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[E–pub READ] The Tudors: The Complete Story of England's Most Notorious Dynasty Author G.J. Meyer

The Tudors: The Complete Story of England's Most Notorious DynastyHistorically accurate perhaps though incredibly slantedHenry VIII was a bullymonstertyrant Period End of Story Most of the coverage of his reign focused on the men around him and their roles in enforcing the break with Rome as well as persecution of monks during the dissolution of the monasteriesEdward VI was a fervent Protestant but that was okay as he truly respected his sister Mary in spite of their religious differences not a syllable to acknowledge the fact that according to other books he genuinely liked ElizabethMary was a well meaning tragic figure in spite of all those unfortunate burnings which es were ultimately her responsibility but weren t really so bad especially compared to the brutality of her father and sister Elizabeth was Bad News no two ways about it So bad that it might ve been better for Jane Grey to have remained and her heirs to follow even if that meant sacrificing Mary in the process Seriously Meyer does his best to portray Mary ueen of Scots as a sensible trustworthy counter figure the wrong chick got the chop conveniently omitting that although Walsingham gave her the bait she fell for it We hear how the Jesuits sneaking into England were there only to minister to the oppressed minority no threat at all The author conveniently neglects to mention that by the 1580 s the Pope was crying for Elizabeth s head strongly encouraging her assassination There was indeed anti Catholic sentiment among at least some of Elizabeth s advisers but Meyer would have the reader believe that was entirely the result of xenophobia and bigotry Regarding the St Bartholomew s Day slaughter of French Huguenots which influenced Elizabeth in favor of those advisers Meyer maintains they asked for it in displaying their wealth paraphrased As a rough parallel Henry VIII Reagan bad Edward VI Bush daddy bad but Smoking Lovely you can t help feeling a little sorry for him Mary Clinton good intentions but things didn t work out as well as they should ve and Elizabeth as Bush Jr just plain awful including a sly comparison of her speech at Tilbury to the Armada troops play acting and her refusal to care for the returning diseased veteransNowou know what to expect The Tudors is not exactly a complete story as the title promises but it is a very entertaining and illuminating look at the socio political life and times of the Tudor dynasty if a family that dies out after three generations can be called a dynastyI m a huge fan of putting history into context rather than the usual dull recitation of chronological events and on that account The Tudors excels While Meyer or less does stick to a chronological approach in his main chapte I ve always been interested in the history of the Tudor dynasty in particular its most notable monarchs Henry VIII and Elizabeth I and started reading the book thinking that I was very well informed on the subject Then I uickly realized that I was wrongThe book demystifies the image that is conveyed in the movies and series and presents a much harder and less glamorous vision of the two monarchs I saw the Showtime series a few ears ago and loved it only to discover now that it manipulates reality very freely The reality is in fact very different from fiction However it isn t less interesting In spite of the flaws of character the selfishness the pride and the total disregard for the fate of their subjects Henry VIII and Elizabeth I are nonetheless fascinating characters that continue to entice the modern worldThe author advances an explanation to justify the interest in these two figures especially in Henry VIIIHe has held the world s interest in part because of the uestion of how such a gifted and fortunate man could have committed such crimes And because of the related troubling uestion of how it is possible is such a thoroughly vicious character to be so attractive As its title the book Is Not Only About The Aforementioned Monarchs But The Whole not only about aforementioned monarchs but the whole dynasty It also provides fascinating information about the habits customs education and life of the sixteenth century EnglandVery complete and enriching I strongly recommend it to all who have an interest in the subjectFrom my blog While author GJ Meyer would be the first to admit that there is no way to cram the minutiae of than a century of history into a single volume However he s captured a whole heck of a lot in this book Further as promised The Tudors The Complete Story of England s Most Notorious Dynasty is not just the Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn show Frankly The King s Great Matter the euphemism employed by those in the know to refer to the whole CatherineAnne annulment debacle doesn t even begin to capture the full gamut of skullduggery of Tudor times It s hard to know where to begin with this debauched dynasty Henry Tudor s ascent to the throne was rife with baggage and bloodshed One might think that five hundred ears after the Battle of Bosworth interest might have waned but we re still running baby daddy tests and bickering about that debacle But Henry VII took the throne by combat so let s skip the genealogy bits Henry VII actually did a pretty good job setting up shop Love and romance aside getting married was something akin to signing a treaty andor taking a hostage so Elizabeth of York was the perfect bride for an upstart king looking to shore up his royal status Meanwhile Henry had to figure out how to keep the royal coffers full The classic serfdom pyramid scheme took a hit when the black death swept through dead serfs can t exactly work the land With help from the Council Learned in the Law Henry cooked up some new ways to put the kingdom in the monetary black Neonatal care being what it was and with that dastardly X chromosome popping up all over the place producing an heir was no easy feat H7 and EoY did pretty well for themselves in whelping four royal offspring beyond infancy below was no easy feat H7 and EoY did pretty well for themselves in whelping four royal offspring beyond infancy below L to R Arthur Margaret Henry and Mary Tudor Primogeniture put the smart money on Prince Arthur below L to be the next in line for the throne and he was groomed for the role from the start Duke of Cornwall at birth and toddling into his role as Prince of Wales the plans for Arthur s marriage to Catherine of Aragon below C which would seal the deal for an Anglo Spanish alliance were set in motion faster than ou can say child bride though they waited until the betrothed were of a respectable tween age to exchange vows Alas Arthur died before the couple could make it to their first anniversary Courtesy of protracted negotiations with the Spanish court and a papal dispensation Catherine s family being super Catholic and such Arthur s widow and Henry VIII above R were wed in 1509 just months after the death of Henry VII Though the common folk weren t exactly sad to see Henry VII go Henry VIII could have benefitted from a few of his father s faults The story of Henry the Eighth great matter and all is far complex than I ever would have imagined Meyer does an excellent job of putting the case of Henry v the Church in the broader context from whence it came While the religious upheaval in England and central Europe were separate it wasn t a coincidence that these schisms happened around the same time Let s just say it. NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERBONUS This edition contains a The Tudors discussion guideAcclaimed historian G J Meyer provides a fresh look at the fabled Tudor dynasty and some of the most enigmatic figures ever to rule a country In 1485 Henry Tudor whose claim to the English throne was so weak as to be almost laughable nevertheless sailed from France with


Went beyond the issues of trophy wives and whether or not Jesus Christ could actually turn into a wafer cracker transubstantiation if ou want to be fancy about it The six wives are but drops in the sea of people who were totally screwed over by King Henry VIII There s really no one who wins when a king introduces treason by thought From scapegoating Cardinal Wolsey to leaving his son with a government that was essentially bankrupt the impact of Henry VIII knew few bounds Standouts from the hit parade of the damned Well let s start with people named Thomas As it turns out this list includes the Thomas responsible for the name s popularity Thomas Becket above L Perhaps Often Go Awry you think that on account of being both a saint and dead Becket would evade Henry s grasp Wrong If Henry callsou to court Under Grand Hotel, Volume 02 you best come correct otherwise he ll takeour treasure dissolve DIRTY - 47 verruchte TABU Erotik Geschichten your shrine and burnour bones TomCrom Thomas Cromwell above C was no saint but he was certainly one of Henry s head henchmen in the eyes of Henry the Bro Code was meaningless Thomas More above R a man popular among the people also did a bid in the Tower and exited via the stairway to heaven for refusing to take the Oath of Submission Mary above all Henry s daughter seems a particularly tragic character in it all Sure she d ultimately earn the moniker Bloody Mary as ueen for her cruelty in burning protestants en masse including a Thomas or two but the girl had some serious daddy issues Separated from her mother subjugated to her infant half sister and forced to sign an oath against everything she believed it s not exactly surprising that Mary would become unhinged Also she may or may not have had an hysterical pregnancy when she first married Philip but I d have to do some fact checking on that Here I ve promised Im Squirrely! (The Nut Family, you a dynasty and find myself impressed than ever with Meyer s ability to steadily distribute material across the Tudor succession My apologies for skipping ahead ueen Elizabeth I in stark contrast to her predecessors acknowledged that a monarch reigns with popular consent Unfortunately her exit from the world wasn t particularly picturesue Scarred by smallpox in herouth the ueen tried to hide behind ceruse a makeup made of lead and vinegar and ou thought eating paint chips was bad I imagine her physical devolution above being a sort of Tudor Era analogue to that of Michael Jackson Murder mayhem betrayal paranoia curses and egomania Sound like a horror story or a who dunnit Actually it is the story of the most notorious dynasty ever know which the title so aptly statesBeginning in 1485 when Henry Tudor crossed the channel from France and laid claim to the throne of England this book tells the brilliant story of Henry s son Henry VIII and his mad uest to keep his line on the throne In Henry VIII s obsession for a male heir he manipulates murders and fabricates every scenario imaginable to rid himself of any wife who fails to give him the male heir he so desperately wants Only producing girls Henry VIII s wives find themselves losing their heads over failing to do what the King demands Finally after several wives disappoint him Henry finally gets his wish A male child is born albeit a sickly oneThe important line of the story in my opinion is not Henry VIII but the woman and female children in his life that Henry has deemed disposable not worthy that is until his only son dies Then and only then are the women brought to power This is a tale not only of the women who were manipulated before and after claiming the throne but of England s struggle between Catholic s and Protestant s Filled with war and violence this book is a sad tale of the lives of these women beginning with Bloody Mary renown for her mass executions and ending with Elizabeth the woman who redeems her father s atrocities by becoming one of England s most beloved Monarch s Definitely not impressed uite the opposite as a matter of fact First let me Comment On The Content Of on the content of book If ou re looking for a book describing the Tudors as a dynasty or the overall Tudor era How McGruff and the Crying Indian Changed America you have definitely picked up the wrong book This one only works with the religious aspect of the Tudor reign Not much else is a addressed I was appalled at how little Henry VII was explained though the author himself notes that it s a problem that he is so often ignored by other authors The first 300 pages are devoted to The Kings Great Matter Once I reached the point where Henry VIII died I was so looking foreward to abandoning the whole religion thing But I was sorely disappointed Yet again It continued on through the reign of Edward VI Lady Jane Grey Mary I and Elizabeth I Really there are so many other interesting things going on at this point in history Why focus solely on religion Especially whenou ve set out to map out the entire Tudor dynasty Shouldn t Wicked City (Wicked City, you then setour focus a little wider And then there s whole other thing I d like to complain about the author s credentials Because he has none Even the biography in the bakc of the book describes him as nothing than an AUTHOR Not a historian but only an author a journalist My uestion then remains How can anyone allow him to write a book like this His sources are all secondary there s nothing original in this book at all It is entire based on other historian s work And to top it off he doesn t seem to have that many sources to begin with I for one doesn t want to believe a word in this book If The Celestial Selenite Scry (The Moon God Trilogy, you want to learn about the Tudors I d adviceou to only pick out this book in order to learn of the books GJ Meyer has used DO NOT READ THIS ONE I was a history major at UC Berkeley and my specific field was English Tudor era history so ou can imagine that a huge hunk of my bookshelves are devoted to this subject There is something of an embarrassment of riches on this topic from J J Scarsbrick s definitive biography on Henry VIII to Antonia Fraser s book on Mary ueen of Scots I can say with confidence that there isn t a popular history of the Tudors that has been published that I haven t read and I ve read a great number of the academic studies as well So eah I get them I know them and I looked at this book sitting on the shelf of my local bookstore and thought please do I need to read et another book on the TudorsYes I did as it turns outOther reviews that I ve read focus on the problem with the scope of this book with literally half of The Content Devoted To Henry VIII Which Begs The Uestion content devoted to Henry "VIII Which Begs The Uestion Is It Called The Tudors "Which begs the uestion is it called The Tudors won t say that it s not a problem Clearly Meyer is fascinated with Henry VIII and the courtiers surrounding him Woolsey Cromwell and More are not our run of the mill bureaucrats and I think that he very much shortchanged the last fourth of the book which is devoted to Elizabeth Tudor I get the sense he was exhausted and gliding over events that really could have used some of his tremendous insight and turn of phrase that makes the first two thirds of this book so enjoyableBecause really when Secret Santa (Bluegrass Brothers, you ve read as many books as I have on the Tudors it s the writing that becomes paramount and this man can write He s got an ease and facility for taking fairly complicated events and parsing them down to the bones His chapters. Ragtag army to take the crown from the family that had ruled England for almost four centuries Fiftyears later his son Henry VIII aimed to seize even greater powers ultimately leaving behind a brutal legacy that would blight the lives of his children and the destiny of his country Edward VI a fervent believer in reforming the English church died befor. Regarding Cromwell s stealth and ever increasingly fatal attacks on the Catholic church are so well done that it s worth buying this book for those chapters aloneThere are a series of sidebars that I know annoyed some people but I liked them They take The Workshop you out of the story to a certain extent but I didn t mind For an overview historyou don t NEED to read them but they are in and of themselves interesting The out take on exactly what societal functions the Catholic church performed and how the break with Rome and cannibalization of the Church as a way to seriously pump up Henry s power and coincidentally boost the Crown s coffers is especially well doneI think that the point of the structure front loading the book with so much Henry is that Henry VIII so fundamentally changed the nature of kingship castrating the Catholic Church in the process that his heirs were not only dealing with the usual problems of a small island nation trying to play with the big boys Spain and France but faced the double whammy of trying to establish order in the wake of Henry s determined some might say maniacal juggernaut to establish his dynasty regardless of the cost And this book explains that cataclysmic upheaval on all levels of society very nicely with Henry s heirs struggling to impose order on a society where all of a sudden the rules have changed I only gave this four stars because I do think the section on Elizabeth could have benefited with a rigorous treatment Having said that Meyer s writing is engaging witty and humorous with a fresh take on a topic that has been revisited many times in the last twenty The Legacy of Aaron Geist years I found myself smiling and enjoying every word Highly recommended This book is bad It reeks it is derogatory to its subjects it insults the reader and the author is pushing his own agenda here I really wanted to like this one and went into it with some optimism that I could learn something new But no the author is fixated on religion here especially in what makes evangelical protestantism different from everyone else I could have handled this much better if the same amount of space and effort had been devoted to five almost six Tudor monarchs Henry VII Henry VIII Edward VI Lady Jane Grey Mary I and Elizabeth I But no We get the same hyperbolic crap to b Not sure what to rate this book Meyer promises to write a book that doesn t dwell on Henry VIII and Elizabeth like all other authors do and then spent about 300 of 569 pages on Henry focused on the King s Great Matter Would have enjoyed on Henry VIIElizabeth was not admired at all by this author actually not too many of the women in power were John Knox s influence perhaps to the point that any characteristic or action of hers was placed in a negative light But what irked me about Elizabeth s segment of the book was when Meyer declared that the last 15ears of her story was Essex s story Really Well Meyer certainly made it that way Maybe by the time I had gotten to that point of the book I was pretty irked anyway on his handling of Elizabeth That set me up to not fully appreciate when Meyer adapts an admiring view in his epilogue about the illegitimate son of Robert Dudley and his scandalous life Yet the book was well written interesting in how the background segments were interspersed telling about the history of the time period and accessible for a general readership The few typos mistakes like saying Henry II when he clearly meant Henry III or accidentally using Cecil s name in a paragraph about Essex were not off putting I was really pleasantly surprised by this book I picked it up expecting an ode to joy to the soap opera style of history as told in the silly TV series of the same nameWhat I got was a comprehensive look at the background stories often overlooked by many writers who portray Henry VIII as a romantic rogue or portray Elizabeth s reign as a golden era of domestic blissI must admit my knowledge of Henry VII was sketchy before I picked up Meyer s book He did a wonderful job laying the ground work and explaining the dynastic tensions between the York and Lancaster families In addition Meyer introduces us to the England of the late 15th and early 16th centuries a small and devoutly Catholic country trying to find a place in a Europe dominated by Spain and FranceWhat I admire most about the book is how it answered all those uestions I ve always wondered about such as what it must have been like for ordinary English people to suddenly be told their manner of praying to God is no longer accepted by the King but it is in fact illegal Many books have portrayed Henry VIII as a man in love determined to do all for the woman he loves and desires Meyer s book shows us how Henry VIII was very lucky in choosing his advisers Cardinal Woolsey Cromwell and Cranmer These men made the mistake of telling Henry things he COULD do from things he SHOULD do In the end we get a devoutly Catholic King Transformed And king transformed and he is God s chosen vehicle He becomes a megalomaniac bullying Parliament and the church to get an unprecedented amount of power and wealth Conseuently his family and courtiers live in a constant state of fear all their fates tied to the king s mood pleasures or fears Henry would eventually behead two wives and numerous Plantagenet cousins as well as courtiers and friendsI was surprised at my own reaction to Henry VIII To me he was always one of the colorful English kings after I finished the book I really really despised himIt must have been incredibly difficult and frustrating to live as a Christian in Henry VIII s reign For a thousand ears England had been a Christian and thoroughly Catholic kingdom There had been grumblings and complaints about the Roman Church for decades but mostly from continental Europe never from England When Henry broke from the Roman Church the Church of England was still thoroughly Catholic in form and spirit Conseuently anyone with a genuine reformist attitude was burned for HERESY while those still loyal to Rome were burned for TREASONThese drastic shifts in religion "with each of Henry s children made for a very schizophrenic era The stakes were not just "each of Henry s children made for a very schizophrenic era the stakes were not very schizophrenic era The stakes were not soul but our very life A very readable and fascinating book well worth the readThere were uite a few surprises to meHenry s own sister Margaret had been granted a divorce from the Pope so she could marry her third husband Henry expected a speedy divorce in turnThe other surprise was the propaganda coup of Elizabeth s principle secretary Robert Cecil He managed to portray Mary Tudor as Bloody Mary due to the martyrdom of the Protestant leaders of the church however Elizabeth s reign though longer was just as repressive with an eual number of Catholic martyrs I was also surprised at the relationship between Edward and Mary I had always assumed he was closer to his sister Elizabeth but he and Mary were very close As he got older and headstrong he developed into a passionate champion of the Evangelical cause conseuently he and Mary became polarized in their convictions He finally deciding he would change his father s will and change the line of succession to favor his very Protestant cousin Lady Jane Talk about a very dysfunctional family. E realizing his dream Mary I the disgraced daughter of Catherine of Aragon tried and failed to reestablish the Catholic Church and produce an heir while Elizabeth I sacrificed all chance of personal happiness in order to survive  The Tudors presents the sinners and saints the tragedies and triumphs the high dreams and dark crimes of this enthralling .

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