The Children of Henry VIII
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"Fascinating . . . Alison Weir does full justice to the subject."
--The Philadelphia Inquirer
At his death in 1547, King Henry VIII left four heirs to the English throne: his only son, the nine-year-old Prince Edward; the Lady Mary, the adult daughter of his first wife Katherine of Aragon; the Lady Elizabeth, the teenage daughter of his second wife Anne Boleyn; and his young great-niece, the Lady Jane Grey. In this riveting account Alison Weir paints a unique portrait of these extraordinary rulers, examining their intricate relationships to each other and to history. She traces the tumult that followed Henry's death, from the brief intrigue-filled reigns of the boy king Edward VI and the fragile Lady Jane Grey, to the savagery of "Bloody Mary," and finally the accession of the politically adroit Elizabeth I.
As always, Weir offers a fresh perspective on a period that has spawned many of the most enduring myths in English history, combining the best of the historian's and the biographer's art.
"Like anthropology, history and biography can demonstrate unfamiliar ways of feeling and being. Alison Weir's sympathetic collective biography, The Children of Henry VIII does just that, reminding us that human nature has changed--and for the better. . . . Weir imparts movement and coherence while re-creating the suspense her characters endured and the suffering they inflicted."
--The New York Times Book Review
King and Queen on a daily basis, and by Christmas most of Philip’s household had returned to England to await their master’s coming. On 22 December the court moved from St James’s Palace to Greenwich for the festivities; at Philip’s request, Elizabeth was among the guests, and would remain at court until his return, but Mary now had no room in her heart for jealousy. Instead, she distributed generous gifts of plate to her sister, Pole, Anne of Cleves, and nearly 300 courtiers and servants, and
Queen Mary. King Philip was informed of his wife’s death by Viscount Montague, who had ridden post haste to Brussels as soon as the news was made public. To his sister Juana, his chief confidante at this time, the King wrote, ‘The Queen my wife is dead. May God have received her in His glory. I felt a reasonable regret for her death. I shall miss her.’ We have no means of knowing how deeply these feelings were felt by Philip, for they were the standard sentiments of grief used on several
the satisfaction of seeing Somerset discountenanced. Jane, Seymour knew, was ‘most dear to the King, both in regard of religion and of her knowledge’. However, on the rare occasions when they met, court etiquette was so rigid as to prevent any familiarity or expression of feelings, and both were reserved children anyway. Jane would curtsey three times when she came before Edward and kneel while they conversed. They might play cards after he had graciously permitted her to sit on a cushion or low
much like to see Elizabeth again. Perhaps, when she next moved to Ashridge, he could visit her, since it was on the way to his country estates. He also suggested that, when she arrived in London, Elizabeth ask for the Duchess of Somerset’s help in finding a new town house. Having convinced Parry that he had Elizabeth’s best interests at heart, the Admiral began to question the cofferer closely about her financial affairs. How many servants did she keep? What houses and lands had been assigned to
October 1553. This announcement met with everyone’s approval, and there were celebrations to mark it. On 17 March the Lady Elizabeth rode into London to lodge at St James’s Palace, bringing with her ‘a great company of lords, knights and gentlemen’ as well as 200 ladies and gentlewomen on horseback, and a company of yeomen. Two days later she went in procession through St James’s Park to Whitehall Palace, followed by dukes, lords and knights, and ladies and gentlewomen in great company, and so