By Suzannah Lipscomb

ISBN-10: 0745953328

ISBN-13: 9780745953328

ISBN-10: 0745953654

ISBN-13: 9780745953656

ISBN-10: 0825479223

ISBN-13: 9780825479229

ISBN-10: 082547938X

ISBN-13: 9780825479380

Henry VIII is understood stereotypically as a chunky, covetous, and crafty king whose urge for food for worldly items met few parallels, whose other halves met infamously untimely ends, and whose faith was once mostly political in cause. by way of concentrating on a pivotal 12 months within the lifetime of Henry, this examine strikes past the cartoon to bare a fuller portrait of this advanced monarch. In 1536, Henry met many failures—physical, own, and political—and emerged from them a unique guy and a progressive new king who proceeded to remodel a state and a faith.

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His attachment to luxurious clothing would remain with him throughout his life. He carried off such opulence because of his considerable stage-presence and charisma. He received one ambassador while standing under his canopy of cloth of gold, and leaning against his gilt throne, almost as if the moment were posed simply so that the ambassador could marvel at his magnificence. His famous exchange with a Venetian ambassador, in which he asked after the height and figure of the king of France before boasting that he also had a good calf to his leg, suggests his own beauty led him to at least a little conceit.

In a letter of October 1540 Richard Pate, the archdeacon of Lincoln, reported from Brussels the European gossip that the king had ‘waxen fat’ while Marillac in 1541 noted that Henry was very stout (‘bien fort replet’). Eventually, his obesity was such that he had to be moved around his palaces in some form of carrying-chair. This was quite a come-down for one who had been eulogized as a young man for his athleticism and good looks. Giustinian wrote in 1515 that ‘His Majesty is the handsomest potentate I ever set eyes on’, and went on to rhapsodize that Henry was ‘above the usual height, with an extremely fine calf to his leg, his complexion very fair and bright, with auburn hair combed straight and short, in the French fashion, and a round face so very beautiful, that it would become a pretty woman’.

For Anne Boleyn deserves a little more mention in this story. As we have seen with her apparent refusal to sleep with the king, by her gift to Henry of important evangelical works such as Tyndale’s The Obedience of a Christian Man, and not least by her charm and attractiveness, Anne Boleyn’s influence on the king was great. Influence on the 41 56 king meant influence in the country. Anne used her position to become an ardent patron of the evangelical cause. ’ Between 1532 and 1536, nine bishops died, eight of which were apparently due to natural causes (Fisher, as we have noted, was beheaded); and there were also two resignations.

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1536: The Year that Changed Henry VIII by Suzannah Lipscomb


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