kyra-kramer-and-edward-viThank you so much to Kyra Kramer for joining us on The Anne Boleyn Files today as part of her book tour for Edward VI in a Nutshell. It’s lovely to play host to her today.

Edward VI is often seen as nothing more than a puppet or pawn who had little impact on England, but that is far from the truth and he’s a fascinating character. Kyra gives us an overview of Edward in the following video and I hope it piques your interest in him.

MadeGlobal Publishing is offering one lucky Anne Boleyn Files follower a paperback copy of Edward VI in a Nutshell. To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment below before midnight on Wednesday 23rd November saying what you found interesting about Kyra’s video. One comment will be picked at random and the commenter contacted for his/her details. The giveaway is open internationally. Good luck!

You can catch up with Kyra at the other stops on her book tour, here is the schedule:


Book blurb:

MadeGlobal’s History in a Nutshell Series aims to give readers a good grounding in a historical topic in a concise, easily digestible and easily accessible way.

Born twenty-seven years into his father’s reign, Henry VIII’s son, Edward VI, was the answer to a whole country’s prayers. Precocious and well-loved, his life should have been idyllic and his own reign long and powerful. Unfortunately for him and for England, that was not to be the case.

Crowned King of England at nine years old, Edward was thrust into a world of power players, some who were content to remain behind the throne, and some who would do anything to control it completely. Devoutly Protestant and in possession of an uncanny understanding of his realm, Edward’s actions had lasting effects on the religious nature of the kingdom and would surely have triggered even more drastic changes if he hadn’t tragically and unexpectedly died at the age of fifteen.

Physicians of the day wrote reams of descriptions of the disease that killed him, but in Edward VI in a Nutshell, medical anthropologist Kyra Kramer (author of Henry VIII’s Health in a Nutshell) proposes a new theory of what, exactly, caused his death.

Straightforward and informative, Edward VI in a Nutshell will give readers a better understanding than they’ve ever had of the life, reign, and death, of England’s last child monarch.

Click here to find out more about Kyra’s book.

Kyra Cornelius Kramer is an author and researcher with undergraduate degrees in both biology and anthropology from the University of Kentucky, as well as a masters degree in medical anthropology from Southern Methodist University. Her work is published in several peer-reviewed journals, including The Historical Journal, Studies in Gothic Fiction, and Journal of Popular Romance Studies and she regularly writes for The Tudor Society. Her books include Blood Will Tell: A medical explanation for the tyranny of Henry VIII, The Jezebel Effect: Why the slut shaming of famous queens still matters, Henry VIII’s Health in a Nutshell and Edward VI in a Nutshell.

P.S. Today is the anniversary of the death of Queen Mary I in 1558 and the accession of her half-sister, Queen Elizabeth I – click here to read more.

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66 thoughts on “An overview of King Edward VI by Kyra Kramer”
  1. Loved the video. Amazing that Edward was way more intelligent than Henry, but then i think all his children were. Looking forward to reading more of this story. Thank you for the chance!!

  2. I had no idea Edward was such a prodigy! To know so many languages at his young age, as well as so many other subjects is amazing. I have never heard much about Edward VI since his father was so controversial. I wonder what kind of king he would have become, considering he was more like his grandfather Henry VII

  3. I would love a autographed copy of your book. My daughter is a history major with a minor in art and I would love to be able to give this book to her after I read it. I have always been interested in the Tudor family myself.

  4. I am also interested in your theory that Edward VI died of a hereditary disease that also killed Arthur and Henry Fitzroy. I also found it interesting that Edward was not a puppet as I have read in other books. Can’t wait to read this book. I love your other books Blood Will Tell and The Jezebel Effect and I read them often.

  5. Edward strikes me as a very clever boy but a very cold natured one. His matter of fact comment upon the execution of Thomas Seymour is chilling. I’d like to know how affected he was by family dysfunction.

  6. The theory of a hereditary disease also interests me greatly, it would make a lot of sense consider Arthur Tudor, Edmund Tudor, Henry Fitzroy and Edward VI all died young! The idea that a jug that could’ve become very notable died at a young age really catches my attention. I wonder if he would’ve become as famous as his half sister Elizabeth if he had lived!
    I love Tudor History! So I’d love to win your book especially as it’s on my to buy list x

  7. Very interesting! I found the connection of cause of death to Arthur Tudor and Henry Fitzroy quite intriguing! I would LOVE to win the book. Good luck with it!

  8. Excellent and intriguing video. You present history and your theories in an interesting fashion, pulling your audience into a dialogue with you as if we were conversing about our nephew over tea. I learned much about King Edward VI in your short presentation and am eager to learn more.

  9. I loved this snippet from the book. I learned so much about Edward IV,. I haven’t studied him as much as the rest of the Tudors because of the, turns out, false belief on what a dull person he was. I want more! I also am extremely curious on the league as to what may have killed him, as well as Arthur and Henry Fitzroy. Thank you so much for bring this new look into a mostly forgotten Tudor King.

  10. I was especially interested in hearing what subjects Edward studied, and by Ms. Kramer’s mis-pronunciation of “privy.” Or is hers an English pronunciation? (I’m American.)

  11. I am a history major who has always loved Tudor England. I have long loved Edward VI and anything relates to his reign. I have long researched Edward VI and I am glad that there are people out there that are interested in how spectacular he really was. As a king he would have made Henry VIII and Elizabeth I look sub par if he had lived longer. He was exceptionally smart as this video remarked and would have been an amazing king. Thank you for the video and I look forward to reading this book!

  12. Thank you for the video and giveaway!

    It’s interesting that Edward spoke and understood so many languages! He was a prodigy indeed.

  13. i have often read that Edward was quite like his sister Elizabeth in terms of intelligence. Being well read, good in several languages and pretty astute for such a young age. I would like to read more about Edward. His life was so short and not a great deal of written word has been spent on his reign. At least I’ve not come across much. Great Video, very refreshing Kyra chose to write a book about him.

  14. Very interested about the theory of Edwards death. From all accounts he really suffered. I did not think it sounded very much like tuberculosis. Your explanation sounds intriguing!

  15. I am pleased that here is an author to get rid of the myth that Prince Edward was a sickly child and a weakling. He was strong in mind and body, he knew what he wanted, his diary reveals his ideas on the reformation and he was a child genius. I cannot comment on whether he had a genetic disease without further study, but it sounds fascinating. Thanks for this very insightful video.

  16. Enjoyed the video. It is amazing how common perceptions of historical figures turn out not to accurate. Thank you Kyra.

  17. I loved the video and I was astounded to learn of how many languages Edward knew. I am also really interested in your theory on his death. I can’t wait to read your book!

  18. Thank you so much, Kyra! I had only seen a few portraits of Edward VI, so I especially enjoyed all the portraits!

  19. Thank you Kyra !
    Wonderful & informative video….looking forward to reading your book as well on Edward.
    being a Tudor history lover , I’m glad that there will finally be a book written about him , shedding more light on his short but very full life.

  20. Thank you for your summary of your new book. It sounds so interesting and your voice conveys your enthusiasm. I learned a lot through this brief video; Edward’s intelligence, hopeful reign, and his, dare I say, mysterious death? The book’s a keeper!

  21. This book sounds very interesting. It is fascinating to hear about his rein as king. In other readings I have seen a small bit of information about his life as a child, but none about his time as king. I never knew that he had been kidnapped by Edward Seymore or the influence Seymore had over Edwards early reign and the result of it.

  22. I knew Edward was intelligent but amazed to learn what a genius he was!
    Also I am interested in Kyra’s theory about the inherited disease that may have killed Edward, Arthur, and Henry Fitzroy.

  23. I would be just over the moon to win this book prize, as my passion is mainly on The Tudor
    Era, also in Classics.
    Also I would also be very interested in comparing Kyra’s theory of the Tudor’s Genealogical
    diseases with other prominent writers of the Tudors.
    And yes young Edward was a chip of the old block, as his father Henry V111 was also very
    gifted in music, prose, studied theology and write many articles on this subject.

  24. I hope that the book gives a description of Edward VI attitude with regard to the execution of his uncle Somerset. This has not been touched upon in this video,

  25. Loved your video! I never know that about him. Would love to know more about Edward VI. I love anything about the Tudor era.

  26. It would be fascinating to learn more about Edward VI including what genetic disease killed him, his uncle and Henry Fitzroy.

  27. I am intrigued to find out what the theory is on the King’s death. I loved the author’s enthusiasm in discussing her book and her opinions on the various people she was writing about. I hope she uses the same enthusiasm in her written words. Thank you for sharing this video and providing this contest.

  28. Kyra offers a novel explanation for Edward VI’s demise that I would be interesting in reading. The book looks very concise but full of interesting facts.

  29. What a fantastic video! I plan to watch it a few more times. I have read so much on the tudors, but Edward VI is often overlooked since his reign was so short. Thank you for sharing your vast knowledge!! (Your theory on a genetic condition for his death seems spot on, and I have myself wondered about a link between the premature deaths of the sons of Henry)

  30. What is striking to me is the fact that Edward had to do about 30 years of maturation in five years’ time as he dealt first hand with the Seymour’s deceptiveness. His well studied scholarly achievements ought to put the rest of us to shame; but the real ‘life’ education came through his experience with the men set as his protectors.

    I often wonder if Seymour had simply ‘stepped down’ in humility instead of kidnapping the king would have saved his head. During this time of course I understand that any one living that could potentially overthrow the throne was seen as a threat, but I do wonder. However even so, Seymour’s pride prevented that from happening and so when he fell, he fell hard, as did his head.

    I am very curious to know more about the illness that Edward died from.

  31. I’ve read about Edward before, but I would love to read more in depth about him. He seems a very interesting person, he was young but very determined, he had the legacy of his formidable father to live up to,… Questions such as how was he raised and how did that influence him? What made him sick in the end, how did he plan to leave his realm behind, and to whom? What where his feelings towards his sisters, did he see them as his heirs? All this and more runs through my head. Thank you for making the video, and for writing the book. I really hope I’ll be reading it soon!

  32. Awesome, curious to what killed him. I did not know he was such an intelligent person or that he was bethrothed to a french princess at the time. He did accomplish alot and I never knew it.

  33. Excellent video! It made me want to read it. I love reading all about the Tudors. Really wanna learn more about Henry VIII´s only male heir.


  34. I would like to have a chance to win Kyra’s book. I have been reading The Anne Boleyn Files for a few months now, 1st time writing a comment. I have been wondering why all Henry VIII’s acknowledged children (both legitimate and illegitimate) remained childless. Mary, Elizabeth, Edward, Henry Fitzroy all did not leave an issue. I have read somewhere that Henry had an illegitimate daughter, her name skipped my memory, she also died childless. There has also been a high rate of miscarriages and stillbirths in Henry’s tragic marital career.I was long wondering if there might be some genetic issue. There were a few debates on this website whether Catherine and Henry Carey were Henry XVIII’s children. Both Catherine and Henry each had between 12 – 16 children. I wonder if it may be the indication that were Carey’s children rather than Henry VIII’s?

    1. Henry’s children remaining childless is not that much of a mystery. Apart from Mary, we have nothing to go on. Edward was 15 and unmarried so no mystery there. Elizabeth I chose to remain unmarried and if she did have a secret son by Dudley as some people speculate, she could not acknowledge him and be the virgin Queen. Henry Fitzroy died without consumating his marriage so no mystery as to why he had no kids. He was also only about 15 or 16. Catherine and Henry Carey may have been Henry’s children, but he never acknowledged them. There is only Mary who tried to have a child, but was unable to do so and may have had cancer instead, which is very sad. Did Mary inherited a problem from her mother? After all it is only guesswork that Henry did not have more children, others have been suggested. Even with any genetic problem, it would not affect every child, or the Carey gene was stronger. Unfortunately, we will never know as we can’t simply dig them up to test for DNA, the Queen would never allow it.

  35. Sorry, gave up when Somerset described as “not a very good KING”, “fake King” and particularly “after the shenanigans he loaned with Henry’s will. Lots of unproven assertions in the bit I watched.

  36. Would love to learn more about Edward, and the genetic thing is interesting considering I still believe he and his grandfather and his brother Richmond, as well as Arthur died of TB but I am fascinated with illnesses of the 16th century and prior. I look forward to being convinced there was something genetic going on. Seems odd that boys were a rare commodity for the Tudors, not in having them but in keeping them. Sounds like something special and new! I look forward to it

  37. Interesting that Kyra thinks that Edward VI was very much his own man – not something you hear very often. Also that he resembled his grandfather. I always thought that Elizabeth had some of HenryVII’s characteristics too.
    I often wonder what sort of a man Edward VI would have made.

  38. I’m always interested in the medical history of historical figures and the attempt to diagnose from a distance. Just another reason to read what sounds like a fascinating book.

  39. I find it interesting to think Edward’s death may have been a genetic disorder. I would love to read your theory. I also found it interesting to compare his personality to Henry vii this idea makes me wonder how Henry viii might have responded to his son’s personality had he and Edward lived into Edward’s adulthood.

  40. I would love to read your theory about the genetic disorder causing the deaths of three of the Tudors. I’ve never heard anything other than TB causing Edwards death.

  41. Kyra, I am so glad you are setting straight the belief that Edward was a sickly child. Far from it. He was an amazing young man.

  42. Thank you for writing your new book on Edward VI.. I love reading about the Tudors and I think Edward VI has often been overlooked. It’s wonderful that you wrote this book and I look forward to reading it. Thank you

  43. As others here have commented; it’s great to see a biographer who has made up her own mind about Edward based on the facts, not just accepted thoughts on the young King. Not the frail weakling we read about in school but a strong, educated young man cut down in his prime. I’m intrigued as to the theory of a genetic illness and look forward to hearing more about it.

  44. Great video. Edward VI is so often portrayed as a sickly child, easily manipulated by those around him. It’s so great to find out that he was a genius who was his own man despite his young age. It’s sad that he died so young because it sounds like he would have been a great monarch. I would love to read more about him, especially the theory surrounding his death.

  45. Very informative video. I have never seen or heard of a book that is devoted to Edward V1.
    I would love to own this book to add to my Tudor collection.

  46. That is so unfair Kyra!!! leaving us hanging like that…lol. What a tease.
    Edward was so going to get the best of Education, and l knew he became a very academic young lad, but not on that scale!! Tudor Member of Mensa. Mine you Henry was no dullard, or Elizabeth either….Henry did have a few good genes to pass on after all 🙂

  47. The Tudors were a family of scholars, Henry was gifted in music and so legend says composed Greensleeves, his two daughters were both Renaissance princesses and his son far from being the sickly prince many writers have led us to believe was born strong and healthy, even after his traumatic birth which claimed the life of his mother, the charming portrait by Holbein shows a bonny rosy cheeked toddler with a cheerful grin and certainly he would be, he was the apple of his fathers eye, he was the King England lost and who would have saved her from the tumultuous bloody years of Mary’s reign, his unexpected death threw the succession into turmoil as he had used his perogative as sovereign, to change his fathers will, the theory about wether he had a genetic illness is interesting and Kyra could well be right, his uncle and half brother both died in their teens and so did Edward, could they have had a disease that affects only makes? Historians have said Edward died of TB as his symptoms resembled the pattern of the illness, weakness lethargy and coughing up blood, and Richmond who died before he was born also had a similar illness, yet TB can spread and there were none others infected who lived near these two boys who fell ill, servants who would have come into contact with them for example, therefore they could well all have suffered from a genetic illness, if that were true it could well have been that Henry V111 passed it on to his two sons and had Edward lived long enough to sire sons of his own, they could well have perished before their time, it seems longevity was not intended for the Tudor dynasty, even his two daughters suffered from ill health, Elizabeth lived the longest dying at seventy, yet that is not a great age, for all their brilliance the Tudors were not blessed with good genes, I found this a very good article and enjoyed it immensely.

  48. Just found this after I emailed Claire for more information on this “forgotten boy king”.
    Have added this book to my wish list.

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