The Wives of Henry VIII - Antonia Fraser I knew I would finish this book today and it has been such an interesting book!

The Wives of Henry VIII by Antonia Fraser takes its reader through each wife, how they overlapped and the events surrounding their marriage to King Henry VIII. I wanted to read this book as I am currently about 3 episodes into the final season of the Tudors and I thought it would make a nice compliment to what was being shown on screen.

Never having much English history myself, Antonia Fraser (who herself is of noble blood) provides background on each of the six wives, their connections, and events of and surrounding their marriage to arguably one of England's most famous kings. Fraser brings to life a rich history and makes note of events which many seem to either forget or not know. I found each story interesting but the book was slightly bland. The one thing that I had a hard time with this book was keeping track of how everybody was related and who was related to whom. If I was confused, I'm sure it must have been confusing to those in the 16th century, many of which could not read or write.

Fraser points out in both the preface and epilogue her reasons for writing the book and I feel they are excellent. She wants to put down some of the stereotypes associated with the wives such as Anne Bolynn the temptress. Fraser points out that for the most part, these women were victims of a society in which they were just property. Yes, they may have had some say but at most times they were just pawns in a game played by their fathers, brothers, uncles, nephews, and sons.

What was most interesting is what happened to each wife after her marriage to the king ended. Yes, two of them were beheaded, a third died in childbirth, but the other three lived on.

If you don't know the story of Henry the VIII (This book is as much about him as is it about his wives) or the beyond the scenes stuff of his wives, then this book is a must read.