Caidyn (he/him/his)'s Reviews > The Wives of Henry VIII

The Wives of Henry VIII by Antonia Fraser
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really liked it
bookshelves: nonfiction, historical-nonfiction, tudor-times, brit-kerfuffle

Not a bad one, but definitely for beginners. I felt like this covered all the information that I expected it to and I didn't feel like I learned new things about the women. Fraser sets out to disprove the common stereotypes of them. Catherine of Aragon is the loyal wife. Anne Boleyn was a temptress. Jane Seymour didn't have a chance to be anything but the good wife. Anne of Cleves, in Henry's eyes, was the ugly wife. Katherine Howard's choices made her a bad girl. Catherine Parr was Henry's mother figure.

While Fraser does illuminate things that made them unique -- Catherine of Aragon fought to the death and wasn't loyal to maintain her queenship; Anne Boleyn was very, very smart and religious; Catherine Parr was also a scholar -- but it still felt like she followed the stereotypes. Still, I would totally recommend this to people who are starting their Tudor journey and want a book that's easy to understand and covers the information that you want it too in a relatively unbiased way.
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Reading Progress

October 27, 2014 – Shelved
October 27, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
February 27, 2015 – Shelved as: nonfiction
April 16, 2015 – Shelved as: historical-nonfiction
January 11, 2016 – Shelved as: tudor-times
July 17, 2016 – Shelved as: brit-kerfuffle
August 12, 2019 – Started Reading
August 13, 2019 –
page 147
30.5% "This is very well-written and I'd totally recommend it to newbies in the era, but I don't think Fraser is disproving what she said she wanted to. It feels she's just proving it further with the evidence she's giving."
August 15, 2019 –
page 287
59.54% "As I said, this is a good biography, but it's really for beginners. Also, I don't like how she's combined sections on Anne of Cleves and Katherine Howard."
August 16, 2019 – Finished Reading

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