Monday, September 08, 2008

Question from Judy - Starkey's new biography

Is David Starkey's biography which is coming out in 2009 going to be available in the USA? I see it is already on amazonuk.

[Ed. note - I keep periodically checking for this to come out in the US, but haven't found any info. Anyone else know something?]


  1. Which new bio is this?


  2. He's also listed at for "Henry: Model of a Tyrant."

    I don't know whether Starkey is writing a two-book work on Henry VIII, or if "Model of a Tyrant" is an alternative title for "Virtuous Prince."

  3. It might be a two-book bio, since I vaguely recall hearing something a while back along those lines. I wish I could remember now where I read it, but there was mention that this was Starkey's biggest work yet. And given the size of the 6 Wives book, I would imagine that they had to split it into two if it was any larger!

  4. The publisher's blurb posted on Amazon decribes "Virtuous Prince" as a "frist installment," implying that it is indeed the first volume in a two-volume work.

  5. If you have an account at, you also have one at and can order it from there using your info. I've done this numerous times. It will probably cost more to mail items and you won't get them as quickly, but you will get them before they become available in the US. For instance, I got Alison Weir's book on Katherine Swynford a year before it was out here in the US. Also, has older items that are not on the .com site. I've ordered numerous obscure historical books from them.

  6. I can't find any reference to a U.S. release date but I did read that the Starkey book is being released in the U.K. a few months before a multi-part documentary about Henry VIII (narrated by David Starkey, of course) will be screened in early 2009.

    They could be holding back the book from U.S. publication until they have a date for showing the documentary in the U.S. as well, so as to get the maximum tie-in from the two events. I think this was previously done for a Simon Schama book/TV series and possibly for another Starkey book/TV series ("Monarchy").

    I hope they actually do publish the two Henry books in the timeline indicated on! I signed up for Starkey's "Elizabeth Vol. II" listed on the site way, way back in about 2002 and waited years before they finally sent me an e-mail cancelling my order. I still wonder sometimes if he plans to write that follow-up to his first Elizabeth book.

  7. Kathy...I've always found it helpful to switch from the US Amazon to the UK.

    Having a heads-up as to what is coming across The Pond is a great way to budget for a book. I also appreciate the reviews...and harking back to the blog about Phillipa Gregory's latest novel...

    Going to and reading the reviews of folks who already had read the book was helpful. That, and the review which Foose had posted.

    Would love it if books in both countries could be available at the same time! Altho, when travel to England was affordable (for me), it was great to walk into a bookstore on Oxford Street and come across a book which had yet to be seen in the U.S.

    BTW...thanks for the title of the new biography. I do like Starkey's work.


  8. When ordering books from the UK you might also want to check out They offer deep discounts and free shipping world-wide. The only downside is that you can't pre-order forthcoming books. You have to wait until they hit the bookstores. I discovered them through Amazon merchants and have been very happy with their service.

  9. Starkey offers an extract from his new book and reminisces on his tutelage under Elton, one of the great Tudor historians, in the London Times:

    I didn't see anything remarkable or new in his treatment of events leading up to the birth of the "New Year's Boy" in the extract, but perhaps there's something more iconoclastic in the actual book.

  10. Oh, and John Guy reviews it too in the Times:

    " ...the best political history of the reign of Henry VII so far" (note he says the father, not the son)

    "[Elizabeth of York] conditioned [her younger son] to be a peacemaker ..." Henry a mama's boy!

    Hmm, the fatal effect of Philip the Handsome on young Henry's development. Could be.

    "Compton, unmasked for the first time as Henry's backstairs fixer and pimp ..." I think we all knew that already.

    "An outstanding overture" - well, we'll all have to read it and decide for ourselves.


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