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The Autobiography of Henry VIII: With Notes by His Fool, Will Somers (1986)

by Margaret George

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2,711635,482 (4.12)182
The spellbinding, imaginary memoirs of one of England's greatest kings, Henry VIII, through his childhood, his transformation of the Church, his six wives--two beheaded--the execution of his friend Thomas More, and his daughter, Elizabeth.
  1. 50
    The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Alison Weir (Booksloth)
  2. 40
    Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (napaxton)
  3. 30
    Elizabeth I by Margaret George (Nickelini)
  4. 20
    Mary Queen of Scotland & The Isles: A Novel by Margaret George (GT-M)
    GT-M: If interested in the era, Margaret George does a wonderful job in both Autobiography of Henry the VIII and Mary Queen of Scotland and the Isles. Not intended as a light read.
  5. 02
    Mary, Called Magdalene by Margaret George (Booksloth)
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Showing 1-5 of 60 (next | show all)
3.5* ( )
  LisaBergin | Apr 12, 2023 |
fascinating, engaging, funny look into the life of Henry VIII-I can hardly put it down!
I made it about halfway through the book before I stopped liking the writing and just put it down. I hated the characterization of Anne Boleyn and did not really care for the way Henry was developing. ( )
  LoisSusan | Dec 10, 2020 |
Very well written. Written like a journal by Henry VIII with excerpts by his fool/court jester Will Somers. Although fictional, it has an amazing amount of historical facts. ( )
  VhartPowers | Dec 27, 2018 |
I was absolutely in love with this book for the first 300 pages. I simply could not get enough of it. I have never found a novel from Henry VIII's point of view, so it was interesting to see how he 'felt' about his wives and situation. However, I soon tired of it but I was determined to get through it, especially because there are very few accounts (fictional or non) about Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, and Katherine Parr. I found this novel to be interesting, but a little bit overdone with some stereotypes. We seem to know little about the details of each of his six wives, but George seemed to stick strictly to the molds of each wife-- the old maid, the witch, the perfect wife, the fat, ugly joke, the whore, and the nurse. I was hoping the author could provide a little more depth to some of the characters. She took liberties with so many things, but couldn't put in her own thoughts about the queens. ( )
  serogers02 | Jun 10, 2017 |
3.75 stars

This is a fictional autobiography of Henry VIII.

It is a very long book, and unfortunately, I was interrupted a couple of times while reading it, so that may affect what I thought. I was a bit disappointed in the first half; maybe I expected too much. I wanted there to be some redeeming factor to Henry and I didn't see it. But, I seemed to enjoy the second half much more. I also quite enjoyed the "notes" by Henry's fool, Will Somers. Will's notes gave an "outsider" perspective to fill in extra things Henry may not have known about, of course, including info about Henry's death and funeral at the end. It was nice to read something about Henry himself, rather than something focusing on his wives, for a change. ( )
  LibraryCin | Mar 27, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 60 (next | show all)
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For Alison and Paul
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My dear Catherine:

I am dying. Or, rather, about to die-there is a slight (though unconsoling) difference.
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The spellbinding, imaginary memoirs of one of England's greatest kings, Henry VIII, through his childhood, his transformation of the Church, his six wives--two beheaded--the execution of his friend Thomas More, and his daughter, Elizabeth.

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