The Autobiography of Henry VIII by Margaret George

This was a recommendation on Library Thing. I knew a reasonably amount of Henry VIII’s reign from my History A-level but that was a frighteningly long time ago now, and I thought it would be interesting to read things from his (fictional) point of view.

This was a very long book for me at just over 900 pages but wasn’t heavy going at all, it rattled along. Usually with longer books I read something alonside it but I didn’t want to for some reason. It didn’t grip me as much as This Thing of Darkness but was well written. There’s no bibliography but it does seem to be well researched.

The book is written in the form of Henry’s journal, with occasional notes from his fool. This works well to give the background of things, or to explain times when Henry wouldn’t have been able to write about what was going on. It’s cleverly done and convincing. I don’t think it’s changed what I think about him particularly but I did feel quite sorry for him at the end.

I’ll be reading some of her other books I think, and am especially interested in the one about Mary because my knowledge of British history is fairly slim after the year 1539, and this (along with some reference material to look things up) is a great way to learn more. I’m also interested in reading more about Henry VIII’s wives, though I don’t know whether Margaret George has written anything from their point of view.

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