The Six Wives of Henry VIII
|Publisher:||Orion Pub Co|
The six wives of Henry VIII—Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anna of Cleves, Katherine Howard and Catherine Parr—have become defined in a popular sense not so much by their lives as by the way these lives ended. But, as Antonia Fraser conclusively proves, they were rich and feisty characters. They may have been victims of Henry’s obsession with a male heir, but they were not willing victims. On the contrary, they displayed considerable strength and intelligence at a time when their sex supposedly possessed little of either. Inevitably there was great rivalry between them, and there was jealousy too—the desperate jealousy of Queens who found themselves abandoned, but also the sexual jealousy of the King who discovered himself betrayed. The story Antonia Fraser tells is romantic and cruel, funny and sad, dramatic and enthralling.
When we think of the wives of Henry VIII, we tend to think of women who literally lost their heads. But Antonia Fraser opens the door to the political and cultural demands that shaped the destinies of the king and his royal wives. Romance, unfortunately, rarely had anything to do with it. And if you think the modern American media is too tough on political leadership, you oughta READ about the royal court in King Henry’s day! That’s one family you’d never want to marry into.