A one-hour taster into the precarious world of the courtier in the reign of King Henry VIII
Famed for his six wives, brutal outbursts, separating from the Roman Catholic Church and his dissolution of the monasteries, but what about the men who made up his court.
How did the interplay between Henry and his courtly factions shape those events?
- Why did Henry choose the advisors he did?
- How did commoners and aristocrats benefit from Henry’s erratic behaviour?
- Why did his aides frequently outlive their usefulness?
Inside you will read about…
- Day-to-day life as a courtier
- Why the monarch needed a court
- Henry’s ascent to the throne over a nation still feeling divisions from the Wars of the Roses
- Anne Boleyn’s ambition to be supreme at court
- The courtly alliances formed and shattered as each queen came and went
- The rise and fall of Wolsey and Cromwell
- How the dissolution brought about rapid social mobility for the time (and what happened to all the money it raised)
- Henry’s war-mongering desires and alliances on the continent
- How King Henry VIII died and the aftermath of his reign
Henry’s belief in his supremacy as head of the English Church and his desperate need for a male heir led to some perilous choices in his lifetime, and to question or disagree with those choices fuelled his craving for executions to maintain his control as monarch.
Unyielding, gallant, tyrannical, paranoid, trusting, inspired, it is plausible that King Henry VIII was all of these things and yet however you view his place in the Tudor Dynasty and British History, his reign was, quite simply, breathtaking.
Find out all this and more in just one hour.