England Under the Tudors

England Under the Tudors
by G. R. Elton
London:  Routledge–Taylor and Francis Group
522 pages

Sir Geoffrey R. Elton has created quite a paradox in the fact that this text is not for the casual reader but it is an excellent overview of the Tudor era.  Written in the 1950s the syntax is sophisticated and the style of language is one with which historians will be familiar.

Of the most interest to this reviewer was the coverage Elton devoted throughout to comparing Henry VII and Elizabeth I. For further analysis of the similarities between these two monarchs, visit the blog entries starting at https://elizregina.com/2013/01/08/the-lions-grandcub/.

It is obvious that Elton admired the qualities of Henry VII and Elizabeth I, understood the motives of Henry VIII and recognized the constraints that Edward VI and Mary I operated within.  He also acknowledged the distinguished careers of the likes of Thomas Wolsey, Thomas Cromwell , and William Cecil.

Although Henry VIII’s fluctuating polices and his inconsistent responses to world events make for exciting reading—the extended coverage of Elizabeth was appropriate (due to her lengthy reign) and appreciated (because of her political astuteness and skill).  Sir Geoffrey’s evaluation of whether Elizabeth’s rule was an extension of the Medieval Era or an introduction to the Modern Era was an excellent work of political and historical analysis.

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