The Making of Henry VIII by Marie Louise Bruce (2023)

The Making of Henry VIII

The Making of Henry VIII

I am a big fan of English history but rarely skirt into anything before 1916. So when Sapere Books provided me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review, I leaped at the opportunity to read about something new and learn about Henry VIII’s life before being made king.

And I’m glad I did because this The Making of Henry VIII is a meticulously researched book about how the future king of England was brought up.

At first, it took a while to get comfortable, as the detail is extremely rich as the author guides the reader along.

Saying that, I found the book fascinating and made me want to read what happened when Henry VIII became king at 17, as there is an abrupt stop once this age is met.

Henry Tudor’s childhood was marked by luxury, praise, extravagant banquets, equestrian skills, tournaments, and jousting. However, a looming sense of threat and uncertainty and rebellions, conspiracies, traitors, and imposters from his early years contributed to his later life’s insecurities.

Throughout his infant and teen years, Henry is subjected to intense schooling inside and outside the classroom.

We learn how his father meted out punishments, including some grotesque methods of executions.

Towards the end, much is given to Catherine, who will become Henry’s first wife (he had six and a bunch of mistresses in total during his life) and we see how she was kept virtually in poverty with a small stipend and treated terribly.

King Henry VIII went onto rule England and became famous for being ruthless.

Within the book, we come to understand why this was the case – he felt betrayed by many of his ministers and family members, so his rule became more about fear than anything else.

During his reign, he changed England forever, with his dissolution of monasteries and seizure of Church lands being two noteworthy events that would shape the country for centuries.

I’m giving The Making of Henry VIII by Marie Louise Bruce 5/5 because it was an enjoyable read and the author’s research and weaving the story together produced an engaging and excellent book.

If you liked this review, please look at the main page for more reviews or hit here for the non-fiction category of reviews.