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Winter King : the dawn of Tudor England by…

Winter King : the dawn of Tudor England (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Thomas Penn

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5633317,691 (3.84)59
Title:Winter King : the dawn of Tudor England
Authors:Thomas Penn
Info:London [u.a.] Allen Lane 2011
Tags:English history, Tudor, Henry VII, biography

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Winter King: The Dawn of Tudor England by Thomas Penn (2011)


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While I feel I know a fair amount about British history, I was not very familiar with this period. That said, I definitely wanted a readable history that focused on facts, not speculation. Penn manages to create a compelling narrative that also critically examines the evidence for various theories about what actually happened at various points. I was fascinated by the fact that due to conflicting accounts at many points, there are many events about which we will never have the "whole" story. Excellent book. ( )
  kaitanya64 | Jan 3, 2017 |
Serious documentary but eminently readable. The only thing left unmentioned was the Star Chamber. ( )
  ShelleyAlberta | Jun 4, 2016 |
Occasionally brilliant - occasionally frustrating. Straddles a line between dry academic and popular history writing. The long lists of courtiers and their backgrounds does drag a bit, but I learned a lot about a period of history that's often overshadowed by the preceding and subsequent years. The stuff about Henry's control through debt finance was fascinating. ( )
1 vote sometimeunderwater | Mar 19, 2016 |
This was an interesting look at the transitional King Henry VII. It was nice to find something well researched on this King who is usually overshadowed by his notorious son in the realm of history. Overall, I did not find Penn's approach or presentation of the facts as reader friendly as say Alison Weir's writing, but I might be a bit biased. ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 22, 2016 |
I found this to be a highly readable account of the early days of the Tudor dynasty. This well researched history provides good insight into Henry VII’s machinations to maintain his hold on the crown by ruthlessly defeating his opponents and amassing great wealth at the expense of his subjects as well as detailing his interactions with Spain, Philip of Burgundy and the Papacy. Additionally, it provides an interesting view of the formative years of Henry VIII and the early years of many of his courtiers, including Thomas Cromwell, Thomas More and Erasmus. There is also some fascinating information about Catherine of Aragon during the years she was left to flounder in England between her marriages to Arthur and Henry VIII. I found it a little difficult to keep track of all the people and titles during the first part of the book; it helps to have a little familiarity with the time period.

I part read this and part listened to the audio version--Simon Vance gives a great narration. ( )
1 vote bluebird_ | Jan 14, 2016 |
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'I love the rose both red and white,
Is that your pure, perfect appetite?'

Thomas Phelyppes,
'I love, I love and whom love ye?' c.1486
'Since men love at their own pleasure and fear at the pleasure of the prince, the wise prince should build his foundation upon which is his own, not upon that which belongs to others: only he must seek to avoid being hated.'

Machiavelli, The Prince
For Kate
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A biography
Of Henry VII, founder
Of the Tudor line.

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Profiles Henry VII as an enigmatic and ruthless king of a country ravaged by decades of conspiracy and civil war, discussing the costs of establishing a Tudor monarchy and the ways he set the stage for Henry VIII's reign.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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