Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Tudors & My New Favorite Word

(This is a copy of a post I already posted on my work blog containing librarian reviews...'cuase I'm that lazy!)

The Tudors: The Complete Story of England’s Most Notorious Dynasty
By G.J. Meyer
Delacorte Press, 2010. 612 pgs. Nonfiction.

Of all England’s rulers, the Tudors have proved to possess the greatest ability to remain prominent in the history books. Their relatively short reign, barely three generations, managed to bankrupt the government and establish an unrivaled legacy of brutal tyranny and civil unrest. This work follows the royal family from Henry VII’s unlikely rise to power, to Henry VIII’s six wives and the tumultuous religious war he waged against the Catholic Church, on to his son Edward VI’s short time on the throne, his daughter Mary’s 5 year reign and bloody legacy, and finally to Elizabeth’s forty years in power.

Meyer writes in an entertaining style with a dry humor that kept me tied to the narrative. I did feel that the coverage was uneven; spending a majority of the book telling of Henry VIII’s many intrigues while spending an amazingly little amount of time exploring Elizabeth and her relatively lengthy reign. However, I still recommend this collective biography to anyone interested in English history. The “Historical Notes” that ended most chapters were particularly fascinating and gave excellent glimpses into life during the time period. I, personally, am glad I decided to explore the Tudor dynasty if only to be introduced to my new favorite word, kleptocracy, which was used to describe the political environment Henry VIII established. Totally worth all 20 discs and 25 hours!

1 comment:

Mary Ann said...

Nice word. Does it have anything to do with kleptomania?