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Reign of Henry VIII: Personalities and Politics
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Reign of Henry VIII: Personalities and Politics

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  252 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Henry VIII was almost never alone. He was surrounded, twenty four hours a day, by the small group of intimates and personal attendants who made up the staff of his Privy Chamber. They organised his daily life, kept him amused and acted as the landline between the king and the formal machinery of government. These men, intermarried, interbred and close knit even in their mu ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published October 3rd 2002 by Vintage (first published January 1st 1985)
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Small Review
meh. Pretty disjointed and without impact. I don't think I'm a fan of David Starkey, if this book is an example.

Originally posted at Small Review

This is another one of my experimental forays into historical non-fiction, and unfortunately this is another book that takes more of the "academic" approach.

Instead of quotes and historian comparisons, David Starkey's narrative does flow nicely and he does offer his own opinion on what is The Truth (more on that soon). So, that's good.

The reason I'd cl
Nov 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
If you know a little something about Henry VIII and want a deeper understanding of the political forces and personalities behind the major events of his reign, this is the book for you. This isn't the book for someone who knows absolutely nothing about the reign of Henry VIII - it assumes that the reader knows the basics - but for anyone who wants well-written, well-researched insights, this is the book for you.
Nov 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Lots more information about King Henry and the Tudor dynasty
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history-books
Good lord I am well, almost shocked at the lack of excitement about this book. For my part it is a work of genius which would be the first I'd recommend to anyone - though probably alongside a basic narrative book or biography.

It has the advantage of combining the erudition and depth of knowledge of the professional, specialist historian, with that most unusual talent, brevity. David Starkey makes the case for a faction ridden court better any anyone else in my view. He has a talent for paintin
Daniel Greenberg
Sep 12, 2017 rated it liked it
A good primer but somewhat outdated (in terms of language and presentation of certain facts and opinions) as the 2002 version did not incorporate any revisions of the 1985 original or an epilogue addressing any changes in Starkey's stances since. Starkey does correctly present the conditions around Henry's actions but arguably doesn't present sufficient analysis of his motivations and, in turn, give him enough credit for the actions taken in his name at times. While Alison Weir's tome on Henry V ...more
Monica Marie
Jan 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Very good short reading for the Tudor history fan.
Helene Harrison
ISBN? - 9780099445104

General Subject/s? - History / Tudors / Henry VIII / Politics

Title? - It doesn't look so much at Henry or his wives, but at the policies of the reign, and the other personalities which shaped it.

General Analysis? - This book is a good introduction to the reign of Henry VIII, particularly the role of faction in major events of Henry's reign, like Wolsey's fall, Anne Boleyn's execution and Cromwell's execution. It doesn't really focus much on Henry, which is a pity as he was s
Stephanie Tracy
Oct 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
I read this book in an afternoon and I really enjoyed it. It's my first Starkey book and I have to say I love his writing style - very clear and simple, and even humorous at times. I loved how this book wasn't bogged down with tedious facts about Henry that we already know. It's a deep look at some of the key political figures during Henry's reign, most notably Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, Anne Boleyn, and Thomas Cromwell. Starkey did a great job with this book and there is so much information packed ...more
Dec 08, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: history
Loved it. I think if you know a fair amount about Henry's court, then this is an excellent overview of the factions involved. Even if you know a lot about the characters and politics, a few more jigsaw pieces are likely to fall into place. This is essentially an extended essay covering the tug of war that was Henry VIII's Council: an effervescent ramble through the major players surrounding Henry through his lifetime. It isn't an introduction to the subject: it's much more 201 than 101. Starkey' ...more
Oct 10, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: people who already know conventional English history fairly well
This book has a misleading title. As I was reading there was looming absence - Henry VIII. You learn very little about him here - clearly his name is in the title only for selling copies. It is the sub title, "Personalities and Politics" that is more clear. You can learn here about Wolsey and Cromwell, Carew and Boleyn, minions and favorites, Dukes and Earls and Duchesses, etc. And, if you want to learn about that, this volume will probably be very interesting. But if you want to learn about Kin ...more
Jan 02, 2012 rated it liked it
i liked this book but there were times when the writing was boring. if you know about Henry then nothing is boring. there were parts that dragged on. this book is written more like a history text not like a story. there are dates, and titles for everything. i love this time in history and all the drama that happened but i admit i like the story and not all the extra details. but if you are into getting into "the weeds" of it all this book is for you
Stefan Zak
Mar 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Foreign policy of HVIII?
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David Robert Starkey, CBE, FSA is a British historian, a television and radio presenter, and a specialist in the Tudor period.