Derek Wilson - A Brief History of Henry VIII - Little, Brown Book Group

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    • ISBN:9781472107633
    • Publication date:07 Feb 2013
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A Brief History of Henry VIII

King, Reformer and Tyrant

By Derek Wilson

  • Paperback
  • £8.99

A brilliant new history of the life of Henry VIII to celebrate the 500th Anniversary of his accession, by a master of narrative history.

Henry VIII changed the course of English life more completely than any monarch since the Conquest. In the portraits of Holbein, Henry Tudor stands proud as one of the most powerful figures in renaissance Europe. But is the portrait just a bluff?

In his new book Derek Wilson explores the myths behind the image of the Tudor Lion. He was the monarch that delivered the Reformation to England yet Luther called him 'A fool, a liar and a damnable rotten worm'. As a young man he gained a reputation as an intellectual and fair prince yet he ruled the nation like a tyrant. He treated his subjects as cruelly as he treated his wives.

Based on a wealth of new material and a life time's knowledge of the subject Derek Wilson exposes a new portrait of a much misunderstood King.

PRAISE FOR DEREK WILSON'S PREVIOUS WORKS:

The Uncrowned Kings of England:

'Stimulating and authorative.' John Guy

'Masterly. [Wilson] has a deep understanding of...characters, reaching out accross the centuries.' Sunday Times

Hans Holbein: Portrait of an Unknown Man:

'Fascinating.' Sarah Bradford, Daily Telegraph'

Highly readable...The most accurate and vivid portrayal to date.' Alison Weir

Biographical Notes

Derek Wilson is an award-winning historian and author of the high acclaimed biographies of Hans Holbein and Sir Francis Walsingham, and The Uncrowned Kings of England. He runs the annual Cambridge History festival and lives in Devon. His website is: www.derekwilson.com.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781845299033
  • Publication date: 12 Feb 2009
  • Page count: 400
  • Imprint: Robinson
Perfect for anyone wanting a readable account that gets behind the myth to the man. — The Good Book Guide
This masterful biography breaks new ground in its portrayal of a monarch who, perhaps more than any other, changed the course of our history ... Wilson does an excellent job of separating myth from fact. — Choice Magazine
Derek Wilson, author of two well-received Tudor history books, has written an enjoyable and readable account of the man. In a year when we are going to be inundated with Prince Hal, this is a worthy addition. — Catholic Herald
Robinson

A Brief History of the Private Life of Elizabeth II, Updated Edition

Michael Paterson
Authors:
Michael Paterson

Elizabeth II is the longest-reigning British monarch. A personally quiet, modest and dutiful person, she is far better-informed about the lives of her subjects than they often realize. She has known every Prime Minister since Winston Churchill and every American President since Eisenhower. Yet what of the woman behind the crown?This book seeks to take a new look at this exhaustively-documented life and show how Queen Elizabeth became the person she is. Who, and what, have been the greatest influences upon her? What are her likes and dislikes? What are her hobbies? Who are her friends? What does she feel about the demands of duty and protocol? Is she really enjoying herself when she smiles during official events? How differently does she behave when out of the public eye? Examining the places in which she grew up or has lived, the training she received and her attitudes to significant events in national life, it presents a fresh view of one of recent history's most important figures.In recent years, Queen Elizabeth has become the longest-reigning monarch in our history and has cut back on commitments. Nevertheless she is still very active and has made some wise decisions about who takes over a number of her duties.

Constable

Ludo and the Power of the Book

Richard Ingrams
Authors:
Richard Ingrams

'Stirring' Roger Lewis, Daily Mail, BOOK OF THE WEEK'A warm and worthy tribute' The Times'Elegantly written, thought-provoking' The Lady'A lucid and affectionate portrait of one of the great journalists of his day' ObserverSir Ludovic Kennedy was a British journalist, television personality, humanist and author. Following a brief naval career, Ludo devoted his life to what he referred to as his 'lifelong obsession with miscarriages of justice' and he fought this cause tirelessly, until he died in 2009. He is best known for re-examining cases such as the kidnapping of American toddler Charles Lindbergh, about which he wrote his most ambitious book on injustice, The Airman and the Carpenter. Ludo's writings and work on other cases such as the murder convictions of Timothy Evans and Derek Bentley were unique in that they often dispelled the breeding ground for conspiracy theories and regularly heralded dramatic changes of public opinion. Ludo is considered to be hugely influential in the abolition of the death penalty in the UK as well as other legal reforms, most notably the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (1984) which obligated police to tape-record the questioning of suspects. His life story is one that deserves to be remembered and celebrated.Richard Ingrams first met Ludovic Kennedy in 1963 and the pair quickly bonded over their shared goal of exposing the fallible nature of the British justice system. Ingrams interweaves this biography with detailed analysis of the cases to which Ludo dedicated his life, vividly recapturing the spirit of his friend and colleague.

Sphere

Templar Silks

Elizabeth Chadwick
Authors:
Elizabeth Chadwick

To save his soul William Marshal takes the perilous road to Jerusalem, but the greatest danger he faces there is losing his heart.England, 1219Lying on his deathbed, William Marshal, England's greatest knight, sends a trusted servant to bring to him the silk Templar burial shrouds that returned with him from the Holy Land thirty years ago. It is time to fulfil his vow to the Templars and become a monk of their order for eternity. As he waits for the shrouds' return, he looks back upon his long-ago pilgrimage with his brother Ancel, and the sacred mission entrusted to them - to bear the cloak of their dead young lord to Jerusalem and lay it on Christ's tomb in the church of the Holy Sepulchre. Jerusalem, 1183In the holiest of all cities, the brothers become embroiled in the deadly politics, devious scheming and lusts of the powerful men and women who rule the kingdom. Entangled with the dangerous, mercurial Paschia de Riveri, concubine of the highest churchman in the land, William sets on a path so perilous that there seems no way back for him, or for his brother. Both will pay a terrible price and their only chance to see home again will be dependent on the Templar shrouds.In this glorious adventure, bestselling author Elizabeth Chadwick sweeps the reader to medieval Jerusalem in a story perfect for fans of Ken Follett and Philippa Gregory.

Robinson

A Woman Lived Here

Allison Vale
Authors:
Allison Vale
Constable

Viceroys

Christopher Lee
Authors:
Christopher Lee

Viceroys is the story of the British aristocracy sent to govern India during the reigns of five British monarchs. It is also the story of how the modern British identity was established. British history from the Hundred Years War onwards gives an impression of how the British were seen. It is a misconception or more kindly, a British view. Until the nineteenth century the British did not have an identity readily recognized throughout the world. Even the Elizabethans were never established other than as great individuals. From 1815, an image of Britain as the first superpower was built that would make do until even the twenty first century. Direct rule in the name of a long-lived queen and the consequential superlatives of style and theatre of conquest had the whole world believing that it knew the secret of that British identity. To be white and British even at the lowest social level was enough to command and to be white, British and aristocratic was enough to rule. By the end of Victoria's reign a quarter of the world saluted the authority of the British identity. It took until the second half of the twentieth century for even the Americans to question that authority. The token in that identity, the plumed viceroy whose quarterings linked everyone who held that office to the aristocracy that was the guardian of that image, is not just an illusion. Viceroys is not a chronological biography of each viceroy from Canning to Mountbatten. It is instead, the story of the viceregal caste. It is the supreme view of the British in India, describing the sort of people who went out and the sort of people they were on their return. It is the story of utter power and what men did with it.Viceroys will come to a conclusion as to what created the international identity of the British that was cherished well into the twentieth century. It was and is an identity that has coloured in the worst pictures of the British character and ambition as seen by modern radicalized people and loyalties around the globe. Ironically, it is in part the answer to how was it that such a small offshore European island people believed themselves to have the right to sit at the highest institutional tables and judge what is right and what is unacceptable in other nations and institutions.

Little, Brown

The King's City

Don Jordan
Authors:
Don Jordan

'The cruelty and magnificence of Restoration London provides endless fascination . . . there's much to delight in this volume' The Times'Don Jordan's history captures the shifts [Charles II] engineered in trade and culture' NatureDuring the reign of Charles II, London was a city in flux. After years of civil war and political turmoil, England's capital became the centre for major advances in the sciences, the theatre, architecture, trade and ship-building that paved the way for the creation of the British Empire.At the heart of this activity was the King, whose return to power from exile in 1660 lit the fuse for an explosion in activity in all spheres of city life. London flourished, its wealth, vibrancy and success due to many figures famous today including Christopher Wren, Samuel Pepys and John Dryden - and others whom history has overlooked until now.Throughout the quarter-century Charles was on the throne, London suffered several serious reverses: the plague in 1665 and the Great Fire in 1666, and severe defeat in the Second Anglo-Dutch War, which brought about notable economic decline. But thanks to the genius and resilience of the people of London, and the occasionally wavering stewardship of the King, the city rose from the ashes to become the economic capital of Europe.The King's City tells the gripping story of a city that defined a nation and birthed modern Britain - and how the vision of great individuals helped to build the richly diverse place we know today.

Robinson

Superstition and Science, 1450-1750

Derek Wilson
Authors:
Derek Wilson
Robinson

Superstition and Science, 1450-1750

Derek Wilson
Authors:
Derek Wilson

'A dazzling chronicle, a bracing challenge to modernity's smug assumptions' - Bryce Christensen, Booklist'O what a world of profit and delightOf power, of honour and omnipotenceIs promised to the studious artisan.'Christopher Marlowe, Dr FaustusBetween the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, Europe changed out of all recognition and particularly transformative were the ardent quest for knowledge and the astounding discoveries and inventions which resulted from it. The movement of blood round the body; the movement of the earth round the sun; the velocity of falling objects (and, indeed, why objects fall) - these and numerous other mysteries had been solved by scholars in earnest pursuit of scientia. Several keys were on offer to thinkers seeking to unlock the portal of the unknown:Folk religion had roots deep in the pagan past. Its devotees sought the aid of spirits. They had stores of ancient wisdom, particularly relating to herbal remedies. Theirs was the world of wise women, witches, necromancers, potions and incantations.Catholicism had its own magic and its own wisdom. Dogma was enshrined in the collective wisdom of the doctors of the church and the rigid scholastic system of teaching. Magic resided in the ranks of departed saints and the priestly miracle of the mass.Alchemy was at root a desire to understand and to exploit the material world. Practitioners studied the properties of natural substances. A whole system of knowledge was built on the theory of the four humours.Astrology was based on the belief that human affairs were controlled by the movement of heavenly bodies. Belief in the casting of horoscopes was almost universal.Natural Philosophy really began with Francis Bacon and his empirical method. It was the beginning of science 'proper' because it was based on observation and not on predetermined theory.Classical Studies. University teaching was based on the quadrivium - which consisted largely of rote learning the philosophy and science current in the classical world (Plato, Aristotle, Galen, Ptolemy, etc.). Renaissance scholars reappraised these sources of knowledge.Islamic and Jewish Traditions. The twelfth-century polymath, Averroes, has been called 'the father of secular thought' because of his landmark treatises on astronomy, physics and medicine. Jewish scholars and mystics introduced the esoteric disciplines of the Kabbalah.New Discoveries. Exploration connected Europeans with other peoples and cultures hitherto unknown, changed concepts about the nature of the planet, and led to the development of navigational skills.These 'sciences' were not entirely self-contained. For example physicians and theologians both believed in the casting of horoscopes. Despite popular myth (which developed 200 years later), there was no perceived hostility between faith and reason. Virtually all scientists and philosophers before the Enlightenment worked, or tried to work, within the traditional religious framework. Paracelsus, Descartes, Newton, Boyle and their compeers proceeded on the a príori notion that the universe was governed by rational laws, laid down by a rational God.. This certainly did not mean that there were no conflicts between the upholders of different types of knowledge. Dr Dee's neighbours destroyed his laboratory because they believed he was in league with the devil. Galileo famously had his run-in with the Curia.By the mid-seventeenth century 'science mania' had set in; the quest for knowledge had become a pursuit of cultured gentlemen. In 1663 The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge received its charter. Three years later the French Academy of Sciences was founded. Most other European capitals were not slow to follow suit. In 1725 we encounter the first use of the word 'science' meaning 'a branch of study concerned either with a connected body of demonstrated truths or with observed facts systematically classified'. Yet, it was only nine years since the last witch had been executed in Britain - a reminder that, although the relationship of people to their environment was changing profoundly, deep-rooted fears and attitudes remained strong.

Sphere

The Method

Shannon Kirk
Authors:
Shannon Kirk

A gripping debut thriller that introduces a heroine like no other - perfect for fans of Michelle Frances's The Girlfriend and TM Logan's Lies. You're sixteen, you're pregnant and you've been kidnapped.If you're anyone else you give in, but if you're a manipulative prodigy you fight back in the only way you can. You use what you've been given against your captors.You have only one chance to save your life and that of your unborn child. You're calculating, methodical, and as your kidnappers are about to discover, they made a big mistake in abducting you.What happens when the victim is just as dangerous as the captors?If you like Michelle Frances, TM Logan, Patricia Gibney, Rachel Caine, John Marrs and Saskia Sarginson then you'll love this dark and gripping thriller.Praise for The Method:'Disturbing, fresh, gripping and unforgettable' Heat'Deft ... refreshing ... Shannon Kirk is a writer to watch' Stylist'Completely original' Lisa Gardner'A monster twist' Glamour'The premise of this novel had me hooked as soon as I read it' Cara MackenzieIf anyone wants to know how to write a fantastic thriller, this book is it! I can't recommend this book enough!' SILVXR'Shannon Kirk is now an author I'll be on the lookout for. A 100% recommended read' Lauren's Book Addiction'It had me gripping on a little tighter to my blanket and keeping my light on full while I was reading' Angel Wings and Petticoats'To sum up in a few words: buy this book' Hollie in Wanderlust'I haven't read a book quite like The Method before and I really enjoyed the twist on the damsel-in-distress stories you usually get' Carole Heidi'I absolutely loved this book. The story was brilliant, there was a real twist which made my jaw drop. The writing was really fresh and just grabs you right from the beginning. I cannot wait to read more by Shannon Kirk and I think we will be hearing big things from this author' Murder She Reviewed'Fast paced, suspenseful, thought provoking, and at times brutal, plus a twist you will definitely not see coming is what makes this book a must read for 2017' Whispering Stories'It's nail-biting, intense and has a shock or two in store for readers. I recommend The Method for readers who like to get inside the head of the person in the book. I have never felt so deeply ensconced in the psyche of a character' Book Magnet'A riveting debut novel ... welcome to a thrilling new voice in crime fiction' Boston Globe'A dark, literate page turner, utterly compelling. I read it in one sitting' Leonard Rosen, author of All Cry Chaos'This exciting tale builds to a surprising climax' Publishers Weekly

Hachette Audio

The Autumn Throne

Elizabeth Chadwick
Authors:
Elizabeth Chadwick

Eleanor of Aquitaine's powerful story is brought to a triumphant and beautiful close by much-loved author Elizabeth Chadwick in the trilogy that began with The Summer Queen and continued in The Winter CrownEngland, 1176Imprisoned by her husband, King Henry II, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Queen of England, refuses to let her powerful husband bully her into submission, even as he forces her away from her children and her birthright.Freed only by Henry's death, Eleanor becomes dowager Queen of England. But the competition for land and power that Henry stirred up among his sons has intensified to a dangerous rivalry.Eleanor will need every ounce of courage and fortitude as she crosses the Alps in winter to bring Richard his bride, and travels medieval Europe to ransom her beloved son. But even her indomitable spirit will be tested to its limits as she attempts to keep the peace between her warring sons, and find a place in the centres of power for her daughters.

Robinson

The Ludicrous Laws of Old London

Nigel Cawthorne
Authors:
Nigel Cawthorne
Constable

On Intelligence

John Hughes-Wilson
Authors:
John Hughes-Wilson

From the ancient Greek and Roman origins of human intelligence to its use in the Catholic church to Francis Walsingham's Elizabethan secret service to the birth of the surveillance state in today's digital hi-tech age, Colonel John Hughes-Wilson, professional military-intelligence officer and author of the bestselling Military Intelligence Blunders and Cover-Ups, gives an extraordinarily broad and wide-reaching perspective on intelligence, providing an up-to-date analysis of the importance of intelligence historically and in the recent past. Drawing upon a variety of sources, ranging from first-hand accounts to his own personal experience, Hughes-Wilson covers everything from undercover agent handling to photographic reconnaissance to today's much misunderstood cyber welfare. This book stands apart from the rest in that it tells the real inside story from a controversial insider's point of view, lifting the veil on what really happened behind the scenes in the intelligence world during some of the most well-known military events that have shaped our lives. On Intelligence is looking for hard answers - there are some tough lessons to be learned from both intelligence failures and successes - why is crucial intelligence so often ignored, misunderstood or spun by politicians and seasoned generals alike? One of the leading military experts of our time, Colonel John Hughes-Wilson skilfully weaves together an accessible and readable narrative on intelligence, accompanied by his unrivalled professional insight.

Constable

Quicksilver

HRH Princess Michael of Kent
Authors:
HRH Princess Michael of Kent
Robinson

A Brief History of the Battle of Agincourt

Christopher Hibbert
Authors:
Christopher Hibbert
Sphere

The Traitor's Mark

D. K. Wilson
Authors:
D. K. Wilson

Each novel in this thrilling series of historical mysteries is based on a real unsolved Tudor crime. This second instalment reunites readers with its star, London goldsmith Thomas Treviot.The Real CrimeHans Holbein, King Henry VIII's portrait painter, died in the autumn of 1543. A century later a chronicler reported that the artist had succumbed to plague, yet there is no contemporary evidence to support this. Suspicions have been raised over the centuries, but the mystery of what actually happened remains unsolved to this day.Our StoryYoung London goldsmith Thomas Treviot is awaiting a design for a very important jewellery commission from Hans Holbein. When the design fails to turn up, Thomas sends a servant to track Holbein down, only to discover that the painter has disappeared. In his hunt for Holbein and the lost design, Thomas is led into a morass of dangerous political intrigue, Spanish spies and courtiers that is more treacherous than he could ever have anticipated...

Robinson

A Brief Guide To British Battlefields

David Clark
Authors:
David Clark
Hachette Audio

England, Arise

Juliet Barker
Authors:
Juliet Barker

The dramatic and shocking events of the Peasants' Revolt of 1381 are to be the backdrop to Juliet Barker's latest book: a snapshot of what everyday life was like for ordinary people living in the middle ages. The same highly successful techniques she deployed in Agincourt and Conquest will this time be brought to bear on civilian society, from the humblest serf forced to provide slave-labour for his master in the fields, to the prosperous country goodwife brewing, cooking and spinning her distaff and the ambitious burgess expanding his business and his mental horizons in the town.The book will explore how and why such a diverse and unlikely group of ordinary men and women from every corner of England united in armed rebellion against church and state to demand a radical political agenda which, had it been implemented, would have fundamentally transformed English society and anticipated the French Revolution by four hundred years. The book will not only provide an important reassessment of the revolt itself but will also be an illuminating and original study of English medieval life at the time.

Sphere

The First Horseman

D. K. Wilson
Authors:
D. K. Wilson

Starring Thomas Treviot, each novel in this thrilling new series of historical mysteries is based on a real unsolved Tudor crime.1536. In the corrupt heart of Tudor London a killer waits in the shadows...The Real CrimeBefore dawn on a misty November morning in 1536, prominent mercer Robert Packington was gunned down as he crossed Cheapside on his way to early morning mass. It was the first assassination by handgun in the history of the capital and subsequently shook the city to its core.The identity of his assassin has remained a mystery.Our StoryThomas Treviot is a young London goldsmith and a close family friend of Robert Packington. Through his own upstanding social connections - and some less upstanding acquaintances he has made along the way - Thomas launches a dramatic investigation into Packington's death. As Thomas searches for revenge, he must travel from the golden heart of merchant London, to the straw-covered backstreets of London's poorest districts before reaching the country's seat of power: the court of King Henry VIII. Before long he is drawn into a dark conspiracy beyond his wildest imaginings and claiming justice for his friend starts to look impossible. Especially when Thomas realises that Robert wasn't the man he thought he knew...In the first of a new series investigating real unsolved Tudor crimes, D.K. Wilson brings the streets of Tudor London to spectacular life as Thomas Treviot faces a fight to bring the truth to light in the corrupt world of Anne Boleyn, Thomas Cromwell and Henry VIII.

Robinson

Elizabethan Society

Derek Wilson
Authors:
Derek Wilson
Robinson

Elizabethan Society

Derek Wilson
Authors:
Derek Wilson

The reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603) marked a golden age in English history. There was a musical and literary renaissance, most famously and enduringly in the form of the plays of Shakespeare (2016 marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death), and it was a period of international expansion and naval triumph over the Spanish. It was also a period of internal peace following the violent upheaval of the Protestant reformation. Wilson skilfully interweaves the personal histories of a representative selection of twenty or so figures - including Nicholas Bacon, the Statesman; Bess of Hardwick, the Landowner; Thomas Gresham, 'the Financier'; John Caius, 'the Doctor'; John Norreys, 'the Soldier'; and Nicholas Jennings, 'the Professional Criminal' - with the major themes of the period to create a vivid and compelling account of life in England in the late sixteenth century. This is emphatically not yet another book about what everyday life was like during the Elizabethan Age. There are already plenty of studies about what the Elizabethans wore, what they ate, what houses they lived in, and so on. This is a book about Elizabethan society - people, rather than things. How did the subjects of Queen Elizabeth I cope with the world in which they had been placed? What did they believe? What did they think? What did they feel? How did they react towards one another? What, indeed, did they understand by the word 'society'? What did they expect from it? What were they prepared to contribute towards it? Some were intent on preserving it as it was; others were eager to change it. For the majority, life was a daily struggle for survival against poverty, hunger, disease and injustice. Patronage was the glue that held a strictly hierarchical society together. Parliament represented only the interests of the landed class and the urban rich, which was why the government's greatest fear was a popular rebellion. Laws were harsh, largely to deter people getting together to discuss their grievances. Laws kept people in one place, and enforced attendance in parish churches. In getting to grips with this strange world - simultaneously drab and colourful, static and expansive, traditionalist and 'modern' - Wilson explores the lives of individual men and women from all levels of sixteenth-century life to give us a vivid feel for what Elizabethan society really was.Praise for the author:Masterly. [Wilson] has a deep understanding of characters reaching out across the centuries. Sunday Times Scores highly in thoroughness, clarity and human sympathy. Sunday TelegraphThis masterly biography breaks new ground. Choice MagazineHis book is stimulating and authoritative. Sunday TimesBrilliant, endlessly readable ... vivid, immediate history, accurate, complex and tinged with personality. Sunday Herald