Fool (inbunden)
Inbunden (Hardback)
Antal sidor
Princeton University Press
10 b, w illus 10 b, w illus
10 b/w illus.
206 x 130 x 25 mm
381 g
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In Search of Henry VIII's Closest Man

Inbunden,  Engelska, 2023-09-19
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The first biography of Henry VIIIs court fool William Somer, a legendary entertainer and one of the most intriguing figures of the Tudor age In some portraits of Henry VIII there appears another, striking figurea gaunt and morose-looking man with a shaved head and, in one case, a monkey on his shoulder. This is William or "Will" Somer, the kings fool, a celebrated wit who reportedly could raise Henrys spirits and spent many hours with him, often alone. Was Somer an artificial fool, a cunning comic who could speak freely in front of the king, or a natural fool, someone with intellectual disabilities, like many other members of the profession? And what role did he play in the tumultuous and violent Tudor era? Fool is the first biography of Somerand perhaps the first of a Renaissance fool. After his death, Somer disappeared behind his legend, and historians struggled to separate myth from reality. Unearthing as many facts as possible, Peter K. Andersson pieces together the fullest picture yet of an enigmatic and unusual man with a very strange job. Somers story provides new insights into how fools lived and what exactly they did for a living, how monarchs and courtiers related to commoners and people with disabilities, and whether aspects of the Renaissance fool live on in the modern comedian. But most of all, we learn how a commoner without property or education managed to become the courts chief mascot and a continuous presence at the center of Tudor power from the 1530s to the reign of Elizabeth I. Looking beyond stereotypes of the man in motley, Fool reveals a little-known world, surprising and disturbing, when comedy was something crueler and more unpleasant than we like to think.
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"A History Today Book of the Year" "[An] excellent new study."---Andrew Hadfield, Times Literary Supplement "A fascinating window onto Tudor life at its best, worst and most complicated."---Noel Malcolm, Daily Telegraph "Thoroughly enjoyable and enlightening."---Dominic Green, Wall Street Journal "Andersson profiles in this diligent study 16th-century court jester William Somer, Henry VIIIs favored fool. . . . The result is an illuminating look into Somers role as a source of broad humor and stress relief in a tumultuous court ruled by a mercurial king." * Publishers Weekly * "Andersson has given us a vivid, tantalising portrait of [Will Somer] and a nuanced exploration of how he and those around him negotiated one another. . . .Will Somers ghost has life in it yet."---Matthew Lyons, History Today "Anyone who wants to know about this oddly central figure in Tudor life will find Anderssons book worthwhile."---Alec Ryrie, The Conversation "A fascinating look at Will Somer, Henry VIIIs court fool. . . .A book that makes a great case for looking at history through those who are often disregarded."---Nandini Das, History Today "Even by the end of this biography, you will wonder how much you know about Will Somer, and that is all to the good. . . . [Andersson] provides a therapeutic rebuke to much of the nonsense written about Somer."---Carl Rollyson, New York Sun "A short and delightful account of William Somer, fool to Henry VIII and one of the best-known individuals in Tudor England. . . . Andersson accepts that his book is not a conventional biography.' But he revels in the opportunities that this admission permits. . . . [Fool] offers the prehistory of comedy as the history of disability. Andersson packs a lot of thinking in a short but compelling read. Heres one fool that we really must take seriously."---Crawford Gibbon, New Criterion

Övrig information

Peter K. Andersson is senior lecturer in history at rebro University in Sweden. He is the author of Streetlife in Late Victorian London and Silent History.