Thomas Howard became the third duke of Norfolk during the reign of Henry VIII and was intimately involved in many of the most controversial episodes of that era. By some accounts, Norfolk became kwn as the greatest soldier and aristocrat alive under Henry VIII's rule, in Britain a period of transition from medieval to modern and spanning the Renaissance and Reformation. The Ebbs and Flows of Fortune is the first comprehensive biography of Norfolk. In this study, David M. Head confronts the central paradox of Norfolk's career - one that lies in his unpleasant personality, marked by vain and tyrannical behavior. Ultimately these flaws prohibited him from achieving the social posture he believed was owed to him, mainly because of his family's position and wealth. Essentially a conservative, both socially and religiously, Norfolk was uncomfortable with reformation ideology and the 'low-brow' men of the court.
David M. Head is an associate professor of history at John Tyler Community College in Midlothian, Virginia. He is the recipient of numerous research and advanced study grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities.