Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Young Prince

Young Henry: The Rise Of Henry VIII by Robert Hutchinson

Summary: Set during the same years of Henry VIII's life as "The Tudors, " this book charts his rise as a magnificent and ruthless monarch.

Few men have changed history as decisively as King Henry VIII. Who, though, was the prince that would be king? While Henry's elder brother Arthur, heir-apparent, was scrupulously groomed for the crown, the "spare heir" Henry enjoyed a rather indulgent childhood. Made Constable of Dover Castle at age two, and Duke of York at three, he was prepared for a comfortable life in a clerical career.

Everything changed for the ten-year-old prince when Arthur died. As King, Henry loved magnificence and merriment, and quickly swept away the musty cobwebs of his father's court. But at thirty-five and lacking an heir, the time for youthful frolic had ended. The executions would begin.

"Young Henry" provides readers with a captivating vision of the splendors and tragedies of the royal court, presided over by a resplendent yet truculent monarch.

Review: A decent biography of Henry VIII as a young man and into his early kingship.

If you are a fan of Henry VIII and the Tudors and have read non-fiction about the family and the time period or even accurate historical fiction then a reader will find little new information about Henry VIII. I do like the time period it focuses on. I especially like how it has information about Henry VII and the type of person and ruler he was. People focus so much on Henry VIII, but oftentimes seem to forget or ignore the man that fathered him and influenced him.

Henry VII seems like a fascinating figure and has some extreme contradictions like his son. I certainly plan on reading more about Henry VII along with Richard III. This books follows his life pretty chronologically although the chapters themselves are slightly focused on different aspects of his life. Despite the title, this biography is rather light on detail and also somewhat short (only 254 pages if you don’t count the index, notes, etc). I had hoped for more in depth information along with more information. I did enjoy this book, but would have really hoped for a more in-depth analysis. 


Recommendation: I would recommend this book to those who enjoy reading about the Tudors, especially Henry VIII. 

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