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The Great Survivor of the Tudor Age (ePub)

The Life and Times of Lord William Paget

P&S History > British History > Tudors & Stuarts P&S History > Social History

By Lord Alex Anglesey
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
File Size: 3.0 MB (.epub)
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9781399035118
Published: 2nd November 2023


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Like Cromwell and Wolsey before him, William Paget came from nowhere to become one of Henry VIII's most powerful 'new men'. After serving as ambassador to the Court of Francis I of France, he became Henry's most influential foreign policy advisor and developed a close relationship with Emperor Charles V. He had the king's ear in Henry's later years, was the key player in drafting his will ( was it a forgery?) and in enabling Somerset to become Lord Protector in the reign of the boy king, Edward VI. For a while, he was Somerset's 'right-hand man'.

When Somerset fell, Paget was imprisoned in the Tower and nearly executed. But he survived and regained power. He had a major role in delivering the Crown to the Catholic queen, Mary, and in arranging her marriage to Philip II of Spain, whom he then advised on English politics. He kept in with the Protestant princess Elizabeth and survived to have influence when she came to the throne.

William was the founder of the aristocratic Paget family - Barons of Beaudesert, Earls of Uxbridge and Marquesses of Anglesey.

From records of the mansion that he built on a site next to today's Heathrow Airport, a picture has been created of how life was actually lived in a Tudor household at the personal family level.

The story is partly told from previously unexamined family letters. It is an exciting narrative of dramatic ups and downs: from rags to riches, plague to plenty, and prison to peerage. Court intrigues, conspiracies, rebellions and coups, follow one after the other. William is usually in the thick of it, the power behind the throne.

An inherently fascinating and informative read from start to finish, "The Great Survivor of the Tudor Age: The Life and Times of Lord William Paget" is a masterpiece of biographical scholarship and a critically important contribution to our understanding of 16th Century British history. Significantly enhanced for the benefit of the reader with the inclusion of an Appendix (A Family Epilogue), thirteen pages of Notes, a three page listing of Sources & Bibliography, and a three page Index, "The Great Survivor of the Tudor Age: The Life and Times of Lord William Paget" is an extraordinary and expressly recommended contribution to personal, professional, community, and college/university library 16th Century British History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

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Midwest Book Review

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Lord Alex Anglesey’s The Great Survivor of the Tudor Age is about William Paget, a supporter of Henry VIII. If you are fascinated with Henry VIII’s life and those who knew him, this book will not disappoint.

NetGalley, Jamie Lovett

Article: Book takes a look at Abbey history!

Burton Mail

This is a fascinating biography about Lord William Paget, a resilient figure of the Tudor era. However, the writing goes beyond mere biography; Alex Anglesy explores the social, cultural, and economic aspects of the Tudor era and the personalities and motivations of key players. He writes in a clear and exciting style, making the book a good pick for casual readers and British History enthusiasts alike. I learned a lot about a figure I had never thought about. I think this is a great read for Tudor history enthusiasts like myself.

NetGalley, Whitney Foster

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

William Paget rose from humble origins to become a top advisor to Henry VIII, Edward VI, and Mary I. With fresh insights from Paget family letters, this vivid history chronicles his life: from shaping foreign policy to navigating rebellions, from imprisonment to surviving court intrigues. By asking little and achieving much, this powerful courtier steered England through the tumultuous 16th century shifts in leadership.

This book sheds light on a workhorse of the Tudor court. Perhaps because of his humility and moderation, and because he survived long enough to retire under Elizabeth I, he's not as well remembered as predecessors like Wolsey and Cromwell. This book offers a new perspective on familiar events, bringing to life a historical figure in an engaging and easy-to-read manner.

NetGalley, Andrea Romance

This book was an enjoyable read and I would thoroughly encourage anyone who wants to learn more about this overlooked historical figure in Tudor history to give this book a try!

NetGalley, Emma Holbrook

If you want to learn more about a lesser-known political figure who lived during the Tudor dynasty, I suggest you read, “The Great Survivor of the Tudor Age: The Life and Times of Lord William Paget” by Alex Anglesey.

NetGalley, Heidi Malagisi

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I enjoyed getting to read about Lord William Paget, he had a unique life and this was written perfectly for him. Lord Alex Anglesey does a great job in bringing him to life. I was never bored when reading this and enjoyed the family letters idea.

NetGalley, Kathryn McLeer

About Lord Alex Anglesey

Alex Anglesey is the 8th Marquess of Anglesey, descendant of Lord William, founder of the Paget family. He grew up in the family home, Plas Newydd on Anglesey, which is now part of the National Trust. After doing a PhD in 20th century British history, working in book publishing, and co-founding and running a successful business retailing and publishing posters, he now works most of the time as an artist, mainly of landscapes in oils, under the name Alex Uxbridge.

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