Jennifer's Reviews > Henry VIII: The King and His Court

Henry VIII by Alison Weir
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's review
Feb 05, 11

bookshelves: first-read-in-adulthood, non-fiction-ish, on-loan
Read from January 17 to 27, 2011

This book actually rates 3.5 stars, but as before, I tend to round up. The main issue I had with this book is that it wasn't one where I could just sit down and start reading. The first several chapters dealt with the court and fashion and everything else, and so it seemed to me that the author expected her readers to have a more-than-passing acquaintance with things like architectural terms. She talks about donjons, Perpendicular architecture and so many other things that there were sections that I just skimmed until it finally dawned on me to look up images on the internet.

This does present a good portrait of Henry VIII, his court and the times in which he lived. I learned quit a bit about him, but I find the more I learn about him, the less I like him. I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt, but it was difficult in his case. The author doesn't focus much on his wives (she has another whole book devoted to them), but what she does tell of them is, well, telling. I found myself sympathizing with Katherine of Aragon, and to a certain extent, Katherine Parr, but the others really didn't earn my sympathy at all. I mean, there's something to be said for mercy and all, but most of his wives had lived for quite some time at court, and basically they should have been smarter about things. But that's just me.

A good read, with a lot of new insights.
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01/18/2011 page 104
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