SOCIAL SCIENCES

Winter King

Henry VII and the Dawn of Tudor England
Winter King: Henry VII and the Dawn of Tudor England. S. & S. Mar. 2012. c.480p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781439191569. $28. BIOG
COPY ISBN
Though he ended the Wars of the Roses and became the first Tudor monarch, Henry VII often is overshadowed by his better-known descendants Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. Penn (publisher, Verso Books) attempts to rectify this, skimming over the king's early years to explore the conflicts that pervaded his reign—in particular the issues raised by his tenuous claim to the throne. Complex, shrewd, and well aware of the instability of his position, Henry solidified his rule not only through carefully constructed propaganda celebrating a new dynasty—the Tudors—but also by use of an extensive network of informers and a ruthless system of taxes and fines to keep English subjects in check. Penn's focus on these darker aspects results in a somewhat slanted portrait of the king himself, but his thoroughly researched history quite successfully evokes the king's web of advisers, associates, and enemies, as well as the overall atmosphere of England during this period.
VERDICT Recommended for anyone seriously interested in Tudor history; the denseness and amount of detail may be overwhelming for casual readers. [See Prepub Alert, 9/22/11.]

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


RELATED 

ALREADY A SUBSCRIBER?

We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing

ALREADY A SUBSCRIBER?