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Henry VIII: The Mask of Royalty
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Henry VIII: The Mask of Royalty

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  41 ratings  ·  8 reviews
This enthralling study of the man behind the mask gives also a unique picture of the 16th-century mind and milieu.
Paperback, 379 pages
Published August 30th 2005 by Chicago Review Press (first published 1971)
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This was not really a biography but more of a study of Henry VIII.A study that mostly succeeds in showing who Henry was behind all the glamour and majesty that was kingship in the Tudor era.Henry was a king,some say a monster but ultimately he was just a man caught up in the power and drama that became his life and reign.Baldwin Smith explores the workings of the King's mind through his actions and reactions based on documented evidence.This is packed full of detail and vividly recreates Henry's ...more
Well written. It's difficult to believe that people could get away with what kings used to get away with--namely, anything they wanted. This book gives a history of Henry the Viii reign, and through the filter of Henry's experience, that of the French, German, Italian (austro-hungarian) and Danish monarchies.
Definitely for the Henry VIII scholar, this book starts with Henry's death and organizes the material around the major themes of this life rather than chronology. It includes some good material not found elsewhere, but can be hard to follow.
A brilliant read. It's really Henry VIII unmasked. This book helps you understand the man and his motives.
While I like that the writer take an deeper look in to Henry VIII's Personality. ,and try to get a better understanding of him. Smith also examine the possible reason behind why Henry VIII had Cranmer & Katherine Parr arrested,and than release, and ask the question if it was to show his own power, or his religious choice. I found the book to be an interesting and delight read. However, it is not a easy read.
So much good information is wasted
with this
uneven book that's more gossipy than enlightening, but
still it's clear Elizabeth got her talents from her mother because Henry VIII was more of a royal stumbler than a king and an intellectual light weight compared to his daughter. Smith glosses over major events while rambling on about useless gray fluff.

Lara Eakins
It's hard to figure out how to describe this book. On one hand, it was full of interesting information and analysis. On the other, it was arranged in a way that often made it hard to follow and wandered from one topic to another in the middle of long chapters.
Charlene Vickers
Nice to see a biography of Henry VIII that is actually about the man himself.
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Following graduate work at Princeton University, he went on to teach there and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Northwestern University, where until his retirement he was Professor of History and Peter B. Ritzma Professor in the Humanities. Smith is the recipient of two Fulbright awards, two National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and numerous ot ...more
More about Lacey Baldwin Smith...
Catherine Howard: The Queen Whose Adulteries Made a Fool of Henry VIII English History Made Brief, Irreverent and Pleasurable This Realm of England, Volume 2 The Past Speaks: Sources and Problems in English History, Volume I: To 1688 Anne Boleyn: the Queen of Controversy

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