What did I think - not much I am sorry to say. Although Weir is not my favourite author, I am prepared to put aside my dislike to read - and objective...moreWhat did I think - not much I am sorry to say. Although Weir is not my favourite author, I am prepared to put aside my dislike to read - and objectively - what she has written - and for the record I have read a number of her books - most I have disliked, one however, I did like. This, I think I can add to the "did not like" pile.
Firstly, Elizabeth's younger years are quite shadowy but Weir manages to flesh these out by giving us a history lesson - really the first seven chapters read like a tome on the Wars of the Roses - and I have books a-plenty on this subject.
Secondly, again with very little information on her married life Weir instead references Elizabeth with the actions and events surrounding Henry Tudor, her husband. And sometimes this is all we ever have.
Thirdly, as with all her other factual accounts, we are bombarded with detail, presumption and very little substance.
I am trying very hard to fathom the amount of actual information there is on Elizabeth that was worthy of 600 odd pages - quite frankly it required barely a quarter in my opinion. The larger the book ... overcompensating for a distinct lack of anything else.
What I would have been more impressed with is a tome of quality rather than quantity.
Anne has had a bit of a rough time at the hands of chroniclers and writers, being described as being most unpleasant in appearance and personal charm,...moreAnne has had a bit of a rough time at the hands of chroniclers and writers, being described as being most unpleasant in appearance and personal charm, folksy and uncultured, the Flanders Mare; and yet she also comes across as smart, personable and even pleasant of appearance, and certainly shrewd enough to make a financially beneficial “divorce” from Henry which set her up for the rest of her life in England. Even today, Anne remains an enigma.
This retelling of Anne’s life is initially told to us in the first person by Anne herself, as she reflects upon her life and the events leading up to her marriage to Henry VIII, King of England. Anne’s recollections are interspersed with a more standard retelling of events as they occurred before, during and after her marriage. We find Anne adjusting to court life around her and to her change of status once the divorce was made formal. We are then taken through the events that took place from the death of Henry VIII to Anne’s own demise.
I loved it. Now I am not a fan of Henry Tudor (being a bit of a Ricardian), however, I was impressed with Leanda's documenting of the origins of the T...moreI loved it. Now I am not a fan of Henry Tudor (being a bit of a Ricardian), however, I was impressed with Leanda's documenting of the origins of the Tudor Monarchs of England (not to be confused by their ancient Welsh counterparts). I was especially impressed with the retelling of Margaret Beaufort's story - she is such a feisty women who was determined to shape her future, and that of her son, as best she could given the mores of the time.
I would recommend this as a welcome and insightful addition to any Tudor library - a great starting place for those wishing to delve deeper into this period of history.(less)
Sorry Nancy - could not get into this one - maybe if I had read the first book - maybe - but the story did not really grab my attention as one I could...moreSorry Nancy - could not get into this one - maybe if I had read the first book - maybe - but the story did not really grab my attention as one I could lose myself in.(less)
Author James Forrester has presented us with an unlikely hero in the guise of the elderly Herald, Sir William Harley, known throughout to all as Clare...moreAuthor James Forrester has presented us with an unlikely hero in the guise of the elderly Herald, Sir William Harley, known throughout to all as Clarenceux. The setting is Tudor England at the height of the "succession" question where Catholics were putting forth one Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, as the successor to both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. The whole country is on tenter-hooks as treason and traitors are discovered and removed from all levels of Tudor society.
In this first instalment, Willam or Clarenceux, finds himself in possession of a "chronicle" written by an old friend, yet delivered in the dead of night. Not only is he now the custodian of this rather unique book, but also of the secret entrusted to him by its author, Henry Machyn. And so we are taken on a quest to discover and decypher the secret before the authorities (in the form of Sir Francis Walsingham, Elizabeth's spymaster) take hold of William and "persuade" him to reveal all to them.
The action is non-stop as William goes in search of those known as the Knights of the Round Table - and hopefully discover the secret that could see his own life hang in the balance.
"Sacred Treason" is but the first instalment - two more adventures follow in "The Roots of Betrayal" and "The Final Sacrament".(less)
I really enjoyed this interpretation of the life of Catherine of Aragon. We get an insight into her childhood and how the influence of her parents was...moreI really enjoyed this interpretation of the life of Catherine of Aragon. We get an insight into her childhood and how the influence of her parents was stamped upon her from an early age - and in the midst of Henry's "Great Matter" we see the re-emergence of this parental influence in her stubborness and her new found political acumen.
I found this to be not overly biased in Catherine's favour - we see her both at her best and her worst. We see how, like her own childhood, Catherine was an important influence on her daughter Mary.
I took my time reading this one - not because of the content but work constraints which made it a joy to return to.
Definitely a keeper in my opinion (though alas my copy must be returned to my local library).(less)
A very fair examination of the life and reign of Mary Tudor. Without laying the blame solely at the feet of Mary, Loades looks into all factors that c...moreA very fair examination of the life and reign of Mary Tudor. Without laying the blame solely at the feet of Mary, Loades looks into all factors that contributed to the "Bloody Mary" myth.
There were many factors and events which contributed to the character of Mary at the time of her accession - we find a woman, confidant in her royal position but uncomfortable in the role of woman. In fact we begin to see how much Elizabeth I owed her sister and predecessor.(less)