Paula's Reviews > The Divorce of Henry VIII: The Untold Story from Inside the Vatican

The Divorce of Henry VIII by Catherine Fletcher
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's review
Jun 08, 2012

it was amazing

This book is highly recommended for those interested in Henry VIII and the Tudors, the Vatican, and history lovers who enjoy learning behind-the-scenes details. Thoroughly researched and annotated, The Divorce of Henry VIII divulges the machinations his diplomats employed in their ultimately unsuccessful attempts to obtain Papal permission for Henry to divorce Catherine of Aragon. In this high-stakes world, anything was possible, and that includes kidnapping, bribery and theft.

Author Catherine Fletcher first explains the dynamics of this period, in which Spain was a powerful force that overtook Rome. Needless to say, the Vatican did not want additional problems with Spain and had every reason to do whatever possible to delay Henry's petition to divorce the Spanish-bred Catherine of Aragon.

Athough I've read a great deal of nonfiction regarding Henry VIII, his wives, his court, etc. I'd never heard of Gregorio Casali, the man in Rome charged with obtaining Henry's divorce. The book is told from his perspective, and Casali had a challenging task - to put it mildly. The English court hoped his Italian background and connections would further their case. Casali also had various members of his family involved in this years-long quest, doing everything in their power via diplomatic, religious and legal channels to further Henry's case.

Highly entertaining, this detailed breakdown of the campaign to get Henry VIII his divorce is a fascinating read that provides great insight into the difficult, double-dealing and sometimes treacherous world of diplomacy.

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Reading Progress

June 8, 2012 – Started Reading
June 8, 2012 – Shelved
June 10, 2012 –
page 64
June 11, 2012 –
page 114
June 13, 2012 –
page 150
June 16, 2012 –
page 194
June 16, 2012 – Finished Reading

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