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House of Treason: The Rise and Fall of a Tudor Dynasty

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  151 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
King-makers - Conspirators - Criminals - Nobles - Seducers

The Howard family - the Dukes of Norfolk - were the wealthiest and most powerful aristocrats in Tudor England, regarding themselves as the true power behind the throne. They were certainly extraordinarily influential, with two Howard women marrying Henry VIII - Anne Boleyn and the fifteen-year-old Catherine Howard.
Paperback, 402 pages
Published March 24th 2010 by Phoenix (first published January 1st 2009)
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Sep 28, 2011 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Having read “The Last Days of Henry VIII”, another book by Robert Hutchinson, I was excited to read his book about the Dukes of Norfolk. Just as Hutchinson’s previous book I was not disappointed and right from the very first word I was captivated! Honestly I think Hutchinson could write about paint drying on the walls and I would be hanging off his every word, such is the power and draw of his writing.

House of Treason The Rise & Fall of a Tudor Dynasty looks at the Howard family throughout
Oct 04, 2011 Jen rated it really liked it
Shelves: english-history
If you think your family is a mess, you should probably read this book.

After all, how many generations of your family have been imprisoned or beheaded?

The Howard family was the power family in Tudor England. In each generation, the head of the Howard family was the Duke of Norfolk and the preeminent noble man--he also had a decent of chance of getting his head chopped off.

This book traces the family throughout the Tudor era, highlighting how each generation's fortunes rose and fell. At times, i
Jun 04, 2010 Judy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2010
This was a great outline of the fortunes of the House of Howard, Tudor magnates who were too close to the throne to be comfortable for the Tudor monarchs. Beheaded, attainted, died, beheaded, died, survived - or something akin to that could describe the Howard dukes of Norfolk. Two Howard nieces, Ann Boleyn and Catherine Howard, didn't last long as Tudor queens. The sweep of the sixteenth century can be seen here, and the writing is earnest, sometimes bemused, and sympathetic to the ill fortune ...more
Jun 02, 2015 Marshall rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Tudors could not have gotten by without the Howards, whether serving as military commanders or administrators, this was one of the preeminent families of the 16th century. However, pride and (to my mind) a misplaced sense of representing the old nobility of the Middle Ages, they frequently found themselves at odds with the ruling dynasty. They were supporting a lost cause, by the time of Henry VIII surely, the old Aristocracy was largely extinct, Yorkists were eliminated and Henry VII had de ...more
Mar 23, 2015 Cara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Hutchinson is very much an author of popular history; he tells his story pretty well, but there is very little analysis or thoughtful interpretation of events and motivations. He excels at characterizing historical figures in somewhat cursory and contradictory ways. His description of Cromwell as an opportunist only interested in his own gain--evident both here and in his biography of Cromwell--is a case in point; Cromwell is venal, and thus abandons Wolsey at the latter's fall, but Hutchinson t ...more
Andrea Willers
Mar 09, 2014 Andrea Willers rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book as it looks at this dynasty warts as well. I visited Sheriff Hutton and I had found out that the Earl of Surrey who fought at Bosworth with Richard's army had stayed at Sheriff Hutton and few years later with Arthur, prince of Wales. I was a little puzzled how he managed that and a lot other things like marrying the queens sister in his second marriage. I had found this book in my local library and I found the book toughly interesting read. I would recommend this book to anyone ...more
M.J. Fiori
The Howards make for fascinating history and reading, but I have to say I'm a bit peeved that the *female* Howards of note - namely, Anne Boleyn and her first cousin, the adulterous teenager Katherine Howard - aren't even given short shrift in this book. In one chapter bridging the time when Thomas Howard (uncle to both girls) was riding high on the tide of Henry's favor with the time when he was practically banished from court, Anne's name is invoked only because her fall brought along Thomas' ...more
Danielle Reily
Jun 30, 2012 Danielle Reily rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Linda Humberstone
Sep 10, 2016 Linda Humberstone rated it really liked it
A splendid and well written book that is historically enthralling. I have always been interested in the Dukes of Norfolk because of the Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard connection but this book explores the background of this family in much more depth covering the machinations and alternating fortunes of that family's individuals from Henry 7th to James 1st. It is very enlightening and is not at all 'dry' but very easy to read.
Jul 23, 2011 Kari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
A great biography of the highs and lows of the powerful Howard family during the Tudor period. At first I feared it would be another retelling of the key Tudor events with simply a nod towards the Howards being there in some small relevant or irrelevant capacity. Thankfully my fears were allayed after a few chapters when Hutchinson turned his focus from the general history towards the personal circumstances of the Dukes. Hutchinson gives a detailed account of the intrigues and plots that helped ...more
Mary Rose
This book started out feeling very dense and impossible, but it gets better as you go on (and once you get used to there being a new Howard, Norfolk, and Surrey every 30-40 pages.) There are even some funny bits, like when the author apologizes for having to refer to finding Henry VII's next bride as "pimping." It basically covers the Tudor dynasties under several English rulers, paying particular attention to the daily squabbles and intrigue of court life. It's interesting to me because I never ...more
Sarah(All The Book Blog Names Are Taken)
Very interesting read about the Howard family, especially if you're only familiar with Anne, Catherine, and their conniving, manipulative uncle, the third Duke of Norfolk, who threw both nieces to the wolves to retain power and Henry's favor.

There have been complaints here and there about this book focusing mainly on the Howard men, but really it makes sense - the women were not often at court, nor were their activities considered nearly as important as their male counterparts. Besides, a substa
Jun 14, 2015 Julia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Howard family were a scheming conniving bunch who often found themselves in the right place at the right time by their machinations and as the reign of Henry VIII drew to a close suddenly found themselves in the wrong place. This is a detailed biography of a family with a clear explanation of the politics and personalities of the period.
Mar 19, 2010 C rated it really liked it
Brilliant. This book, which I got for a present on my birthday. Is an excellent chronicle of the Howard family, from the mid 15th century to the mid 17th century. But, as I know, they have ancestors living today, just that after about 1620 they didn't get in as much strife, and hence, they weren't a 'house of treason' anymore.

Indeed, many Howard family members got beheaded, imprisoned, titles stripped, so many punishments for foolish decisions such as adultery, planning to overthrow the throne,
A fascinating account of the Howard family from the reign of Henry VII to the end of Elizabeth I's reign. This is by far my favourite book by Hutchinson.

The narrative provides an interesting perspective, intertwining family history with the history of the Tudor dynasty, making it a definite mus read for people new to the period and those who have read around on the period.

The book is well sourced and referenced yet also well written and easy to follow as Hutchinson provides a chronology, genealo
Helene Harrison
Review - I was a little disappointed by this book. Although it was about the Howard family, Hutchinson only quite briefly looked at the Boleyn connection, and the role of the Howards in Anne Boleyn's rise in particular. Thomas Boleyn was the brother-in-law of the Duke of Norfolk. I also would have been glad to see more of the early Howards, before Henry VIII's reign, more in particular about how the Howards clawed back from the disaster of Bosworth.

General Subject/s - Tudors / Biography / Histor
Jan 18, 2015 Donalyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book for info on the Dukes of Norfolk, well written and researched. I finally know which Duke did what and when. The Howards were a very proud family and that's what got them into lots of trouble -- course it wasn't easy to please the Tudors!
Jul 14, 2014 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good to read about the Tudors through a powerful and ultimately treacherous family! Thankfully the book truly was just about the Howards and there wasn't too much scene setting. Too often these books spend too much time on the monarchs when generally those who read these books have already read widely on the subject. I like his writing style.
Apr 29, 2014 Kim rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tudor-nonfiction
This is the second or third attempt I've made to read a book by this author, and yet again, I just couldn't get into it. The subject matter was excellent, and one I was extremely curious about. The Howards were such a vital part of the Tudor era, and I'd been looking forward to seeing something devoted to exclusively to them. The tone of the book was just so dry that it was literally a chore just to open it up, and I couldn't stick with it.
Adrian Loades
Jan 03, 2012 Adrian Loades rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great account of the multiple rises and falls of one of the preeminent families of Tudor England. The book gets beneath the veneer of the aristocracy and exposes the human strengths and failings of a family who consistently seemed to consider aristocracy of greater import than politics.
Good non-fiction that helps explain the House of Norfolk. Just in time for me as I am watching "Wolf Hall". It can be quite difficult keeping all those Thomases and Henrys in their proper places, but an appendix at the end of the book helps with this a great deal.
Jun 27, 2012 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Howard family is one my favorite English families, they were incredibly fascinating and this book does them justice, capturing each generation perfectly. I would urge anyone with an interest in Tudor History to give it a read!!
Apr 07, 2009 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This covers the Dukes of Norfolk from the accession of Henry VII through Elizabeth I's reign. It's a interesting look at a family that constantly found itself in trouble with the crown, yet kept clawing its way back to power.
Jane Walker
Jan 03, 2013 Jane Walker rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Another way of looking at the horrible history of the Tudors, this time through the story of the Howard family. It's confusing at times as to which member of the family we're talking about, but a good read.
Interesting read, but I couldn't help but feel that the most intriguing were the women of the family, who were briefly mentioned but quickly discarded in favour of retelling the stories of the men.
John Carter
Aug 23, 2013 John Carter rated it it was ok
Interesting, but could have been better edited. A minor point but the exact metric conversions of approximate distances (eg "...20 miles (32.2km) away") really got on my wick
Feb 21, 2010 Elysium rated it really liked it
It's about Howard Dukes of Norfolk from Henry VII's reign to Elizabeth I's.
An informative if somewhat dry read!
Jun 19, 2012 Shula rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like a real life Game of Thrones.
Alex marked it as to-read
Oct 21, 2016
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