“A wonderfully readable and lucid narrative of the "Tudor century." A different perspective on the Tudors and their notoriety, especially Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. I particularly appreciated the structure of narrative chapters followed by background chapters that ranged from the sweeping segment on the Turks and how continental rulers were distracted and could not wage a Crusade against England to the background of key players--the Bolyns, Queen Mary, and the Dudleys. ”Phyllis Walden wrote this review Monday, September 26, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“"Meyer's overview of the entire Tudor dynasty identifies both the continuing myths and legends of the family, as well as, the many ironies that existed in the 100+ years of Tudor reign. He examines the on-going effect the Tudors have had on the well being (or lack thereof) on the British people and the UK. The book falls within the ongoing revisionist examination of the era.
He demonstrates the political nature of the British Reformation and its social impact on ordinary people, the narcissism of the Tudor's themselves, and the full development of the concept "Divine Right of Kings" (or queens). There are many times when the daily life of the court and of the country become very vivid and the reader is able to obtain a true grasp of the discrepancies of life in Tudor times. The extreme wealth of a very small segment of the population, over and against the increased poverty of the majority is clearly emphasized.
Every now and then Meyer goes off on a tangent that he places in a full chapter refered to as "Background" These tangents are important as they give the context in which the events of England take place. These include the impact of the actions of Suleiman, the familial relationships of certain Popes, and the physical strengths and weaknesses of various people.
Although there is an extensive sources and notes section at the back of the book, it would have been beneficial to have appropriate footnotes throughout the text."
“As an English teacher, I wanted to get a better historical context for Shakespeare's work, and this book definitely accomplished that. Unlike some of the more narrative history books I've read recently (1776, Rise to Rebellion, The Glorious Cause), this one was a bit tedious to read. The information is excellent, but the writing style is more typical of historical texts - this happened, then that happened, and these people were involved.
Even so, the sheer volume of information in this text makes it worth slogging through - it certainly painted a different picture of Elizabeth I, which undoubtedly impacts the way I approach the Shakespearean era. ”
“I love reading about the tudor period.
“This is a great biography. Meyer is a wonderful story-teller, which always make non-fiction much more interesting. He also ties in at the end of the chapter a short essay on the time. ”Lillian W wrote this review Saturday, May 28, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“It's not fantasy, which is weird...but it's very informative, even though it's tough to follow at times. It some times goes off and talks bout HenryVIII's family, which can obviously be confusing, but i like it so i will try to read it all without tossing it.”Sydney L wrote this review Wednesday, April 13, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I'm about half-way through this right now, and I'm loving it. I usually read biographies of the individual Tudor lives, so it took me a few chapters to get used to this broader, more "bird's eye" view. The only thing I'm wondering is, at half-way point, I'm still reading about Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn-- can't imagine the author has left much room for the next three reigns...?”Lea LaBore wrote this review Friday, March 18, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I was a little disappointed in this reading. I expected more biographical information and less wordy history blah blah. I didn't learn very much that I didn't already know.”Linsey wrote this review Saturday, March 5, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“not a real tell-all book, but still good
“Talk about your dysfunctional families! the Tudors set a standard that would be hard to top. This is a long, scholarly look at the Tudor era as a unity of self-centered, self-serving monarchs primarily interested in survival - the exception being Henry VIII, who was simply a psychopathic monster.
Myers portrays them as mostly shallow and selfish, with everyone after Henry VIII struggling to resolve the complications - religious, political and legal, that he set in motion by his arrogance and self-centeredness.
Not a pretty story.”