How much does the Thomas Cromwell of popular novels and television series resemble the real Cromwell? This meticulous study of Cromwell’s early political career expands and revises what has been understood concerning the life and talents of Henry VIII’s chief minister. Michael Everett provides a new and enlightening account of Cromwell’s rise to power, his influence on theHow much does the Thomas Cromwell of popular novels and television series resemble the real Cromwell? This meticulous study of Cromwell’s early political career expands and revises what has been understood concerning the life and talents of Henry VIII’s chief minister. Michael Everett provides a new and enlightening account of Cromwell’s rise to power, his influence on the king, his role in the Reformation, and his impact on the future of the nation. Controversially, Everett depicts Cromwell not as the fervent evangelical, Machiavellian politician, or the revolutionary administrator that earlier historians have perceived. Instead he reveals Cromwell as a highly capable and efficient servant of the Crown, rising to power not by masterminding Henry VIII’s split with Rome but rather by dint of exceptional skills as an administrator....
|Title||:||The Rise of Thomas Cromwell: Power and Politics in the Reign of Henry VIII, 1485-1534|
|Number of Pages||:||376 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Rise of Thomas Cromwell: Power and Politics in the Reign of Henry VIII, 1485-1534 Reviews
Cromwell was Henry VIII's premier civil servant who is often portrayed as a machiavellian, evangelical Tudor minister.This scholarly tome focuses on Cromwell's early years, which are in themselves, scantily documented. Readers may find this dry and disengaging, as a life is pieced together and analysed through what little documentary evidence there is. His portrayal of Cromwell is far from the myth.
Amazingly well researched but approaching tedium in its readability. Best for historians, I'd say.
Thomas Cromwell is 'fashionable' now. On the back of the Tudor obsession and the stunning novels of Hilary Mantel come this book about the early years of Cromwell. Everett based the book on his doctoral thesis and has chosen to focus on the career of Cromwell during the time he worked for Wolsey and then joined the Royal Council. Meticulously researched and looking at rare and obscure documents the book does not try to add any personality to the figure but tried to interpret motive from actions.My biggest issue with this book is that I read the introduction first and didn't warm to the attitude of the author. Everett is at pains to point out that his is the first book for many years that is actually based on first hand research of the archives, not cobbled together from other sources. He is almost dismissive of other historians and authors. This rather put my back up, it smacked of someone who has been working hard but has come a little late to the party and therefore wants to ensure that he is given pride of place. I could be wrong but I didn't like the tenor of this introduction.However the book itself is fascinating and is expertly researched. Everett doesn't place motives on Cromwell but examines the theories and offers evidence to support or discredit. As with all biographies of this subject, there is little on record for the first thirty-odd years of his life but plenty from then on and Everett has chosen, wisely, to focus on the less well-known part.
Bravely unthrillingBased on Everett’s doctoral thesis, this is a bravely unthrilling account of Cromwell’s early political career to 1534 when he was appointed Henry VIII’s secretary. It thus decentres the more usual focus on Cromwell’s ‘power’ years, and also challenges the established historical views of him as Machiavellian arch-manipulator, political visionary and/or evangelical Protestant who masterminded the Reformation.Instead, Everett argues, through close attention to the archival sources, that Cromwell was something far less exciting: ‘a conventional Tudor man-of-business’ who was an able administrator with excellent organisation skills and a penchant for hard work – the almost archetypical grey civil servant.Anyone coming to this wanting a picture of the man behind fictional representations (Mantel, of course, but also The Tudors) may well be disappointed: as Everett points out, for all the hundreds of letters written to and by Cromwell there are hardly any revelations of what we would describe as personal or psychological insights. Instead, this foregrounds the fictional nature of reconstructed Cromwells – and the far more prosaic material upon which they were built.General readers should be aware that this deconstructs Mantel and other fictional writers – but anyone studying the politics of the Tudor court will find this quietly iconoclastic.(I received a review copy via NetGalley)
I received this as an ebook ARC from Netgalley; the review is my own.I have to say first off that this is an extremely well researched book and the bountiful notes at the end of the book are a testament to that. Unfortunately, this does not read like anything close to a biography of younger Cromwell and his ascension towards supreme power but like an outline for the reasons why the author believes that the study of younger Cromwell has been grievously overlooked when trying to portray the Cromwell of history. Although I found this prospect appealing, the actual visceral reading of this book was akin to waiting for paint to dry. At the best I can say that I have come to see a deeper dimension to Cromwell thanks to Mr. Everett but I did so by toiling for it. This book is a recommendation for the reader, like me, who is interested in the true people behind the historical characters we've come to find so fascinating, but not the average reader. This perhaps is the bedside companion for your amateur history buff.
The Rise of Thomas Cromwell is a magnificent and well-researched biography, focusing on the late 1520s and early 1530s as Cromwell gradually gained a place in Henry's inner circle. Everett takes an in-depth look at the role Cromwell played during these years, comparing his findings with the generally accepted views of other historians and the depictions of Cromwell seen in recent fictional works.I have long been fascinated by Thomas Cromwell and have read other biographies on the man, but I found Everett's work to be a thoughtful and insight piece of research that takes a step back from personal opinion and relies solely on the historical documents. A worthwhile read for anyone interested in Cromwell of the Henrician period.I received this book as a free e-book ARC via NetGalley.