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IndisponibilThomas Cromwell: The Untold Story of Henry VIII's Most Faithful Servant
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Thomas Cromwell: The Untold Story of Henry VIII's Most Faithful Servant

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Thomas Cromwell: The Untold Story of Henry VIII's Most Faithful Servant

evaluări:
4.5/5 (4 evaluări)
Lungime:
682 pages
10 hours
Lansat:
Jan 6, 2015
ISBN:
9780802191663
Format:
Carte

Descriere

“An exceptional and compelling biography about one of the Tudor Age’s most complex and controversial figures.” —Alison Weir
 
Thomas Cromwell has long been reviled as a Machiavellian schemer who stopped at nothing in his quest for power. As King Henry VIII’s right-hand man, Cromwell was the architect of the English Reformation; secured Henry’s divorce from Catherine of Aragon and plotted the downfall of his second wife, Anne Boleyn; and was fatally accused of trying to usurp the king himself. In this engrossing biography, acclaimed British historian Tracy Borman reveals a different side to one of history’s most notorious characters: that of a caring husband and father, a fiercely loyal servant and friend, and a revolutionary who was key in transforming medieval England into a modern state.
 
Thomas Cromwell was at the heart of the most momentous events of his time—from funding the translation and dissemination of the first vernacular Bible to legitimizing Anne Boleyn as queen—and wielded immense power over both church and state. The impact of his seismic political, religious, and social reforms can still be felt today. Grounded in excellent primary source research, Thomas Cromwell gives an inside look at a monarchy that has captured the Western imagination for centuries and tells the story of a controversial and enigmatic man who forever changed the shape of his country.
 
“An intelligent, sympathetic, and well researched biography.” —The Wall Street Journal
 
“Borman unravels the story of Cromwell’s rise to power skillfully . . . If you want the inside story of Thomas Cromwell . . . this is the book for you.” —The Weekly Standard
 
“An engrossing biography. . . . A fine rags-to-riches-to-executioner’s-block story of a major figure of the English Reformation.” —Kirkus Reviews
 
“An insightful biography of a much-maligned historical figure.” —Booklist
 
Lansat:
Jan 6, 2015
ISBN:
9780802191663
Format:
Carte

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  • (5/5)
    This is a masterful biography of one of the most influential non-Royal figures in British history. His profile is high at the moment, what with the success of Hilary Mantel's novels and the TV adaptation on our screens at the time of my reading this, so this is a very timely book. It offers a very balanced assessment of a controversial figure whose stock has gone from one extreme to the other in the near five centuries since his death, being very high during the Protestant ascendancy of the late 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, very low during the Romantic revival of the 19th, and more balanced in the 20th century and beyond. Cromwell was a man of his time, holding religious convictions of a type that led to his believing that his opponents should be crushed - but then so did Thomas More on the other side of the religious divide, and his later nemeses such as the Duke of Norfolk and Stephen Gardiner. At the same time, Cromwell was nearly always careful not to go beyond the bounds of King Henry VIII's religious policy at any given moment - and when he did, it contributed towards his final downfall in 1539-40 (though he had a brief elevation as Earl of Essex during his final two months at liberty from April to June of the latter year). Undoubtedly, he was ruthless, as shown by his operation to bring down Anne Boleyn in April-May 1536 which, looked at dispassionately, was a highly skilled and breathtakingly rapidly planned and executed manoeuvre. At the same time, he showed great personal charity towards the poor, and also executed laws to promote social justice and to organise the Medieval model of government into something closer to a modern departmental system. He also masterminded the first introduction of the Bible in English into parish churches. At a personal level, he was loyal to his friends and family, and even to his mentor Cardinal Wolsey after his fall from grace. Much of the antagonism towards him from his noble rivals at the top of politics derived from his having pulled himself up from his humble origins as the son of a disreputable Putney blacksmith through intelligence and hard work to the notice of first Wolsey and then King Henry. Norfolk and the others could never forgive someone from such lowly origins who had come to be the most influential adviser to the King over a period of nearly a decade. All in all, I think Cromwell was more sinned against than sinning and this biography recognises his very important place in British history.
  • (4/5)
    The right hand of Henry VIII. He was responsible to a large extent for the Protestant Revolution in England. He engineered the rise and the fall of Anne Bolyen. He directed the programs that shut down all the monasteries in England and the confiscation of church land which made Henry VIII the wealthiest monarch in Europe. He directed the executions of Sir Thomas More and Bishop Fisher. His mistake? He was a commoner and he was resented by the other members of the Privy Council especially the Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk. When he blundered by arranging a marriage to Anne of Cleve's (the mare of Flanders) his enemies pounced. The King executed his most faithful servant.
  • (4/5)
    With so many Tudor histories focusing on Henry VIII and his wives, it's refreshing to read about one of Henry's administrators, especially one whose profile has risen in the past few years (considering the books published by Hiliary Mantel.) A very pragmatic Thomas Cromwell emerges in this biography, discussing what is know of the man's early life, but focusing on his remarkable rise and dominance in Tudor politics. A good, accessible history which plenty of detail for average readers and scholars alike.
  • (5/5)
    This is actually quite a nice and balanced biography of Cromwell. He isn't white washed, he isn't made a saint. It is pretty darn good. And you don't need a background in the Tudors to read it.
  • (5/5)
    This is a thoroughly researched, balanced and informative biography of Thomas Cromwell. Much of the historic evidence is opinion recorded by Cromwell's contemporaries, and Borman weighs this evidence fairly. Her writing is clear and crisp - she makes her points well and doesn't wrap them up in flummery. I like that she acknowledged the inspiration she gained to research Cromwell from Hilary Mantel's novels. I read this biography for the same reason. It has been a delight to discover that Mantel's imagined Cromwell is grounded in fact. Borman presents a less romantic Cromwell, of course, but assesses his actions against the times he lived through and against the evidence of his character that can be gleaned from original source material. Through the way they were taught when I was at school, I have always thought the Tudors were dull, but Borman has brought the era to life for me and put human flesh on the dry bones of history.