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The Divorce of Henry VIII
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The inside story of Henry VIII s divorce from Catherine of Aragon.

About the Author

Catherine Fletcher was born in Birkenhead and spent her teenage years in Scotland. She graduated with a First in Politics and Communication Studies from the University of Liverpool in 1996. After a stint in student politics she worked for the BBC Political Unit and BBC Parliament as a researcher and TV producer. A holiday in Florence sparked an interest in Renaissance history and in 2004 she changed career and went back to university to study for a PhD in History at Royal Holloway, University of London. She subsequently held research fellowships at the British School at Rome and the European University Institute in Florence and is now a Lecturer in Early Modern History at Durham University. Our Man in Rome is her first book.

Reviews

Given the amount of material available on the Tudors, it's difficult to think that anyone even remotely interested in this era is unfamiliar with the particulars of Henry VIII's attempts to seek a divorce from his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, and the resulting political and religious fallout. Fortunately, in her first book, Fletcher (history, Univ. of Durham, England) has found a new angle by focusing on a little-known figure: Gregorio Casali, England's Italian-born ambassador to Rome. As one of the diplomats charged with securing the Pope's approval for the divorce, Casali played a central role in the dealings at the papal court. Though some biographical gaps remain, the information Fletcher has uncovered about Casali's life-full of clashing politics, professional rivalries, and deep family loyalties-provides a fresh perspective on the proceedings of the divorce attempt as well as an in-depth look at the complex world of 16th-century diplomacy. VERDICT The level of scholarly detail may overwhelm some casual readers, but the combination of Fletcher's excellent detective work and a new viewpoint on this well-trod patch of history makes this a must-read for anyone with a serious interest in this popular subject.-Kathleen McCallister, Univ. of South Carolina Lib., Columbia (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

"An eye-opening book, an intricate and fascinating story of an elusive man with an impossible job. A brilliant and impressive feat of original research, and necessary reading for anyone fascinated by the story of Henry's divorce... Catherine Fletcher has allowed the story to tell itself, except that she's been so clever in the telling of it, cutting through to what matters without over-simplifying" * Hilary Mantel, author of Wolf Hall *
"A glittering debut...drawing on the unexplored riches of Italian Renaissance archives, enlarges the well known story, and to magnificent effect" -- Miranda Seymour * Sunday Times *
"A marvel of close-up detective work" -- Duncan Fallowell * Daily Express *
"Fletcher does her subject great credit. She makes no attempt to either embellish or simplify. She simply tells a cracking story well, in plenty of detail with clarity and insight. Above all she resists the temptation to overlay past events with modern cultural and emotional responses. Her protagonists are never anything but true to their selves and Fletcher richly deserves the title of historian. Jonathan Rhys Meyers need not apply." -- Sarah Vine * The Times *
"The greatest joy of this splendid book is that it dwells on context. You'll emerge with a keener sense of why the dynastic priorities of Henry VIII ("a mid-ranking northern monarch, a player on the European stage but far from the star of the show") managed to cause such a fuss" -- Jonathan Wright * The Herald *

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