Henry VIII was the most formidable and famous king ever to sit on the English throne. His achievements were immense: he carried out sweeping political and religious changes, was one of the main builders of the English navy, and made England a great power. Today he is popularly remembered for his six wives, who are recalled in the rhymes: "Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived".
How did this handsome, athletic young prince, with his zest for life and his love of music and the company of ladies, turn into the bloated despot who suppressed the monasteries and stole their wealth, and to put to death some of those closest to him?
In this compelling biography, Jasper Ridley shows that Henry VIII was the product of his time - a man who acted and behaved in the way expected of an absolute hereditary monarch. Setting his story against the rich pageantry of the Tudor court, he presents a wonderfully rounded portrait of a true Renaissance prince.