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Preview — King's Fool by Margaret Campbell Barnes
King's Fool: A Notorious King, His Six Wives, and the One Man Who Knew Their Secrets
A Remarkably Intimate Tale of the Intrigue, Ruthlessness, and Majesty of Henry VIII's Court
When country lad Will Somers lands himself the plum position of jester to the mercurial King Henry VIII, he has no idea that he's just been handed a front-row seat to history.
With a seat near the throne and an ear to the floor, Somers witnesses firsthand the dizzying power struggles...more
The tale is told by Will Somers, a man who had a remarkably well-documented career as the King's fool from early in Henry's reign all the way through to his death. (Sound familiar? Margaret George used a similar idea for her 1986 novel, Autobiography of Henry VIII: With Notes by His Fool, Will Somers.)
The result is a co ...more
It may be surprising that I only gave 3 stars to one of *Granny's* books, but relative to her other works, this one falls somewhere in the middle. KING'S FOOL, the story of Henry VIII told from the perspective of his royal jester, Will Somers, is a solid read, though by no means her most riveting work. It has, however, been picked up by Sourcebooks to be re-released in paperback early next year (once again featuring companion materials contributed by me). The fi ...more
The novel covers the reign of Henry VIII from the point of view of Will Somers, the man who becomes the king's jester or fool. This gives the book a totally different twist and insight from something concentrating on the usual courtly suspects. Will is in the thick of things, with a front ro ...more
I enjoyed Will's first person narrative and the relationship between Henry and his fool. But my favorite part of the book was reading about Will's life and relationships. I particularly enjoyed his relationship with his firs ...more
Will is one of the few lucky country children that had an education. He is given to a merchant, Richard Fermer , to work for. He has a good head for numbers and he must do the books and take inventory. He is good at what he does, but it bores him. The one shining light in his new life i ...more
This story showed a different side of Henry VIII, instead of the gross characterization so many books tend to be. A story of a frustrated man wanting a son to leave his legacy to. How ironic that all along it was the daughter who made that dream come true! This is a easy book to read with touches of history scattered through the story, be sure to take time to look at the portrait of Henry VIII and his jester! ...more
Barnes makes an interesting cas ...more
Though he comes to live at court at the King's side, as his jester, Will loves and misses his first master, merchant Richard Fermor. He particularly misses Master ...more
Regardless of the poetic license taken with Will's romantic life and details of what he felt, heard, and saw, the tale is quite believable and possible.
My only regret is that ...more
Will Somers was in just such a position. Born in Shropshire, England Will Somers was the only son, only child actually, of a churchman father and a Welsh mother, she died of the plague when Will was only four. Will had pretty happy life until his ...more
I enjoyed reading this book. It gave Henry VIII a kinder, more human face and came to a happy end for the king's friend and jestor.
The majority of her books were written between the 1940's and 1960's.
She married Peter Barnes in 1917, a furniture salesman, and the couple had two sons, ...more