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Henry VIII: And the Men Who Made Him
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Henry VIII: And the Men Who Made Him

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  30 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Henry VIII is best known in history for his tempestuous marriages and the fates of his six wives. However, as acclaimed historian Tracy Borman makes clear in her illuminating new chronicle of Henry's life, his reign and reputation were hugely influenced by the men who surrounded and interacted with him as companions and confidants, servants and ministers, and occasionally ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Expected publication: January 8th 2019 by Atlantic Monthly Press (first published November 1st 2018)
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Beata
Nov 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I requested this book for at least three reasons. The first one was that I enjoy Tracy Borman's ways of presenting history and having read some of her books, I am still a fan of hers. The second reason was my interest in the Tudor period and the need to extend my (not scholarly) knowledge. Full satisfaction after reading this book. And, last but not least, I thought that reading more about the men who stood behind Henry VIII, and not just the king himself, might be an insightful. I honestly admi ...more
Thomas
Nov 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, netgalley
3.5 stars rounded up to 4.
Thanx you Grove Atlantic for sending me this eARC through NetGalley. It is a solid biographical study of the men who served Henry the VIII. Most books about this period focus on his six wives or Henry the VIII. The author has done an impressive amount of research, quoting extensively from primary sources, letters, diaries, official records, etc.
Henry the VIII was obsessed with producing a male heir to carry on his reign. His father had ended a civil war and Henry the V
...more
Caidyn (SEMI-HIATUS; BW Reviews; he/him/his)
This review can also be found on my blog!

I received an ARC through Netgalley and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

This is probably the first book that’s purely about Henry (in a way) that I really liked. Earlier this year, I read Henry VIII: The King and His Court by Alison Weir, which was a complete disaster. So, I was hopeful that this one would be better. It definitely was!

Borman takes the stance that Henry is such an enigma — and he is; he’s a hard man to capture because he was so
...more
Joyce
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5 stars

I read the Kindle edition.

“You shall, in your counsel-giving unto his grace, ever tell him what he ought to do…For if (a) Lion knew his own strength, hard were it for any man to rule him.” – Sir Thomas More

This is a wonderful history of the men who surrounded King Henry VIII. Born both high and low, these men surely shaped the king’s reign through their influence with him. They were advisors, courtiers, friends, servants – and even his rivals.

While most often remembered for his split wit
...more
Sarah Bryson
Nov 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tracy Borman’s book on Henry VIII was a refreshing look at one of England’s most controversial Kings. So often when books examine the life of Henry VIII they study the King through his relationships with this many wives and his children, but Borman’s book takes a very different approach. She studies the life and reign of Henry VIII through the men that served him. Through the courtiers and friends whom lived with the King, men who served his most intimate needs as well as those that carried out ...more
Janet
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018ng, kindle
I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
From the publisher ---

Henry VIII is best known in history for his tempestuous marriages and the fates of his six wives. However, as acclaimed historian Tracy Borman makes clear in her illuminating new chronicle of Henry's life, his reign and reputation were hugely influenced by the men who surrounded and interacted with him as companions and confidants, servants and ministers, and occasionall
...more
Melisende d'Outremer
Much to the ire of Tudorphiles everywhere - I did not find this especially enlightening. And like Oliver Twist - I wanted more and was left wanting.
Lissa
Nov 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley-books
It is hard to find new history books on Henry VIII that explore any new instances in his life. What this book does different is focus on his male relationships and those that were exploited for power and those that suffered from them with their lives. I am ceaselessly fascinated by the Tudor reign and this book does a great job of exploring the relationships between the men such as Wosley, Cromwell and Cranmer and the mercurial king. I have done quite a bit of reading about the Tudors so am fami ...more
John Reid
Dec 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Seventy-odd years ago as children going to school, we surveyed Holbein’s famous painting of Henry VIII standing there, tallish for his day, red bearded, broad shouldered, deep chested, in ‘party dress’, with his – ahem – enormous codpiece protruding through the split at the front of his pantaloons, and laugh at the buffoon he so obviously was. Our English history teacher (English as in teacher and in history) upbraided us for our levity and explained that Henry was much more than the fool we tho ...more
Svetlana Tishchenko
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
‘The retinue plays the king’ the phrase made immortal by W Shakespeare in his King Lear says it all. The book by Tracy Borman is all about the retinue of Henry VIII: the bold, the bad and the ugly.
There were so many men around Henry VIII, I lost my count at Cromwell. Some of them were so memorable, they made their way into The Tudors TV series. Some of them deserved a mere paragraph in Borman’s book. However, all of them together is what made Henry VIII who he was and vice versa.
I have read a lo
...more
Celia
Nov 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
II would give this book a four on just based on its readability. There were some historical figures around Henry VIII that I found uninteresting. However, they might have been interesting to a British audience so I was a little generous in my rating. I am an American and frequently I find when I read English history books I feel that if I were British I would know something about the subject but because I am an American I am totally confused.

The strengths of the books are that I learned a lot a
...more
Lynn Smith
I am so looking forward to reading this after attending a lecture at the BBC History Weekend in which Tracy Borman gave a lecture on this. It was a fresh approach away from his wives on the influences of the men in his life, father, educators, friends, servants and courtiers. He is still a tyrant, mistrustful, changeable particularly after 1530 and yet he is shown through sources to be affectionate, intelligent and at times vulnerable to manipulation which is not always shown in biographies or i ...more
Hungry
Dec 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this, even though i have read ALOT on the King, it was refreshing for the dialogue not to focus too much on his wives, but him and the men that surrounded him and advised him.

We learn the Henry, even though strong willed and intelligent was easily lead and some of his closest attendants and advisors did lead him astray.
Henry would pull himself out of it, only to be drawn in again by someone else!

We learn how quick tempered and vain he was, especially towards the end of his life, n
...more
Helen Carolan
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent read as usual from Ms Borman detailing the men who shaped Henry 8th. Many men passed through his life some more important than others. Statesmen, tutors,friends and his father all played a part in shaping the man and king.Henry in his youth was loyal but as the years passed he became more bullying and suspicious of those around him and his loyalty counted for nothing. This was a man who was happy to demonstrate that he could raise men up, but he could also bring them down again. A f ...more
Vigee
Nov 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This had a nice old-fashioned narrative feel about it and I appreciate a look at Henry not through the lens of his many wives. It follows the "Cromwell went after Anne Boleyn like a ferret down a rabbit hole" theory of history, which I find tedious, but aside from that it was really readable popular history. If you've been living on Mars and haven't read much about the Tudors this is a good one to pick up.
Jill
Nov 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting view of Henry's life and his men - sorts them all out very well. While describing the men's relationships and their historical context, I also learned more about the political and household setup during Henry's reign. Neither too dry nor too descriptive and no creating fictions of character/personalities - the portraits drawn are supported with extensive resources.
Rachel
Dec 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book and thought it was well-written.
Nóri Goreczky
rated it really liked it
Dec 06, 2018
Jen
rated it really liked it
Nov 29, 2018
julianne
Oct 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely fascinating, informative and surprisingly able to give a new viewpoint on Henry and his court. Ms Borman's writing is easy to read and she is an author I will be looking for more from.
Annette Geiss
Aug 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fascinating read on Henry VIII and the intricacies of his reign, not only his 6 wives, but how influenced he was by all the men who surrounded him from his birth to his death. The comprehensive details researched and relayed to us by Tracy Borman, are impressive. Thank you Netgalley and Grove Atlantic for the opportunity to read and review this ARC.
Kendra
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Dec 05, 2018
Elspeth
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Nov 08, 2018
Mark Wendruff
rated it it was amazing
Nov 05, 2018
Lucy Thompson
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Nov 24, 2018
Janet
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Jul 20, 2018
Amanda Harrison
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Serena
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Ellie
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have read every book, I think, ever written on the Tudors. This has got to be one of the most interesting ones! It is the quintessential book on Henry the Eighth and how he got to where he did and why, with every detail you will nee and want to know! What an interesting read! Absolutely for the Tudor or the history lover, this is one of the best! Thank you to Netgalley and Grove Atlantic for the perusal. I couldn't put it down!
Julie
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is an amazingly well-researched book and a fascinating look at Henry VIII! While I have read several books regarding him, most of what I previously read was focused on Henry VIII and his wives. This book moves the center a bit to look at the men that served, advised and manipulated him. Because I don’t have a strong background in this history the book was a bit of a stretch for me. What I learned from reading the book, however, made it so worth the time it took to carefully read and re ...more
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Tracey Borman is a historian and author from Scothern, United Kingdom. She is most widely known as the author of Elizabeth's Women.

Borman was born and brought up in the village of Scothern, England near Lincoln. She was educated at Scothern Primary School (now Ellison Boulters School), William Farr School, Welton, and Yarborough School, Lincoln. She taught history at the University of Hull, where
...more