Journey into 16th Century England

“When you sell a man a book, you don’t sell him 12 ounces of paper and ink and glue – you sell him a whole new life.” – Christopher Morley

Being a bookworm…let me be more honest, nearly obsessed with reading and books, I haven’t decided how I want to blend that passion into my blog. I don’t want to simply post a redundant book review here for every book I read since I do that on Goodreads.com.  **Side note – this is the best site ever if you are a book reader by the way.** However, for the books worth mentioning, there is more to share, so I will.

I just finished “The Autobiography of King Henry VIII: With Notes by His Fool, Will Somers” by Margaret George. It is an outstanding book about the life and times of King Henry VIII ranging from his childhood to his death in 1547.

I can attribute my interest in the Tudor reign to The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory. Hold on for a moment, as I can hear the scoffing of all you Tudor experts. While I know, that Gregory took a lot of liberties with her ‘historical’ fiction book, I still enjoyed it as it provoked an interest into European royalty and life at court. After reading The Other Boleyn Girl, I explored for more fact and have since read many other Tudor books. Margaret George’s “autobiography” of Henry VIII provided the rare perspective of Henry himself. Many of the other books were written from the viewpoint of servants, courtiers or one of the six Queens; more than any, Anne Boleyn. This 950 page book reads well and I could easily transport myself into Henry’s court in the 1500’s. Not a detail was missed, as George read over 300 books and took many travels and consulted many scholars to appropriately capture King Henry’s thoughts and words. I was able to see another side and capture the ‘reasoning’ of this dynamic European figure that is Henry; the King that changed the religious face of Europe, the King that married on a whim in a time when marriage was truly for life, the King that executed Queens! It is no wonder this book is on the “1001 Books to Read Before You Die” list.

I plan now, to see the castles as they exist today in England, from Hampton, to Windsor, to the Tower. It is amazing how huge they were, but no surprise when considering how large the court was. What an interesting time in history. When Kings reigned, when all marriages were political, when messages were carried by pages & horses, when everything required pomp and ceremony. Wow.

This book is a must read for anyone interested in the Tudor reign or European History. You will truly capture what life was at court more than with any other Tudor book.

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One response to “Journey into 16th Century England

  1. You might be interested in heading over to Arukiyomi’s blog and picking up a copy of the new version of Arukiyomi’s 1001 books spreadsheet.

    Along with some cool new features, there are lists of both the revised 1001 books and those that were removed from the new 2008 list.

    Happy reading!

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