Henry VIII: Man and Monarch Exhibition

  • Apr. 26th, 2009 at 12:58 PM
The British Library is having a major exhibition about King Henry VIII this summer to celebrate the 500th anniversary of his accession to the throne. What are the odds I can win the lottery before the end of the exhibition so I can see it for myself? :)

Henry VIII: Man and Monarch
British Library
Thu 23 Apr 2009 - Sun 6 Sep 2009

In celebration of the 500th anniversary of Henry VIII’s accession to the throne, the historian and broadcaster Dr David Starkey guest-curates this major exhibition, providing new insights into one of this country’s most memorable monarchs, who still casts a spell over the public imagination.

Highlights of the exhibition include Henry’s personal Prayer Book, containing his handwritten notes, his marriage contract with Katherine of Aragon, a list of people executed in his reign, including wives, favourites and ministers, and a love letter to Anne Boleyn, concealed in the Vatican for almost five centuries. Almost certainly stolen from Anne to serve as evidence against the King’s divorce, the letter is exhibited here for the first time and sheds light on Henry’s infamous infatuation.

"This exhibition draws on the British Library’s rich collections – including the books that Henry himself chose, read and annotated – which outline the revolutionary change in ideas that took place during the reign of Henry VIII and take us, as nothing else can, into the King’s own mind." - Dr David Starkey

Source: British Library

There are also documents available to view online and a blog with updates about the exhibition.
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

Henry VIII

  • Apr. 21st, 2009 at 4:27 PM
On this day in 1509, 500 years ago, Henry VIII was made King of England. He succeeded his father, Henry VII, the first in the House of Tudor. Many believe that Henry VII died of a broken heart after losing his first son, Arthur, in 1502, and then his wife, Elizabeth of York, in 1503.

Henry VIII ruled until his death on January 28, 1547, and was succeeded by his son, Edward VI. He is infamous for his six wives, Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard, and Catherine Parr, and for separating the Anglican church from the Roman hierarchy, the Dissolution of the Monasteries, and establishing himself as the Supreme Head of the Church of England.

More information can be found at EnglishHistory.com, Britannia.com, and Wikipedia.