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Bastard Prince: Henry VIII's Lost Son

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  76 ratings  ·  10 reviews

It took Henry VIII 28 years, three wives, and a break with Rome before he secured a legitimate male heir. Yet he already had the illegitimate Henry Fitzroy. Fitzroy was born in 1519 after the king's affair with a gentlewoman named  Elizabeth Blount. He was the only illegitimate offspring ever acknowledged by Henry VIII, and Cardinal Wolsey was even one of his godparents. T

Paperback, 312 pages
Published January 1st 2004 by The History Press (first published October 25th 2001)
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Caidyn (NO LONGER ACTIVE; he/him/his)
This review can also be found on my blog!

I wanted to like this book more than I did. Henry Fitzroy, while not really lost, has been glossed over in history. I mean, The Tudors killed him off in the space of an episode while he really outlived Anne Boleyn by a few months. (And, wouldn’t that have been interesting drama to add in!) He’s just not one to talk about since he died relatively young and was a bastard.

The thing I wanted more from this book was a clear thesis throughout Murphy’s biography
Jan 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Tudor history fans but not too academic. A producer looking for a historical drama.
Really enjoyed it. Like most people I've mentioned it to, I had no idea Henry VIII had illegitimate kids, let alone a son who came so close to being Henry IX. I thought the book was well written and well paced, although occassionally it seemed to move a little too quick for me. The names and familial relationships were difficult to follow sometimes, though that's no fault of the author's (almost everyone seems to have been called Henry and Mary in those days). It was interesting to read about He ...more
Jul 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book, it gave me an entirely new perspective on Henry Fitzroy. I had always thought that the King heaped such honors & titles on his bastard son due to the great love he had for him. While I still believe this is true, it also had the effect of taking control of northern England away from some of the great old noble families that had ruled there for generations and setting advisors in power that owed their loyalty the King alone! ...more
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Daniel Kukwa
It's a perfectly well researched and straightforward piece of work. However, the lack of detail available about the life of Henry's illegitimate son makes much of the information used to bulk out the text feel very same-old/same-old to someone like myself who teaches Tudor history, and has encountered much of the surrounding information elsewhere. The best bits of the book occur when it has meaty details to work with about the Duke of Richmond and his mother, and that's when the book does shine. ...more
Randy Ladenheim-Gil
Nov 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
It's rather difficult to find anything much on the Duke of Richmond, so for that reason alone, this book deserves praise. There were parts of it I didn't find all that interesting, but they did need to be there to tell the full story. I suspect there is lots more we'll never know regarding Richmond's relationships with his mother, his father, Anne Boleyn, and poor Mary Howard, who married Richmond when they were both children. I found myself agreeing with Murphy that Henry VIII never spoke of Ri ...more
Sarah Wagner
I appreciate biographies focusing on the lesser-known figures of a well-known era. In this case, the author details the life of Henry VIII's illegitimate son - Henry Fitzroy, the Duke of Richmond. Since the documentation of Fitzroy's life is sparse and Fitzroy himself died young, this book digs into what is known, and engages in a little bit of speculation that anyone who knows the Tudor story would enjoy. Overall, I felt this book did a good job of being both accessible and well-researched whil ...more
Rick Perry
Jul 12, 2018 rated it did not like it
Interesting story, boring book! It reads like a very long, dull, and dry encyclopedia entry. Loaded down with facts, figures, names, and dates, the book is scholarly and well researched, but poorly presented. I wouldn't recommend this one.
Aug 06, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting information and a very interesting understanding of the relationship between the Henry, his illegitimate son and the realm. I wish he hadn't died three chapters before the book ended, I understand the need to explain consequences but my interest began to flag.
Susan Abernethy
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Link to my review of this book:
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