At his death in 1547, King Henry VIII left four heirs to the English throne: his only son, the nine-year-old Prince Edward; the Lady Mary, the adult daughter of his first wife Katherine of Aragon; the Lady Elizabeth, the teenage daughter of his second wife Anne Boleyn; and his young great-niece, the Lady Jane Grey. In this riveting account Alison Weir paints a unique portrait of these extraordinary rulers, examining their intricate relationships to each other and to history. She traces the tumult that followed Henry's death, from the brief intrigue-filled reigns of the boy king Edward VI and the fragile Lady Jane Grey, to the savagery of "Bloody Mary," and finally the accession of the politically adroit Elizabeth I. As always, Weir offers a fresh perspective on a period that has spawned many of the most enduring myths in English history, combining the best of the historian's and the biographer's art.
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by Alison Weir
"A thoroughly satisfying glimpse into the history of sixteenth-century England, this story brings to us the glamour and pageantry, as well as the brutality and egomaniacal scheming, we've come to associate with all things concerning Henry VIII. It is also a timely look at how religious fanaticism can undo lives, governments, and dynasties. With its subtle emphasis on the speedy overthrow shown to those with any hint of deviation from the political norm (from either side), it's easy to see parallels with our own time. And what is there left to say about Simon Prebble? One of the true superstars of audio narration, he is a jewel. His resonant, plumy voice is perfectly suited to this material. One can only be grateful, yet again, that he decided to make his way in life with his splendid voice. D.G. (c) AudioFile 2003, Portland, Maine"
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