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The Six Wives & Many Mistresses of Henry VIII: The Womens' Stories
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The Six Wives & Many Mistresses of Henry VIII: The Womens' Stories

4.09  ·  Rating Details ·  139 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
For a king renowned for his love life, Henry VIII has traditionally been depicted as something of a prude, but the story may have been different for the women who shared his bed. How did they take the leap from courtier to lover, to wife? What was Henry really like as a lover? Henry s women were uniquely placed to experience the tension between his chivalric ideals and the ...more
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published November 19th 2014 by Amberley (first published October 8th 2014)
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Athena Ninlil
I really like how Amy Licence goes very deep into the lives of the six wives of Henry VIII and dispels many myths about their husband, namely that Henry was this very prude figure who only had two mistresses. Using contemporary evidence she shows it was the complete opposite. I also love how she focused on the early years of marriage between Katherine of Aragon and Henry VIII. They're always depicted as old and boring versus a young and more energetic Anne Boleyn who was ten times better and ...more
Nov 07, 2015 Charity rated it liked it
Though there were some interesting portions of this book, much of the information about the wives can be found elsewhere, which means the new material all rests with "the many mistresses." As it turns out, however, a lot of that is supposition; the assumption is made that Henry was a manslut who could not go more than a couple of months without sex, so he HAD to have had mistresses... and then information is dug up to figure out "which one it probably was," but there's really no conclusive proof ...more
Mar 06, 2015 Jodi rated it really liked it
This book was given to me as a gift and I opened it wondering if I was going to be reading titillating and scandal mongering stories in its pages. I was very pleased to find the scholarly research that composed the foundation of the book. Although this was not a dry as dust book (With this topic how could it be?), it was entertaining while being detailed and informative. Perhaps the average reader would be put off by the lists of Court accounts etc., but I found it interesting.

Licence cannot pr
Jan 19, 2015 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Many books in the past have tended to focus heavily upon Henry VIII when examining the women that shared his bed. Amy Licence’s book from the very start states that this is not a biography of Henry VIII but an examination of the women, some Queen’s, others mistresses that played a role in the King’s life.

Licence’s book is written in chronological order, starting with the first woman that became Henry’s Queen and shared his bed, Katherine of Aragon. Licence gives a detailed description of Kather
Nov 12, 2014 Annette rated it it was amazing
Source: Free pdf copy from Amberley Publishing in exchange for a review.
In my opinion, it is unfair how Henry VIII and his relationships have been depicted on the movie screen and in books. Because most of the time it is an inaccurate rendering. Accuracy is swept away and replaced with theatrics that titillate. What people do not realize is Henry's marriages and love affairs had more than enough drama, adding to the reality of what happened is unnecessary. I'm thankful Amy Licence has no
Aug 02, 2015 Bunny rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-15
The reason I read so much historical fiction is because nonfiction is so dry. So, so, so dry. Even on subjects I'm super interested in, a dry retelling is the death of my brain's ability to stay tuned.

I started this over a month ago. This cannot be blamed on no time to read. This seriously just...killed me.

And the trouble is, the material is not boring. Yes, I know a great deal of information about the wives of Henry VIII, but Amy Licence is covering a lot of tiny details that COULD be interest
Anne Marie
Mar 03, 2016 Anne Marie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
In The Six Wives & Many Mistresses of Henry VIII: The Women's Stories Amy Licence has put a fresh light on the love life of one of the world's most notorious Kings.
Amy Licence has a beautiful way of telling a story with non-fiction; at times you forget it is not a historical novel but a splendidly researched work of authenticities and verifiable detail. The story of Henry VIII's love life has been explored over the past century from every viewpoint in all of its ignoble details that one woul
Victoria Johnston
This was quite possibly the best book I have read covering the history of Henry's wives. Thoroughly well researched and written in a style that makes it both easy and compelling to read I enjoyed this book from start to finish. The wives were each given coverage appropriate to their "timescale" as Henry's wives and this was a sensible approach. The writer also does an excellent job of providing an unbiased overview of each wife - at no stage do you feel that a wife or her story is favoured over ...more
Adrienne Dillard
Sep 13, 2016 Adrienne Dillard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
Most historians would have you believe that Henry VIII lived a chaste life, punctuated only by the rarest of liaisons; liaisons that inevitably ended in long-term relationships, or even marriage. The truth of the matter is a bit more complex and author, Amy Licence leaves no stone unturned in her quest to get to the heart of...well...the king. Licence delves deep into every whispered rumor and innuendo, using solid research to confirm or dismiss each reported fling. Her account is engaging and ...more
Jul 07, 2015 Emily rated it it was amazing
I absolutely adored this book. When reading I was put right into court with all the players in this very dangerous game. Incredibly written. Flawless, exciting, upsetting at times...I really appreciated the different twist Ms. Licence took as she delved into the innermost thoughts and actions of the women as they swirled and intertwined around Henry. Brilliant and highly recommended.
Jo Barton
Dec 09, 2014 Jo Barton rated it it was amazing
As always, Amy Licence has produced a factual account of the life of Henry VIII that is as entertaining as it is informative.

If you enjoy background reading into the life of this most enigmatic of English monarchs and need to know a little more about his personal life then this book is a good place to start.
Marianne Casale
Dec 02, 2014 Marianne Casale rated it really liked it
This was an interesting insight into Henry VIII, his securities and insecurities. I loved this book and would recommend it to anyone who is interested in history. The only issue I had was that certain sections just seemed to stop. However I do realize this book is not about any specific wife or mistress and thus the need to end the section or it would be 1000 pages.
Lisa Levine
Apr 18, 2016 Lisa Levine rated it it was amazing
I have read several books on Henry VIII's wives. This is my new favorite. Licence does a wonderful job presenting the facts and discussing various theories as to the possible identities of some of Henry's mistresses. I loved this book and would recommend it to anyone interested in Tudor history.
This is a great overview that certainly attempts to prioritize the lives of the women rather than Henry. It doesn't always succeed, at times relies too heavily on sketchy evidence, and often consists of mind-numbing lists of people and/or expenditures.
Nov 20, 2015 Irka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bardzo fajnie i ciekawie napisana, zaktualizowana o nowe teorie z konfliktem krwi między Henrykiem VIII a jego żonami. Dobrze się czyta.
Lois Clark-Johnston
Detailed history on the relationship between Henry VIII and his loves. Interesting details about Katherine Howard.
Thomas Lambourn
Thomas Lambourn rated it really liked it
Aug 11, 2016
WILLIAM M HOOKS rated it it was amazing
Jul 10, 2015
Camille Green
Camille Green rated it it was amazing
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 3 Feb 04, 2015 08:33AM  
  • Anne Boleyn: In Her Own Words & the Words of Those Who Knew Her
  • Inside the Tudor Court: Henry VIII and His Six Wives Through the Eyes of the Spanish Ambassador
  • George Boleyn: Tudor Poet, Courtier and Diplomat
  • The Early Loves of Anne Boleyn
  • The Men Who Would Be King: Suitors to Queen Elizabeth I
  • 1536: The Year That Changed Henry VIII
  • Young Henry: The Rise of Henry VIII
  • Ladies-in-Waiting: Women Who Served at the Tudor Court
  • Had the Queen Lived: An Alternative History of Anne Boleyn
  • The Boleyns: The Rise & Fall of a Tudor Family
  • Margaret Pole: The Countess in the Tower
  • Margaret of York: The Diabolical Duchess
  • In the Footsteps of Anne Boleyn
  • In the Lion's Court: Power, Ambition, and Sudden Death in the Reign of Henry VIII
  • The Children of Henry VIII
  • Tudor: The Family Story
  • The Rise of the Tudors: The Family That Changed English History
  • I, Jane (In the Court of Henry VIII, #4)
Writing about medieval and Tudor history, with a particular interest in women's lives and experiences. I'm the author of ten books for adults and two children's books. I've have also written for The Guardian, BBC History website, The New Statesman, The Huffington Post, The English Review and The London Magazine. I appeared in a BBC2 documentary "The Real White Queen and her Rivals" and have been ...more
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