Six Wives

  • by David Starkey
  • Narrated by Patricia Hodge
  • 6 hrs and 30 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The first of Henry VIII's wives was Catherine of Aragon, the pious Catholic princess who suffered years of miscarriages and still births and yet failed to produce a male heir.As Henry VIII's interest shifted from her powerful Hapsburg relations and drifted towards France, so began his obsession with the pretty Lutheran Anne Boleyn.Jane Seymour's submissiveness was in contrast to Anne's vampish style, and Henry married her on the day of Anne's execution. Jane died soon after giving birth to the longed-for son.There followed a farcical "beauty contest" which ended in the short marriage of the now grossly overweight Henry to "the mare of Flanders", Anne of Cleves.The final part of Six Wives contrasts the two Catherines; Catherine Howard, the flirty child whose adulteries made a fool of the ageing King, and Catherine Parr, the shrewd, religiously radical bluestocking.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

I now know a lot more!

I have always known Henry VIII had six wives, but my knowledge ended there. I could not remember their order, who was beheaded, or who suvived, let alone how long each marriage lasted. Thanks to this book all is now a lot clearer, and my desire to learn more 'history' has been wetted. Not that it is an easy book, it assumes some knowledge of historical terms and dates and names fly at you with amazing and sometimes bewildering regularity. I found regular visits to a well known on-line encyclopaedia, both necessary and helpful and was in need of family trees to keep track of everyone as well! My only minor concern is that quotes are taken from still existing letters from the period written obviously in 'old' english, the author also uses this 'old' english to reconstruct conversations and I could not therefore always tell what was factual and what was supposition. Overall an enjoyable and educational what did happen to Mary and Edward?
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- Harold

Good but too short

It is well-written and well narrated, but I'd have preferred an unabridged version - there didn't seem to be enough detail and the time period was sped through.
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- Nom de Plume

Book Details

  • Release Date: 24-06-2005
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited