Henry VIII: The Heart and the Crown 

Reviewed By  Janet Mawdesley       June 14, 2023


Author  Alison Weir

Distributor:       Booktopia/Amazon 
Publisher:         Hachette. Imprint: Headline Review.
Release Date:   May 2023  

Website:    https://www.hachette.com.au 

Henry VIII, who wasn’t born to be King, is probably the most written about monarch in British history. Is there any more that can be said about him? Award winning authority on Tudor History, bestselling author Alison Weir, certainly thinks so!

In her second book in the Tudor Rose series, ‘Henry VIII: The Heart & The Crown’, she skillfully blends historical facts with authentic and atmospheric descriptions to provide readers with a fictionalised but enthralling tale of the innermost thoughts and feelings of this infamous king.  

Upon the death of his brother, Arthur in 1502, the woefully ill prepared Henry became heir to the throne. After the peaceful but austere reign of his miserly father Henry VII, a promising Golden Age was heralded with Coronation of the new King in 1509.  Celebrated for his intellectual and physical prowess, and with an overflowing treasury, Henry (Harry), who had dreamed of knights and chivalry, set about to make his mark on the world. Although his power and influence extended, his prayers for a male heir remain unanswered.

Alison Weir, by writing this detailed, enthralling tome from Henry’s perspective, has given readers a comprehensive insight into why this autocratic, vain but initially popular, chivalrous, romantic king, over four decades evolved as one of the most brutal, murderous, tyrannical sovereigns in British history: he changed England and the established Church forever. With her vivid descriptions she paints a fascinating picture of Tudor life, court, dress, customs, pageantry and events which actually took place, thereby transporting her readers back to the early sixteenth century. 

I highly recommend this balanced portrait of a well-known complexed character.