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'Divorced, beheaded, died; divorced, beheaded, survived.' So the six wives of Henry VIII - Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anna of Cleves, Katherine Howard and Catherine Parr -have become defined in a popular sense not so much by their lives as by the way these lives ended. In the same way their characters are popularly portrayed as female stereotypes: the Betrayed Wife, the Temptress, the Good Woman, the Ugly Sister, the Bad Girl and, finally, the Mother Figure. But, as Antonia Fraser brilliantly and conclusively proves, they were rich and feisty characters. They may have been victims of Henry's obsession with a male heir, but they were not willing victims. On the contrary, they exhibited remarkable degrees of spirit and defiance of which women living now might still be proud. They displayed considerable strength and intelligence at a time when their sex supposedly possessed little of either. Antonia Fraser deals with each woman in turn with sympathy - the sympathy they deserve for having had the unenviable fate of being Henry's wife. Inevitably there was great rivalry between them, so high were the stakes in the great game of marrying the King of England. There was jealousy too - the desperate jealousy of Queens who found themselves abandoned, but also the sexual jealousy of the King who discovered himself betrayed. The story Antonia Fraser tells is romantic and cruel, funny and sad, dramatic and enthralling. This is historical biography at its best.`An intoxicating mixture of sex, sentiment and court intrigue... Fraser has the knack... of making history not merely readable but irresistible' Sunday Times

The six wives of Henry VIII - Antonia Fraser

9780297643555
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Title
The six wives of Henry VIII
Author
Antonia Fraser
format
Hardback
Publisher
Orion Books
Language
English
UK Publication Date
19990408

'Divorced, beheaded, died; divorced, beheaded, survived.' So the six wives of Henry VIII - Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anna of Cleves, Katherine Howard and Catherine Parr -have become defined in a popular sense not so much by their lives as by the way these lives ended. In the same way their characters are popularly portrayed as female stereotypes: the Betrayed Wife, the Temptress, the Good Woman, the Ugly Sister, the Bad Girl and, finally, the Mother Figure. But, as Antonia Fraser brilliantly and conclusively proves, they were rich and feisty characters. They may have been victims of Henry's obsession with a male heir, but they were not willing victims. On the contrary, they exhibited remarkable degrees of spirit and defiance of which women living now might still be proud. They displayed considerable strength and intelligence at a time when their sex supposedly possessed little of either. Antonia Fraser deals with each woman in turn with sympathy - the sympathy they deserve for having had the unenviable fate of being Henry's wife. Inevitably there was great rivalry between them, so high were the stakes in the great game of marrying the King of England. There was jealousy too - the desperate jealousy of Queens who found themselves abandoned, but also the sexual jealousy of the King who discovered himself betrayed. The story Antonia Fraser tells is romantic and cruel, funny and sad, dramatic and enthralling. This is historical biography at its best.`An intoxicating mixture of sex, sentiment and court intrigue... Fraser has the knack... of making history not merely readable but irresistible' Sunday Times

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Antonia Fraser is the author of many widely acclaimed historical works, including the biographies MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS (a 40th anniversary edition was published in May 2009), CROMWELL: OUR CHIEF OF MEN, KING CHARLES II and THE GUNPOWDER PLOT (CWA Non-Fiction Gold Dagger; St Louis Literary Award). She has written five highly praised books which focus on women in history, THE WEAKER VESSEL: WOMEN'S LOT IN SEVENTEENTH CENTURY ENGLAND (Wolfson Award for History, 1984), THE WARRIOR QUEENS: BOADICEA'S CHARIOT, THE SIX WIVES OF HENRY VIII, MARIE ANTOINETTE: THE JOURNEY (Franco-British Literary Prize 2001), which was made into a film by Sofia Coppola in 2006 and most recently LOVE AND LOUIS XIV: THE WOMEN IN THE LIFE OF THE SUN KING. She was awarded the Norton Medlicott Medal by the Historical Association in 2000. Antonia Fraser was made DBE in 2011 for her services to literature. Her most recent book is MUST YOU GO?, celebrating her life with Harold Pinter, who died on Christmas Eve 2008. She lives in London.Visit Antonia Fraser's website atwww.antoniafraser.com

Type
BOOK
Keyword Index
Queens - Great Britain - Biography.|Great Britain - Kings and rulers.|Great Britain - History - Henry VIII, 1509-1547.
Country of Publication
England
Number of Pages
494

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