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Recounts the lives of Henry VIII's heirs and the intrigues that arose from their struggle to ascend their father's throne
When Henry VIII died in 1547, he left three highly intelligent children to succeed him in turn, to be followed, if their lines failed, by the descendants of his sister, Mary Tudor. Children of England begins at the point where Alison Wier's bestseller, The Six Wives of Henry VIII came to an end, and covers the period until Elizabeth succeeded to the throne in 1558. Her interest is in the characters and relationships with Henry's four heirs. Making use of a huge variety of contemporary sources, she brings to life one of the most extraordinary periods of English history, when each of Henry's heirs was potentially the tool of powerful political or religious figures, and when the realm was seething with intrigue and turbulent change.
A history-colouring book for children aged 5-10
"Nothing consumed Henry VIII, England's wealthiest and most powerful king, more than his desire to produce a legitimate male heir and perpetuate the Tudor dynasty. To that end he married six wives, became the subject of the most notorious divorce case of the sixteenth century, and broke with the pope, all in an age of international competition and warfare, social unrest, and growing religious intolerance and discord. Henry fathered four children who survived childhood, each by a different mother. In The Children of Henry VIII, renowned Tudor historian John Guy tells their stories, returning to the archives and drawing on a vast array of contemporary records, personal letters, ambassadors' reports, and other eyewitness accounts, including the four children's own handwritten letters. Guy's compelling narrative illuminates their personalities, depicting siblings often scarred by jealously, mutual distrust, bitter rivalry, even hatred. Possessed of quick wits and strong wills, their characters were defined partly by the educations they received, and partly by events over which they had no control. Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond, although recognized as the king's son, could never forget his illegitimacy. Edward would succeed his father, but died while still in his teens, desperately plotting to exclude his half-sisters from the throne, and utterly failing to do so. Mary's world was shattered by her mother Catherine of Aragon's divorce and her own unhappy marriage. Elizabeth was the most successful, but also the luckiest. Even so, she lived with the knowledge that her father had ordered her mother Anne Boleyn's execution, was often in fear of her own life, and could never marry the one man she truly loved. John Guy takes us behind the façade of politics and pageantry at the Tudor court, vividly capturing the greatest and most momentous family drama in all of English history."--Publisher's website.
Examines the king's remarkable influence on the laws, customs, culture, and politics of his kingdom and profiles the diverse courtiers, artists, and scholars who surrounded Henry VIII.
A “brilliantly written and meticulously researched” biography of royal family life during England’s second Tudor monarch (San Francisco Chronicle). Either annulled, executed, died in childbirth, or widowed, these were the well-known fates of the six queens during the tempestuous, bloody, and splendid reign of Henry VIII of England from 1509 to 1547. But in this “exquisite treatment, sure to become a classic” (Booklist), they take on more fully realized flesh and blood than ever before. Katherine of Aragon emerges as a staunch though misguided woman of principle; Anne Boleyn, an ambitious adventuress with a penchant for vengeance; Jane Seymour, a strong-minded matriarch in the making; Anne of Cleves, a good-natured woman who jumped at the chance of independence; Katherine Howard, an empty-headed wanton; and Katherine Parr, a warm-blooded bluestocking who survived King Henry to marry a fourth time. “Combin[ing] the accessibility of a popular history with the highest standards of a scholarly thesis”, Alison Weir draws on the entire labyrinth of Tudor history, employing every known archive—early biographies, letters, memoirs, account books, and diplomatic reports—to bring vividly to life the fates of the six queens, the machinations of the monarch they married and the myriad and ceaselessly plotting courtiers in their intimate circle (The Detroit News). In this extraordinary work of sound and brilliant scholarship, “at last we have the truth about Henry VIII’s wives” (Evening Standard).
Charismatic, insatiable and cruel, Henry VIII was, as John Guy shows, a king who became mesmerized by his own legend - and in the process destroyed and remade England. Said to be a 'pillager of the commonwealth', this most instantly recognizable of kings remains a figure of extreme contradictions: magnificent and vengeful; a devout traditionalist who oversaw a cataclysmic rupture with the church in Rome; a talented, towering figure who nevertheless could not bear to meet people's eyes when he talked to them. In this revealing new account, John Guy looks behind the mask into Henry's mind to explore how he understood the world and his place in it - from his isolated upbringing and the blazing glory of his accession, to his desperate quest for fame and an heir and the terrifying paranoia of his last, agonising, 54-inch-waisted years.

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