Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-10-24
- Reviewer: Staff
British historian Lipscomb (A Journey Through Tudor England) nimbly scrutinizes Henry VIIIs unusual final will to lend new insight into the kings state of mind and religious beliefs during the last months of his life while also settling potential timeline incongruities. Henrys hybridization of Protestant and Catholic tenets and his plethora of female heirs added extra intricacies to his final wishes. This was especially so after the brief reign of his Protestant son, Edward VI, as England wrestled with the idea of both a queen regnant and undergoing yet another change in religion. Lipscomb deftly walks readers through the will, with Henry elevating the daughters whom he declared legally illegitimate and excluding his elder sisters Scottish heirs on the extraordinary assumption that he could essentially will the crown to whomever he chose, decades after his demise. Henrys biggest miscalculation stemmed from trusting his ambitious advisers to follow his wishes after his death; a clear analysis shows that these men helped undermine Henrys wishes regarding religion during Edward VIs reign and then temporarily interrupted the succession with Jane Greys brief accession. Lipscomb shows that Henry remained mentally astute as he made extensiveand necessary, as it turned outplans to secure the Tudor dynasty, believing in his own power to the last. Illus. (Jan.)