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Winter King: The Dawn of Tudor England by…

Winter King: The Dawn of Tudor England (2011)

by Thomas Penn

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6533522,679 (3.85)64
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.
  1. 00
    Thomas Cromwell: The Rise and Fall of Henry VIII's Most Notorious Minister by Robert Hutchinson (Luchtpint)
  2. 00
    The Fears of Henry IV: The Life of England's Self-Made King by Ian Mortimer (Luchtpint)
    Luchtpint: Henry IV and Henry VII had one thing in common: they both usurped England's throne on rather spurious claims, and as a result they both met with stiff internal opposition against their rule.

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» See also 64 mentions

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I have been wanting to read this book ever since I first heard about it, because for me, Henry VII had been a bit of an unknown quantity. Thoughtful and considered, I'm not sure how far this book managed to reach the inner depths but it certainly showed a thoughtful, practical and financially clever man. It was also a surprisingly quick read, even with me doing quite a bit in 15-minute chunks on the bus. ( )
  mari_reads | Feb 16, 2019 |
Thomas Penn's biography of Henry VII, the first Tudor king, is well researched and competent, if not very exciting. Much of it focuses on his efforts to stabilize and consolidate his power and to rout out possible enemies at court. A pious and sickly man whose early life was dominated by his mother, the single-minded Margaret Beaufort, Henry's main contribution seems to have been bringing together two warring factions by defeating Richard III and marrying the daughter of the Yorkist King Edward IV and producing four children whose marriages united the Tudors to the crowns of Spain,m France, and Scotland. He was also known (and hated) for his stinginess and his continual efforts to raise revenues, usually by levying more taxes on an already overtaxed citizenry. Overall, a stolid but rather dull king; no wonder the kingdom celebrated the succession of his heir, Henry VIII. ( )
  Cariola | Apr 28, 2018 |
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 |
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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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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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