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Summary

Henry VIII ruled England from 1509 to 1547. As a young man, he was fond of sports and hunting and was said to be uncommonly handsome. Standing more than six feet tall, he loomed large in the lives and minds of his subjects as he navigated his country through the tricky diplomatic and military hazards of the 16th century.

A man of enormous appetites, Henry conducted affairs with many women, married six, and executed two. His infatuation with Anne Boleyn set in motion a chain of events that reshaped the church in England and eroded the dominance of Rome. But the popular image of Henry as a crude tyrant, dispatching courtiers, enemies, and wives with gusto, obscures a more nuanced and fascinating character. He was a true Renaissance king who presided over one of Europe's greatest courts and nudged Western civilization onto a new course.

Here, from Abigail Archer, author of the New York Times best seller Elizabeth I, is the story of Henry VIII.

©2015 Abigail Archer (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Henry VIII

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  • D.
  • 14-10-21

Rushed, ended abruptly, recycled basics.

Feels rushed and ends extremely abruptly.
There is a vast amount of Henry's life missing, almost like the author grabbed the very basics that have been told time and time again, then turned it into a book.

2 people found this helpful

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Great Book

Henry VIII and the Tudor era is one of things I love reading about. The narrator did a great job.

1 person found this helpful

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Good content but rushed

Good content but the speed in which the book was read made me feel like it was very rushed and had to pause the book at moments to allow the information sink in, before moving on.
Apart from that quite enjoyable.

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Great story well told.

Thoroughly enjoyed listening to this account of a fascinating person and period of national history known for its corrupt intrigue in high places.

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Well paced

Apart from the details we are all familiar with, the story branched occasionally to cover details beyond Henry and his wives. Narrated at a crisp pace which helps when familiar with the plot.

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Full of Inaccuracies

The Writer quotes Alison Weir often (who is a current author) in this book rather than doing her own research.

That said, there are many inaccuracies in the book such as Henry and Anne going into mourning when Catherine died. They were overjoyed and wore yellow to signify this.

Jane DID indeed did challenge Henry on occasion, most notably over the abolition of the monasteries. He reminded her of Anne’s fate in reply.

Henry did not yearn for a new wife after Jane died and it took Cranmer much persuasion.

Catherine Howard is quoted as being aged 17. There is no evidence of her birth. From recorded conversations she is though to have been between 15-18.

My point is, if you’re using this book to write an essay or give a lecture…. don’t.

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5 *****

This title came up in my recommendations, well chuffed it did. As a lover of British history i thoroughly enjoyed it. great listen.

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All the headlines no substance

If your looking for a general over view of Henry's life then this is fine except for the speed of the narrator.
she literally races through the book which is both good and bad.. in short it's an OK book read by an adequate narrator.

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Great overview of the big man

This book is a very interesting short listen. It really highlighted Henry VIII as a real person rather than the caricature that one learns in history lessons.

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  • The Louligan
  • 04-09-20

WASTE OF TIME

I love the Tudor period and can never read too many books on the subject (100+ so far). So I figured I’d add this short one to my brain cells. Well, this version is a complete waste of time for anyone who has read even ONE prior book on the subject. The author just regurgitates a few facts that she “picked up” from other books, Wikipedia, television, movies, etc. Most of her info comes from books by Antonia Fraser, one of the best authors of English royal history. Not a bad approach IF she hadn’t skipped so many really important facts. The book lacks substance and continuity. She spends a lot of time on Henry’s early years but a rookie reader doesn’t really learn anything about him. There are pages and pages on Anne Boleyn which I understand because she was the most interesting of Henry’s queens. But the author didn’t bother to finish up Kathryn of Aragon’s life and death in a way that made sense. There wasn’t much of anything on Jane Seymour’s tragic death after giving birth to Henry’s sole male heir - the reason he used to dispatch both Kathryn and Anne. I must have blinked when Anne of Cleves came on the scene. Before I knew it, we were on to a very sparse story of Catherine Howard. Again, not very well written or cohesive. Then finally his last Queen, Catherine Parr. We got a good sense of her intelligence and calming affect on Henry (who was a shadow of himself by her time). He finally died and Parr remarried to her long-time love Thomas Seymour, then “POOF!”, she was gone, dying in childbirth just a year after her marriage.

Maybe I’m being too hard on the author. The title of this is “Henry VIII” and it IS about Henry VIII, but in a book report kinda way, resulting in a new version of “Cliff Notes”

The upside is that the title is FREE under the new Audible Plus Catalog. This book, as are many others in this free option, are not ones which I would pay for. They seem to be “test” works, not worthy of real book releases. But, like I said, this book is FREE. Accordingly, I got what I paid for! Can’t be too mad about that, I guess. 😳

15 people found this helpful

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  • Debbie
  • 28-04-21

Good Overview

It never lost my interest. Left me wanting more details, so now looking for another book on this subject.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 14-03-22

Good Read.

Great read and excellent narration. Length is quite nice for someone just looking to brush up on some Tudor history but not get weighed down with too many dates and details.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Christy Baker
  • 05-03-22

Well......

Aside from being short. I'm not sure where the author researched their references? I,by no means, am a historian or expert, but I have been studying the Tudor era for a couple of years now and I know for a fact that some of the things referenced in this book, completely wrong! for example Henry naming his ship the Anne Boelyn! That that wasn't it, that wasn't it at all! It eventually became a game on how many things were wrong in this book.... Good thing it wasn't a drinking game . I'm slightly baffled that someone actually approved this book being published.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Signalshifter
  • 03-03-22

Very good

I have studied the life and times of Henry Tudor in great detail. This short but excellent biography is a very good one. This would be a great start for a person’s study of this formative and troubled time in Great Britain’s history.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Yas
  • 22-12-20

A Kingly Tale

Henry The Eight is likely to most written about English Monarch. You can just imagine what it must have been like during his reign with all those women, scandals & beheadings. This is a Kingly tale indeed.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Katie
  • 20-10-20

Very good summary

I feel like this book was a very good summary of Henry the 8th. There were a few points that I felt were potential off, but overall a very concise summary.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Zachary Rogers
  • 12-10-20

Good quick read

Good book, it is a more high level overview of his life than a detailed review.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jillian Miller
  • 30-08-22

My Favorite Henry Book

I thoroughly enjoy listening to this book over and over again. The way it is presented kept my attention from start to finish. The narrator does a great job with clarity and inflection. Highly recommend.

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  • sheryl lundy
  • 20-08-22

Never a dull moment when it comes to Henry Vlll.

Loved it! Narration comfortable to the ears. I'm currently doing some genealogy work on the " Brandon Family ", this helped. Wonderful