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9780007247714

Henry: Virtuous Prince

Starkey, David

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( 569 ratings by GoodReads )
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The first instalment of the highly anticipated biography of Henry VIII, written by one of the UK's most popular, established and exciting historians. Published to coincide with the 500th anniversary of Henry's accession to the throne, 'Henry: Virtuous Prince' is a radical re-evaluation of the monarchy's most enduring icon.

Henry VIII was Britain's most powerful monarch, yet he was not born to rule. Thrust into the limelight after the sudden death of his elder brother, Prince Arthur, Henry ascended the throne in 1509, marking the beginning of a reign that altered the course of English history.

In his youth Henry was highly intelligent, athletic and musically talented. He excelled in Latin and Mathematics and was an accomplished musician. On his accession to the throne, aged just seventeen, after the tumultuous rule of his father, he provided England with hope of a new beginning.

Nobody could have foreseen how radical Henry's rule would prove to be. Often overshadowed by the bloody saga of his six marriages, his reign has left a lasting legacy. An absolute monarch, Henry’s quest for fame was as obsessive as any modern celebrity. His fierce battles against Papal authority mark one of the most dramatic and defining moments in the history of Britain. Yet his early life was insecure. The Tudor regime was viewed by many as rule by usurpers and the dark shadows of the Wars of the Roses often threatened to tear England apart once more.

The culmination of a lifetime's research, David Starkey gives a radical and unforgettable portrait of the man behind the icon; the Renaissance prince turned tyrant, who continues to tower over history.

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Review:

‘This book is Starkey’s masterpiece. It combines the populist touch with deep insights of scholarship.’ John Guy, Sunday Times

‘Excellent…the really crucial events in the history of the British Monarchy since the Middle Ages are assessed with authority, wisdom and wit…This is Starkey at his fluent and entertaining best.’ Sunday Telegraph

‘It is brilliant, beady-eyed history, and every page of it has an intimate fascination…Starkey has eschewed the easy wisdom of hindsight…his strength is that he questions everything…he seeks fresh evidence…his writing is uncluttered and conversational, and he cuts through the back-story…with grace, clarity and wit…accessible and entertaining’ Guardian

‘Starkey has the mind of an historian but the eye of a court painter.’ Peter Ackroyd, The Times

‘It has an immense amount to offer the general reader…there are several little gems of brand new information…David Starkey has produced the most careful as well as the most colourful study of the young Henry for a long time, and perhaps of all time’ Independent on Sunday

‘What Starkey has produced, considering his own unrivalled command of the subject, and its vast literature, is a miracle of condensation’ Sunday Telegraph

‘This book…demonstrates his scholarship, supremely confident grasp of the period and authorial panache…fascinating’ Daily Mail

‘Starkey is a master of his trade…The best short history of England written since J. R. Green in the 1870s…the artistry of the writing conceals the efforts that have been made to ensure that this is both highly entertaining and remarkably accurate…an enterprise of surpassing excellence.’ TLS

‘This book…is vivid, lucid and engaging…his judgements delivered with quasi-Pontifical assurance are often acute…a very enjoyable book.’ Daily Telegraph

‘Starkey is a wonderfully lucid writer.’ Independent

‘Starkey is as eloquent and lucid as ever.’ The Times

‘The book is full of delicious detail’ Evening Standard

‘Assessed with authority, wisdom and wit…This is Starkey at his fluent and entertaining best.’ Sunday Telegraph

Praise for ‘Monarchy’:

‘Vivid, lucid and engaging…a very enjoyable book.’ Allan Massie, Daily Telegraph

‘Starkey tours England’s monarchical horizon with gusto.’ Simon Jenkins, Sunday Times

Review:

"The best political history of the reign of Henry VIII so far...'Henry: Virtuous Prince' is masterly."

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