Six Wives: The Queens of Henry VIII (David Starkey)

Six Wives: The Queens of Henry VIII (David Starkey) lands on the shelves of my shop, where it will be found in my Royalty section. priced at £6.50! Call in and get 40% OFF that price when you mention this post…

London: Chatto & Windus, 2003, (First Edition) Hardback in dust wrapper.

Contains: Colour plates; Genealogical tables;

From the cover: What makes a man marry six times? Was Henry VIII a voracious philanderer? On the contrary, says David Starkey, the King was seeking happiness as well as hoping for a son.

The first of his wives was Catherine Of Aragon, the pious Spanish Catholic who suffered years of miscarriages and failed to produce a male heir. The only one of his wives to be royal by birth, she was married to him the longest. As Catherines looks faded, Henry fell passionately in love with the pretty, French-educated Protestant, Anne Boleyn. Their six-year courtship and three-year marriage transformed England forever. Jane Seymours Catholic orthodoxy and demure submissiveness were in deliberate contrast to Annes radical and vampish style and Henry married her on the day of Annes execution. Jane died soon after giving birth to the longed-for son. There followed a farcical beauty contest which ended in the short marriage of the now grossly over-weight Henry to the mare of Flanders, Anne Of Cleves. The final part of Six Wives contrasts the two Catherines Catherine Howard, the flirtatious teenager whose adulteries made a fool of the ageing King, and Catherine Parr, the shrewd, religiously radical bluestocking who outlived him.

In this dazzling study, David Starkey draws on the letters, artefacts and documents or the period, together with the rituals of diplomacy, marriage, pregnancy and private religion, to give a richly textured picture of daily life at the Tudor Court from the womans point of view. Above all, he establishes the interaction of the private and the public, and demonstrates how the Queens of Henry VIII were central in determining political policy.

Very Good in Very Good Dust Wrapper.

Black boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. [XXVII] 853 pages. Index. 9½” x 6¼”.


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