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Children of England [Paperback]

Alison Weir
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)

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Hardcover CDN $47.50  
Paperback CDN $17.48  
Paperback, April 7 1997 --  

Book Description

April 7 1997
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 descendents of his sister, Mary Tudor. In Children of England, Alison Weir’s interest is not in constitutional history but in the characters and relationships of 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.

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From Amazon

The royal family may have its problems these days, but as Alison Weir reminds us in this cohesive and impeccably researched book, the nobility of old England could be both loveless and ruthless. Weir, an expert in the period and author of a book on Henry's VIII wives, focuses on the children of Henry VIII who reigned successively after his death in 1547: Edward VI, Mary I ("Bloody Mary") and Elizabeth I. The three shared little--living in separate homes--except for a familial legacy of blood and terror. This is exciting history and fascinating reading about a family of mythic proportions. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

The tragedy of four accidental rivals to a throne, three of them children?by different mothers?of a much-married despot, seems to lose none of its drama by frequent retelling. Along with the royal siblings, Weir (The Six Wives of Henry VIII) includes their cousin, the doomed Lady Jane Grey. Guiltless of the intrigues committed in the name of religion, power and property, Queen Jane was forced at 15 to reign for nine days in a futile attempt to block the accession of the fanatically Catholic Princess Mary. The 300 burnings for heresy during the five years Mary ruled were eclipsed statistically by the hangings and beheadings for conspiracy and treachery. In the 11 years between the death of Henry VIII and the survival of his adroit daughter Elizabeth into the succession in 1558, rapacity had at least as much to do with the turbulence and the terror as religion. So many ennobled miscreants grasped for land, loot and legitimacy that readers will need a scorecard to match their names with their new titles. Weir adds nothing fresh to the story, but her sweeping narrative, based on contemporary chronicles, plays out vividly against the colorful backdrop of Tudor England. Illustrations not seen by PW.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lady Jane Grey was a child of Henry VIII? May 20 2001
By A Customer
Including Lady Jane, also known as the "Nine Days Queen", as a child of Henry VIII is a bit of a stretch but seeing that she did 'wear his crown' for a short time, I guess she should be included in the scheme of things. This book was OK, a bit of a disappointment considering all the excellent biographies that are available for each of his children on an individual basis. But, if a person needs to read about Edward, Mary, and Elizabeth all at one sitting, this book is a nice source of information and it is easy to understand.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a good book March 6 2010
I found this book very interesting and informative. It would have been nice if the book gave a little history about Henry's other children as well. Henry Fitroy was on his way to becoming Henry's heir when he suddenly died. Also, what about Katherine and Henry Carey. If Mary and Elizabeth, who are both illegitimate, won the right to rule England why not Mary Boleyn's children?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This book was a dissapointment after reading Weir's excellent Eleanor of Aquitaine. This book is a fairly straighfoward accounting of the lives of Henry 8th's children (plus Lady Jane Grey) from his death to the accension of Elizabeth to the throne.
There's not much particulary new in this book, and you would probably be better served by individual biographies if you want their lives in depth. In particular I found the lives of Edward VI and Lady Jane quite sketchy, with Elizabeth and Mary being better delt with.
However, if you don't know much about this period of England's history this book would be an excellent introduction and overview as the author's writing style is very clear and staight forward.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Children of England, some more than others July 4 2010
Though I feel this book was seriously lacking in information regarding Elizabeth's reign, the rest of this book was perfection. I realize, though, that Elizabeth has her own book by Weir. I love how Weir supports her ideas with interesting information about surviving documents. This book is so interesting and flows so well.
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4.0 out of 5 stars bit of along read May 15 2009
This book is a bit of a long read and at some points not very interesting ,but if you want to find out about Henry' children this is a must read
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5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the money March 24 2002
This biography of four young English aristocratic children--Edward VI, Elizabeth I, Mary I, and Lady Jane Grey--tells their life stories and shows the backstabbing nature of the Tudor court. Alliances were changed often for political and social gain, with these children often being used as pawns. Weir's book shows this and more, and is well worth your money.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Feb. 14 2002
An excellent book. Allison Weir includes historical facts mixed with the perfect amount of personal history. I couldn't put this book down! I really recommend this book, I've just ordered several other books that she has written. The way she has presented the various subjects in this book is really very creative. This is not one of those 1,000 page text books that are filled with footnotes every other word. Very easy to read. Again, just the perfect mix! I'm just sorry it was not longer.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Ignore the "creative" title and jump in... Jan. 21 2002
Fans of Alison Weir are familiar with her "style" of historical biography, and Ms. Weir uses the same style in this book. I rather enjoyed this work, finding many new details I'd never read before. However, besides the dull title, the work incorporates Lady Jane Grey as a sort-of "child" of Henry VIII, and the incorporation doesn't work. Firstly, the information provided about Grey is scant. Secondly, Weir (with her ever-present bias) turns toward the grandiose with Mary's "glorious" re-claiming of the throne...I really heard the blowing of trumpets and a burst of "ah-ha" strings at the court intrigue (fine in a novel, but a bit silly in historical biography). Lastly, Lady Jane isn't Henry's kid (!)...she stole the throne, albeit by her father's cunning and overbearingness. Flaws aside, I think you'll gain much by reading this one!
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars The Children of Henry VIII
Set during the end of the second phase of the Renaissance period, Alison Weir's biography of the four charismatic sovereigns is an enthalling tale of power, religious fantasism,... Read more
Published on Dec 10 2001
4.0 out of 5 stars Alison Weir writes history like a suspenseful novel
It's hard to believe that a history book can keep you at the edge of your seat, but Alison Weir has managed to hook me on this period in English history. Read more
Published on Sept. 21 2001 by "lcgplus"
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book! Wonderful author!
Alison Weir knows her British history and this book is another winner. Although not as perfect as THE SIX WIVES OF HENRY VIII, this is an interesting follow up and enlightens us to... Read more
Published on Aug. 24 2001 by Nelson Aspen
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly accurate, but rather dull in places.
I found this to be a very accurate book -- good, solid history -- but occasionally boring. I would have liked to know more about Mary and Edward themselves, not just the way they... Read more
Published on Aug. 9 2001 by Meaghan Good
5.0 out of 5 stars Readable history....
I like Alison Weir's books because she is able to extract the pertinent facts from the most complex of sources and present a great deal of information in an immensely readable... Read more
Published on Aug. 4 2001 by Dianne Foster
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating
I truly enjoy history and with a writer like Alison Weir it's a captivating learning experience. I've also read her PRINCES IN THE TOWER and have purchased SIX WIVES of HENRY VIII... Read more
Published on Aug. 2 2001
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