20 best books on king henry viii – 2023 reading list & recommendations

Are you fascinated by the tumultuous reign of King Henry VIII? Do you want to dive deeper into the life and times of this enigmatic monarch? Look no further! We have compiled a list of the 20 best books about King Henry VIII that will transport you back to the royal court and unravel the secrets of this iconic figure. Whether you’re a history buff or simply curious about one of England’s most infamous kings, these books on King Henry VIII will captivate and educate you.


The Private Lives of the Tudors

by Tracy Borman

Are you fascinated by the scandalous secrets and hidden lives of the British monarchy? Look no further than Tracy Borman’s captivating book on King Henry VIII, titled “The Private Lives of the Tudors”. This remarkable historical account delves into the intriguing world of one of England’s most notorious monarchs, offering a refreshingly intimate perspective on the man behind the crown.

Borman’s book about King Henry VIII takes readers on a riveting journey through the corridors of power, uncovering the clandestine affairs, political machinations, and personal dramas that shaped the Tudor dynasty. With meticulous research and a flair for storytelling, she paints a vivid picture of a king who was both larger than life and deeply flawed.

Delving beyond the well-known tales of Henry’s six wives, “The Private Lives of the Tudors” explores the complex web of relationships that surrounded the king, from his loyal advisors to his ambitious courtiers. Borman skillfully reveals the human side of Henry VIII, showcasing his insecurities, his passions, and his relentless pursuit of power.

With its rich detail and immersive narrative, this king Henry VIII book is a must-read for history enthusiasts and anyone seeking a deeper understanding of one of England’s most iconic rulers. Tracy Borman’s expertise shines through on every page, making “The Private Lives of the Tudors” an engrossing and enlightening exploration of the man who forever changed the course of British history.

The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn

by Eric Ives

Are you ready to dive into the captivating world of the Tudors? Look no further than Eric Ives’ masterpiece, “The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn.” This remarkable book on King Henry VIII and his tempestuous second wife is an absolute must-read for anyone fascinated by the tumultuous reign of this infamous monarch.

The Six Wives of Henry VIII

by Alison Weir

Step back in time and immerse yourself in the dramatic and captivating world of the Tudor court with Alison Weir’s book on King Henry VIII, The Six Wives of Henry VIII. This fascinating and meticulously researched account offers a gripping insight into the lives of the six extraordinary women who shared a marriage with one of history’s most notorious monarchs.

Weir’s book about King Henry VIII takes you on a thrilling journey through the tumultuous reign of this larger-than-life king, exploring the political and personal dynamics that shaped his relationships with each of his wives. From the devout and ill-fated Catherine of Aragon to the enigmatic and ill-fated Anne Boleyn, each queen’s story unfolds with all the intrigue, passion, and betrayal of a gripping historical novel.

With a keen eye for detail and a talent for bringing history to life, Weir delves deep into the lives of these remarkable women, revealing their strengths, weaknesses, and ultimately their tragic fates. Through her vivid storytelling, she transports you to the opulent palaces, treacherous courts, and turbulent times that defined the reign of King Henry VIII.

If you’re looking for a king Henry VIII book that combines the allure of a captivating narrative with the rigor of scholarly research, then look no further. The Six Wives of Henry VIII is a must-read for history enthusiasts and those seeking a deeper understanding of one of England’s most notorious kings.

Henry VIII: The King and His Court

by Alison Weir

Henry VIII: The King and His Court by Alison Weir is a captivating and immersive book on the life and reign of one of history’s most notorious monarchs. Weir’s meticulous research and engaging storytelling transport readers back to the colorful and tumultuous court of King Henry VIII, where power, politics, and passion collide.

The Lady in the Tower: The Fall of Anne Boleyn

by Alison Weir

If you’re a history buff or simply fascinated by tales of power, betrayal, and scandal, then Alison Weir’s The Lady in the Tower: The Fall of Anne Boleyn is the perfect book for you. This gripping and meticulously researched account takes readers deep into the heart of Tudor England, offering a front-row seat to the dramatic downfall of one of history’s most infamous queens.

Weir’s book about King Henry VIII delves into the life and tragic fate of Anne Boleyn, the second wife of the notorious monarch. Through vivid storytelling and an expert blend of historical facts and speculation, Weir paints a vivid portrait of a woman who captivated a king, challenged societal norms, and ultimately paid the ultimate price for her ambitions.

As you delve into the pages of this captivating king Henry VIII book, you’ll be transported back in time to a world of courtly intrigue, political machinations, and religious upheaval. Weir skillfully unravels the web of conspiracy and betrayal that surrounded Anne Boleyn, shedding light on the events that led to her imprisonment in the Tower of London and her subsequent trial and execution.

With meticulous attention to detail and a wealth of historical sources at her disposal, Weir brings the past to life in a way that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Whether you’re a history aficionado or simply seeking a compelling story, The Lady in the Tower: The Fall of Anne Boleyn is a must-read that will transport you back to a time of passion, power, and tragedy.

The Last Days of Henry VIII: Conspiracy, Treason, and Heresy at the Court of the Dying Tyrant

by Robert Hutchinson

Are you ready to dive into the scandalous world of one of England’s most notorious kings? Look no further than The Last Days of Henry VIII: Conspiracy, Treason, and Heresy at the Court of the Dying Tyrant by Robert Hutchinson. This captivating book offers a gripping account of the final years of the infamous monarch, delving into the web of conspiracy, treason, and heresy that surrounded his court.

With meticulous research and vivid storytelling, Hutchinson brings to life the dramatic events that unfolded during the twilight of King Henry VIII’s reign. From the power struggles among his advisors to the religious turmoil that gripped the nation, this book offers a fresh perspective on the tumultuous era.

Through his masterful writing, Hutchinson transports readers back in time, allowing them to witness the machinations and intrigues that took place within the court of this larger-than-life monarch. The author’s attention to detail and his ability to paint a vivid picture of the characters involved make this book a truly immersive experience.

Whether you are a history enthusiast or simply love a juicy tale of scandal and power, The Last Days of Henry VIII is a must-read. Prepare to be captivated by the secrets and betrayals that unfolded in the final years of this legendary king’s reign. Get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey through the court of the dying tyrant.

Henry VIII: The King and His Six Wives

by Antonia Fraser

Looking for a riveting glimpse into the tumultuous life of the infamous monarch known for his insatiable appetite for wives? Look no further than Antonia Fraser’s captivating Henry VIII: The King and His Six Wives. This enthralling book delves deep into the life and reign of the notorious Tudor king, providing a rich tapestry of historical facts and juicy anecdotes that leave readers spellbound.

The King’s Reformation: Henry VIII and the Remaking of the English Church

by G.W. Bernard

The King’s Reformation: Henry VIII and the Remaking of the English Church by G.W. Bernard is a captivating book on the infamous Tudor monarch known for his larger-than-life persona and tumultuous reign. In this meticulously researched and thought-provoking book about King Henry VIII, Bernard delves deep into the complex world of religious reform during the 16th century.

Through the lens of Henry VIII’s reign, Bernard masterfully explores the intricacies of the English Reformation, shedding light on the motivations and actions of one of history’s most enigmatic figures. This king henry viii book offers a fresh perspective on a well-known story, highlighting the political, social, and theological factors that shaped the English Church during this transformative period.

Bernard’s writing is both engaging and scholarly, making The King’s Reformation a compelling read for history enthusiasts and scholars alike. By combining thorough research with a captivating narrative, the author brings to life the key events and individuals that shaped Henry VIII’s religious policies, from his break with Rome to the establishment of the Church of England.

This book on King Henry VIII challenges traditional interpretations and offers new insights into the motivations and complexities of the English Reformation. By examining the influence of the king’s personal desires and ambitions alongside broader societal and political factors, Bernard paints a nuanced portrait of a monarch who played a central role in reshaping the religious landscape of England.

Whether you are a seasoned history buff or simply intrigued by the larger-than-life figure that was King Henry VIII, The King’s Reformation is a must-read. Bernard’s meticulous research, compelling storytelling, and fresh perspective make this book a valuable addition to any library, offering a deeper understanding of the king’s impact on the English Church and the lasting legacy of his reign.

Henry VIII: The Quest for Fame

by John Guy

Looking for an enthralling read about the infamous monarch who shook the foundations of England? Look no further than Henry VIII: The Quest for Fame by John Guy. This captivating book on the Tudor king will transport you back to the tumultuous era of the 16th century, where power, politics, and passion reigned supreme.

Delve into the life and reign of the man whose name has become synonymous with both opulence and tyranny. Guy’s meticulous research and engaging storytelling bring Henry VIII to life, providing a vivid portrayal of the complex character who ruled with an iron fist and an insatiable desire for glory.

Uncover the secrets and scandals that surrounded Henry VIII, from his six marriages to his ruthless pursuit of a male heir. Witness the rise and fall of his trusted advisors, the shifting alliances of European powers, and the religious upheaval that forever changed the course of history.

With every turn of the page, Guy paints a vivid portrait of a king whose quest for fame knew no bounds. From his lavish court to his grandiose building projects, from his diplomatic triumphs to his ruthless acts of retribution, Henry VIII’s story is one that will leave you spellbound.

So, if you’re seeking a captivating book about King Henry VIII, filled with drama, intrigue, and larger-than-life characters, Henry VIII: The Quest for Fame is the perfect choice. Prepare to be swept away by the splendor and chaos of the Tudor court, and discover why this enigmatic monarch continues to captivate our imaginations centuries later.

The Tudors: The Complete Story of England’s Most Notorious Dynasty

by G.J. Meyer

The Tudors: The Complete Story of England’s Most Notorious Dynasty by G.J. Meyer is a captivating book on King Henry VIII and his tumultuous reign. If you’re looking for a compelling read about one of history’s most fascinating monarchs, then this book about King Henry VIII is a must-read.

The King’s Bed: Sex, Power, and the Court of Charles II

by Don Jordan and Michael Walsh

The King’s Bed: Sex, Power, and the Court of Charles II is a captivating journey into the scandalous and intriguing world of the English monarchy during the reign of the infamous King Charles II. This book delves deep into the opulent and debaucherous court of the Restoration era, where lust, power, and politics collided in a dazzling display of excess.

Written by Don Jordan and Michael Walsh, The King’s Bed unveils the hidden secrets and intimate affairs that unfolded behind closed doors, shedding light on a side of history that is often overlooked. With its vivid storytelling and meticulous research, this book takes readers on an unforgettable journey through the courtly intrigues and sexual escapades that defined the reign of Charles II.

From the notorious mistresses who held sway over the king’s heart to the political maneuverings that shaped the fate of nations, The King’s Bed paints a vivid portrait of a king who was both revered and reviled. It explores the complex web of relationships and power dynamics that surrounded Charles II, offering a fresh perspective on a monarch whose reign was marked by both scandal and triumph.

Whether you are a history buff or simply fascinated by tales of power and passion, The King’s Bed is a must-read. It captures the essence of an era and brings to life the larger-than-life characters who shaped it. So, if you’re ready to step into the world of the Restoration court, grab a copy of this captivating book and prepare to be enthralled by the secrets of the king’s bed.

The King’s Curse

by Philippa Gregory

The King’s Curse is a captivating book about the life and reign of the infamous monarch, King Henry VIII. Step into the tumultuous world of Tudor England as Philippa Gregory weaves a mesmerizing tale of power, politics, and treachery.

The King’s Pearl: Henry VIII and His Daughter Mary

by Melita Thomas

The King’s Pearl: Henry VIII and His Daughter Mary is a captivating book about the infamous monarch, King Henry VIII, and his relationship with his daughter, Mary. This fascinating biography delves into the complex dynamics between father and daughter, shedding new light on their turbulent and often misunderstood bond.

Author Melita Thomas skillfully weaves together historical research and vivid storytelling to bring the Tudor era to life. The book delves into the depths of Henry VIII’s character, portraying him not only as a powerful king but also as a vulnerable father grappling with the weight of his decisions. Through her meticulous research, Thomas paints a nuanced picture of a man who is both tyrant and protector.

The focus on Mary, often overshadowed by her younger half-sister, Elizabeth I, allows readers to see her in a new light. Thomas explores the complexities of Mary’s relationship with her father, revealing the moments of tenderness and the clashes of wills that shaped their dynamic.

With its compelling narrative and rich historical detail, The King’s Pearl offers a fresh perspective on the reign of King Henry VIII and the often overlooked figure of Princess Mary. Whether you are a history enthusiast or simply seeking an engrossing read, this book is a must-read for anyone interested in the Tudor era.

The King’s Revenge: Charles II and the Greatest Manhunt in British History

by Don Jordan and Michael Walsh

The King’s Revenge: Charles II and the Greatest Manhunt in British History is a thrilling historical account that dives deep into the fascinating world of seventeenth-century England. This gripping tale explores the aftermath of the English Civil War and the restoration of the monarchy, focusing on the relentless pursuit of vengeance by the exiled King Charles II against those who had condemned his father, King Charles I, to a gruesome execution.

Authors Don Jordan and Michael Walsh brilliantly unravel the intricate web of political intrigue, betrayal, and revenge that surrounded Charles II as he ascended to the throne. With meticulous research and vivid storytelling, they paint a vivid portrait of a king determined to exact justice for his father’s death.

What makes this book truly captivating is its exploration of the manhunt that ensued. Charles II, driven by a burning desire to avenge his father’s murder, launched a relentless pursuit of the men responsible for the regicide. The authors skillfully bring to life the cat-and-mouse game that unfolded, as Charles II’s agents tracked down and brought to justice the men who had signed his father’s death warrant.

With its gripping narrative and rich historical detail, The King’s Revenge offers a fresh and thrilling perspective on this tumultuous period in British history. Whether you are a history enthusiast or simply love a riveting tale of intrigue and revenge, this book is a must-read. Prepare to be transported back in time to an era of political turmoil, regal ambition, and the quest for justice.

The King’s Grave: The Discovery of Richard III’s Lost Burial Place and the Clues It Holds

by Philippa Langley and Michael Jones

The King’s Grave is a captivating book about the discovery of King Richard III’s long-lost burial place and the fascinating clues it holds. Written by Philippa Langley and Michael Jones, this historical masterpiece takes readers on a thrilling journey into the depths of history.

Langley, a passionate historian, embarked on a mission to find the grave of King Richard III, one of England’s most enigmatic and controversial monarchs. With unwavering determination, she uncovered a wealth of evidence that led her to a car park in Leicester, England.

As Langley and her team excavated the site, they were astounded to discover a skeleton with a hunchbacked spine, matching the physical description of Richard III. The incredible find sparked global interest and ignited a renewed curiosity about the king’s life and reign.

The King’s Grave delves deep into the historical context of Richard III’s era, shedding light on the political turmoil and power struggles that defined his reign. Through meticulous research and vivid storytelling, Langley and Jones bring to life the world of medieval England, immersing readers in a captivating narrative that spans centuries.

But this book is not just a historical account; it is also a tale of personal discovery. Langley’s emotional connection to Richard III is palpable throughout the pages, as she explores her own connection to the past and reflects on the impact of this incredible find on her own life.

This gripping tale of adventure, mystery, and personal revelation is a must-read for history enthusiasts and anyone intrigued by the enigmatic figure of King Richard III. Langley and Jones’s meticulous research and engaging storytelling make The King’s Grave a true masterpiece, transporting readers back in time to witness the unfolding of a remarkable discovery.

The King’s Assassin: The Fatal Affair of George Villiers and James I

by Benjamin Woolley

The King’s Assassin: The Fatal Affair of George Villiers and James I, written by Benjamin Woolley, is a captivating exploration of a scandalous and deadly relationship that rocked the court of King James I. This gripping historical narrative delves into the life of George Villiers, the dashing and ambitious favorite of the king, and the tumultuous affair that would ultimately lead to his downfall.

Set in the vibrant and treacherous world of early 17th century England, this book sheds light on the complex dynamics of power, ambition, and royal intrigue. Woolley masterfully weaves together a tale of forbidden love, political maneuvering, and the dangerous consequences of crossing the line in a society governed by strict moral codes.

Through meticulous research and vivid storytelling, Woolley brings to life the opulent court of King James I and offers a fresh perspective on the era. His nuanced portrayal of the characters, particularly George Villiers and King James I, allows readers to understand the motivations and struggles that drove them to their fateful destinies.

With its rich historical detail and engaging narrative, The King’s Assassin is a must-read for history enthusiasts, fans of royal scandals, and anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the complex web of relationships that shaped the reign of James I. Woolley’s impeccable storytelling and his ability to capture the essence of the era make this book a true page-turner from start to finish.

So, if you’re looking for a captivating book about court intrigue, scandal, and the fascinating world of 17th century England, look no further than The King’s Assassin: The Fatal Affair of George Villiers and James I. Prepare to be enthralled by this tale of forbidden love and the high stakes of power in the court of a monarch.

The King’s Bed: Ambition and Intimacy in the Court of Charles II

by Don Jordan and Michael Walsh

The King’s Bed: Ambition and Intimacy in the Court of Charles II, written by Don Jordan and Michael Walsh, is a fascinating exploration of the scandalous and intriguing world of the English monarchy. If you thought the drama surrounding King Henry VIII was captivating, then this book on Charles II will surely leave you spellbound.

The King’s Bed: Sex, Power, and the Court of Charles II

by Don Jordan and Michael Walsh

The King’s Bed: Sex, Power, and the Court of Charles II is a captivating and scandalous exploration of the royal court during the reign of Charles II, the king often dubbed as the “Merry Monarch.” This captivating book delves into the intriguing world of sex, power, and politics that unfolded within the walls of the royal bedchamber.

With a narrative style that reads like a thrilling novel, authors Don Jordan and Michael Walsh uncover the secrets, scandals, and lustful escapades that took place during Charles II’s reign. The book offers a fascinating glimpse into the court’s inner workings, shedding light on the king’s numerous mistresses, his insatiable appetite for pleasure, and the intricate power dynamics that shaped the era.

As readers embark on this journey, they will witness the opulence and excesses of the royal court, where beauty and charm became valuable commodities, and where sex and politics were deeply intertwined. From the notorious figures like Nell Gwyn, the king’s most beloved mistress, to the rivalries and intrigues that threatened to tear the court apart, The King’s Bed provides a rich and immersive account of a tumultuous era.

While this book may not be about the infamous King Henry VIII, it shares a similar allure, offering readers an intimate look into the lives of powerful monarchs and the lavish world they inhabited. The King’s Bed is an enthralling journey through history, packed with scandal, power struggles, and the exploration of human desires.

The King’s Revenge: Charles II and the Greatest Manhunt in British History

by Don Jordan and Michael Walsh

The King’s Revenge: Charles II and the Greatest Manhunt in British History is a thrilling and captivating book that delves into the fascinating world of one of England’s most notorious kings: Charles II. This gripping historical account takes readers on a rollercoaster ride through the intrigues and power struggles of the Restoration era, as Charles II seeks to bring justice and retribution to those who betrayed his father, King Charles I.

Written by acclaimed authors Don Jordan and Michael Walsh, this book is a must-read for history enthusiasts and fans of royal dramas alike. While it may not be a direct book about King Henry VIII, it is sure to appeal to those who have a keen interest in the tumultuous reigns of English monarchs.

The King’s Revenge is a meticulously researched and masterfully written narrative that brings to life the political machinations and personal vendettas of the 17th century. Through vivid storytelling and a keen eye for detail, Jordan and Walsh transport readers to a time of secret plots, treasonous conspiracies, and a desperate hunt for justice.

With its fast-paced narrative and intriguing characters, this book will keep you on the edge of your seat, eagerly turning the pages to uncover the twists and turns of Charles II’s relentless quest for revenge. From the dark corridors of power to the dangerous streets of London, readers will be immersed in a world of betrayal and retribution that rivals any fictional tale.

So, if you’re in search of a thrilling historical read that explores the complex web of politics, power, and personal vendettas, look no further than The King’s Revenge: Charles II and the Greatest Manhunt in British History. This captivating book is an absolute must-read for anyone with a fascination for the intricate tapestry of England’s royal history.

The King’s Grave: The Discovery of Richard III’s Lost Burial Place and the Clues It Holds

by Philippa Langley and Michael Jones

The King’s Grave is a fascinating book that delves into the discovery of the lost burial place of Richard III, a king whose story has been shrouded in mystery and intrigue for centuries. Written by Philippa Langley and Michael Jones, this book takes readers on a thrilling journey as they unravel the clues that lead to the long-lost grave of this infamous monarch.

Langley, a passionate historian and Ricardian, embarked on a mission to find Richard III’s burial place after having a vivid dream about the king’s final resting spot. Joined by historian Michael Jones, they embarked on an archaeological adventure that would change history.

The authors expertly blend historical research with personal anecdotes, creating a narrative that is both informative and engaging. They explore the life and reign of Richard III, shedding light on the controversies and myths that have surrounded him over the years.

In their search for Richard III’s grave, Langley and Jones encounter unexpected twists and turns. From the initial excavation at a car park in Leicester to the final identification of the remains, the authors bring the reader along on their journey, sharing the excitement and anticipation they felt at each step.

But this book is not just about the discovery of a long-lost king’s grave. It is also about the clues and insights that the grave holds. Langley and Jones analyze the skeletal remains and the burial site, unlocking the secrets that they reveal about Richard III’s life, his physical appearance, and even the circumstances of his death.

Ultimately, The King’s Grave is a captivating exploration of history, archaeology, and the enduring fascination with Richard III. Langley and Jones bring the story to life, offering a fresh perspective on a king whose legacy has been shaped by Shakespearean drama and Tudor propaganda. Whether you are a history enthusiast or simply love a good mystery, this book is sure to captivate you from beginning to end.

Conclusion

After reviewing the 20 best books about King Henry VIII, it is clear that his reign continues to captivate readers and historians alike. From detailed biographies to gripping historical fiction, these books offer a fascinating glimpse into the life and times of one of England’s most infamous monarchs. Whether you’re a history buff or simply curious about this larger-than-life king, these books are sure to transport you back in time and leave you hungry for more knowledge about the tumultuous reign of King Henry VIII.