Read by Robin Sachs
For the first time in decades, here, in a single volume, is a fresh
look at the fabled Tudor dynasty, comprising some of the most enigmatic
figures ever to rule a country. Acclaimed historian G. J. Meyer reveals
the flesh-and-bone reality in all its wild excess.
In 1485, young Henry Tudor, whose claim to the throne was so weak as
to be almost laughable, crossed the English Channel from France at the
head of a ragtag little army and took the crown from the family that
had ruled England for almost four hundred years. Half a century later
his son, Henry VIII, desperate to rid himself of his first wife in order
to marry a second, launched a reign of terror aimed at taking powers
no previous monarch had even dreamed of possessing. In the process he
plunged his kingdom into generations of division and disorder, creating
a legacy of blood and betrayal that would blight the lives of his children
and the destiny of his country.
The boy king Edward VI, a fervent believer in reforming the English
church, died before bringing to fruition his dream of a second English
Reformation. Mary I, the disgraced daughter of Catherine of Aragon,
tried and failed to reestablish the Catholic Church and produce an heir.
And finally came Elizabeth I, who devoted her life to creating an image
of herself as Gloriana the Virgin Queen but, behind that mask, sacrificed
all chance of personal happiness in order to survive.
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