The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Alison WeirA remarkable achievement by Alison Weir! A highly accurate historical fiction based on the wives of Henry the eighth.
Beginning with Katherine of Aragon, sent as wife to his elder brother Arthur, she was widowed after spending several months as the Princess of Wales. She was held for ransom by Henry the seventh in exchange for the remainder of her dowry. Her mother having died, King Ferdinand hadnt the money nor goods to fulfill his obligations. Henry VIII had promised marriage upon his age of maturity. Upon the death of his father, he married Katherine and truly loved her for over twenty years.
Anne Bolyn was raised in the French courts and was novel to the english. She had incredible charm and was to marry the next Duke of Northumberland. Cardinal wolsey, counselor to Henry prevented the marriage. After nine years of waiting, the Catholic church was in ruins and Henry was declared leader of the Church of England. They were married in secret after learning Anne was pregnant. The marriage was considered invalid. She was convicted of adultery and beheaded by swordsman from France in his love for her. She had been a lady in waiting to Katherine of Aragon.
Following Anne was Jane Seymour, a lady to Anne and completely opposite in character. Nine days after Annes death, the marriage took place. Since both Katherine and Anne were dead, this marriage was valid and shortly after delivering of a son she died of neglect and most probably peurpeural fever. Her son went on the be king.
Next was my favorite, Anne of Cleves. She was from a German Duchy and a good, kind and thoughtful woman. However, her size was unappealing to the king. Following this marriage, which was never consummated, she was offered the position of the kings most beloved sister , provided a generous income and Hampton Court. Of course she accepted, since as she said, she was enamored of her head.
Following these was young Katherine Howard, cousin of Anne Boleyn. She was an adulterous and foolish girl. Her main focus were the acquisition of gifts and sexual relations out of marriage. She was lady to Anne of Cleves.
Unlike Anne Boleyn, she was truly guilty of her crimes. Before being beheaded, she requested th block in order to practice.
She wanted her death to be done correctly.
His final wife was Catherine and she was never consummated in.marriage. She was more nurse than wife. She survived Henry and finally married her true love Thomas Seymour.
She died giving birth to his infant daughter.
Incredible history, in depth research and a wonderfully written learning experience. I highly recommend this book. It is a MUST READ!
The 6 Wives of Henry VIII in Order
He famously married a series of six wives in his search for political alliance, marital bliss and a healthy male heir. His desire to annul his first marriage without papal approval led to the creation of a separate Church of England. While his older brother Arthur was being prepared for the throne, Henry was steered toward a church career, with a broad education in theology, music, languages, poetry and sports. Arthur had been betrothed since age 2 to Catherine of Aragon, the daughter of the Spanish rulers Ferdinand and Isabella, and in November of the teenage couple were married. Months later, Arthur died of a sudden illness. Over the next 15 years, while Henry fought three wars with France, Catherine bore him three sons and three daughters, all but one of whom died in infancy.
Wikimedia Commons Catherine of Aragon. After his brother died, Henry obtained a papal dispensation to marry his wife, Catherine, as he had been in love with her for some time. For 23 years, Henry and Catherine remained married and produced a daughter named Mary. Several declarations given by him over the years professed undying love for her. He pleaded his case with Thomas More and claimed that since his wife had previously been married to his brother, his marriage was invalid. While many believed that he truly felt his marriage was impure and invalid, there were those who believed that Henry VIII actually left Catherine and the Catholic Church at the behest of the woman he had been hoping to make his mistress: Anne Boleyn. Mary Boleyn had had an affair with the king during his marriage to Catherine of Aragon and had been dismissed after consummating their union.
By Henry was having serious doubts about his marriage to Catherine. He had found a passage in the Bible that backed this belief. He had also fallen for Anne Boleyn, the daughter of Thomas Boleyn, who had recently returned to England from the French court.
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Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived!
He was desperate for sons to carry on the Tudor name. This drove him to acts of shocking cruelty, particularly towards his six wives, who often paid a high price for being married to the King. The young widow of his older brother Arthur, the year old Katherine married Henry in June He was just days away from his 18th birthday and had been King for less than nine weeks. He pursued her relentlessly, lavishing her with expensive gifts, but it was only when he promised marriage that she was finally persuaded into his bed. When Anne fell pregnant, they hurriedly married in secret. The exiled Katharine soon learned that her marriage was to be declared illegal and that Anne was to take her place as Queen.
In common parlance, the wives of Henry VIII were the six queens consort wedded to Henry between and his death in Annulments declare that a true marriage never took place, unlike a divorce, in which a married couple end their union. Henry's first marriage lasted nearly 24 years, while the following five lasted less than 10 years combined. One died, one survived, Two divorced, two beheaded. Boleyn and Howard lost their heads, Anne of Cleves he would not bed, Jane Seymour gave him a son — but died before the week was done, Aragon he did divorce, Which just left Catherine Parr, of course! It is often noted that Catherine Parr survived Henry, but Anne of Cleves also survived him and was the last of his queens to die. Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, and Jane Seymour each gave him one child who survived infancy: two daughters and one son.