Margaret George is one of the best historical fiction writers. She started my love for the genre back when I read Helen of Troy. In the last year, I’ve had an odd obsession for Tudor England, so it only made sense that I start The Autobiography of Henry VIII.
A Book Made for the Man
This was a behemoth of a book. Almost 1000 pages. It took me six months to read. I read other books in the interim, thank goodness, but it sucked up a big part of my life.
The story started in Henry’s youth. We learn a bit about his brother’s marriage to Katherine of Aragon and subsequent death, as well as his father’s death, leading him to the crown. We also get to follow Henry through all six of his wives.
The story is read like a journal, written by His Majesty, King Henry VIII. Detailed writings told from the first person. These are king-level details, so you get insight to what’s on the table at feasts and celebrations as well as what each and every item tasted like. Did that add to the story? No, but it did manage to make me hungry.
I had read The Other Boleyn Girl end of last year/early this year. I’ve fallen in love with Six The Musical. I’ve managed to experience so many different perspectives of the same story. Thus, my favorite parts were those of the wives. Though Henry VIII was told from his perspective, it’s still super interesting to see how whiney he got when, at 40+ years old, his 19-year-old wife wanted to spend time with people her own age.
Now, I wouldn’t recommend The Autobiography of Henry VIII to anyone who does not appreciate detailed historical fiction or who does not have passionate feelings about Tudor England. I was more pleased with myself for finishing the book than actually enjoying it.
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