Great Harry

Carolly Erickson

St. Martin's Griffin



Trade Paperback

432 Pages



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In this full-scale biography of Henry VIII, celebrated historian Carolly Erickson re-creates the extravagant life and times of one of history's most complex and fascinating men. Based on voluminous records of the period, this vivid account of Henry's life covers his troubled youth, his triumphant early reign, and his agonizing old age. Against the lively backdrop of the Tudor world, with all its splendors and squalors, Erickson gives us an unforgettable—and decidedly human—portrait of Henry VIII.

A must for all students and scholars of the period, Great Harry is historical biography at its most engaging and thorough. As Christopher Hibbert noted in The New York Times Book Review, this "admirable biography [is] graphic, judicious, carefully researched, skillfully constructed, and full of those telling details that are an essential ingredient of the narrator's art."


Praise for Great Harry

"This historical biography reads like the liveliest fiction. Erickson's portraits of Henry VIII, Catherine of Aragon, Cardinal Wolsey, Thomas Cromwell, and Anne Boleyn are carefully drawn—and utterly fascinating."—Chicago Tribune

"A book of considerable literary distinction. Erickson's training as a professional historian keeps the main structure of the story firmly tied to the evidence. The result commands belief as well as respect."—John Kenyon, The Washington Post Book World

Reviews from Goodreads



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Distinguished historian Carolly Erickson is the author of Rival to the Queen, The Memoirs of Mary Queen of Scots, The First Elizabeth, The Hidden Life of Josephine, The Last Wife of Henry VIII, and many other prize-winning works of fiction and nonfiction. Her novel The Tsarina’s Daughter won the Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award for Best Historical Fiction. She lives in Hawaii.
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  • Carolly Erickson

  • Carolly Erickson received her Ph.D. in medieval history from Columbia University. She is also the author of The First Elizabeth, Alexandra, and Bloody Mary, among other books. She lives in Hawaii.
  • Carolly Erickson Photo: Brian Reed