Compelling account of the first 35 years of a magnificent and ruthless monarch.
Robert Hutchinson worked for the Press Association and is now a critically acclaimed historian whose published works have been singled out for their meticulous original research and gripping narrative style.
This revealing account, based on contemporary evidence, brings to
life the splendour, intrigue and tragedies of the royal court... *
HUDDERSFIELD DAILY EXAMINER *
Based on contemporary accounts, Young Henry provides an interesting portrait of the culture that shaped one of the most fascinating Kings of England. -- Derrick Smith * South Wales Argus *
An extremely readable account of the making of Henry V111. * Good Book Guide *
Although Hutchinson, a British journalist and former publishing director, points out that Henry VIII was not the "great libertine with an insatiable debauched appetite that some fiction writers would have us believe," his fifth book on Tudor England (Elizabeth's Spy Master) should still please those fans of the salacious television series The Tudors who would like to set Henry's early reign in its proper factual context. Hutchinson delves into the forces that shaped Henry VIII from his birth in 1491 to the birth in 1533 of his daughter Elizabeth. Hutchinson is admirable at pulling out amusing tidbits from the primary sources he obviously plumbed to write this breezy account of how Henry's cloistered youth influenced his public role as monarch. Hutchinson points out that the early Tudors realized their hold upon the English throne would always be precarious, and thus ruthlessly eliminated rival claimants and were obsessed about producing enough male heirs to ensure the succession. While often enlivened by Hutchinson's irreverent commentary, the book bogs down in detail at times, and skips over pertinent information at others. 16 pages of color photos. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
In 1533, Henry VIII divorced his wife of 23 years, Katherine of Aragon, and married Anne Boleyn. Anne was noticeably pregnant and everyone hoped for the male heir Katherine had not produced. It's a good idea to write about the king as he was then, not as he grew older and increasingly monstrous. But Hutchinson (House of Treason) botches the job, drowning the central narrative in a sea of detail. The text lingers all too lovingly on clothes and jewels, how much they cost, oaths sworn, meals eaten, ceremonies and fetes lived through. In addition, although this is Hutchinson's fourth book on the Tudors, the author's judgment is far from impeccable on matters royal. It's debatable, for instance, whether Henry was England's "greatest king"-there are rivals for the title-and there seems no illness for which Hutchinson does not have a diagnosis. But the principal weakness of this popular history is that glitter overwhelms story. VERDICT A good idea but it doesn't work. Young HenryÅwill satisfy neither the casual reader nor the academic (at whom it is not aimed in any case).-David Keymer, Modesto, CA (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.