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The Last Victim of Henry VIII

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Location: London

The Last Victim of Henry VIII

Post by Perdita » Sun October 19th, 2008, 10:32 am

By Jessie Childs. A compulsively readable account of the life and death of the Earl of Surrey. He was the son of the evil Earl of Norfolk (and cousin to Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard) and a poet and soldier.

Jessie Child's biography is gossipy and strong on social history. She quotes from lots of primary sources, eg, we hear from the poor man who got a job as tutor to Henry's bastard son Fitzroy, only to be bullied out of it by the lad's rowdy servants. She also gives quotes from a servant's manual so we can see for ourselves what their day might be like, what was expected of them and how little the nobility had to do for themselves.

The Earl of Surrey himself comes across as proud, impulsive and generous and it's interesting to see how he gradually lost favour and the build up of all the seemingly insignificant events that eventually led him to the scaffold aged 28 (or thereabouts!).

Fascinating stuff

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Post by boswellbaxter » Sun October 19th, 2008, 12:58 pm

Pathetically, I bought this book last year and have yet to read it! I keep getting sidetracked. It really does sound good, though--thanks for the review.
Susan Higginbotham
Coming in October: The Woodvilles


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