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False Brought up of Nought

Thomas Penn: Henry VII’s Men on the Make, 26 July 2017

Henry VII’s New Men and the Making of Tudor England 
by Steven Gunn.
Oxford, 393 pp., £60, August 2016, 978 0 19 965983 8
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... in the following reign, Thomas Cromwell was the apotheosis (or nadir) of these ‘new men’. As Steven Gunn argues in his new book, a work of characteristic meticulousness, not only did these men encapsulate the mood, workings and functioning of Henry VII’s disorientating regime, they ‘were central … at the start and at the heart of the making of ...

Under the Soles of His Feet

Stephen Alford: Henry’s Wars, 4 April 2019

The English People at War in the Age of Henry VIII 
by Steven Gunn.
Oxford, 297 pp., £35, January 2018, 978 0 19 880286 0
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... consumer of his own propaganda. Whether Henry’s subjects shared his affection for war is, as Steven Gunn’s book shows, less certain. War was, however, central to the English experience, both in the practical sense that armies were sent frequently into battle, but also in the more amorphous sense that national identity was shaped by the memory of ...

One Cygnet Too Many

John Watts: Henry VII, 26 April 2012

Winter King: The Dawn of Tudor England 
by Thomas Penn.
Penguin, 448 pp., £8.99, March 2012, 978 0 14 104053 0
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... and the implications of its culture, the complexities of the international situation. Thanks to Steven Gunn, Sean Cunningham, Paul Cavill and one or two others, we are beginning to develop a convincing political narrative that joins the story of the pretenders with the innovations in government, their domestic reception and the larger diplomatic and ...

How to Be Tudor

Hilary Mantel: Can a King Have Friends?, 17 March 2016

Charles Brandon: Henry VIII’s Closest Friend 
by Steven Gunn.
Amberley, 304 pp., £20, October 2015, 978 1 4456 4184 3
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... wives, Charles Brandon would come near the top, second only to the king he served. The subtitle of Steven Gunn’s scholarly biography describes its subject as ‘Henry VIII’s Closest Friend’. What a prospect of damp-palmed horror that phrase evokes! The knocking of Tudor knees echoes down the years. Can a king have friends? Could Henry VIII have ...

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