The Tudors: The Complete Story of England's Most Notorious

The Tudors: The Complete Story of England's Most Notorious Dynasty [Read] ➮ The Tudors: The Complete Story of England's Most Notorious Dynasty Author G.J. Meyer – Thomashillier.co.uk For the first time in decades here in a single volume is a fresh look at the fabled Tudor dynasty comprising some of the most enigmatic figures ever to rule a country Acclaimed historian G J Meyer rev The Complete MOBI ð For the first time in decades here in a single volume is a fresh look at the fabled Tudor dynasty comprising some of the most enigmatic figures ever to rule a country Acclaimed historian G J Meyer reveals the flesh and bone reality in all its wild excessIn young Tudors: The Complete Story of PDF or Henry Tudor whose claim to the throne was so weak as to be almost laughable crossed the English Channel from France at the head of a ragtag little army and took the crown from the family that had ruled England for The Tudors: Kindle - almost four hundred years Half a century later his son Henry VIII desperate to rid himself of his first wife in order to marry a second launched a reign of terror aimed at taking powers no previous monarch had even dreamed of possessing In the process he plunged his kingdom into generations of division and disorder creating a legacy of blood and betrayal that would blight the lives of his children and the destiny of his countryThe boy king Edward VI a fervent believer in reforming the English church died before bringing Tudors: The Complete PDF/EPUB » to fruition his dream of a second English Reformation Mary I the disgraced daughter of Catherine of Aragon tried and failed to reestablish the Catholic Church and produce an heir And finally came Elizabeth I who devoted her life to creating an image of herself as Gloriana the Virgin ueen but behind that mask sacrificed all chance of personal happiness in order to survive  The Tudors weaves together all the sinners and saints the tragedies and triumphs the high dreams and dark crimes that reveal the Tudor era to be in its enthralling Tudors: The Complete Story of PDF or notorious truth as momentous and as fascinating as the fictions audiences have come to love.


10 thoughts on “The Tudors: The Complete Story of England's Most Notorious Dynasty

  1. Claire M. Claire M. says:

    I was a history major at UC Berkeley and my specific field was English Tudor era history so you can imagine that a huge hunk of my bookshelves are devoted to this subject There is something of an embarrassment of riches on this topic from J J Scarsbrick's definitive biography on Henry VIII to Antonia Fraser's book on Mary ueen of Scots I can say with confidence that there isn't a popular history of the Tudors that has been published that I haven't read and I've read a great number of the academic studies as well So yeah I get them I know them and I looked at this book sitting on the shelf of my local bookstore and thought please do I need to read yet another book on the Tudors?Yes I did as it turns outOther reviews that I've read focus on the problem with the scope of this book with literally half of the content devoted to Henry VIII Which begs the uestion why is it called The Tudors? I won't say that it's not a problem Clearly Meyer is fascinated with Henry VIII and the courtiers surrounding him Woolsey Cromwell and More are not your run of the mill bureaucrats and I think that he very much shortchanged the last fourth of the book which is devoted to Elizabeth Tudor I get the sense he was exhausted and gliding over events that really could have used some of his tremendous insight and turn of phrase that makes the first two thirds of this book so enjoyableBecause really when you've read as many books as I have on the Tudors it's the writing that becomes paramount and this man can write He's got an ease and facility for taking fairly complicated events and parsing them down to the bones His chapters regarding Cromwell's stealth and ever increasingly fatal attacks on the Catholic church are so well done that it's worth buying this book for those chapters aloneThere are a series of sidebars that I know annoyed some people but I liked them They take you out of the story to a certain extent but I didn't mind For an overview history you don't NEED to read them but they are in and of themselves interesting The out take on exactly what societal functions the Catholic church performed and how the break with Rome and cannibalization of the Church as a way to seriously pump up Henry's power and coincidentally boost the Crown's coffers is especially well doneI think that the point of the structure front loading the book with so much Henry is that Henry VIII so fundamentally changed the nature of kingship castrating the Catholic Church in the process that his heirs were not only dealing with the usual problems of a small island nation trying to play with the big boys Spain and France but faced the double whammy of trying to establish order in the wake of Henry's determined some might say maniacal juggernaut to establish his dynasty regardless of the cost And this book explains that cataclysmic upheaval on all levels of society very nicely with Henry's heirs struggling to impose order on a society where all of a sudden the rules have changed I only gave this four stars because I do think the section on Elizabeth could have benefited with a rigorous treatment Having said that Meyer's writing is engaging witty and humorous with a fresh take on a topic that has been revisited many times in the last twenty years I found myself smiling and enjoying every word Highly recommended


  2. Mara Mara says:

    While author GJ Meyer would be the first to admit that there is no way to cram the minutiae of than a century of history into a single volume However he's captured a whole heck of a lot in this book Further as promised The Tudors The Complete Story of England's Most Notorious Dynasty is not just the Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn show Frankly “The King's Great Matter” the euphemism employed by those in the know to refer to the whole CatherineAnne annulment debacle doesn't even begin to capture the full gamut of skullduggery of Tudor times It's hard to know where to begin with this debauched dynasty Henry Tudor's ascent to the throne was rife with baggage and bloodshed One might think that five hundred years after the Battle of Bosworth interest might have waned but we're still running baby daddy tests and bickering about that debacle But Henry VII took the throne by combat so let's skip the genealogy bits Henry VII actually did a pretty good job setting up shop Love and romance aside getting married was something akin to signing a treaty andor taking a hostage so Elizabeth of York was the perfect bride for an upstart king looking to shore up his royal status Meanwhile Henry had to figure out how to keep the royal coffers full The classic serfdom pyramid scheme took a hit when the black death swept through dead serfs can't exactly work the land With help from the Council Learned in the Law Henry cooked up some new ways to put the kingdom “in the monetary black” Neonatal care being what it was and with that dastardly X chromosome popping up all over the place producing an heir was no easy feat H7 and EoY did pretty well for themselves in whelping four royal offspring beyond infancy below from L to R Arthur Margaret Henry and Mary Tudor Primogeniture put the smart money on Prince Arthur below L to be the next in line for the throne and he was groomed for the role from the start Duke of Cornwall at birth and toddling into his role as Prince of Wales the plans for Arthur's marriage to Catherine of Aragon below C which would seal the deal for an Anglo Spanish alliance were set in motion faster than you can say “child bride” though they waited until the betrothed were of a respectable tween age to exchange vows Alas Arthur died before the couple could make it to their first anniversary Courtesy of protracted negotiations with the Spanish court and a papal dispensation Catherine's family being super Catholic and such Arthur's widow and Henry VIII above R were wed in 1509 just months after the death of Henry VII Though the common folk weren't exactly sad to see Henry VII go Henry VIII could have benefitted from a few of his father's faults The story of Henry the Eighth “great matter” and all is far complex than I ever would have imagined Meyer does an excellent job of putting the case of Henry v the Church in the broader context from whence it came While the religious upheaval in England and central Europe were separate it wasn't a coincidence that these schisms happened around the same time Let's just say it went beyond the issues of trophy wives and whether or not Jesus Christ could actually turn into a wafer cracker transubstantiation if you want to be fancy about it The six wives are but drops in the sea of people who were totally screwed over by King Henry VIII There's really no one who wins when a king introduces “treason by thought” From scapegoating Cardinal Wolsey to leaving his son with a government that was essentially bankrupt the impact of Henry VIII knew few bounds Standouts from the hit parade of the damned? Well let's start with people named “Thomas” As it turns out this list includes the Thomas responsible for the name's popularity Thomas Becket above L Perhaps you think that on account of being both a saint and dead Becket would evade Henry's grasp Wrong If Henry calls you to court you best come correct otherwise he'll take your treasure dissolve your shrine and burn your bones TomCrom Thomas Cromwell; above C was no saint but he was certainly one of Henry's head henchmen—in the eyes of Henry the Bro Code was meaningless Thomas More above R a man popular among the people also did a bid in the Tower and exited via the stairway to heaven for refusing to take the Oath of Submission Mary above all Henry's daughter seems a particularly tragic character in it all Sure she'd ultimately earn the moniker Bloody Mary as ueen for her cruelty in burning protestants en masse including a Thomas or two but the girl had some serious daddy issues Separated from her mother subjugated to her infant half sister and forced to sign an oath against everything she believed it's not exactly surprising that Mary would become unhinged Also she may or may not have had an hysterical pregnancy when she first married Philip but I'd have to do some fact checking on that Here I've promised you a dynasty and find myself impressed than ever with Meyer's ability to steadily distribute material across the Tudor succession My apologies for skipping ahead ueen Elizabeth I in stark contrast to her predecessors acknowledged that a monarch reigns with “popular consent” Unfortunately her exit from the world wasn't particularly picturesue Scarred by smallpox in her youth the ueen tried to hide behind ceruse—a makeup made of lead and vinegar and you thought eating paint chips was bad I imagine her physical devolution above being a sort of Tudor Era analogue to that of Michael Jackson


  3. John John says:

    Historically accurate perhaps though incredibly slantedHenry VIII was a bullymonstertyrant Period End of Story Most of the coverage of his reign focused on the men around him and their roles in enforcing the break with Rome as well as persecution of monks during the dissolution of the monasteriesEdward VI was a fervent Protestant but that was okay as he truly respected his sister Mary in spite of their religious differences not a syllable to acknowledge the fact that according to other books he genuinely liked ElizabethMary was a well meaning tragic figure in spite of all those unfortunate burnings which yes were ultimately her responsibility but weren't really so bad especially compared to the brutality of her father and sister Elizabeth was Bad News no two ways about it So bad that it might've been better for Jane Grey to have remained and her heirs to follow even if that meant sacrificing Mary in the process Seriously Meyer does his best to portray Mary ueen of Scots as a sensible trustworthy counter figure; the wrong chick got the chop conveniently omitting that although Walsingham gave her the bait she fell for it We hear how the Jesuits sneaking into England were there only to minister to the oppressed minority no threat at all The author conveniently neglects to mention that by the 1580's the Pope was crying for Elizabeth's head strongly encouraging her assassination There was indeed anti Catholic sentiment among at least some of Elizabeth's advisers but Meyer would have the reader believe that was entirely the result of xenophobia and bigotry Regarding the St Bartholomew's Day slaughter of French Huguenots which influenced Elizabeth in favor of those advisers Meyer maintains they asked for it in displaying their wealth paraphrased As a rough parallel Henry VIII Reagan bad; Edward VI Bush daddy bad but you can't help feeling a little sorry for him; Mary Clinton good intentions but things didn't work out as well as they should've; and Elizabeth as Bush Jr just plain awful including a sly comparison of her speech at Tilbury to the Armada troops play acting and her refusal to care for the returning diseased veteransNow you know what to expect


  4. Rebecca Huston Rebecca Huston says:

    This book is bad It reeks it is derogatory to its subjects it insults the reader and the author is pushing his own agenda here I really wanted to like this one and went into it with some optimism that I could learn something new But no the author is fixated on religion here especially in what makes evangelical protestantism different from everyone else I could have handled this much better if the same amount of space and effort had been devoted to five almost six Tudor monarchs Henry VII Henry VIII Edward VI Lady Jane Grey Mary I and Elizabeth I But no We get the same hyperbolic crap to be found in most bad novels about the Tudors Even worse the author focuses nearly entirely on Henry VIII and Elizabeth I Henry VII gets a smidgen of a mention namely his origins and Bosworth Then we whip right along to Henry VIII Katherine of Aragon a little about Anne Boleyn and an awful lot on monasticism various cardinals and popes those English noblemen who were protestant leaning and even about Religion and why Catholicism is bad Alright not so much on that but that is certainly the feeling that I had when I finished the book Even the last four of Henry's wives were barely mentioned beyond their names and what happened to them Edward VI isn't given much mention either just what he did to support protestantism his Seymour uncles and then John Dudley and Lady Jane Grey Mary I is treated as a near hysteric and then there's her marriage to Philip II of SpainDid I mention there's a lot about religion in this book?Then there's Elizabeth I who gets about the last hundred or so pages The Armada is dismissed as a lucky fluke for the English Elizabeth is vain and insecure and so the Tudors dwindle on out of history I hated this book by the time that it ground to a finish The sources he uses are fairly slight and while he cites sources most of them secondary this amazes me in that there is a host of primary sources out there It tries to be a popular history but the end result is boring and flat Two stars overall and not recommended at all


  5. Emelia Emelia says:

    Murder mayhem betrayal paranoia curses and egomania Sound like a horror story or a who dunnit? Actually it is the story of the most notorious dynasty ever know which the title so aptly statesBeginning in 1485 when Henry Tudor crossed the channel from France and laid claim to the throne of England this book tells the brilliant story of Henry's son Henry VIII and his mad uest to keep his line on the throne In Henry VIII's obsession for a male heir he manipulates murders and fabricates every scenario imaginable to rid himself of any wife who fails to give him the male heir he so desperately wants Only producing girls Henry VIII's wives find themselves losing their heads over failing to do what the King demands Finally after several wives disappoint him Henry finally gets his wish A male child is born albeit a sickly oneThe important line of the story in my opinion is not Henry VIII but the woman and female children in his life that Henry has deemed disposable not worthy that is until his only son dies Then and only then are the women brought to power This is a tale not only of the women who were manipulated before and after claiming the throne but of England's struggle between Catholic's and Protestant's Filled with war and violence this book is a sad tale of the lives of these women beginning with Bloody Mary renown for her mass executions and ending with Elizabeth the woman who redeems her father's atrocities by becoming one of England's most beloved Monarch's


  6. Jayna Jayna says:

    The Tudors is not exactly a complete story as the title promises but it is a very entertaining and illuminating look at the socio political life and times of the Tudor dynasty if a family that dies out after three generations can be called a dynastyI'm a huge fan of putting history into context rather than the usual dull recitation of chronological events and on that account The Tudors excels While Meyer or less does stick to a chronological approach in his main chapters he intersperses what he calls Background chapters I found the Background chapters to be fascinating covering everything from schooling to torture to theatre to the pre reformation English church to the intricate and never ending maneuvers for power on the European continent between France Spain the HabsburgHoly Roman Empire the Pope and the Ottoman Empire This is why I gave the book five stars in other hands this important history becomes a jumble of eye glazing over names dates and battles but here it's entertaining and the reader is uick to grasp the significanceThis is not a comprehensive biography of any of its subjects In fact at times Meyer even points out he is glossing over certain events claiming that to do them justice is outside the scope of this particular book Therefore some reviewers appear upset that Elizabeth in particular seems to get short shrift However for the purposes of this book which is to look at the power shifts and social development that shaped England under the Tudors it's perhaps not so important to detail every event of Elizabeth's reign Besides most of Elizabeth's actions as Meyer takes as his thesis were calculated to keep her alive and secure on the throne so to go into explanation would just be of the sameMeyer does take a revisionist view of his subjects As he points out in his epilogue Tudor England has been the subject of much biography analysis propaganda and outright fabrication since the Tudors themselves were on the throne Therefore anyone seeking to read this for tales of Gloriana Elizabeth or Bloody Mary are bound to be disappointed However I don't find this book as slanted as some reviewers on Goodreads Perhaps because I've read plenty of Tudor scholarship and fiction over the last few years I'm rather used to Elizabeth the Insecure and Horribly Self Centered Mary Tudor the Misunderstood Edward the Strong Willed and Intelligent Who Died Far Too Young Henry VIII is always a monster in his sunset years however it's just too hard to make excuses for someone who summarily executed everyone pretty much within earshot But those who view Fox News as the holy grail of fair and balanced accuracy should stay far away and perhaps stick to Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly for historyWhile Meyer doesn't overtly make the parallels it's not hard to draw them between Tudor England and the current political climate in the United States For example Henry VIII enacted severe penalties for anyone caught homeless and destitute Meyer writes It was the classic case of punishing the victim singling out for final humiliation the very people left most helpless by the pillaging of institutions that for centuries had attended to the needs of weak and the destitute Doesn't sound too far off certain policies of certain political parties todayLater Meyer writes Tudor England was a world in which the rich got richer while the poor got not much poorer but much much numerousThere were many reasons why the condition of ordinary English families deteriorated precipitously during the Tudor century the destruction of an ecclesiastical social welfare system ; the ongoing enclosure of arable land; an unprecedented concentration of wealth in the hands of a gentry class that was only a tiny part of the population; and a toxic mix of economic forces that caused real wages to fall decade after decade even as prices relentlessly roseAdded to this was the emergence of a new set of social valuesthat encouraged the prosperous to euate wealth with virtue and to regard the destitute as responsible for or even predestined to their predicamentWell I guess those who do not learn from history etc etcSo yes some could claim Meyer has a bias He is also definitely sympathetic to the Catholics who were killed during Elizabeth's reign; while he points out that hardline Protestant Puritans were also targeted they don't get the same tear jerking treatment as say devoting a whole chapter to the hunting and execution of a Jesuit priest This may also account for his rather disdainful treatment of Protestant Elizabeth while her Catholic sister Mary is dimensionalBut as a book that looks at the Tudor century from all sorts of fresh to me angles I really enjoyed it


  7. Jodi Jodi says:

    Not sure what to rate this book Meyer promises to write a book that doesn’t dwell on Henry VIII and Elizabeth like all other authors do and then spent about 300 of 569 pages on Henry –focused on the “King’s Great Matter” Would have enjoyed on Henry VIIElizabeth was not admired at all by this author actually not too many of the women in power were—John Knox’s influence perhaps to the point that any characteristic or action of hers was placed in a negative light But what irked me about Elizabeth’s segment of the book was when Meyer declared that the last 15 years of her story was Essex’s story Really? Well Meyer certainly made it that way Maybe by the time I had gotten to that point of the book I was pretty irked anyway on his handling of Elizabeth That set me up to not fully appreciate when Meyer adapts an admiring view in his epilogue about the illegitimate son of Robert Dudley and his scandalous life Yet the book was well written interesting in how the ‘background’ segments were interspersed telling about the history of the time period and accessible for a general readership The few ‘typos’ mistakes like saying Henry II when he clearly meant Henry III or accidentally using Cecil’s name in a paragraph about Essex were not off putting


  8. Maja - BibliophiliaDK ✨ Maja - BibliophiliaDK ✨ says:

    Definitely not impressed uite the opposite as a matter of fact First let me comment on the content of the book If you're looking for a book describing the Tudors as a dynasty or the overall Tudor era you have definitely picked up the wrong book This one only works with the religious aspect of the Tudor reign Not much else is a addressed I was appalled at how little Henry VII was explained though the author himself notes that it's a problem that he is so often ignored by other authors The first 300 pages are devoted to 'The Kings Great Matter' Once I reached the point where Henry VIII died I was so looking foreward to abandoning the whole religion thing But I was sorely disappointed Yet again It continued on through the reign of Edward VI Lady Jane Grey Mary I and Elizabeth I Really there are so many other interesting things going on at this point in history Why focus solely on religion? Especially when you've set out to map out the entire Tudor dynasty Shouldn't you then set your focus a little wider? And then there's whole other thing I'd like to complain about the author's credentials Because he has none Even the biography in the bakc of the book describes him as nothing than an AUTHOR Not a historian but only an author a journalist My uestion then remains How can anyone allow him to write a book like this? His sources are all secondary there's nothing original in this book at all It is entire based on other historian's work And to top it off he doesn't seem to have that many sources to begin with I for one doesn't want to believe a word in this book If you want to learn about the Tudors I'd advice you to only pick out this book in order to learn of the books GJ Meyer has used DO NOT READ THIS ONE


  9. Raquel Monteiro Raquel Monteiro says:

    I've always been interested in the history of the Tudor dynasty in particular its most notable monarchs Henry VIII and Elizabeth I and started reading the book thinking that I was very well informed on the subject Then I uickly realized that I was wrongThe book demystifies the image that is conveyed in the movies and series and presents a much harder and less glamorous vision of the two monarchs I saw the Showtime series a few years ago and loved it only to discover now that it manipulates reality very freely The reality is in fact very different from fiction However it isn’t less interesting In spite of the flaws of character the selfishness the pride and the total disregard for the fate of their subjects Henry VIII and Elizabeth I are nonetheless fascinating characters that continue to entice the modern worldThe author advances an explanation to justify the interest in these two figures especially in Henry VIIIHe has held the world's interest in part because of the uestion of how such a gifted and fortunate man could have committed such crimes And because of the related troubling uestion of how it is possible is such a thoroughly vicious character to be so attractive As its title indicates the book is not only about the aforementioned monarchs but the whole Tudor dynasty It also provides fascinating information about the habits customs education and life of the sixteenth century EnglandVery complete and enriching I strongly recommend it to all who have an interest in the subjectFrom my blog


  10. Manuel Manuel says:

    I was really pleasantly surprised by this book I picked it up expecting an ode to joy to the soap opera style of history as told in the silly TV series of the same nameWhat I got was a comprehensive look at the background stories often overlooked by many writers who portray Henry VIII as a romantic rogue or portray Elizabeth's reign as a golden era of domestic blissI must admit my knowledge of Henry VII was sketchy before I picked up Meyer's book He did a wonderful job laying the ground work and explaining the dynastic tensions between the York and Lancaster families In addition Meyer introduces us to the England of the late 15th and early 16th centuries; a small and devoutly Catholic country trying to find a place in a Europe dominated by Spain and FranceWhat I admire most about the book is how it answered all those uestions I've always wondered about; such as what it must have been like for ordinary English people to suddenly be told their manner of praying to God is no longer accepted by the King but it is in fact illegal Many books have portrayed Henry VIII as a man in love determined to do all for the woman he loves and desires Meyer's book shows us how Henry VIII was very lucky in choosing his advisers Cardinal Woolsey Cromwell and Cranmer These men made the mistake of telling Henry things he COULD do from things he SHOULD do In the end we get a devoutly Catholic king transformed and convinced he is God's chosen vehicle He becomes a megalomaniac bullying Parliament and the church to get an unprecedented amount of power and wealth Conseuently his family and courtiers live in a constant state of fear all their fates tied to the king's mood pleasures or fears Henry would eventually behead two wives and numerous Plantagenet cousins as well as courtiers and friendsI was surprised at my own reaction to Henry VIII To me he was always one of the colorful English kings after I finished the book I really really despised himIt must have been incredibly difficult and frustrating to live as a Christian in Henry VIII's reign For a thousand years England had been a Christian and thoroughly Catholic kingdom There had been grumblings and complaints about the Roman Church for decades but mostly from continental Europe never from England When Henry broke from the Roman Church the Church of England was still thoroughly Catholic in form and spirit Conseuently anyone with a genuine reformist attitude was burned for HERESY while those still loyal to Rome were burned for TREASONThese drastic shifts in religion with each of Henry's children made for a very schizophrenic era The stakes were not just your soul but your very life A very readable and fascinating book well worth the readThere were uite a few surprises to meHenry's own sister Margaret had been granted a divorce from the Pope so she could marry her third husband Henry expected a speedy divorce in turnThe other surprise was the propaganda coup of Elizabeth's principle secretary Robert Cecil He managed to portray Mary Tudor as Bloody Mary due to the martyrdom of the Protestant leaders of the church however Elizabeth's reign though longer was just as repressive with an eual number of Catholic martyrs I was also surprised at the relationship between Edward and Mary I had always assumed he was closer to his sister Elizabeth but he and Mary were very close As he got older and headstrong he developed into a passionate champion of the Evangelical cause conseuently he and Mary became polarized in their convictions He finally deciding he would change his father's will and change the line of succession to favor his very Protestant cousin Lady Jane Talk about a very dysfunctional family


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