Saturday, September 1, 2012

Winter King by Thomas Penn

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I have to admit to being a history geek. For me, history is alive and energizing - not something static and remote. My obsession is European history from the 12th through 17th centuries - especially British history - so of course this book piqued my interest immediately.

I had not read too terribly much about Henry VII in the past and, with this book, Thomas Penn, brings this most important of English monarch to life in a very enjoyable, very interesting, fashion. There is no pedantry about this book, although the historical research  and detail is truly remarkable . It is detailed to be sure but the details add to the read - they don't detract from the flow of the book as can become an issue with some dry historical missives. This book is lively, enthralling, detailed and enjoyable!

"Winter King" has put some of the names and historical circumstances into prospective for me. Although Henry VII was a power house of a monarch it is his son, Henry VIII, who generally gets most of the press. I learned more about the man who became the King; how he managed to cling to the monarch in a very uncertain time, how he found his way through a mire of intrigues & plots to depose him, and how, it is my impression, he was the King who really was spymaster. Mentally agile, ruthless,intelligent, thoughtful and canny, Henry VII is an engrossing historical character and this book is a winner!

Yes! I heartily recommend it for other history obsessives or Tudor fans. Well done!

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