Adela's Reviews > The Tudors: The Complete Story of England's Most Notorious Dynasty

The Tudors by G.J. Meyer
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's review
Apr 09, 2011

it was ok
Recommended to Adela by: Adam
Read from March 12 to April 08, 2011

I think a better title for this book would be The Tudors, But Mostly Henry VIII, and Lots of Religion. I feel like in the end, there was more religion than Tudors. Yeah, okay, there was a LOT of religious upheaval during the Tudor era, but there simply had to be some other stuff going on too.

There were a lot of interesting things in this book, and I enjoyed learning that information, but I have two main complaints:

1. There was just waaaay too much discussion of religion. I really don't need to know the difference between Cistercian, Franciscan, and Carthusian monks in a book about the Tudors since none of them were monks of any order.

2. I really didn't like the way this book was organized. Hundreds of pages were devoted to Henry VIII and his "great matter" (ie divorce) and finally, finally he's old and decrepit enough to be dead, we jump into a new reign and get to hear about...Henry VIII (and religion) for pages and pages and pages. And then when Edward is dead, and it's Mary's turn in the book, we read all about Edward (and religion). And eventually Mary dies and we turn to the next chapter to read about...Elizabeth on her death bed--and, you guessed it, Mary. And religion. It was kind of a backward way of doing things that I found rather irritating.

Still, it was interesting to see the effect that chance, tremendous good fortune, and extreme selfishness have on the history of the world. And toward the end, in Elizabeth's reign, what they described for the social and economic climate, and the reasons behind it, pretty much read like an article from today's news on the same topics.

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Reading Progress

03/14/2011 page 80
13.0% "Confusing but interesting."
03/15/2011 page 110
18.0% "And back it goes to the library, with the King's Great Matter yet unresolved." 1 comment
03/18/2011 page 125
20.0% "That Henry sure thinks a lot of himself."
03/21/2011 page 261
43.0% "I'm kind of tired of hearing about the destruction of the church in England. I think this part could have been done more succinctly."
03/26/2011 page 355
58.0% "Why am I reading about Henry and his church in Edward's chapter??"
03/30/2011 page 440
72.0% "Why is it that the first thing after Mary is dead is a chapter that begins with Elizabeth on her deathbed?"

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