Caidyn (SEMI-HIATUS; BW Reviews; he/him/his)'s Reviews > 1536

1536 by Suzannah Lipscomb
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While I'm not sure if this book completely deserves the five stars I've given it, it really made me think and I highlighted things almost constantly throughout reading it. This is definitely a book I'd love to do further analysis on and own a hardcopy so I could actually annotate and mark things that I want to pay closer attention to.

In the first place, this book provides a very close analysis of the year that Lipscomb believes to be the key turning point for Henry's life and reign. This is something that I completely agree with, although he was showing signs of cruelty earlier -- i.e. leaving Katherine of Aragon, his wife of twenty years, behind and ordering her to leave, his treatment of Wolsey, etc -- but this was the year when literally everything changed for him. Lipscomb goes through very important areas that mattered to him. His health (which began declining in January 1536), his masculinity (challenged by Anne Boleyn and the loss of his son, the former from January to May 1536 and the latter July 1536), and his religion (which went through drastic changes from 1536 on).

The biggest part she had to sell me on -- because I agree with his health, masculinity crisis, and religious reforms -- was about Anne. My dear Anne. Lipscomb hypothesized that, unlike most people think, Henry didn't order her death and he wasn't manipulated by a faction led by a fearful Cromwell or a conniving Seymour family, but that Henry and Cromwell were deceived because Anne, although innocent, seemed guilty. And, well, she convinced me. Somewhat. I still think that Henry was growing tired of Anne (her promises, her lies, the miscarriages, her personality), the Seymours played a role in her downfall, and Cromwell was fearful of his own downfall so he jumped on board to make sure things happened. I do think that Henry absolutely believed Anne's guilt was true and lawful, despite evidence contrary to that. And I do believe that Jane Seymour helped with this and plant seeds of doubt by playing the game Anne did but fashioning herself as meek and obedient. The exact opposite of Anne. There are too many odd coincidences to make me completely believe Lipscomb's theory, although I will agree with a few points.

I thought this book was well written, thought provoking, and offered a great analysis of a very important year in Tudor history. I definitely want to read this book again and I would recommend to people who have an interest in this area.
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Reading Progress

February 7, 2016 – Shelved
February 7, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
February 7, 2016 – Shelved as: historical-nonfiction
February 7, 2016 – Shelved as: nonfiction
February 7, 2016 – Shelved as: tudor-times
July 17, 2016 – Shelved as: brit-kerfuffle
January 3, 2017 – Started Reading
January 3, 2017 –
5.0% "I'm definitely going to enjoy this book. (Although I forgot I checked it out.)"
January 5, 2017 –
15.0% "I'm interested to see if I end up agreeing with Lipscomb about Henry absolutely believing in Anne's adultery since I don't quite agree with that view."
January 6, 2017 –
21.0% "Lipscomb is talking about the possible causes of Anne's fall and all I can think is that it's all of them."
January 6, 2017 –
23.0% "At last someone takes my view that Jane Seymour was just as conniving as Anne!"
January 6, 2017 –
32.0% "First, I agree with Lipscomb's view of Anne's downfall. Second, I believe that Henry was growing tired of her (perhaps due to Jane) and that Cromwell was nervous, so when this camae about, the investigation was perfect. Third, I think Henry honestly believed her sentence just. (My thoughts in a nutshell.)"
January 6, 2017 –
38.0% "I'm such a nerd that I was absolutely entranced by the close analysis of imagery in the 1536 paintings."
January 7, 2017 –
45.0% "I just finished rewatching The Tudors tonight with a friend -- her first time and don't ask me how many times I've watched it -- so I'm really motivated to finish this once I stop crying."
January 8, 2017 – Finished Reading

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message 1: by Charlie (new)

Charlie Fenton I do love her work, both documentaries and books, and have this waiting to read sometime when I get time :) she is one of my favourite historians and the one that inspired me the most to study history, can't wait to see her later this month talking about Isabella of Spain, Catherine of Aragon and Mary I and how their shared faith and sense of family made them the strong women they were. She's doing this as part of the Catherine of Aragon festival at Peterborough


Caidyn (SEMI-HIATUS; BW Reviews; he/him/his) Oh, that's awesome! That would be so cool to attend, honestly. You'll have to tell me about it if you remember! This was my first book by her and I'm definitely going to read others.


Caidyn (SEMI-HIATUS; BW Reviews; he/him/his) Oh, that's awesome! That would be so cool to attend, honestly. You'll have to tell me about it if you remember! This was my first book by her and I'm definitely going to read others.


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