Book Review

Book Review of The Children of Henry VIII by John Guy

The Children of Henry VIIIThe Children of Henry VIII

I devour historical fiction and on occasion supplement my addiction with a sprinkling of non-fiction books like this one. It's always a toss-up as to whether they will be interesting or dry. John Guy's The Children of Henry VIII is just as wonderful as its beautiful cover. He has a style of writing that reads almost like a novel and his book kept me interested from start to finish.

The Children of Henry VIII covers the same territory as most books about the Tudor family, but delves into areas I've not read much about before. Henry's children's childhoods are covered extensively with lots of interesting family dynamics explored. I love all of the juicy details and really appreciated the time spent on Henry Fitzroy, Henry's bastard - who is often overlooked.

It was interesting to me to read about how each of Henry's children were so influenced by their different upbringings and how a myriad of reasons contributed to a great deal of jealousy and suspicion between them. Henry was fickle in his treatment of his girls. I think both always had to be on edge while they floated in and out of their father's favor, never being totally rejected nor accepted. I love how the book gives you the insight to understand some of the choices all of his children made as they grew older whether it was related to religion or the treatment toward half-siblings.

All throughout the book (at least the part covering the part where Henry's offspring are children) you also are treated to the politics of the day and Henry VIII himself along with his wives to a lesser extent. Every piece of the puzzle contributed to how his children conducted themselves during their reigns - perhaps even Elizabeth's decision to never marry.

I can't really do this book justice with my review because it covers so much material. Suffice it to say that I'm not overly fond of stuffy non-fiction and yet I really enjoyed reading The Children of Henry VIII. It had just enough detail to be fascinating and yet didn't drag on and on. The pacing was just right to keep my interest. I highly recommend it if you want a better understanding of Henry's children and the world surrounding them that shaped their destinies.

* I recieved this book in exchange for my honest review.

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