cover image Edward VI: The Lost King of England

Edward VI: The Lost King of England

Chris Skidmore, . . St. Martin's, $27.95 (346pp) ISBN 978-0-312-35142-7

Skidmore, a Ph.D. candidate in Tudor history and adviser to the British shadow secretary for education, provides a revealing glimpse into the tumultuous six-year reign of Edward VI, who ascended to the English throne in 1547, at the age of 10, following the death of his father, Henry VIII. Edward's youth and brilliant precocity led many to hope his reign would be kinder and gentler than Henry's, and the young monarch was likened to the biblical King Josiah, who dramatically reformed Judah after the tyranny of King Manasseh. Young Edward was scholarly, studied theology and left more than 100 essays, one of them denouncing the papacy. During his reign the Church of England continued to flourish and grow. But Edward's rule was also a time of political, economic and religious crisis marked by intrigue and deceit. His own uncle and adviser, Thomas Seymour, was sent to the block for attempting to kidnap Edward, and his sister Mary refused to give up the banned Catholic mass. Skidmore's fast-paced biography, which draws on Edward's journals and correspondence, brings this king and his brief reign to vivid life. 16 pages of color photos. (Nov.)