Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Edward VI: The Lost King of England” as Want to Read:
Edward VI: The Lost King of England
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Edward VI: The Lost King of England

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  956 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
In his desperate quest for an heir, King Henry VIII divorced one wife and beheaded another. The birth of Prince Edward on October 12, 1537, ended his father's twenty-seven-year wait. Nine years later, Edward was on the throne, a boy-king of a nation in religious limbo and in a court where manipulation, treachery, and plotting were rife.
Chris Skidmore describes how, in the
Paperback, 368 pages
Published April 14th 2009 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published January 1st 2007)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Edward VI, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Edward VI

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Feb 05, 2013 Orsolya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The boy-king Edward VI was a Tudor King and yet due to his short reign, was overshadowed by the other Tudor monarchs. In every history book you will read, they briefly graze upon Edward and his over-bearing concillors Edward Seymour and John Dudley. Yet, those threads and facts are merely presented to demonstrate how they effected upon the lives of Mary and Elizabeth.

Skidmore delightfully presents an ENTIRE book dedicated to the young boy who changed England forever by pushing Protestantism and
Margaret von Fizzlewick
You don't hear a lot about Edward VI. The poor boy didn't rule very long and he was sandwiched between his father, the overbearing, gouty pig Henry VIII and his sisters, the overbearing gouty pig Mary I and the desperately insecure and petty yet brilliant feminist icon, Elizabeth I.

I found this to be a very interesting foray into his brief life and even briefer rule. His relationship with his Seymour uncles (ended in at least one death, I believe), his rigid Protestant beliefs and the political
Jun 01, 2013 Geoff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an interesting and very readable book covering a little-known king in English history. Although Edward VI died young and never truly reigned in his own right there is enough political in-fighting, rebellions and source material about the boy-king himself to tell a fascinating story.
In fact because this history is so limited in it's scope due to Edward's early death it provides a good opportunity for us to have an insight into how a king is educated and prepared for his future role rather
Aug 13, 2009 Thalia rated it really liked it
Shelves: tudor
Skidmore suffers of clumsy writing occasionally. I struggled with three or four stars as the material is good, the delivery lacks a bit. Some silly mistakes in wording that even an amateur like me picked off but a good addition to any Tudor lovers library. I came to know dear Eddy in a much fuller sense. Who he was and the triumphs and challenges faced during his brief "reign".

Like most books that focus on a historical figure that has very little written about them -- see Edward's mother, for instance -- it can be lacking in rich detail and tends to focus on people around the person the biography is about. And, like most books, this falls into that trap for about half the book. Since Edward was so young when he took the throne, it wasn't him who was in charge, it were those around it.

That's my main complaint about this book. It focused a lot on Northumberland, Some
C.S. Burrough
Aug 02, 2014 C.S. Burrough rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: History readers
Chris Skidmore makes courageous choices addressing topics challenging due to limited popular appeal (his later book, Death And The Virgin, I thoroughly enjoyed). Edward VI's reign we see more through the prism of important religious development than being drawn to the boy king's persona. That's understandable, this being a short reign.

The obvious question is why this short reign is so eclipsed by 'Bloody' Mary I's even shorter one immediately following it? Answer: Mary was the first queen regnan
May 17, 2012 Amber rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any fans of the Tudor dynasty.
Believe it or not, this is the first book I have read that focuses solely on Edward VI, the longed-for male heir of Henry VIII and younger half-brother to Mary I and Elizabeth I. I found the book informative but it still raised long-asked questions about Edward’s reign. How in control was he during his reign? Was he just the Duke of Somerset’s (AKA the Lord Protector AKA Edward Seymour, Edward’s uncle) puppet and then later, the Duke of Northumberland’s (John Dudley)?

Author Chris Skidmore raises
Lauren Albert
It is a sad story. Edward managed to be both strong willed and easily manipulated leading to continual upheaval around him as his uncles and others vied for power. No one actually had his best interest in mind (or England's for the most part, either) though everyone protested to the contrary. Power was the sole interest for many and Edward, or his sisters Mary & Elizabeth, poor Jane Grey and others were just pawns. And almost no one in the story is not at some point both victim and victimize ...more
Jennifer (JC-S)
Mar 08, 2008 Jennifer (JC-S) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: librarybooks
Well worth reading for those who want to know more about this young King. His reign was brief, but not insignificant - especially in terms of the reformation of the Church of England.
Oct 24, 2009 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-it, nf
He is often just a footnote. Here he was an actual person.
Crowned aged only nine years old and dying at just fifteen, the reign of Edward VI is often passed over as a mere unstable blip between the reigns of his father Henry VIII and his sisters Mary and finally Elizabeth. Even though momentous events took place in those six years, not least of which is the full flowering of the Protestant Reformation, Edward's own role is often dismissed as that of a mere figurehead, with his advisors and council holding the real power. The instability of those years ...more
Pete daPixie
Jan 26, 2011 Pete daPixie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history-tudor
Such a well researched and impressive biography of Edward VI. Skidmore's work was published in 2007.
History is repeating itself in 1547, with the death of the old king leaving a prince too young to take the throne. The ghost's of the sons of Edward IV under the protectorship of Richard III are hovering in the background of the fate of the heir to the throne after the death of Henry VIII.
Here, the protectors are the two Dukes, Somerset and Northumberland with a tumult of factions and power strugg
Jul 21, 2011 Kim rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Tudor era enthusiasts, people interested in boy kings
Shelves: tudor-nonfiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
As an avid Tudor non-fiction reader, I was looking forward to this book as it promises an insight into one of the most enigmatic monarchs in history, at a time of vast religious change in England. However, as interesting as the subject matter was, it suffered a little from the universal lack of information about Edward, which makes writing a full volume on his relatively short reign quite challenging.

Instead, what this book focuses on is not only Edward as a person and monarch, but the general s
I found this very disappointing. Other than the one mention that Edwards book of prayers was the basis for the Elizabethan version, which is still the one used today, there was no explanation of any lasting effect from the reign of the boy king. It was simply a poor recounting of the era between Henry VIII and Mary Tudor. Some of it was just plain irrelevant to the main story. For example, Katherine Parr's marriage, pregnancy and death didn't seem to tie in with the storyline except that it happ ...more
Sep 14, 2009 Wen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Tudor history lovers
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Charles Eliot
Caught between the long reigns of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, the brief reigns of Edward VI, Jane Grey and Mary I can seem like confusing side-shows between the main acts. Henry VIII changed the world so he could have a male heir, but that heir inherited the throne too young, and didn't live long enough to make much of his own impact. But the death of Henry VIII left Tudor England in social and political chaos, and chaos can make for rich history.

Chris Skidmore works hard to illuminate the tumul
Sarah(All The Book Blog Names Are Taken)
The premise was interesting - so much has been written about Mary and Elizabeth, but hardly anything about Edward. I was disappointed, however, because there were many sections that seemed to serve no purpose except to provide filler. Discussing Katherine Parr would have been relevant in regards to her relationship with Edward, but the backstory of her life after Henry wasn't necessary. As he was not able to rule on his own due to his age, the title is misleading; it focuses also on the main pol ...more
May 12, 2013 Louise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Packed between the glamorous, Hollywood friendly administrations of Henry and Elizabeth, Edward (and Mary) get little attention/glory. This first time author succeeds in explaining why Edward's reign is significant.

The book is more of a history of the reign than a biography. While it speaks to Edward's youth, education, governing, etc., there is much more text devoted to other key players and the politics of the time.

I don't understand this recent fad of book jackets for historical biography usi
Lyn (Readinghearts)
Sep 03, 2009 Lyn (Readinghearts) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Tudor history and English Royalty
Recommended to Lyn (Readinghearts) by: Jennifer and the Tudor Lovers Group
This was a fascinating book regarding the person who is probably the least known of all the Tudors. I probably would not have read this book without GR and my friends at the Tudor Lovers group. Chris Skidmore certainly did his research and presented a complete picture of the reign of Edward VI. At the beginning of the book, I felt sorry for Edward. It seemed as if the winds of fortune (and fortune hunters) were going to blow him to and fro. He was only 9 years old when Henry VIII died. By the en ...more
Julia Hoover
Jul 07, 2014 Julia Hoover rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent, as far as it went, but left many questions (i.e. about his personality and pre-monarch years) unanswered. However, I suspect that there is good reason for this - I wonder if documentation exists - so, given that, it is among the best that I've found.
Apr 02, 2011 Dick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Edward VI was an interim king, ruling (if one can do so between ages 9 and 15) between the reigns of his father, King Henry VIII, and his two older sisters, Queen Mary I and Queen Elizabeth I. (He was succeeded for nine days by unfortunate his cousin, Lady Jane Grey). This biographical book makes the case that, except for the illness that took him at an early age, he might have been a real credit to the English royal line. He was intelligent, well-read, with good social skills and a good heart. ...more
Angel Rigsby
It was OK. Got bogged down in lots of places with minor details.
Feb 13, 2016 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an excellent work on a comparatively unknown Tudor monarch. Very well done.
Mar 14, 2016 Kelly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The focus of this book was mainly the protectorate, as Edward spent the majority of his life as either the Prince of Wales or in his minority as king. It could easily have been a larger book, with a deeper exploration of the characters and the times within which they lived, but the author seems to cherish his own brevity. The politics, however, is handled smartly and the managing of conspiracies is revealed to be a more challenging affair than I had previously thought.
Jun 21, 2011 Sarah rated it really liked it
This is an excellent non-fiction portrayal of Edward VI, who was King of England after the death of his father Henry VIII. History largely skips over the reign of Edward VI as unimportant, preferring instead to focus on Edward's sisters Mary and Elizabeth. However, this book explains in detail why his reign was important economically, socially, and most of all religiously, in the development of modern England.
Dec 19, 2013 Lezley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent book. If only all non-fiction writers could guide the readers in the way Skidmore does....illustrations, handy biographies, chronology, and tables of genealogy. I especially applaud how he relates happenings to modern day. For example Skidmore gives us an idea of the worth of Tudor currency by using today's equivalences and lets us know where we can see the simple plaque honouring Edward VI.
Jul 23, 2011 Kari rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Interesting book as like the author points out in the introduction, Edward's reign is often overlooked in favour of Henry VIII or Elizabeth I. Was good to learn from the extracts of his letters and diary Edward's personal thoughts and his level of involvement in ruling at such a young age. A lot of the history was things that I did already know, but was a few new things which is always good!
Margaret Sankey
Solid attempt to see Edward VI as more than a stop en route to Mary and Elizabeth, giving him the agency a 16th century child-king could logically have (based on a closer reading of the available documents!) and treating his religious and governmental policies as if they had the chance to last a long kingly-life and not just be a pole on the Tudor policy whiplash chart.
Nov 30, 2012 Marilyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mary Mae Callan-garcia
I need to find the time to write a review on this book, as I do remember reading that Edward VI was very much a king with a mind of his own. He was passionate in his beliefs, be they religious, or otherwise. I also would like to read further about this fascinating young king taken from this world far too soon.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Jane Seymour: Henry VIII's True Love
  • A Daughter's Love: Thomas More and His Dearest Meg
  • Katherine Howard
  • Katherine the Queen: The Remarkable Life of Katherine Parr
  • Henry VIII: Man and Monarch
  • The Mistresses of Henry VIII
  • Elizabeth's Women: Friends, Rivals, and Foes Who Shaped the Virgin Queen
  • Tudor Queens of England
  • After Elizabeth: The Rise of James of Scotland and the Struggle for the Throne of England
  • Arbella: England's Lost Queen
  • Elizabeth Wydeville: The Slandered Queen
  • Catherine Howard: The Queen Whose Adulteries Made a Fool of Henry VIII
  • Lady Jane Grey: A Tudor Mystery
  • Mary Tudor: The Spanish Tudor
  • The Sisters of Henry VIII: The Tumultuous Lives of Margaret of Scotland and Mary of France
  • 1536: The Year That Changed Henry VIII

Share This Book