Thomas Cromwell Book Report

785 Words 4 Pages
In his book, J. Patrick Coby describes how Thomas Cromwell and his politics were influenced by Marsilius of Padua and Niccolò Machiavelli. Thomas Cromwell: Machiavellian Statecraft and the English Reformation appears to be written as a work of popular history it reads, however much like a scholarly work of history. The book uses a section outline in which it describes situations based on the subject and it has no exact timeline. The book also lacks footnotes instead of focusing on a large list of references in the back of the book. Coby spends too much of the book trying to explain the situation around Thomas Cromwell instead or greater detail on the man himself. The book is very topical oriented but tries to stay as chronological as possible. …show more content…
The rise and fall of Wolsey plays a major part when examining the politics of Cromwell, as he was a close associate of Wolsey yet with Wolsey’s fall he was promoted. It may have been helped with relations at court that Cromwell persuaded Wolsey to bestow gifts and annuities from his remaining properties upon prominent lords, including Norfolk’s nephew, George Boleyn, Viscount Rochford. (69) It was during the fall of Wolsey that Cromwell entered the king’s service and thus enjoying the protection the king supplied. Coby gives three different stories about how Cromwell managed to adapt so quickly, Coby never took a stand on which one was the most logical explanation. Coby states that Anne of Cleves and Cromwell’s urging Henry VIII to marry her led to his down fall. She was very homely looking and Henry could not consummate the marriage. This along with other bad decisions; which alone would not have been as intense, led Cromwell out of the good graces of the king. Henry had him beheaded for treason and meddling in the affairs of the king. This point of view, however, allows Coby to stand out because other works of Cromwell like Early Modern England 1485-1714: A Narrative History by, Bucholz and Key that only give a broad overview of Cromwell with no real detail about what led up to his decisions. Coby has a very extensive bibliography which includes primary sources ranging from …show more content…
Patrick Coby has found his Niche in the study of Thomas Cromwell and Tudor England. By using Marsilius and Machiavelli and comparing Cromwell’s politics to their writings. Coby explains that the ideas that came out of reformation were already revealed long before Cromwell took the position of high minister to the king. Understanding what process and procedures Cromwell took in order to please his king and comparing it to the work of Marsilius and Machiavelli certainly shined a new light on him. Coby however may be reaching too far and even though he makes valid points in comparing the context, the only evidence he has is a protégé of Cromwell translating Defender of the Peace. Coby makes it a point to give every piece of back ground needed for anyone trying to read this

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