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Great Harry: The Extravagant Life of Henry VIII

af Carolly Erickson

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A biography of Henry VIII, King of England from 1509 to 1549, set against the background of the times in which he lived.
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An interesting biography but it doesn't seem to have the depth of analysis you could hope for. ( )
  dasam | Jun 21, 2018 |
This is a very readable biography of Henry VIII. It is basically an overview of his entire life and would be a very good first look at Henry VIII for anyone interested. I enjoyed Erickson's writing style. She really tries to create a balanced picture of Henry and sticks closely to the study of her subject. She rarely goes off on tangents which makes for a very focused book, but left me wanting to know a bit more about the men and women around Henry. She gets a little bit into his relationships as a husband, friend, and father, but I would have liked a little more information on that end. What she does very well is describe daily life at court, from what they ate to the activities they engaged in. Staying true to keeping her focus on Henry, when he dies the book ends. There is no discussion of the political aftermath of his death or details on what happens to the people important in his life after his death.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book and am interested in reading her other biographies. I liked the tight focus for an introductory biography, but will chose something more in-depth if I read another book about Henry VIII. ( )
  japaul22 | Aug 19, 2014 |
This account of the life of Henry VIII is balanced, even-handed and provides a wealth of detail about court life throughout Harry's reign. Perhaps because so much has been written about the wives of Henry VIII, Erickson's attention to this area of his life is sparing. The focus is on the political, economic and, personal factors that shaped this singular figure. ( )
  turtlesleap | Aug 18, 2009 |
I prided myself on knowing almost all there was to know about the English king whose obsession with Anne Boleyn changed the course of Christianity forever, but Erickson’s unsparing yet sympathetic examination of this flamboyant personality showed me that the monstrously selfish Great Harry of legend was not the whole story of this Tudor monarch. Intensely competitive, incredibly athletic and energetic, Henry VIII was a man whose many talents were often obscured by his high position. This is an interesting look at the lesser known characteristics of this infamous king. ( )
  RachelfromSarasota | Jun 9, 2008 |
Reviewed March - Aug 2000 Wow! A through book on H8. I found out a lot about his very young life that is rarely mentioned in other bios. His father kept him a prisoner allowing no one to be near Henry without his knowledge. By the age of 13 he is being instructed in govt...how much influence does this have over the rearing of his own son Edward? Henry VIII is a fascinating character who cannot be pigeonholed, an extremely athletic man who excels in every task. Where does he find the time to achieve so much? Sadly very little is mentioned about his wifes who must have been strong motivators in his life. They are alluded to but little else is said of them. The one thing that really struck me was the trouble Katherine of Aragon caused him after her death. She left no will so Henry tried to claim her estate, but because he had tried for so long to prove that she was not his wife all those years he could not claim her fortune. Ironically the estate reverted back to the Spanish crown. Wonderful book - Each chapter tends to focus on different areas...food...life in court...love...ect... ( )
  sgerbic | May 8, 2008 |
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