For those of us surrounded by lovers of Tudor history and in need of an adequate guide, this is a convenient survey of the entire Tudor story from Edward VI to James I. The relentless focus throughout is in the interlaced strands of the Tudor dynasty and its rivals, with more examples of a sickening human brutality than of true romance. Even when romance is present, it is subverted by the weight of ambition. Despite doing a fine job of work, the book give very little insight into the cultural or even religious aspects of the English Renaissance of this period and it only hints at the powerful human stories driving so many of the events analysed so clinically in this book. That is not a defect, of course, so much as an assurance that the Tudors will never be reduced to the pages of any single volume. What this book does provide is a digestable who's who for the period. In fact, for that purpose, the hurried reader might limit their attention to the excellent summary in the final epilogue, which reduces the Tudor dynasty to a few pages and spells out the key arguments of the book.