Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Autobiography of Henry VIII: With Notes by His Fool, Will Somers by Margaret George

This is the story of England's most 
famous, and notorious, king.


Henry was a charismatic, ardent - and brash - young lover who married six times; a scholar with a deep love of poetry and music; an energetic hunter who loved the outdoors; a monarch whose lack of a male heir haunted him incessantly; and a ruthless leader who would stop at nothing to achieve his desires. His monumental decision to split from Rome and the Catholic Church was one that would forever shape the religious and political landscape of Britain.
Combining magnificent storytelling with an extraordinary grasp of the pleasures and perils of power, Margaret George delivers a vivid portrait of Henry VIII and Tudor England and the powerhouse of players on its stage: Thomas Cromwell, Cardinal Wolsey, Thomas More and Anne Boleyn. It is also a narrative told from an original perspective: Margaret George writes from the King's point of view, injecting irreverent comments from Will Somers - Henry's jester and confidant.

Paperback, 939 pages
Published September 15th 1998 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published 1986) 

Margaret George is one of my very favorite authors.  I have read 4 of her novels so far
and all have been through Audible, this one coming in at just over 41 hours, I have so much
respect  for the amount of research and time (fifteen years in the making) that went into
this book. I was capitaved the whole way through and those 40 hours went by very fast.

After reading for many years about the nastiness of Henry VIII, the greedy slob, adulterer,
wife be-header and really the list could go on and on. It was a refreshing change to get his
side of the story. After all there are always two sides to every story. But when it came to 
Henry VIII he has never really be given a chance to speak.up. Margaret George changed
that and she has done a wonderful job.  She has shown a side of Henry VIII that is totally
believable.  Written with rich details this book made it possible to see the human side of
the King from being second born (and never really destined for the throne), seeking 
approval from his parents to life at court, his many wives and being King of England along
with being a father, I think this is one of Margaret George's best.

Definitely a must read for those that enjoy Tudor period HF. 

"There is was., that dreaded word - love.  I did not want to be 
loved; that was the burden. 
Unwanted love was the greatest burden of all."

Margaret George is the author of The Autobiography of Henry VIII, Mary Queen of Scotland and the Isles, The Memoirs of Cleopatra, and Elizabeth I:among other novels. Margaret first got the idea to write historical fiction when, after reading numerous books that viewed Henry VIII through the eyes of his enemies and victims, she found herself wondering if there might be another side to the story. She became determined to let Henry speak for himself, and it took fifteen years, about three hundred books of background reading, three visits to England to see every extant building associated with Henry, and five handwritten drafts for her to answer the question: What was Henry really like? 

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