This could only have been written by a man and a man of a certain type, one given to war games and trainspotting. Henri IV is one of the most fascinatThis could only have been written by a man and a man of a certain type, one given to war games and trainspotting. Henri IV is one of the most fascinating monarchs in history and yet hardly any of that comes across in this biography. If you are interested in a load of battles, how many troops were on each side, how they were disposed on the battlefield, if you are interested in history which is a catalogue of events or as Alan Bennett had one of his characters define it "Just one fucking thing after another." The History Boys: A Play, then you'll suck this up.
I'm still reading this book so maybe I'm being unfair and it'll improve but the author does, in his introduction, pretty much declare unapologetically that this is what he has written....more
I've marked this as read because there is no option for given up in disgust! This is an appallingly badly written book. It is superficial and its geneI've marked this as read because there is no option for given up in disgust! This is an appallingly badly written book. It is superficial and its generalisations and downright misinterpretations make it unreliable. In addition the style is that of a semi-literate GSCE student. The first sentence of the introduction states: "The sixteenth century in England was an age of change." Which century in the past two thousand years wasn't an "age of change" for heavens' sakes? Such clunking simplifications abound in this work. The intro hasn't progressed far when we find Ms Sim committing the basic howler of confusing the word flout with flaunt and she repeats this a chapter later. What, I ask, was her editor doing allowing such basic errors to pass? It makes me very angry that such stuff gets into print. Those who come to this without any real knowledge of the period are going to be horribly mislead.
I looked to see who the author is and it turns out she's one of those tour guides that wear period costume. Now, I'm no snob and I don't think that good history can only be produced by academics but, if this work, is the general standard of this author, she should stop writing. I was shocked to see that this is far from being her only work and I can only think she has a good trade going to uncritical tourists at Hampton Court.
This was not a pleasure and it is a waste of anyone's time....more