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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.
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.
I love Alison Weir's writing and her history books about The Tudor dinasty are among my favorites.Published 4 months ago by Befly
Though I feel this book was seriously lacking in information regarding Elizabeth's reign, the rest of this book was perfection. Read morePublished on July 4 2010 by Ashley B
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. Read morePublished on March 6 2010 by Donna Diogo
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 readPublished on May 15 2009 by v. rubin
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... Read morePublished on March 24 2002 by Christina
An excellent book. Allison Weir includes historical facts mixed with the perfect amount of personal history. I couldn't put this book down! Read morePublished on Feb. 14 2002 by Kelly C. Connell
Fans of Alison Weir are familiar with her "style" of historical biography, and Ms. Weir uses the same style in this book. Read morePublished on Jan. 21 2002 by D. Todd Miller
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 morePublished on Dec 9 2001
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 morePublished on Sept. 21 2001