Author: Sean Cunningham
Published:April 12th 2007 by Routledge
Plot:This biography illuminates the life of Henry VII himself, how he ran his government, how his authority was maintained, and the nature of the country over which he ruled since he first claimed the throne in 1485.
Sean Cunningham explores how Henry’s reign was vitally important in stabilizing the English monarchy and providing the sound financial and institutional basis for later developments in government, and tackles key questions in the debate:
Was Henry VII a conventional late medieval nobleman?
How did his upbringing affect his later kingship?
What was the nature of Henry’s marriage to Elizabeth of York?
How and why did he become the main rival to Richard III following the disappearance of Edward V and his brother in July 1483?
Up until now the details of Henry as a person and as a king, his court and household, his subjects, and his country have remained little known. This book fills that gap, bringing to the forefront the life and times of the very first Tudor king.
Review: Most probably one of the worst historical non-fiction pieces I have ever read. There was little in any analysis, we didn’t really gain a view on Cunningham’s own opinion. If we did his voice was weak and drowned out by the factual statistics he bombarded us with.
It didn’t entertain me or engage me and I found it a drag to read. I do enjoy reading non-fiction historical novels and this book for me held some insightful facts at times that really made me think, WOW, I didn’t know that.
Then we’d drop into relaying everything that happened under Henry VII. If you want an interesting analysis of his life and an independent thinker who chooses to express their opinion, Cunningham is not one.
The wording at times may be simplistic and easy to read, but the pace at which the events drag is tedious. We have a very quick run down of Henry’s reign throughout the first section of the book and then we drop into separate factors. Once you surpass the quick overview of his reign, that was where I hit problems. Nothing was engaging!
I feel this book lacked the engagement and analysis I truly desired. I wanted to really understand the workings of Henry VII and his relationships. This book promised a lot and delivered little!
I do not recommend this book to anybody unless they desire a run down of everything Henry did in his reign, which you can get in a simplistic history textbook. This book does not offer an experience, it offers hours of boredom!
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