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The Last Days of Henry VIII: Conspiracies, Treason and Heresy at the Court of the Dying Tyrant
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The Last Days of Henry VIII: Conspiracies, Treason and Heresy at the Court of the Dying Tyrant

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  1,045 ratings  ·  27 reviews
A blazing narrative history that boldly captures the end of England's most despotic ruler and his court -- a time of murderous conspiracies, terrifying betrayals, and sordid intrigue

Henry VIII's crimes against his wives are well documented and have become historical lore. But much less attention has been paid to his monarchy, especially the closing years of his reign.

Hardcover, 368 pages
Published September 20th 2005 by William Morrow (first published March 10th 2005)
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The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Alison WeirThe Children of Henry VIII by Alison WeirThe Wives of Henry VIII by Antonia FraserJane Boleyn by Julia FoxElizabeth by David Starkey
Tudor non-fiction
22nd out of 59 books — 37 voters
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Books with Really Long Titles
167th out of 547 books — 178 voters

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Right from the start I will say this is one of the best books about Henry VIII that I have ever read. I have always been interested in learning more about the famous King of England who had six wives and this book provided me with a wealth of information that I never knew before. This book focuses on the last few years of Henry VIII’s life, specifically from 1543 until Henry’s death. What I loved about this book is the detail that Hutchinson went into as he looked at all the different events tha ...more
Pete daPixie
Robert Hutchinson's 'The Last Days of Henry VIII-Conspiracies,Treason and Heresy at the Court of the Dying Tyrant', published 2005, is a well researched and fact packed read that covers the later years, more than the last days, of Henry's reign.
Like all good historical tomes, this one is crammed with Notes, around forty pages, as well as a good bibliography of primary sources, and short biographical paragraphs on the leading players.
Hutchinson's time span predominantly covers Henry's last ten ye
This is a very well written and engrossing book about Henry VIII and his decline. It's strange though, while Hutchison keeps telling and to a degree showing the reader the trynnay and cruelty of Henry VIII, he also seems to be very much a fan. It is almost as if he is seperating Herny VIII from his actions.

The attempt to get rid of Katherine Parr by the conseratives at court is an example of this, where it Hutchsinon argues that Henry VIII seemed to set up a test of his queen, or perhaps to teac
A deeply interesting book on the last days and death of Henry VIII.

If you think you know all there is to know about England's most notorious monarch, then think again.

Robert Hutchinson's book delves very deeply into the character of the man (as provable by both his actions and correspondence) and also those around him. Some, like Sir Anthony Denny, whom the eye of history has gently slid over, should really have historians taking a much closer look at this interesting and manipulative man.

A fascinating book looking at the end of Henry VIII's reign, a period often overlooked in favour of the Anne Boleyn years and the issues of religion and divorce. Hutchinson explores the role of Katherine Parr which was not as straightforward as her merely caring for him in his last years. There were plots to get rid of her and she worked hard to bring his children together with him as a family. Henry remained in control almost to the very end of his illness, playing factions against each other a ...more
This book is a great comprehensive look at the last few years of Henry VIII’s life, which is often overlooked due to the scandals of his earlier years. It explores in depth his last three marriages, the conspiracies and rivalries abounding in his inner circle, the religious climate, his volatile temper, his waning heath and final illness, and his majestic funeral. We see some familiar characters like Cromwell exit the scene in Henry’s familiar tyrant fashion, and we become more familiar with oth ...more
A brilliantly detailed and informative book. As ever - a joy to read. Katherine Parr is one of Henry VIII's most interesting wives - a clever and complex woman with a passionate beating heart. Henry's last days - riven by domestic strife and religious upheaval and a personal deterioration in his health. He was the bloated monster of legend.

Hutchinson makes history a joy to read - because he has a flair with words.

Highly recommended
I have read a lot about Tudor England and the only thing I learned in this book was that Henry was much more of a tyrant that I had previously imagined. Centered in the years after the birth of his only son, Edward, the book looks at the cruelty of the monarch in a way that most books gloss over. The number of executions is really astonishing. How much of his cruelty was innate and how much was due to his failing health is explored but overall, this book doesn't add much to the current popular h ...more
This book stands out among the many books I've read about the Tudors for Hutchinson's masterful use of quotes and direct evidence. These pieces not only make his arguments seem more valid, but they really breathe life into what might otherwise be a dry book.
It was an ingenious idea to focus on the last years of Henry VIII's reign instead of merely parroting the same major events of his life like most biographers do. I learned a lot from reading it - and that tends to be a rarity when it comes t
Oct 16, 2012 James rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Hillary Mantel
Recommended to James by: reviews
British scholar and Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries Robert Hutchinson offers up an eminently readable look at the horrifying, grotesque atmosphere of the court of Henry VIII during the years following the execution of Thomas Cromwell (1540). The King who is probably the single most famous and often depicted monarch in English history had, by the 1540s, degenerated from an athletic, flamboyant king to a morbidly obese tyrant who struck terror into the hearts of even the most arrogant and jad ...more
I had never read anything by this author before and met him for the first time at a talk on Renaissance History....he was a true pleasure to listen too and spoke of how he researched his books.....he made the history come alive.

As an avid history reader... I was fascinated in particular on his discussion of his book The Last Days of Henry Vlll as it is not often spoken about.

I bought the book and got it signed by the author which was a real treat. I read the book in just a few days it is a real
Susan Paxton
Eminently readable history of the latter part of Henry VIII's reign, beginning around his brief marriage to Anne of Cleves. Hutchinson's speculation that Henry suffered from Cushing's Disease is interesting and plausible and explains a number of his symptoms. There's enough of an epilogue following Henry's death to find out what happened to the dramatis personae; the tag chapter about the fate of Henry's tomb is fascinating. Good stuff for anyone interested in the period; more evidence for argui ...more
Donna Maguire

I enjoyed this book and found it very easy to read. It was nice to read a book on Henry VIII which was not dominated by Anne Boleyn and Hutchinson managed to highlight the later years showing the key points which arose during this time. I had expected the book to portray Henry as very much a tyrant, however it gives good reasons for his actions in the main and with the number of health concerns he had towards the end of his life, I don't really blame him for behaving as he did generally.
Fred Pinto
Great book for the history enthusiast, it takes you through the life of King Henry the VIII and his court. You're introduced to a young and wild Henry that slowly gets more and more decadent with age, filled with rage and paranoia that will ultimately affect his decisions in ruling his kingdom. The book surprisingly shows, through facts like notes, paintings, poems and such, a more human side of this emblematic ruler!!
Not as much new detail as I expected.
An excelent biography of King Henry VIII. All you wanted to know is here and Robert Hutchinson delievers it with a touch of humour which makes this historical biography much easier to read and more captivating than the other regular biographies.
Elise Shedd
Great book on the intrigue of Henry and what really was happening to his body due an abcess in his legs and becoming more paranoid and cruel than ever.I have always been interested in how he truly went mad and how he got so obese.
I was hoping for some new information or take on Henry the VIII but after 50 pages of the same information that I already knew, I gave up. I may have reached a saturation point with the Tudors.
Interesting look at the "Last Days" of Henry VII. The author's repeated back-looping approach to telling the story is a bit tiresome and confusing, but the story is rich.
page turning account of the medieval tyrant who was fond of beheading wives and ruling by terror....the latter part sounds strangely familiar
A good overview of the Henry 8th. I plan to leave the Tudors alone for awhile and read other history.
He was totally nuts but then nutters do make things a little more fascinating.
David Stimpson
really interesting book ..i love the tudors
Faye Faye
An easy and fast read
Nothing much new here
Lots of information but dry.
a book that makes you see the human side of the most famous tudor king.
Dorothy Hamblin
Dorothy Hamblin marked it as to-read
Jan 23, 2015
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  • Henry: Virtuous Prince
  • Anne of Cleves: Henry VIII's Discarded Bride
  • Edward VI: The Lost King of England
  • The Mistresses of Henry VIII
  • Henry VIII: Man and Monarch
  • Tudor Queens of England
  • 1536: The Year That Changed Henry VIII
  • A Daughter's Love: Thomas More and His Dearest Meg
  • Catherine of Aragon
  • Katherine the Queen: The Remarkable Life of Katherine Parr
  • Mary Tudor: The Spanish Tudor
  • Catherine Howard: The Queen Whose Adulteries Made a Fool of Henry VIII
  • A Brief History Of The Tudor Age
  • Divorced, Beheaded, Survived: A Feminist Reinterpretation Of The Wives Of Henry VIII
  • The First Elizabeth
  • Anne Boleyn: A New Life of England's Tragic Queen
  • Catherine of Aragon: The Spanish Queen of Henry VIII
  • Elizabeth the Great
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