Murder Most Royal by Jean Plaidy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I read this book years and years ago, probably when I was in my teens, so I'd forgotten almost everything about it... and forgotten how good it is.
The style is a bit old-fashioned, but nevertheless it's a real page turner. Although we can't know for certain how the characters really thought and felt, Jean Plaidy does a fantastic job of making Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard believable. She creates sympathy for the women, without making them saints, and paints a particularly vivid portrait of the monster that was Henry VIII, a basically weak, self serving, self deluding egotist who had virtually no empathy. Okay, so Tudor times were radically different to ours, and the pressures of being a king were very real, but Jean Plaidy perfectly reflects the opinion I've formed of this notorious monarch, based on extensive reading.
She shows us a man who was constantly banging on about his 'conscience' while effectively not possessing one at all. He didn't give a **** about anybody but himself. A psychopath.
Sorry for the rant, but I really do dislike Henry VIII with extreme prejudice!
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