Book Reviews

The King is Dead by Suzannah Lipscomb

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List Price: £14.99


Hardcover: 256 Pages.

Published: 05 November 2015 by Head of Zeus

ISBN: 1784081922

EAN: 9781784081928

On 28 January 1547, the sickly and obese King Henry VIII died at Whitehall. Just hours before his passing, his last will and testament had been read, stamped and sealed. The will confirmed the line of succession as Edward, Mary and Elizabeth; and, following them, the Grey and Suffolk families. It also listed bequests to the king's most trusted councillors and servants. Henry's will is one of the most intriguing and contested documents in British history. Historians have disagreed over its intended meaning, its authenticity and validity, and the circumstances of its creation. As well as examining the background to the drafting of the will and describing Henry's last days, Suzannah Lipscomb offers her own, illuminating interpretation of one of the most significant constitutional documents of the Tudor period.


5.0 Stars5.0 Stars5.0 Stars5.0 Stars5.0 Stars  by Anne

Interesting discussion of the death and will of Henry VIII

I have the hard backed version of this book and it is a truly lovely object - it is well laid out and full of illustrations and drawings. Don't let that lead you astray, however, this is a work of history and designed to be part of the writings on Tudor England. It isn't long but it concentrates only on the death of Henry VIII and what is in his will.

The author talks about Henry's reign and why the will was important, the content of the will, the signing of the will and what happened when Henry died. She addresses some controversy about the validity of the will and as a general reader of history I am not well placed to determine how convincing her case is - I found that it made sense. I think you would need to read the opinion of others as well to test the ideas here. The information and discussion was gripping as the author has a clear and easy to read style.

This isn't a long book but it is very readable and I would encourage you to buy a hard backed copy for the pleasure it will bring you

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