Book Review : Six Wives The Queens of Henry VIII by David Starkey

For Book Club Meeting : Saturday, 30th May 2009.
Venue: Ms. Madhavi Murthy's residence. Time: 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm


By nature, the life of Henry VIII, the Tudor monarch of England, was ‘insanely’ interesting. He can be described as a bold-faced, unbeatable man, who wanted a new world regularly to suit his impulsive conduct. But then, the state of his times was such when noble men and noble women could be given the finest gold cups by a sovereign and the next week their heads were chopped off inside the Tower. Within the viewing range of the book, SIX WIVES The Queens of Henry VIII, by David Starkey brings the scenes very well in front of us. The author describes the ideas of those times. The relations between the kings and God. The relations between the people and God.

While and after reading the book, I remained the audience looking up at the wall-screen of history… an ever-fresh history that transferred countless backdrops of deeds, actions – played by factual characters of: kings and queens, knights and lords, the Pope, the cardinals, bishops, ministers, ladies-in-waiting, and so on. The ordinary, the poor, the down-trodden may not join a mention strongly, but, at the end of the story by Starkey, we know their terrible ordeal – which was life, itself. Starkey has the gift to make every chapter of his book: a favourite for his reader. The finely textured strokes of facts show him as a scholar of history. Every few minutes, SIX WIVES The Queens of Henry VIII invited me to raise the curtains of my own belief: believing in the theory of karma, and the total effect of a person’s actions and conduct during successive phases of births and rebirths. Why, someone is born a king and still luckless; why, people go to the gallows inspite of full innocence; why, a young lady of the-most-royal-origin cannot produce an heir; why, a fully-raised sovereign dies an untimely death. You ask me, SIX WIVES The Queens of Henry VIII was wholly questioning my mind in mass and without a doubt, I could read it again. Remember, you must be an ardent fan of historical novels to be doing so — the book is widespread in 765 pages.

Geeta Chhabra


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