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The Children of Henry VIII Audiobook

The Children of Henry VIII

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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best-selling author Alison Weir is one of the most popular chroniclers of British and European royal history. In this fascinating book she sheds light on the scheming, backstabbing and brutality that plagued England after Henry VIII’s death. Filled with remarkable and sometimes shocking details, The Children of Henry VIII is an arresting narrative that brings the past to life and infuses it with all the flair of a riveting novel.

©1996 Alison Weir (P)2003 Recorded Books

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (535 )
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  •  
    SK22 11-21-17
    SK22 11-21-17 Member Since 2016
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    "outstanding history"

    lm looking foward to more books by this author as I read The Six Wives of Henry The 8th. Both of the books are so wonderful, and so much can be learned from the rich history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Sophie 11-20-17
    Sophie 11-20-17 Member Since 2016
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    "amazingly informational!"

    If you are looking for a book from a first person point of view try something else. This book is more 3rd person informational with hard facts for every detail described. Amazing for those Tudor scholars

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    brenda brandon 10-10-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Elizabeth the first admirer "

    Nicely done . I have Queen elizabeth also and I have to say that alison weir has captured it spot on........Thank you

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 06-14-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Loved the story!"

    I learned so much with this book. The characters came to life. Additional details about facts that I already knew was learned. I recommend this material.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kwdayboise (Kim Day) Boise, Idaho 05-29-17
    kwdayboise (Kim Day) Boise, Idaho 05-29-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Makes Game of Thrones seem tame"

    I picked this up as a follow-up to Henry VIII: The King and His Court, also by Weir, for a better understanding of what went into Henry's succession on the throne.
    The key character in the drama turns out to be John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, perhaps the most scheming, greedy, and treacherous figures in either history or literature. It's really his activity in trying to get the government after Henry to work in his favor that created the imbalance of four successors to Henry within a few years, a minor civil war, and pushing England in its final move toward Protestantism.

    Henry left a clear will. After his death the order of succession was to be his only surviving son Edward VI. After that Mary (his daughter by Catherine of Aragon) and Elizabeth (his daughter by Anne Boleyn) were to take the crown in that order. Despite naming himself head of the Church of England and confiscating a great deal of church property Henry also still considered himself a loyal Catholic and left orders in his will that any successor should protect the faith.

    Edward was intelligent though not as tenaciously physical as his father. He was leaning to Protestantism by the time he reached the throne and the book contains letters between Edward and his older sister Mary (who was half Spanish) imploring her to convert as well. Northumberland maneuvered to become the major guide of and power behind Edward, filling his pockets from the treasury and influencing him as much as possible.

    When it was becoming obvious that Edward was ill (probably tuberculosis) and would die before holding the throne in his own right Northumberland began a deeper plot. He married his young son Guildford to Lady Jane Grey, then 15, because she was a granddaughter of Henry's sister Mary Tudor. He then encouraged Edward while on his deathbed to overrule Henry's will with his own, leaving the crown to Lady Jane.

    The main problem here was that Henry's will had been already endorsed by Parliament, leaving little legal question about the true heir. But when you're trying to take over a government and insert your son as king what are some legal niceties to get in the way?

    Lady Jane is now remembered mostly as "The nine-day queen." Mostly against her will she accepted the marriage and the crown. When Edward died Northumberland moved to gather forces to defend the succession. The country, however, was still mostly Catholic and knew their oats when it came to royalty. It also didn't help that Northumberland had managed to become one of the most disliked peers in England. His plans collapsed, forces loyal to Mary prevailed, and thus began the reign of "Bloody Mary", who was so ruthless in her revenge on Protestants that even Catholics moved away from her.
    Meanwhile Elizabeth, legally considered the bastard child of Henry and Anne Boleyn, grew up in fear of her life from around the age of 8. Having deeply Catholic Mary on the throne did nothing to ease her mind.

    While it receives a little mention in the book, it would be interesting to see Weir do a full book on Northumberland. His father was executed by Henry's father. Northumberland was taken in and raised by another family, became a famous admiral, and worked his way back up to one of the highest ranks in the country. Other than his greed it would be interesting to spend more time considering his motivations for what became the last few years of his life before his and dozens of other heads rolled under Mary I.

    Weir weaves all of this and much more together in a book that manages to be sympathetic to all but the most awful acts of the people involved. Especially regarding Jane Grey and the three royal children she paints a fascinating portrait of people who tried to hold true to their beliefs while in a time of dangerous instability. For any history fan or fan of royal intrigue this is a terrific book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kay Long/The Lady Kay 04-08-17
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    "An in depth look at three Tudor monarchs"
    Where does The Children of Henry VIII rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    In the top 25, but that is only because the first 18 are all from one author (Diana Gabaldon). But if you put those aside this would definitely be in the Top 10!

    This is one of my favorite audiobooks by Alison Weir.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    For me it was Henry VIII's son, Edward VI. He was least known to me and it was enjoyable to learn more about him.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Ioannis 10-08-16
    Ioannis 10-08-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Enlightening a very pivotal time of History"

    Loved the story as the author brings great understanding of Henry VIII children's religious conflict

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Amazon Customer 08-27-16 Member Since 2014
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    "interesting historical read "

    detailed historical account of Princess Mary and Princess Elizabeth and their succession to the throne. Delivered in a captivating Story Like biography.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Q's Granny 03-28-16
    Q's Granny 03-28-16
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    "Narritive to fast"
    What three words best describe Simon Prebble’s voice?

    Spoke too fast which was disconcerting. I slowed my audio to .75 and it was better.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    dyiin 01-12-16
    dyiin 01-12-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Who's God is it."

    How many people die because of religion. It's insane. Even now the lives lost because someone thinks their religious cause is it. If there is a man updtairs-he should take a good look at what's going on down here. Going on to long.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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