by generalities and folklore. Henry VIII was indeed tyrannical and egotistical but the road that led up to that is so well worth traveling. Bravo!!

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Oh Henry!

This rather lengthy treatise focuses on the male entourage that accompanied Henry from the moment of his birth into a somewhat dysfunctional family, up to his death in January of 1547.

Henry's character was shaped by an adoring crowd of sycophantic caregivers from his earliest days; in other words, he was a spoiled little boy who grew into a demanding, frequently reckless adult. No one in his immediate circle was safe.

The list of men who surrounded Henry is extensive and forgettable, but a few, such as Cardinal Wolsey and Thomas Cromwell, stand out for their treachery and manipulation of events and people.

This examination of King Henry and the men who shaped his character provides insight into the man and his reign.