*Includes pictures of Henry, Anne and important people, places, and events in their lives.
*Includes a Bibliography for further reading.
*Includes a Table of Contents
"We are, by the sufferance of God, King of England; and the Kings of England in times past never had any superior but God." – King Henry VIII
“To us [Anne Boleyn ] appears inconsistent—religious yet aggressive, calculating yet emotional, with the light touch of the courtier yet the strong grip of the politician—but is this what she was, or merely what we strain to see through the opacity of the evidence? As for her inner life, short of a miraculous cache of new material, we shall never really know. Yet what does come to us across the centuries is the impression of a person who is strangely appealing to the early twenty-first century: A woman in her own right—taken on her own terms in a man's world; a woman who mobilised her education, her style and her presence to outweigh the disadvantages of her sex; of only moderate good looks, but taking a court and a king by storm. Perhaps, in the end, it is Thomas Cromwell's assessment that comes nearest: intelligence, spirit and courage." – Eric Ives
Over 450 years after his reign, Henry VIII is still the most famous and recognizable King of England, but it’s for all the wrong reasons. Though well regarded by contemporaries as a learned king and "one of the most charismatic rulers to sit on the English throne", he is best remembered today for his gluttony and multiple marriages, particularly the gruesome way in which he was widowed on more than one occasion. Naturally, that was the focus of the popular Showtime drama series centered around his life, The Tudors.
Henry VIII will probably continue to be best known for beheading some of his wives, most notably Anne Boleyn, so it is somewhat fitting that his most decisive act came as a result of a marital mishap. Sharply at odds with the Catholic Church over his attempt to dissolve his marriage with Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII ultimately broke with the Church and established the Church of England, which forever both the religious history of England and the social hierarchy of the nation and its empire.
Of Henry VIII’s wives, none is more famous than his second, Anne Boleyn, who even today remains both famous and infamous for her personal and political life nearly 400 years after her death. Anne was a vixen and ultimately a victim, but she was also an astute politician, foolish lover and wise woman who could never decide whether to listen to her heart or her head. She was also both an adulteress and religious reformer, and these two qualities would come together to change the face of English Christianity forever.
Anne came into the court with a better idea of what she was getting herself into than any other of Henry’s queens, but even she could not see foresee how fickle fate would cost her both her love and her life. Like Catherine of Aragon before her, she would be unable to hold on to her wandering husband. However, she would, ironically, be the last of his queens that he’d ever cheat on. Early female mortality and his own failing health would keep him faithful to the women who would follow her as queen, in a way that the teachings of the Church and common decency never would.
King Henry VIII and Queen Anne Boleyn looks at the lives of the famous king and queen, but it also analyzes their enduring legacies and popular legends about them. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn like you never have before, in no time at all.