King’s Fool: A Notorious King, His Six Wives, and One Man Who Knew All Their Secrets by Margaret Campbell Barnes
Will Somers has no idea when he came to court with his merchant master that he would soon have the ear of a king. In “King’s Fool” Margaret Campbell Barnes elabortes on the known facts of real-life jester to Henry VIII, Will Somers. Somers served Henry through all of his wives, and even served in the courts of Henry’s three ruling children.
The scholarship in this book is definitely not the most up-to-date and there were a few things that seemed a bit off to me, but Barnes originally wrote this in the late 1950s, so she really can’t be faulted for not being up on what is current. I loved seeing all of Henry’s wives from the point of view of an intimate outsider and thoroughly enjoyed finally getting a full sketch of Will, even if much of it was purely speculative.
“King Fool” is a highly enjoyable book and definitely something to check out for fans of Tudor-era historical fiction. I hope to read more of Barnes’ work.