The size of this book is, at first, daunting. BUT, it grabs you almost from the first page and I found myself flying through it. After all the books about Henry VIII's wives, this is a refreshing look at the "male" side of the story. Very good historical reading.
I enjoyed the idea of a glimpse into the life of Henry VIII from a more personal perspective. However, I found the notes by "his fool" a bit intrusive at times as they would sometimes yank me out of the flow of the story. Also I had a hard time buying into some of the story proported as "fact".
I really like Margaret George and this book does not disappoint. If you are interested in Henry VIII on a deeper level but don't want to be bored to tears with straight history, this historical fiction might be just the ticket. It is a long book but the topic is so interesting that it goes rather quickly.
I've read several books on Henry the 8th. This is by far my favorate. It is told from his childhood to the very end leaving nothing out. It is also not a Henry bash like most books but protrays him as a real person with real feelings and "reasons" for the decisions he made that for the time were not that outlandish really. Give it a read you wont' be sorry. It is a long book though so you need to like a good long book.
Tess S. (tessijo) reviewed The Autobiography of Henry VIII : With Notes by His Fool, Will Somers on
Helpful Score: 1
This was another great read from a great author . If you have not read this book you possibly do not have a well rounded view of King Henry V111. Great history and great fiction together ! I compare this to the showtime series "The Tudors ". Never boring !
What a fantastic alternative to the typical "Henry VIII was a big pig" take on one of the most vibrant and fascinating Tudor monarchs. Plus it supplemented for me what I find lacking in books like those from Phillipa Gregory - I love their scope, research, and historic accuracy, but in my opinion, lack interesting character development; also, any of her books involving Henry tend to reinforce the typical stereotype of the iconic Holbein portrait: a fiendish and fat lecher with enormous appetites, no conscience, and no morals.
This book by Margaret George attempts to step inside the head of Henry and conjure up what it would be like to meet the man, who, according to this telling, was in a chatty, love-obsessed, deeply religious, witty, engaging and educated man who was an absolute pleasure to spend time with. I do admit, it took me almost 500 of the 1000 pages for the book to really "grab" me; somewhere near the beginning, one the notes penned by his fool, Will Somers, mentions that the tune Greensleeves was composed by Henry (a myth; it's actually thought to be from the Elizabethan period and possibly foreign in origin), it put my guard up for the same reason as "The Tudors" series on Showtime - of all such historical figures, Henry VIII is probably the least in need of "embellishment" and factual flights of fancy to remain riveting. However, if you love reading about the period, you'll certainly be glad you got to know this charming, overbearing, religious, open-minded, suspicious, game-playing, and yet all-too-human & whole-hearted individual.
This book was okay. The introduction is that Will Sommers is forwarding a secret autobiography written by King Henry VIII to Henry's illegitimate child by Anne Boleyn's sister, Mary. The artistic license with history continues from there. Many of the psychological insights to Henry through the years are seemingly accurate given his pathological behavior. In short, good read, perhaps not accurate, but worth reading anyway.
Amanda B. (amanda23347) reviewed The Autobiography of Henry VIII : With Notes by His Fool, Will Somers on
Helpful Score: 1
I absolutely loved this book. It was huge and really didn't take me long to read. I have read alot of tudor books but from the ladies/wives view. Really shed a little more light on this very complex man plus dispelled some of the assumptions of crazy cruel Henry VIII