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Six Wives

The Queens of Henry VIII

David Starkey

Paperback

List Price: 16.99*
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Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (7/8/2003)

Description

“Extraordinary. . . . It is a tribute to Starkey’s narrative drive, his puckish wit, and sharp discrimination that it doesn’t seem a page too long. . . . With each queen, Starkey offers a vivid character study but also has fresh discoveries that subtly alter the picture he started out with.” — Sunday Times (London)

The dramatic, legendary story of Henry VIII, his six wives, and the England they ruled—told by one of the world’s preeminent historians of the Tudor era.

Perhaps no one in history had a more eventful career in matrimony than Henry VIII. His marriages were tumultuous and complicated, and made instant legends of six very different women. Henry took his first bride, Catherine of Aragon, when he was 17. Their 24-year marriage was a relatively stable prelude to what followed. Anne Boleyn, a pretty, French-educated Protestant who was the mother of Elizabeth I, was eventually beheaded. Jane Seymour served as a demure contrast to the vampish Boleyn, and gave birth to Henry’s longed-for son (Edward VI). After a brief marriage to the plain Anne of Cleves, Henry married a flirtatious teenager, Catherine Howard, who would be the second of his brides to lose her head along with the king’s favor. Finally, there was Catherine Parr, a shrewd Protestant bluestocking.

In this brilliant new work, one of the world’s most respected historians weaves startling new facts and fresh interpretations into a spellbinding account of the emotional drama and political intrigue that attended Henry’s six marriages. With a keen eye for both the personal and the global stage, David Starkey masterfully recaptures the Tudor era—and the wives of Henry VIII—as only he can.



Praise For Six Wives: The Queens of Henry VIII

“Relentlessly scholarly, Starkey’s is the best study of Henry’s wives ever published. . . . The particular strength of this mammoth book lies in integrating the petty politics of family and personal advancement with the ‘high politics’ of state. . . . A masterly and persuasive narrative which, despite its prodigious detail, never loses its grip over the story or the reader.” — The Evening Standard

“David Starkey reigns supreme over Tudor history.” — Amanda Foreman, author of Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire

“Exciting. ... Very acute. ... It is so gripping that one finishes it wishing it were even longer.” — Mail on Sunday

“Extraordinary. . . . It is a tribute to Starkey’s narrative drive, his puckish wit, and sharp discrimination that it doesn’t seem a page too long. . . . With each queen, Starkey offers a vivid character study but also has fresh discoveries that subtly alter the picture he started out with.” — Sunday Times (London)

“Acute and imaginative. . . . [Starkey’s] communication of subtle points in simple and vivid language is masterly. . . . In writing a book which scholars will need to read, and which huge numbers of people will want to buy, he has brought off the seemingly impossible.” — Sunday Telegraph

“Brilliant. . . . Starkey keeps the narrative alive with a combination of sound chronology, peppery opinion, and startling detail. . . . Six Wives provides an intriguing new perspective on this key period in English history.” — Daily Telegraph (London)

“Extraordinary. . . . With each queen, Starkey offers a vivid character study.” — Sunday Times (London)

“Acute and imaginative. ... [Starkey’s] communication of subtle points in simple and vivid language is masterly.” — Sunday Telegraph

“Brilliant. ... Six Wives provides an intriguing new perspective on this key period in English history.” — Daily Telegraph (London)

“Eminently interesting. . . . A rich account of the six long-celebrated women who, for better or worse, shared the throne with the ax-happy Tudor king. . . .A boon to fans of English royal history, full of murder and mayhem, but also of solid analysis of a maddeningly complicated era.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Between scholarly work and storytelling, the book gives us high drama. . . . A strong, entertaining, and occasionally audiacious interpretation.” — Publishers Weekly

“Truly, this is history made as fluent and compelling as excellent fiction.” — Booklist (starred review)

“[An] impressive biography. . . . [Starkey’s] language is fresh, alive, current. . . . Possibly the greatest strength of Starkey’s work is that he remains steadfastly focused on these six women . . . revealing much about them that was previously unknown and unfathomed, but also disproving many of the prominent myths.” — Christian Science Monitor

“Solidly researched and delightfully told, this is highly recommended.” — Library Journal

Harper Perennial, 9780060005504, 896pp.

Publication Date: May 4, 2004



About the Author

David Starkey is the Bye Fellow of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, and winner of the W. H. Smith Prize and the Norton Medlicott Medal for Services to History presented by Britain's Historical Association. He is best known for writing and presenting the groundbreaking and hugely popular series Elizabeth and The Six Wives of Henry VIII. He lives in London.