This is the first time in many years that I have been compelled to not finish a book. I usually devour everything Tudor-related, and I did give this a solid chance, 150 pages. But it just didn’t keep my interest. The political implications behind Henry VIII’s attempts to divorce Catherine of Aragon are certainly well documented here, but the correspondences between various diplomats, ambassadors, and the curia read like petty, whining brats wrote them. The book mainly focuses on Henry’s Italian ambassador in Rome, Gregorio Casali, but there are dozens of other Casali family members, English diplomats, Italian politicians, and Vatican representatives to keep track of. They’re constantly stabbing each other in the back, changing allegiances, griping about never having enough money, and contradicting their own opinions. I just didn’t feel I motivated to keep reading about how the rest of Europe regarded Henry’s Great Matter.
I received a complimentary copy of this book via the Amazon Vine program.