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1536: The Year That Changed Henry VIII

3.95  ·  Rating Details  ·  195 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Henry VIII is known stereotypically as a corpulent, covetous, and cunning king whose appetite for worldly goods met few parallels, whose wives met infamously premature ends, and whose religion was largely political in intent. By focusing on a pivotal year in the life of Henry, this study moves beyond the caricature to reveal a fuller portrait of this complex monarch. In 15 ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by Lion UK (first published January 1st 2009)
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Feb 14, 2011 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
This is one of the best books that I have ever read in regards to the personality of Henry VIII. Suzannah Lipscomb claims that the accumulated effects of 1536 worked together to deeply affect the personality and behaviour of Henry VIII and from this year onwards we can see the affects of these events in his tyrannical behaviour. Personally I have always felt that there was so much going on for Henry VIII during the year 1536, from the death of Katherine of Aragon to the fall of Anne Boleyn to th ...more
Aug 02, 2015 Penny rated it really liked it
Shelves: tudors
Henry VIII was born in 1491, over 500 years ago, and yet we seem as fascinated by him as ever. The stream of books, plays and TV programmes about him seems never ending.

I suppose it is tempting for writers and historians to try and think of a new slant on his life to write about. Lipscomb's book definitely does that - by choosing the year 1536 and arguing that it was pivotal in Henry's life, his annus horribilis.

The series of events in that year, starting early on with the death of his first wif
Sep 17, 2013 Kavita rated it liked it
Shelves: tudors, history
1536 by Suzannah Lipscomb is a very interesting read, because of the theories explored explaining how the year of 1536 changed Henry VIII. Anne Boleyn's downfall, Pilgrimage of Grace, Henry Fitzroy's death, marriage to Jane Seymour, Katherine of Aragon's death, the onset of the Reformation, etc. ensured that this year was a turning point in the history of England, as well as a personal turning point for Henry.

The book has some interesting tidbits that I really enjoyed. I also learned new things
Mar 05, 2015 James rated it it was amazing
Henry is a very complex character, partly because he was so inconsistent when it came to wives, religion, but most of all... Temperament. So many people close to him at different stages of his life, met with grisly ends- More, Fisher, Cromwell, Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard. And of course Wolsey and first with Catherine of Aragon- who he'd been married to for nearly twenty years, died in disgrace and despair. What Suzannah Lipscomb does so well here, is she looks at one specific year- 1536- t ...more
Conor Byrne
Jul 27, 2014 Conor Byrne rated it it was amazing
Suzannah Lipscomb is to be congratulated for a fine study. I really enjoyed this stimulating, original and accessible interpretation of one pivotal year in the reign of Henry VIII - a year that Lipscomb argues changed Henry VIII forever. In particular, I found Lipscomb's interpretation of Anne Boleyn's downfall fascinating and compelling. She convincingly attests to the centrality of early modern customs and values surrounding masculinity and patriarchal honour, demonstrating how this came to ef ...more
Jul 16, 2013 Kara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tudor-fact

I think in the hands of someone like Starkey or Weir this could have been great - here it is just OK. Really amazing content, research, analysis and theories, but the writing is so-so, not well structured and fails to really suck you in.

However - loved the psychological possibilities behind Henry's actions and OMG the discourse on how he was "compensating" with that painting!
Topping & Company Booksellers of Ely
Dr. Suzannah Lipscomb takes a look at the year 1536 which is, as she puts it, The Year
That Changed Henry VIII. Detailing the various events of the year and the impact that
they had on Henry, Lipscomb provides not only a fascinating historical insight into the
politics and intrigue of the Tudor period, but also a deep and personal biography of one
of our most famous kings. I picked this up with little prior knowledge of the Tudors,
and Lipscomb captivated me with her intelligent historical writi
Eileen Thornton
Dec 20, 2012 Eileen Thornton rated it really liked it
Henry VIII is one of the best-known Monarchs in British History. Numerous novels and films have told how two of his six wives were executed for treason, while a third died shortly after childbirth. However, Suzannah Lipscomb, has pieced together several incidents during 1536, which imply this year was a turning point in the King’s life.

Having read several novels about Henry VIII, I felt I knew everything I needed to know on the subject, but it seems I was wrong. Author Suzannah Lipscomb has foc
Jan 13, 2014 Carla rated it liked it
No new revelations in this book by Suzannah Lipscomb, but a very informative retelling of the events of 1536 that caused Henry VIII to change from a noble king to a vicious oppressor. The deaths of Anne Boleyn and Henry Fitzroy, in addition to his third marriage to Jane Seymour and his continued bouts of ill health, created a perfect storm in the king's life, transforming him into a bloodthirsty tyrant. Lipscomb provides the information in a style much like the one in which she speaks - fluidly ...more
Jess Watson
Dec 22, 2015 Jess Watson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
Likely to be the closest we'll get to discovering why Henry VIII became the man that he did. Lipscomb employs a range of contemporary social ideals and gender ideologies whilst constructing this convincing work. A massive help with my dissertation!
Sep 20, 2013 Koenraad rated it it was amazing
1536 is the fantastic debut of dr. Suzannah Lipscomb. She totally changed my view of Henry VIII. Her book is just amazing and very addictive. I took it with me on my trip to France to read in my room in mornings or evenings. But after I started to read it the first morning I had to finish reading it. So I spent the first day of my hollyday reading 1536.

I was affraid I would have difficulties reading 1536 because English isn't my native language but I had no difficulties reading it. It was writte
Jan 29, 2014 Deborah rated it it was amazing
Suzannah offers a scholarly view of potential theories on the causes of the changes in Henry's personality. Allows the reader to draw her own conclusions.
Sep 24, 2014 Mallory rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
An in-depth look at the events of 1536 and how they changed Henry VIII.
Rob Messenger
Feb 12, 2014 Rob Messenger rated it liked it
Poor chap!
Alison Ml
Dec 16, 2015 Alison Ml rated it it was amazing
Incredibly well written, this book delves into the psyche of Henry VIII and explains the major changes that occurred during his reign: how he came to be the tyrannical beast that is depicted in popular culture.
Suzannah Lipscomb is a great scholar who has a gift for writing and explaining this ambiguous era which saw the Reformation, the fates of six queens, humanism, the birth of Renaissance and the powers that were playing in Europe.
Oct 03, 2014 Finuala rated it liked it
Shelves: history
I've no doubt that Suzannah Lipscomb knows her subject matter, but I do feel this got lost in translation. The writing was just ok, the premise of the book was interesting but unproven and the temptation to edit the book into something that hanged together better was great. I was sufficiently engaged that I will read other books by the author, but I'm a little.. disappointed. A case of 'Can do better', but still worth reading.
Susan Pola Staples
Nov 02, 2015 Susan Pola Staples rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: to-review
The author makes
Michele Kallio
Jan 03, 2012 Michele Kallio rated it really liked it
An informative read....if you really want to understand just why 1536 was Henry VIII's 'annus horribilis' you must read Lipscomb highly readable book. Her clear and concise writing helps the reader to understand how that terrible year changed Henry from Prince Charming into the monster he became. An excellent read!
Kate Boardman
Aug 01, 2012 Kate Boardman rated it really liked it
A very interesting book that flies in the face of popular belief. Suzannah sets out her argument in laymans terms. 1536 was definitely Henry VIIIs 'annus horriblus' (sp) Whether Suzannah has answered the reasons for Henrys alleged decline into tyranny is open to argument. I for one think she's onto something here.
Sylwia Zupanec
Sep 14, 2012 Sylwia Zupanec rated it really liked it
Informative and readable '1536' concentrates on the year that - according to author - changed Henry VIII into a tyrant. It's not a long book but it is a page-turner and explains the events of 1536 very well.

Her theories are interesting and well supported, but the writing style was not what I was expecting from someone who has a doctorate degree. It sounds like she really dumbed her writing down.
Dec 09, 2010 Abby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating, intelligent and original. I loved this book and urge anyone with an interest and/or thorough knowledge to read this book. It taught me a thing or two!
Very easy read for the general public, broad enough to not be overwhelming, yet well researched and detailed enough to get some learnin' on.
Mar 17, 2012 Susan rated it really liked it
This was a short book but a meaty one. I particularly enjoyed the author's discussion of the events surrounding the execution of Anne Boleyn.
Charlotte Graham
Oct 26, 2015 Charlotte Graham rated it it was amazing
fantastic read!
Mar 06, 2014 Bettie☯ rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Radio 3 listeners
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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  • The Boleyns: The Rise & Fall of a Tudor Family
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  • Birth, Marriage, and Death: Ritual, Religion, and the Life Cycle in Tudor and Stuart England
  • The Divorce of Henry VIII: The Untold Story from Inside the Vatican
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  • Inside the Tudor Court: Henry VIII and His Six Wives Through the Writings of the Spanish Ambassador Eustace Chapuys
  • Divorced, Beheaded, Survived: A Feminist Reinterpretation of the Wives of Henry VIII
  • England Under the Tudors
Dr Suzannah Lipscomb is Senior Lecturer and Convenor for History at New College of the Humanities, London, and also holds a post as Lecturer in Early Modern History at the University of East Anglia. She has appeared on BBC’S The One Show, ITV’s GMTV, Channel 4’s Time Team, and BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, presented BBC Radio 3’s The Essay and co-presented Inside the World of Henry VIII on the Hi ...more
More about Suzannah Lipscomb...

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