Six wives : the queens of Henry VIII / David Starkey Starkey, David

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Starkey, David
Henry VIII King of England, 1491-1547; Queens - Great Britain - Biography.; Queens - England - Biography.
"What makes a man marry six times? Was Henry VIII a voracious philanderer? On the contrary, says David Starkey, the King was seeking happiness - as well as hoping for a son." "The first of his wives was Catherine of Aragon, the pious Spanish Catholic who suffered years of miscarriages and failed to produce a male heir. The only one of his wives to be royal by birth, she was married to him the longest. As Catherine's looks faded, Henry fell passionately in love with the pretty, French-educated 'Protestant', Anne Boleyn. Their six-year courtship and three-year marriage transformed England for ever. Jane Seymour's Catholic orthodoxy and demure submissiveness were in deliberate contrast to Anne's radical and vampish style - and Henry married her on the day of Anne's execution. Jane died soon after giving birth to the longed-for son. There followed a farcical 'beauty contest' which ended in the short marriage of the now grossly over-weight Henry to the 'mare of Flanders, ' Ann of Cleves. The final part of Six Wives contrasts the two Catherines - Catherine Howard, the flirtatious teenager whose adulteries made a fool of the ageing King, and Catherine Parr, the shrewd, religiously radical bluestocking who outlived him." "In this study, David Starkey draws on the letters, artefacts and documents of the period, together with the rituals of diplomacy, marriage, pregnancy and private religion, to give a richly textured picture of daily life at the Tudor Court from the woman's point of view. Above all, he establishes the interaction of the private and the public, and demonstrates how the Queens of Henry VIII were central in determining political policy."--Jacket.
Read associated articles: Anne Boleyn, Catherine Howard, Catherine of Aragon, Edward VI of England, Hans Holbein the Younger, Henry VIII of England, St. Margaret's, Westminster
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