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Henry VIII's Last Victim: The Life and Times of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey Hardcover – Dec 10 2007

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; First Edition edition (Dec 10 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312372817
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312372811
  • Product Dimensions: 17.1 x 3.6 x 23.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 590 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,793,425 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


Praise for  Henry VIII’s Last Victim: The Life and Times of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey

“Rarely have I felt so utterly captivated by a history book. It is stunning. Jessie Childs is a major new talent.” ---Alison Weir, author of The Six Wives of Henry VIII

“A truly superb biography.”---A. N. Wilson, The Daily Telegraph (UK)


“Judging from her debut with this riveting life of the brilliant, doomed Earl of Surrey, Jessie Childs is a rising star among historians. Just when we thought everything had been said about Henry VIII she makes us see him from a completely new angle. Her scholarship is inspired and her prose sparkles.” ---Desmond Seward, author of The Hundred Years War


“Childs’s book, beautifully written and researched, explores with subtlety the forces that made and destroyed Surrey.”---The Mail on Sunday (UK)


“Childs’ description of [the] complex maneuverings [at Henry VIII’s court] is excellent . . . this book opens a fascinating window to the mid-Tudor world . . .”---The Guardian (UK)


“This is a rumbustious tale and well worth the retelling but what makes this biography special is the quality of the writing. It is as fluid and engaging as the research is careful and penetrating.”---History Today (UK)


“A fascinating story . . . a very readable and diligently researched book.”---The Literary Review (UK)



About the Author

Jessie Childs, born in England in 1976, was educated at Oxford and has worked in television as a researcher for historical documentaries. Henry VIII’s Last Victim is her first book. It won the Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography 2007. She lives in London, England.

Visit her online at

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
So you are looking for a reliable historical study that confirms and puts in proper context a lot of the great historical fiction that is coming out on the Tudor Era: well, why not try the English historian Jessie Childs's recent work, "Henry VIII's Last Victim" for starters. This writer recounts the story of the Henrician Revolution - the period in the early 16th century when England was transformed politically - through the often misplaced efforts of one the kingdom's leading aristocratic families, the Norfolks. In the space of several decades, this baronial family strived to dominate the royal court by currying favour with a capricious and jealous monarchs. The book takes stock of who the Duke and his family represented as power brokers in the realm, and how Henry and his other advisors used them to pursue an aggressive war policy against Scotland and at times France and Austria. Thomas, Third Duke of Norfolk, the uncle of Anne Boleyn, is portrayed as a wool-and-dye Catholic who eagerly sought to head up the King's council and defend the papal interests against the onslaughts of the reform party. As history shows, his ride to the top, while eventful, was bumpy and ultimately disappointing. His son, the Earl of Surrey and the darling of traditional circles, was seen as the person who would finish the ride and claim the prominence that so eluded him because of the failings of his family, including his wife and nieces. It is here that the book really takes off. The reader gets an insider's view of how a young lord was trained back then to assume the responsibilities of a magnate at the highest level of power.Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa6401e4c) out of 5 stars 3 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa6c0e534) out of 5 stars A Fascinating Study May 29 2011
By John Spiers - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Your interest in Renaissance and Elizabethan times will be well served by this book, for you will understand the daughter much better when you come to know her father. The title of the book refers to Surrey, who I'd never really encountered before. The combination of talent in literature (he invented the English sonnet), sense of entitlement, daring with the backdrop of those uncertain times make a fascinating subject.

The author Jessie Childs is up there with Spence, Kurlansky and Schama for turning history into a rollicking good read. She, like the others, gives the history by telling the experience of a given player. Childs shows her subject, Surrey, from youth to a premature death, from despair to glory, over time and place. Surreys are central figures of their times, so the cast of characters is wide. Her scholarship is first rate, and I await more from her.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa641b1a4) out of 5 stars Fills in some gaps Nov. 26 2008
By Mercedes - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Although this book was very helpful in filling the gaps usually left by general histories, I found the depiction of Earl of Surrey to be flat and two-dimensional. After finishing the book, I didn't really feel that I knew him much better than before I started. However, I did have a much clearer understanding of the difficult tightrope walked by every person who came into contact with the court during this stressful era.
HASH(0xa66085a0) out of 5 stars Wonderful writer, fascinating subject June 3 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a real treat. Surrey is so important in the history of English poetry and his life was too short. Jessie Childs is a careful researcher and writer and this book is well worth reading.