Royal Reading

I do love to read about history and that often means reading about royalty in its many shapes and forms. So if you are game for some royal reads then this category is for you...

The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Alison Weir

The author obviously used both public records and personal letters from the early 1500's to pen her comprehensive factual version of the tumultuous lives of Henry VIII and the six women he took as wives. I like Ms. Weir, her books are very readable and I certainly learned a lot, but sometimes it seems just a collection of lists and historical records. I did some fact checking and it turns out that other Tudor scholars seem dubious about her work. No doubt, way more accurate than HBO's version: The Tudors. I will have to read deeper--darn the luck. 

The Children of Henry VIII by Alison Weir

All things Tudor...I wanted to read a biography of Elizabeth Tudor (the daughter of Anne Boylen and Henry VIII) but to get the whole picture from Alison Weir you must start with this book that chronicles Elizabeth's childhood up until she assumed the monarchy.

Elizabeth the Queen by Alison Weir

I find Elizabeth Tudor a fascinating woman, indeed at the point in history, power was held by strong women--Elizabeth Tudor, Mary, Queen of Scots, and Catherine di Medici-- to name a few. I will at some point read more about Queen Elizabeth.

Bring Up The Bodies by Hilary Mantel

Winner of the 2012 Man Booker Prize

Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel's 2009 Man Booker Prize winner is a fleshed out "biography" of the life of Thomas Cromwell, King Henry VIII's most faithful counselor and a very powerful man. Bring Up the Bodies is the sequel and delves into the heart of Tudor history with the downfall of Anne Boleyn as witnessed through the eyes of Thomas Cromwell. Years ago, I watched The Tudors on HBO, a pretty version, of the early reign of King Henry VIII and three of his six wives. I picked up a copy of Wolf Hall sometime after that series came to an end. This book, even though I loved Wolf Hall lingered on my shelf for years but I'm glad I waited, it was the perfect addition to this category.

My Heart is my Own by John Guy

A long-overdue and dramatic reinterpretation of the life of Mary, Queen of Scots by one of the leading historians at work today and a book I cannot wait to start. I do a lot of Royal reading--most recently the Tudors. I am understandably keen to read more on Elizabeth I's  biggest rival. Even though this was a book of door-stopping length it kept me glued to the pages from start to finish. A woman of whom it can be truly said "If it weren't for bad luck I would have no luck at all."


Hi! I'm Debbie. Here at Categorically Well-Read I give an extra layer to the reading life. Learn more about me, check out my current category of books, submit your own suggestion, or check out my latest post.