kajivar: (Tudor // Anne Boleyn)
kajivar ([personal profile] kajivar) wrote in [community profile] tudors2009-04-25 12:04 am
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Love letter from Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn on display for first time

A love letter that Henry VIII wrote to Anne Boleyn proclaiming his intention to marry her is to go on display in Britain for the first time in its five century history.

The handwritten letter – described by the historian Dr David Starkey as marking "the moment at which British history changes" – has been reunited with the writing desk on which it was almost certainly written.

They are being displayed together at a British Library exhibition, starting on Thursday, put on to mark the 500th anniversary of Henry's accession to the throne.

In the 1527 letter Henry wrote to his mistress: "The proofs of your affection are such ... that they constrain me ever truly to honour, love and serve you."

Dr Starkey, guest curating the exhibition, said: "This is the moment at which British history changes, when Henry makes clear his undoubtable intention to marry her, and the world turns upside down."

It set England on a political and cultural course away from Europe, said Dr Starkey, as it precipitated the annulment of Henry's first marriage to Katherine of Aragon and the subsequent break with Rome.

Dr Starkey said: "From being the most Catholic country, absolutely at the heart of Europe, England begins now this voyage in a completely different direction, towards hostility to Europe and the island nation. Henry, I would argue, is the first Euro-sceptic."

The letter has been lent by the Vatican.

Henry VIII acceded to the throne on 22 April 1509, the day his father Henry VII died. The exhibition, Henry VIII: Man and Monarch, runs from 23 April to 6 September.


Source: Telegraph.co.uk

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