THE SISTERS OF HENRY VIII by Maria Perry

THE SISTERS OF HENRY VIII

The Tumultuous Lives of Margaret of Scotland and Mary of France

KIRKUS REVIEW

A highly detailed history of intricate dynastic political tangles among England, Scotland, and their European neighbors during the 16th century. English actress, journalist, and historian Perry transports readers to a far-off time as she acquaints us with Henry VIII’s lesser-known relatives. The author delves deeply into contemporary sources from an age when royal marriages played a dominant role in the art of politics. She captures the pageantry of power politics in a time when nobility competed with lavish displays of great wealth and conspicuous consumption that in itself suggested power and prestige among the royal houses of Europe. Margaret Tudor, Henry’s elder sister, was widowed when James IV of Scotland died attacking the English at Flodden Field, a Scottish disaster. She later married a Douglas, Lord Angus, an enemy of the volatile Scottish ruling clans, causing herself much angst while fleeing danger with her two sons, potential heirs to the English throne. After a life of turmoil in near-anarchic Scotland, she is remembered as the grandmother of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, and great-grandmother of James VI of Scotland, who became James I of England. Mary Tudor, Henry’s younger sister, married the aged Louis XII of France, became a widow shortly thereafter, then wed the duke of Suffolk, producing more pretenders to the throne. Henry’s marriage to Anne Boleyn divided the country as many admired the devout, rejected Katharine of Aragon. Thankfully, the book includes a “House of Tudor” chart that will help general readers sort out the crowded cast of characters who shaped many of the leading events of the age. Perry’s insightful account of the king’s sisters and their times might well provide currently Tudor-infatuated Hollywood with a good source for future movies and miniseries.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-312-24241-7
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 1999




SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

NonfictionYOUNG HENRY by Robert Hutchinson
by Robert Hutchinson
FictionA DANGEROUS INHERITANCE by Alison Weir
by Alison Weir