100 books like Autobiography of Henry VIII

By Margaret George,

Here are 100 books that Autobiography of Henry VIII fans have personally recommended if you like Autobiography of Henry VIII. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Bring Up the Bodies

Ken Parejko Author Of Kasia's Story

From my list on the conflict between personal spirituality and religion.

Why am I passionate about this?

It was during the epistemological craziness around the year 2000 that I christened myself a truth warrior. I was already a scientist. Yet I knew there were other important truths, not of the mind but of the heart, truths we discover and marvel over in the realm of art. So as a biology professor I was granted a sabbatical to write the second of three of my novels, about Pliny the Elder. It is through literature, some of my own making, that I find new ways of seeing and experiencing the world: and of discovering and validating what is true, and what is not.

Ken's book list on the conflict between personal spirituality and religion

Ken Parejko Why did Ken love this book?

Though I did enjoy the earlier Wolf Hall I found Bring Up the Bodies more readable and compelling.

Hilary Mantel paints intimate word pictures of Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, and especially Thomas Cromwell, struggling to make his way through the minefield of political intrigue at Henry’s court. Though it is against almost every principle he holds dear, Cromwell charts a course which one step at a time ultimately brings Anne Boleyn down.

Finding himself in an almost impossible situation, he agonizes over every decision, looking at it from many sides: legal, political, ethical, spiritual, and religious. Meanwhile not far in the background we see the Church’s Pope Clement trying desperately, like Oz’s man behind the curtain, to control events.

Mantel’s genius was her ability to transform dry history into compelling, character-driven stories.

By Hilary Mantel,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Bring Up the Bodies as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the Man Booker Prize

The second book in Hilary Mantel's award-winning Wolf Hall trilogy, with a stunning new cover design to celebrate the publication of the much anticipated The Mirror and the Light

An astounding literary accomplishment, Bring Up the Bodies is the story of this most terrifying moment of history, by one of our greatest living novelists.

'Our most brilliant English writer' Guardian

Bring Up the Bodies unlocks the darkly glittering court of Henry VIII, where Thomas Cromwell is now chief minister. With Henry captivated by plain Jane Seymour and rumours of Anne Boleyn's faithlessness whispered by…


Book cover of Wolf Hall

Charlotte Gray Author Of Passionate Mothers, Powerful Sons: The Lives of Jennie Jerome Churchill and Sara Delano Roosevelt

From my list on history books by women.

Why am I passionate about this?

I recall my younger self looking at the reading lists on Oxford University history courses, and asking, “Where are all the women?” I have always wanted to know what it was like to be there, in any century up to the present. How did families form and pass on their values, what did people wear and eat, when (and if) children learned to read, and what were people’s daily routines? Political, military, and economic history is important, but I have flourished in the social history trenches. I discovered women writers and historians have more acute antennae for the details I wanted, even when writing about wars and dynasties.

Charlotte's book list on history books by women

Charlotte Gray Why did Charlotte love this book?

Yes, I know this is a novel, but Mantel’s historical research is impeccable and no one has done more to bring to light the shadowy, intrigue-filled court of Henry VIII. Mantel explores the intersection of political power and personal ambition as she traces the career of Thomas Cromwell, a rags-to-riches courtier.

I could almost taste the food, smell the decay, and touch the damp walls of the buildings. She took me deep into the consciousness of the unlikeable yet sympathetic and lonely main character, as he serves his monarch and defeats his enemies.

The drama is gripping.

By Hilary Mantel,

Why should I read it?

19 authors picked Wolf Hall as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the Man Booker Prize Shortlisted for the the Orange Prize Shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award

`Dizzyingly, dazzlingly good' Daily Mail

'Our most brilliant English writer' Guardian

England, the 1520s. Henry VIII is on the throne, but has no heir. Cardinal Wolsey is his chief advisor, charged with securing the divorce the pope refuses to grant. Into this atmosphere of distrust and need comes Thomas Cromwell, first as Wolsey's clerk, and later his successor.

Cromwell is a wholly original man: the son of a brutal blacksmith, a political genius, a briber, a charmer, a bully, a man with…


Book cover of The Six Wives of Henry VIII

Janet Wertman Author Of Jane the Quene

From my list on for Tudor fans.

Why am I passionate about this?

By day, I am a freelance grant writer for impactful nonprofits…but by night I indulge a passion for the Tudor era I have harbored since I was eight years old and my parents let me stay up late to watch The Six Wives of Henry VIII and Elizabeth R. My Seymour Saga took me deep into one of the era’s central families – and now I am working on my follow up Regina trilogy, exploring Elizabeth’s journey from bastard to icon. I also run a blog where I post interesting takes on the Tudors – I need somewhere to share all the fascinating tidbits I can’t cram into my books!

Janet's book list on for Tudor fans

Janet Wertman Why did Janet love this book?

This is non-fiction that reads as smoothly as fiction (except it’s all true); there is also a “sequel” about his children that is well worth a read. Lately, Weir has been writing novels set in the period, but I don’t like her fiction nearly as much as I love her non-fiction!

By Alison Weir,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Six Wives of Henry VIII as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the most powerful monarchs in British history, Henry VIII ruled England in unprecedented splendour.

In this remarkable composite biography, Alison Weir brings Henry's six wives vividly to life, revealing each as a distinct and compelling personality in her own right. Drawing upon the rich fund of documentary material from the Tudor period, The Six Wives of Henry VIII shows us a court where personal needs frequently influenced public events and where a life of gorgeously ritualised pleasure was shot through with ambition, treason and violence.

'At last we have the truth about Henry VIII's wives. This book is…


Book cover of The Daughter of Time

Richard Vaughan Davies Author Of Fireweed

From my list on books from a pre-internet era, full of action, humour and social comment.

Why am I passionate about this?

The list reflects my interest in history and my own recollections of the days before the current era of mass tourism and online globalisation. I confess to a feeling of painful nostalgia for a time when we all had a very different worldview, and these books are all of that period. They feature temporal grief for an age that has passed. They are all highly readable books by writers at the top of their game.

Richard's book list on books from a pre-internet era, full of action, humour and social comment

Richard Vaughan Davies Why did Richard love this book?

This real-life detective story intrigued and perplexed me in equal measure and still does every time I read it.

Was Richard III really the evil monster of Shakespeare’s play who killed the little Princes in the tower or the monarch who, in the three short years of his reign, introduced the bail system, attacked corruption, and set up hospitals?

This clever novel, featuring Tey’s detective hero investigating Richard’s history and character, led me to investigate another mystery, that of the Shakespeare Authorship Question. 

By Josephine Tey,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked The Daughter of Time as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

_________________________
Josephine Tey's classic novel about Richard III, the hunchback king whose skeleton was famously discovered in a council car park, investigates his role in the death of his nephews, the princes in the Tower, and his own death at the Battle of Bosworth.

Richard III reigned for only two years, and for centuries he was villified as the hunch-backed wicked uncle, murderer of the princes in the Tower. Josephine Tey's novel The Daughter of Time is an investigation into the real facts behind the last Plantagenet king's reign, and an attempt to right what many believe to be the…


Book cover of The Other Boleyn Girl

Jessica Disciacca Author Of Witches of Triora: The Vessel

From my list on taking you on a magical journey through time and space.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been writing for years and reading forever. Fantasy books have always been my number one go-to as far as genres. I loved how they would teleport me to a new world, allowing me to leave behind reality. The characters became my friends. The worlds became my home. I couldn’t get enough and still can’t. As I got older, my imagination never stopped. I was constantly creating dreamworld and character plots in my head. Eventually, I started writing, needing the characters to stop talking. The only way to do that was to get them on paper. Since then, I haven’t been able to stop.

Jessica's book list on taking you on a magical journey through time and space

Jessica Disciacca Why did Jessica love this book?

This story made me fall in love and then hate my lover all in the same breath. The mixture of history and fiction led me on a roller coaster of emotions.

I loved how Anne was so strong and knew how to get what she wanted and work her way through a world built by men for men, yet, in the end, her inability to birth a male heir was her downfall. The king framed her in order to remove her from the throne and move on to the next youngest thing. I was enraged!

This book makes me so angry, but I couldn’t stop reading Gregory’s work after this one. It totally hooked me and forced me to buy all her books written about this specific timeframe. 

By Philippa Gregory,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked The Other Boleyn Girl as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

*A stunning brand new unabridged recording*

The acclaimed international bestseller of the Tudor court, during the years of Henry VIII's pursuit of Anne Boleyn - and the revolutionary sequence of events that followed.

1521. Young Mary Boleyn arrives at court, maid in waiting and favourite to Queen Katherine of Aragon.

Yet Mary catches the eye of the capricious king and - propelled by the ambitions of the powerful Boleyn family - she betrays her queen, and takes her place as Henry VIII's new mistress.

But while Mary is in childbed, a rival comes to court - her sister Anne, a…


Book cover of Innocent Traitor: A Novel of Lady Jane Grey

Juliana Cummings Author Of Sleeping With the Impaler: A Historical Romance About Vlad the Impaler

From my list on historical fiction that bring real people to life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a reader and writer of historical fiction for as long as I remember. As a writer, my goal is to bring these figures from the past alive again. These were real people and I want my readers to see that they are not just photos or stories in a history book.

Juliana's book list on historical fiction that bring real people to life

Juliana Cummings Why did Juliana love this book?

I loved Innocent Traitor by Alison Weir because it focuses solely on a much-forgotten woman of Tudor History. Weir gets across that Jane Gray was simply used as a political pawn. She was such a young girl, at only 17, and her parents gave no thought as to her happiness. She was scared and felt utterly alone and was handed the crown. If only for nine days, this young girl was Queen of England before her execution. She truly was an innocent traitor.

By Alison Weir,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Innocent Traitor as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

_____________________________________
A wrenching novel about the life and death of Lady Jane Grey, one of the most complex and sympathetic figures in Tudor England, by popular historian Alison Weir: ideal for fans of Wolf Hall

Lady Jane Grey was born into times of extreme danger. Child of a scheming father and a ruthless mother, for whom she was merely a pawn in a dynastic power game with the highest stakes, she lived a life in thrall to political machinations and lethal religious fervour.

Jane's astonishing and essentially tragic story was played out during one of the most momentous periods of…


Book cover of Elizabeth I

Steven Veerapen Author Of Of Blood Descended: An Anthony Blanke Tudor Mystery

From my list on opening the doors of the Tudor Court.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by the early modern period–the Tudors and the Stuarts–since falling in love with Mary Queen of Scots, Elizabeth, Henry VIII, and his wives when I was a child. I graduated from Horrible Histories as a child to lengthier nonfiction and fiction books about the era as a teenager before gaining a BA Honours, a Masters, and a PhD focussing on Elizabethan language and literature. I now teach English Literature at Strathclyde University. Because I never lost the urge to read everything I could about the Tudors and Stuarts, I began writing about them, too, and because I devour both fiction and nonfiction, I write both!

Steven's book list on opening the doors of the Tudor Court

Steven Veerapen Why did Steven love this book?

Elizabeth I is one of the most popular Tudors and her story has been told and retold in countless biographies and Anne Somerset’s weighty nonfiction study is my favourite. It details the big-picture moments of the queen’s life–her rivalries, successes, and failures–without losing sight of the human at the heart of the story. We can thus enjoy learning about Elizabeth the woman as well as Elizabeth the queen.

This is a book I occasionally dip into for a reference and invariably end up rereading in its entirety.

By Anne Somerset,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Elizabeth I as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Elizabeth 1 ruled England in defiance of convention, exercising supreme authority in a man's world. With courage, brilliance and style, she reigned for nearly forty-five years. Anne Somerset's penetrating biography of this complex and uniquely gifted woman is unrivalled in its analysis of both Elizabeth's personal life and her career as leader. "By applying herself industriously to the evidence, Anne Somerset presents a convincing as well as complex character at the centre of her long, but ever lucid narrative" Antonia Fraser "I strongly recommend this book...the writing is a delight" Daily Telegraph "The fullest and best biography of the queen…


Book cover of Mrs. Poe

Juliana Cummings Author Of Sleeping With the Impaler: A Historical Romance About Vlad the Impaler

From my list on historical fiction that bring real people to life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a reader and writer of historical fiction for as long as I remember. As a writer, my goal is to bring these figures from the past alive again. These were real people and I want my readers to see that they are not just photos or stories in a history book.

Juliana's book list on historical fiction that bring real people to life

Juliana Cummings Why did Juliana love this book?

This is an incredible story about Edgar Allen Poe’s wife told through the eyes of his mistress. Very well done and it really gives a look into Mr. and Mrs. Poe and their marriage. But it also gives us a sense of the passionate romance between Poe and his mistress.

By Lynn Cullen,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Mrs. Poe as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Inspired by literature's most haunting love triangle, award-winning author Lynn Cullen delivers a pitch-perfect rendering of Edgar Allan Poe, his mistress's tantalizing confession, and his wife's frightening obsession in this new masterpiece of historical fiction to which Sara Gruen says, "Mrs. Poe had my heart racing...Don't miss it!"

And make sure to check out the captivating new novel from Lynn Cullen-Twain's End-where the acclaimed author tells a fictionalized imagining of the relationship between iconic author Mark Twain and his personal secretary, Isabel Lyon.

1845: New York City is a sprawling warren of gaslit streets and crowded avenues, bustling with new…


Book cover of The Sunne in Splendour

Cheryl Fury Author Of Tides in the Affairs of Men: The Social History of Elizabethan Seamen, 1580-1603

From my list on firecrackers in early Tudor historical fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a History professor at a Canadian university. My research focuses on long-dead English sailors. I’m interested in how they “navigated” the challenges of their lives ashore and afloat. I’ve written a number of books and articles. My first book, Tides in the Affairs of Men: The Social History of Elizabethan Seamen, 1580-1603, examines the lives of seafarers during a period of intense maritime activity. If you want to “meet” those in the maritime community, this is the book for you. Since its publication, I’ve followed many of those sailors from the Elizabethan period into the early seventeenth century. I’m writing a book on diet, disease and disorder in the East India Company.

Cheryl's book list on firecrackers in early Tudor historical fiction

Cheryl Fury Why did Cheryl love this book?

Much like Tey’s book, the author raises questions about Richard Plantagenet and whether he was the much-maligned monster of Shakespearean imagining. I love SKP’s books as they draw you into the narrative and keep you entertained for hundreds of pages. 

I started reading every novel of Penman’s I could get my hands on when I was in my PhD. Reading had become a chore – something I did for my research. I had forgotten how to read for fun. My roommate in grad school had been a librarian and reminded me that books weren’t just something you “mine” for information. I am grateful she introduced me to Sharon Kay Penman’s works. 

Both Tey and Penman’s books were published decades before the discovery of Richard III’s body under a Leicester car park in 2012. A detailed autopsy did answer some of our questions about whether he had a misshapen body portrayed…

By Sharon Kay Penman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Sunne in Splendour as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This special thirtieth anniversary edition of the bestselling The Sunne in Splendour, features an author's note from Sharon Penman.

Richard, last-born son of the Duke of York, was seven months short of his nineteenth birthday when he bloodied himself at the battles of Barnet and Tewkesbury, earning his legendary reputation as a battle commander in the Wars of the Roses, and ending the Lancastrian line of succession.

But Richard was far more than a warrior schooled in combat. He was also a devoted brother, an ardent suitor, a patron of the arts, an indulgent father, a generous friend. Above all,…


Book cover of Mozart's Wife

Juliana Cummings Author Of Sleeping With the Impaler: A Historical Romance About Vlad the Impaler

From my list on historical fiction that bring real people to life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a reader and writer of historical fiction for as long as I remember. As a writer, my goal is to bring these figures from the past alive again. These were real people and I want my readers to see that they are not just photos or stories in a history book.

Juliana's book list on historical fiction that bring real people to life

Juliana Cummings Why did Juliana love this book?

I loved this book. I adore Mozart and reading about him through the eyes of his wife, was so well done in this book. We see Mozart brought to life from his early days as a young child to his struggles with his father as an adult. Waldron captured Mozart’s brilliance, his silliness, and his all-around personality with his family. She also shows the reader that behind this man, was a woman who supported her husband despite his frivolous spending and disregard for authority. This novel was well done, and I highly recommend it to anyone who has an interest in Mozart behind his music.

By Juliet Waldron,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mozart's Wife as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Giddy sugarplum or calculating bitch? Pretty Konstanze aroused strong feelings among her contemporaries. Her in-law's loathed her. Mozart's friends, more than forty years after his death, remained eager to gossip about her "failures" as wife to the world's first superstar.

Maturing from child, to wife, to hard-headed widow, Konstanze would pay Mozart's debts, provide for their children, and relentlessly market and mythologize her brilliant husband.

Mozart's letters attest to his affection for Konstanze as well as to their powerful sexual bond. Nevertheless, prominent among the many mysteries surrounding the composer's untimely death: why did his much beloved Konstanze never mark…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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