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The court of King Henry VIII is brought brilliantly to life in this My Story special.
Spanning a period of 20 years, the fates of all Henry's six wives are told from the perspective of two young courtiers serving at the royal palaces at different periods.
The famous (or infamous) story of Henry VIII's ill-fated wives is told through the eyes and diary of a young court girl from her being 10 years to around 16-17 years of age. She is also entrusted with 2 other diaries so we learn some of the story of the Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn before joining the current Jane Seymour. There is less of the first two wives that was indicated in the blurb however their stories are both separate books which can be read in full independently.
Even though this is for younger readers, I still found this highly enjoyable and got rather lost in history. Yes the basic tale is the "highly imagined" life at court but the basic historical facts still remain and are accurate (translation - you might instill some knowledge in the youth of today!!!!!)
Even with a number of years I won't admit to and a partially finished degree in history, I finally geekily be pleased at having Henry VIII's wives straight! I can also tell you now that if the history we were taught was half as interesting as this I may not have branched off into social history in an attempt to avoid learning tedious dates and names.
Definitely recommend this book to adults and teens alike.
Educational, yet fun and a real page turner. I have read quite a few books in the 'My Story' series (snippets of history aimed at young girls) and Henry VIII's wives is my favourite so far.
The story, as with the other books in the series, is written in diary form. A young girl name Beatrice watches as Queen Jane Seymour rises to prominence and then dies in childbirth. Later Beatrice becomes a handmaid to Queens Anne of Cleaves, Kathrine Howard and Kathrine Parr. She also includes snippets of her neighbours' diaries about serving Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn (you can read the whole diaries in My Story: Catherine of Aragon and My Story: Anne Boleyn and Me)
Getting inside the Royal court and all the scandals was fun. Watching through Beatrice's eyes allowed the narrative to be far enough removed that we didn't have to 'watch' the gory executions or steamy affairs first hand, keeping the book safely inside its 'family friendly' rating. I also loved that as Beatrice grew up, she fell in love, got married and had children - giving you the sense of everyday life in Tudor times alongside the glamour and intrigue.
I can't recommend this series enough for parents looking to expand their children's knowledge of history (or for that matter, history students struggling with the material). The My Story series brings events to life and makes remembering all those names just a little bit easier.
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Evelyn Waugh (1903 - 1966)