Shrewd Biography of Henry Viii's Children

Article excerpt


By Alison Weir

366 pages, Ballantine, $25 THERE HAVE CERTAINLY been a great number of books written about King Henry VIII and his wives (one of them the work of Alison Weir), and even more about the first Queen Elizabeth. The title of this book therefore tends to produce a weary thought - another march through a very well-known field. However, that is not the case. Weir has in effect brought forth a history of the reigns of Edward VI and Mary I, the years from 1547 to 1558, concentrating on the lives and personalities of Edward, Mary, Elizabe th and their cousin, Lady Jane Grey. Edward's mother was Jane Seymour, Mary's was Catherine of Aragon and Elizabeth's was Anne Boleyn. The decade about which this book deals was an extremely important one in English history. During the reign of the boy king, Edward, two powerful men, first Edward Seymour and then John Dudley, controlled the government and energetically pressed for the transformation of the realm into an ardently Protestant country hostile to Roman Catholicism. The king, less than 10 years old when he attained the throne and still an adolescent when he died six years later, henthusiastically supported this effort. But on his early death the crown passed to his much older half-sister, who was even more ardently Catholic than he had been Protestant. …


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.