Monday, 9 March 1998

Christopher Morris: The Tudors (1972)

Edition: Fontana

This book forms part of a series surveying English history not by cataloguing political events or analysing economic and social trends but by attempting to fathom the personalities of the kings and queens. The Tudors form one of the best periods of English history to understand with this approach, with rulers of strong personality better documented than in preceding centuries, who had real power with which they made immense changes to the country.

The book is on a popular level and is easy to read. It manages to be so without being patronising or losing its academic rigour. Christopher Morris does not sentimentalise his flamboyant subjects, nor does he succumb to the propoganda written by and about them in their lifetimes. Clearly, it can only offer an overview, covering five major figures in only 170 pages. An extensive bibliography means that further reading is easy to find for those who want greater detail.

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