Cover Image: Great Matter Monologues, The

Great Matter Monologues, The

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Member Reviews

I was not able to  get interested in this book and I did not finish it. The characters and the plot were not able to catch or keep my attention.
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I loved the premise of this book and felt it was really well executed. I really like the three-way narrative. I could easily imagine the staging of the story - I would love to be in the audience for it!
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I really love the tudor dynasty, and I really liked that this book wasn't just a nonfiction book. It was a good time reading this fictional book.
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I thought that this book had a great concept, and I loved the idea that Katharine, Henry and Anne were all stood on a stage together, but separate, with a spotlight on each of them as they told their story. I thought that the visualization was really good.

That being said, the writing was difficult to follow, and the characterization just didn't quite make it. They didn't really feel like the people from history. The book itself felt like it was repackaging old information and without the characterization that it promised to bring it to life, the book was a little bit of a failure to me.
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The Great Matter Monologues: Katherine, Henry, Anne was just an okay read for me. I am giving it two and a half stars.
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This period of history is one of my favourites so I was delighted to see this book come out from a publisher which is always so reliable. The tension builds and releases throughout this great evocation of a period which gets a lot of attention but still offers up so many angles and new ways to explore well-known stories.
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I'm a big Tudor fan, and I thought this book was a unique addition to the literature canon. Despite the variety of POVs we've seen in other books, I liked that in this book we got a first person monologue from Henry, Anne, and Katherine all at once. I also appreciated the inclusion of actual historical  quotes that we have from Henry and Anne's letters, or the impassioned speech Katherine gave Henry in court. I think it would definitely help to have knowledge of the events and players, as there's not much of a background given. Unfortunately in the end I found it a little boring, but I appreciate the unique take on this historic event!
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I’m a Tudors obsessive, and I found this a fresh take on stories that we’ve all heard before. Highly recommended for history fans.
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I admit I am Tudor addict.  And although I read most everything I can about this fascinating era of history, Thomas Crockett's book on Henry VIII and his first two wives was an excellent read.  He tells the story as if it were current events, keeping front page focus on these three people as their story plays out in front of the world.  A good take on what could have been a rehash of a story that's been told many times.
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On paper this sounds like an interesting take on a fascinating period of British history, The Tudors has to be my favourite dynasty and this episode a particularly important one within the Catholic and Christian Church.
I was pretty excited to receive an advanced readers copy from Net Gallery and really looking forward to reading this as historical fiction is one of my favourite genres - however, upon finishing the book I felt it had been lacking in certain aspects. 
Whilst the book itself contains a lot of historical information and left me with food for thought, in particular Why Henry, who had grown up with his extremely religious grandmother, Margaret Beaufort, had seemingly renounced his core religious beliefs and upbringing in such a short period of time, I couldn't feel a connection to any of the characters.
The definition of a monologue is a long speech by one actor in a play or film, or as part of a theatrical or broadcast programme. This is where although I see what the author was trying to achieve, I felt each monologue delivered very little emotional input.
This could be because the characters in themselves were very two dimensional and I felt the storyline was marred with the authors own bias towards Anne Boleyn and favourtism of Katherine.
I'll start with Anne, who comes across as demanding, manipulative, arrogant and rude completely without any redeeming qualities. This automatically makes it difficult to understand why Henry, not only persued her but his subsequent actions. There is no insight into what made her so compelling for him, even in the long years before he finally married her.
Henry himself does not come across as a strong willed King. He is portrayed as a mere puppet being manipulated by the strings that Anne Boleyn controls. Everything that happens is never his fault, merely him acting on Anne's latest paranoid whim. In stark contrast to his actions he speaks more fondly and with respect of Katherine than he ever does with Anne which although suits this narrative makes it even more difficult to try and understand his actions. 
Katherine herself comes across more how she is portrayed in history, a strong willed queen who will never give up her title. She is loyal to God and her faith and truly believes that. No matter the price. As sad as her fate is, I found it pretty difficult to care by the end of the book, an opinion I don't usually possess when talking about this subject.
I'm dissapointed in that the reasons behind Henry's are only merely covered - his longing for an heir, his insatiable lust, his ego, his advisors even. Mentioned but never at the forefront of reasoning. The main idea is this was all Anne Boleyn s doing. Even down to the reformation. Again, Anne's fault - a woman apparently so powerful in a time when women were the property of their fathers and husbands, a time in which even a queen can be dethroned by the will of her husband. 
Don't believe reviews that claim this is like reading a Phillipa Gregory book because unfortunately it isn't, the lack of character in the main narrative attests to that.
In summary, this book could be explained simply as a blame game. Henry blames Katherine, Katherine blames Anne whilst Anne blames everybody but herself. 
And the author.. Well he blames Anne Boleyn.
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What a unique concept for a novel. The Great Matter Monologues tells the story of the love triangle of Henry VIII, Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn through these 3 leading participants. Each character is given their own voice and presents the story through their own eyes.
The author has really thought of the personalities involved and of the crisis and drama that they lived through.
Wonderfully written and incredibly well researched, this is a must-read for all lovers of all things Tudor.
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The Tudors and Henry the Eighth is a period of history that is taught world wide. We in Ireland learned extensively about Henry and his six wives- Divorced, Beheaded, Died, Divorced, Beheaded, Survived- ABSCHP- Aragon, Boleyn, Seymore, Cleaves, Howard, Parr. These lists and pneumonics are are ingrained forever more on our minds. This book by Thomas Crockett brought all those back to me and in a pleasant manner. Henry the 8th requested a divorce from his first wife Katherine of Aragon to marry Anne Boleyn, his second wife. Divorce isn't permitted at the time but as King of England he felt it was within his power to force the powers that be to grant his wish, and this became known as The Great Matter. Here in this book we hear three monologues pertaining to this great matter, from Henry, from Katherine and from Anne. This was well written and the author managed to write in the style pertaining to that era. I easily transported myself back to Henry's courts and could feel Henry's desperation as he tried to plead his case. This is a worth while and entertaining read, one which will indeed supplement anybody's current store of knowledge on this topic or which will also serve as an introduction to one of the most notable occurrences of dissent every to have been witnessed on the English throne
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As a complete Tudor fanatic, I was ever so excited to be accepted to read this.
I gobbled it up In no time at all and enjoyed it very much, a nice easy read, and a period of time I can’t get enough of... would recommend to all history lovers

Thank you to the author Netgalley and publisher, for allowing me to read in return for an honest review
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So many novels have been written dealing with ‘the King’s Great Matter’ – Henry VIII’s struggle to divorce Katherine of Aragon and marry Anne Boleyn – that it must be getting very difficult for authors to find new and interesting ways to approach the subject. Thomas Crockett’s solution is to tell the story in the form of alternating monologues written from the perspectives of Henry, Katherine and Anne in an attempt to create a theatrical feel, as if the three main players were standing on a stage sharing their thoughts directly with the audience.

If you’ve read about this period before, there’s nothing very new here; for the most part, the plot follows the known historical facts, except where it’s necessary for the author to make personal choices on how to interpret certain points – for example, the question of whether Katherine’s earlier marriage to Henry’s brother, Prince Arthur, had been consummated (this was the basis for Henry’s claim that his own marriage to Katherine should be declared invalid). The appeal of the book, for me, was not so much what it was about but the way in which it was written, taking us into the minds of Katherine and Anne – and also Henry, as most of the other Tudor novels I’ve read have focused on the women and not really given Henry a chance to tell his side of the story.

Despite them sharing their private thoughts and emotions with us, I didn’t find any of the three narrators at all likeable. It’s certainly easiest to have sympathy for Katherine as she was treated so badly by Henry, blamed for their failure to produce a son and cast off to live the rest of her life under increasingly poor and unhealthy conditions as she is put under pressure to agree to the divorce. However, as she spends most of this period in the confines of the damp, cold castles to which she has been banished, not much actually happens to Katherine over the course of the novel and I felt that her monologues became very repetitive.

Anne Boleyn’s voice and story are stronger and more engaging as she talks about her struggle to be accepted as Henry’s queen and her own failure to give birth to a male heir, before falling out of favour in her turn. She is very much the villain of the book, though, which is often the case in Tudor novels and I would have preferred something more nuanced rather than yet another portrayal of Anne as ruthless, spiteful and consumed by hatred for Katherine and her daughter, Mary. As for Henry, it’s difficult to have much sympathy for him, knowing how he treated his wives, but I did feel his frustration over how long the Great Matter was taking to be resolved and his worries for the future of the kingdom should he die before the succession was secured.

The novel goes into a huge amount of detail regarding every aspect of the Great Matter and although the short, rapidly switching monologues made it tempting to keep saying ‘just one more chapter’, I didn’t find it a particularly quick or easy read. As part of the stream-of-consciousness style of writing, there’s an absence of punctuation to indicate when someone is speaking and that made it difficult to follow the dialogue at times. Still, overall I enjoyed reading this book and appreciate Thomas Crockett’s attempt to do something a little bit different. Although I’m not really a fan of audiobooks, I do think this particular novel would work well in audio format, with different narrators expressing the unique voices and personalities of the three characters.
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*Many thanks to Thomas Crockett, John Hunt Publishing and NetGalley for arc in exchange for my honest review,*
Three persons involved in the so-called Great Matter deliver monologues and present their positions with regard to the divorce Henry VIII was so desparately seeking.
I have read extensively on the subject and although I was not surprised by the inner thoughts of the three people involved in a politically and personally complicated Matter, I did enjoy the way these thoughts were delivered. All three have the opportunity to speak of their frustrations and expectations, and we learn how their minds work. This was what I enjoyed most about this novel.
All in all, an interesting offering by Mr Crockett, even though it may be a little difficut read for someone who has never read anything on the subject matter.
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I love the tudor era it has turnt out to be my favourite part of history so I was excited to read this.

This is a fresh take on the divorce matter between Henry VIII and Katherine Aragon so he can wed Anne Boleyn. Its told in the first person so we get three points of views about the whole thing.

I enjoyed the different take on it and if you like tudor history then pick this up
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I recieved an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

While I knew nothing about The Great Matter Monologues or Thomas Crockett prior to picking it up, its focus on one of the most infamous events of the Tudor period piqued my interest, and the fact that Crockett employed a theatrical monologue style to capture the perspectives of Henry, Katherine, and Anne equally intrigued me.

And ultimately, for what he was trying to do, I feel like the book succeeds. Given the style, I feel that this is one book where I would have liked to have an audio supplement, and wonder if Crockett or the publisher plans to do one as an audio drama with multiple narrators, given that Crockett has a theatre background, according to his bio.

As for the prose itself, it’s engaging, and Crockett captures the voices of the three central figures well, from Katherine’s bravery in the face of adversity, to Henry’s desperation as he feels he (or his marriages) has been cursed and continues on his quest to secure the succession, and the evolution of Henry’s relationship with Anne. It’s nothing new to those who’ve read the story before, and there are some choices made where the historical records are unclear that I disagree with, but it’s nonetheless pretty solid.

The one flaw as a written piece is the way dialogue with other characters, particularly, when hearkening back to past conversations, is handled, since quotations are not used. This is likely a convention of the monologue style, and once again something that could be remedied by hearing it instead of reading it.

This is an enjoyable read, with a more stylistic take on the Great Matter than I had previously seen. I would recommend it to history buffs, especially those who also have an interest in theatre.
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I received this book from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review

I love all things to do with history and the Tudors, and this book was everything I hoped it would be. For me, the author told their stories in a way I haven't heard before. 4 stars!
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This book tells a old story in a new way. The 3 way split in the narrative between Henry, Katherine and Anne was an intriguing premise. Sadly it just didn’t work for me, which is a shame because I found it to be grammatically well written and well presented. I found the narrative difficult to follow and often repetitive. The biggest issue for me however was the  characterisation, after the first few sections I felt it fell into long dispelling cliches with no real depth and I found them all pretty annoying, I’m sorry to say I didn’t finish this which is a rare thing for me but this one I just didn’t enjoy.
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When it is snowy and cold outside (and my car is buried under 2ft of ❄️ ), superspeed readers like me can read 250+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. LOL

I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review.  

From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.

England, 1527, King Henry seeks a divorce from his first wife, Katherine, who can't give him the male heir he desires. He sets his eyes on the younger, more daring Anne Boleyn, triggering a complex, triangular exchange of personal narratives from the protagonists, who remain entwined for the ensuing nine years. Each struggle in their pursuits of power, control and survival, ending in 1536 with Katherine's death and Anne's final miscarriage, sealing her fate and giving King Henry cause to seek yet another wife...

I love and have read most things Tudor and I was delighted to see this book. It took me a while to "get it" - it is told in dialogue and it constantly switches back and forth, often quite rapidly, between the three people involved.  It was very hard to follow along and understand until I got used to it and could more easily understand the repetition and constant switching in the narrative.  It is a good book but it is hard to read and I would only recommend it to the serious Tudor scholar or fan as it is, frankly, a chore to work through.

As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I love emojis (outside of their incessant use by "🙏-ed Social Influencer Millennials/#BachelorNation survivors/etc. " on Instagram and Twitter... Get a real job, people!) so let's give it 2.5 👑 rounded up to 👑👑👑
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