Extended Audio Sample

Download Henry VIII Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Henry VIII Audiobook, by William Shakespeare
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (3,087 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: William Shakespeare Narrator: Sybil Thorndike Publisher: Saland Publishing Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2008 ISBN:
Coming Soon! We're adding audiobooks daily and hope to make this one available for download very soon. Submit your vote below to let us know you really crave this title!
Vote this up! This audiobook has 0 votes

This abridged performance of the last of Shakespeare's plays founded on English history was recorded in 1952. Henry VIII was first published in the 1623 folio edition of Shakespeare's plays.

This performance stars Dame Sybil Thorndike, Sir Lewis Casson & Ralph Truman (as King Henry VIII). Download and start listening now!

BK_SLND_000085

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Alex | 2/13/2014

    " Read this as a companion piece after I finished Wolf Hall. I didn't even know he wrote a play about Henry VIII, and now I know why: it pretty much sucks. And a total whitewash, which makes sense in retrospect. Where's the fucking beheadings, Will? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael | 2/12/2014

    " Not the best o' the the Bard, but fits in well with the histories. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Moira Russell | 2/8/2014

    " Chewed through this mainly because I badly sprained my ankle and am stuck in bed, and saw the BBC production of it but could barely follow it and felt vaguely guilty, like I'd slighted Will or something. After reading it and viewing it once again and focusing on the long, detailed critical introduction by Jay L. Halio (which was quite good and hardly at all stiff), what strikes me is not how it's about Henry VIII -- because it isn't, really, just as King John isn't really about that king and Henry VI is a sort of marginal figure in the three plays which bear his name.....and come to think of it Henry IV isn't really the full focus of the two-parter with his name on it, either. (The two kings who seem to command their respective plays are Richards II and III. The effects of being named Dick rather than Harry are left as an exercise for the reader.) Halio emphasizes the linked way Buckingham, Katherine and Wolsey all foreshadow each other's downfalls, one worst than the next, and the tragic flaw causing it all isn't even really overweening ambition (as Wolsey's fate is presented) but rather the way Henry becomes an increasingly powerful juggernaut who can rid himself of troublesome nobles, his wife, and even the second most powerful man in England. But he remains a shadowy and contradictory figure, motivated not so much by lust (although Shakespeare explicitly makes desire for Anne, rather than worry over succession, his main motive) but the realization that whatever he wants -- Anne, a divorce, telling the Pope to piss up a rope -- he can just take. This exercise of absolute power casts a bit of a shadow over the celebratory joy at Elizabeth's birth which ends the play (IIRC, the Beeb just whacked the Epilogue, not even allowing it to be a VO, as happened to the Prologue). Personally, I went into the play detesting Wolsey and expecting some major fireworks from Anne Boleyn/Bullen, who is one of my favourite figures of that period, but wound up sympathetic to the Cardinal (well, with those fantastic final speeches Will gives him, can you blame me -- "he falls like Lucifer, Never to hope again") and v impressed by Shakespeare's portrayal of Katherine, one of his strongest and most dignified women. However, I just absolutely cannot STAND Henry VIII and this play did nothing to counteract that. People who think that this play glorifies Elizabeth's father are about as clueless as the ones who say that Henry V is a piece of pro-war jingoistic propaganda. I didn't enjoy reading this, exactly, but I'm glad I made the effort and dug into it and especially read the critical matter, which was very helpful. Shakespeare almost always rewards really engaging with the text -- doesn't Woolf call his influence 'fertilizing'? (No no, not like that. Smartasses.) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 April Hochstrasser | 1/15/2014

    " I listened on CD to Shakespeare's play. I'm glad the CD included scene descriptions and synopsis of what was happening. Very great writing, duh! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katie | 12/29/2013

    " Actually, 2.5 stars. Not my favorite, but better than Merchant. King Henry V is still my favorite history. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jyothy Sreedhar | 12/11/2013

    " It was a horrible historical drama for me! I can't figure out even now about why I don't like the old historical writings. It makes me confused, distracted and sometimes even irritated. Sorry to my one of the most favourite writer- Shakespeare! :) "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Phil | 12/7/2013

    " So far, the only play I've read by Shakespeare that I don't like. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Gabi | 11/30/2013

    " Why don't you just physically lift up Queen Elizabeths skirts and kiss her butt, you suck up "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lashai | 10/9/2013

    " The book was okay. The only reason i read it was because i had to. The book was interesting and boring in certain parts. The ending was good though. My favorite character was Hotspur, and i think harry was a joke. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Marilee | 7/13/2013

    " I didn't like this one as much as most of the other Shakespeare plays I've read, which surprised me - of all Shakespeare's history plays, you would think the one about Henry VIII wouldn't put you to sleep. I felt like the play lacked focus and needed more character development. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Norah | 1/25/2013

    " Required reading for a summer college English class. This was the most entertaining of the works to me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth | 2/29/2012

    " This is a favorite subject of mine, and to read it as handled by one of the greatest writers of all time, in an effort to impress the daughter of the title character--the then reigning Elizabeth I--gave it a new dimension. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Fritz | 2/26/2012

    " I love Shakespeare, but the characters in this one didn't grab me, as they have in other of his works. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Faye Hollidaye | 12/27/2011

    " I was not disappointed. I'll definitely read it again sometime. I recommend for anyone who's interested in Shakespeare and his work, anyone who's intrigued by puzzles, and anyone who's interested in king Henry viii. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gabe Redel | 12/26/2011

    " Honestly, I don't remember much about Henry the VIII, but I think he was as kooky as the rest of them. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 John Uzzi | 10/26/2011

    " I read this immediately after finishing a biography of Catherine of Aragon so I was into the plot. After the 372 page bio the play seemed light. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kaethe | 5/7/2011

    " Can't say that I recall a single detail, line, or anything. Nada. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rachel (Sfogs) | 3/3/2011

    " Meh was a bit too boring, just history lesson in play-form. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 April | 1/28/2011

    " I listened on CD to Shakespeare's play. I'm glad the CD included scene descriptions and synopsis of what was happening. Very great writing, duh! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Gabi | 12/20/2010

    " Why don't you just physically lift up Queen Elizabeths skirts and kiss her butt, you suck up "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Will | 10/21/2010

    " Now the play makes more sense. I got the gist of it, but I should make sure to read them first from now on. I'll probably understand them better having both read and seen. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Courtney | 9/1/2010

    " Worth reading, but not as exciting as I would have hoped.

    But there is a lot of good stuff in it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rebecca | 8/26/2010

    " Beautifully written of course, some great quotes. There are others the Bard wrote that I like better though. Lot's of really good double talk. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erin | 5/4/2010

    " Not sure why this is an unpopular play of Shakespeare's . . . I loved it! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Alex | 2/1/2010

    " Read this as a companion piece after I finished Wolf Hall. I didn't even know he wrote a play about Henry VIII, and now I know why: it pretty much sucks. And a total whitewash, which makes sense in retrospect. Where's the fucking beheadings, Will? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rllk4 | 8/30/2009

    " One of two Shakespeare co-author works. OK "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Harmonybites | 8/7/2009

    " Well, ranking on a scale, because its still Shakespeare with some memorable lines to be had, but definitely among the more forgettable. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lashai | 6/24/2009

    " The book was okay. The only reason i read it was because i had to. The book was interesting and boring in certain parts. The ending was good though. My favorite character was Hotspur, and i think harry was a joke. "

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author
Author William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare (1564–1616), English poet and dramatist of the Elizabethan and early Jacobean period, is the most widely known author in all of English literature and often considered the greatest. He was an active member of a theater company for at least twenty years, during which time he wrote many great plays. Plays were not prized as literature at the time, and Shakespeare was not widely read until the middle of the eighteenth century, when a great upsurge of interest in his works began that continues today.