•12-02-08 • Leave a Comment
“It is easy to think that someone so colourless must also have been lacking in character, a malleable puppet in the hands of others. What we know of her vituoso performance in winning Henry’s heart suggests otherwise. At the very least, she was an accomplished actress who learned her part well. She could have been under no illusions about the prize. Jane Seymour wanted to be queen every bit as much as those at the court who pushed her into the king’s company.” [Emphasis added]
•11-20-08 • 1 Comment
“For although Mary never acknowledged it, and probably did not realise it at the time, her father had decided to end his marriage to Katherine of Aragon before he fell in love with Anne Boleyn. If it had not been Anne, it would have been someone else. Henry’s growing affection for Anne explains the timing of his moves to have his marriage to Katherine formally annulled, but it was not the prime motive. The motive had to do with power and security [...].” [Emphasis added]
•11-13-08 • 1 Comment
Lady Jane Grey’s story is tragic. According to this book, she never could stand up for herself, chiefly against her parents whose choices for her proved deadly. But when she eventually did so, it was against none other than Queen Mary, and her life was in the balance. Without one doubt it seemed, she elected death over conversion.
Would she had had the chance, she probably would have been a good ruler. The young lady certainly appeared wise beyond her years and temperate.
What my next book would be was decided while reading the last chapters of Innocent Traitor. Jane was spared for months because Mary recognized that she was a child who was used and abused for others’ benefit. Queen Mary was not depicted quite as “Bloody Mary”. So, naturally, next comes The First Queen of England: The Myth of “Bloody Mary” by Linda Porter. And I’m fairly sure that once I’m done with that one, I’ll finally travel back in time and read about Henry VII. But who knows…
•10-24-08 • Leave a Comment
Well, Innocent Traitor is taking me a while, NOT because of the structure of the story or the writing style which on the contrary I happen to like a lot, but simply because I changed my work schedule and don’t always feel like reading when I get on the bus at 5:15am! I also had some vacation time and visits, and I did not open the book during that time. Nevertheless, I am getting there, maybe slowly, but surely… The Lord Admiral is now in the tower, Elizabeth is being questioned, and Jane is summoned back home to her parents.
•09-23-08 • Leave a Comment
And now, with much anticipation: historical fiction again!! And this will be my first Alison Weir book.
New glance at an old question mark: According to Alison Weir, Henry VIII did not desert Jane Seymour in her dying hours.
•09-23-08 • Leave a Comment
“Truly, how are the mighty fallen!
For all his power and might, for all his pride and vanity, for all his grandiose plans, Henry in now commemorated only by the plain, bare essentials — his name and date of death — in humble brass letters set into a slab in the pavement of the choir, walked over heedlessly by thousands of tourists every year.
Henry’s vainglorious ambitions for his tomb have been thwarted by history. In the end, it all seems rather sad.”
The Last Days of Henry VIII is a wealth of well organized, detailed pieces of information that did knock me out almost instantly. But I have rejoiced since I reached the long-awaited end one unremarkable day last week, some two months after first checking the book out…
So what did I retain from it aside from how really astoundingly extravagant Henry VIII’s court’s spending was? Well, not much that I didn’t already know. (I might have learnt more if I hadn’t shamefully skipped many passages!)
What did I like about it? The “Chronology” and the “Dramatis Personae”, which I just realized now I returned without photocopying for my personal use, grrrrr!