Review: The King is Dead – Suzannah Lipscomb

Another day, another review. This time however, the book in question is not of a fictional origin, instead it’s a non-fiction book review. The book in question, The King is Dead, is written by my favourite Tudor historian Suzannah Lipscomb and follows the life and death of one of Britain’s most imfamous kings. Want to see if my review of her book about the last will and testament of King Henry VIII is bias? Keep on reading to find out my thoughts and opinions.

The Book


This non-fiction book centres around one of England’s most notorious kings, Henry VIII, and the will he left behind. Exploring all facets of one of the most important documents to come out of the Tudor period, Suzannah Lipscomb explores the will’s background, the days leading up to Henry VIII’s passing, and everything in between.

The Review 

If you are a lover of all things Tudor, then let me say you need this book in your life. Regardless of the stunning cover, The King is Dead is chalk full of informative information surrounding a subject that I feel gets overshadowed by Henry VIII’s love life.

One passage I found informative came in “Chapter 5 – Making of the Will” when Lipscomb reveals that Henry VIII had not in fact signed his will and that instead Henry’s royal clerks had been give the authority to counterfeit his signature with the use of a stamp. Given that much was contested about the will of Henry VIII after his passing, I’m then left surprised IMG_9409.JPGthat this “legal counterfeit” was done in the first place, given that it was one of the most important documents of Henry’s reign. Lipscomb then goes on to reveal that even though the will’s validity was contested based on this method of signing later in the sixteenth century, there were safeguards put into place to ensure that this document, as well as any other documents produced in the last eighteen months of Henry VIII’s reign were held as legal and binding.

Besides the information, The King is Dead is full of illustrations (some featured above) that make the book even more of a staple in any Tudor enthusiast’s library.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. 

Purchase Links

Pegasus BooksAmazon | Barnes & NobleIndigo


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