By Suzannah Lipscomb
Henry VIII is understood stereotypically as a chunky, covetous, and crafty king whose urge for food for worldly items met few parallels, whose other halves met infamously untimely ends, and whose faith was once mostly political in cause. through targeting a pivotal yr within the lifetime of Henry, this examine strikes past the sketch to bare a fuller portrait of this advanced monarch. In 1536, Henry met many failures—physical, own, and political—and emerged from them a special guy and a innovative new king who proceeded to remodel a country and a faith.
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Extra resources for 1536: The Year that Changed Henry VIII
He was full of spirit, vigour and energy, ‘young, lusty and courageous… [and] disposed to all mirth and pleasure’. As a man in his teens, twenties and thirties, he pursued pleasure – he loved entertainments, masques, banquets, hunting, dancing and other diversions. For example, on May Day 1515, the king and all his guard gathered in a wood near Greenwich to play at being Robin Hood and his merry men. Dressed all in green, with bows in their hands, and attended by 100 noblemen on horseback ‘gorgeously arrayed’, Henry and his court enjoyed an open-air banquet.
He points out that virtually every man depicted in portraits in the century after 1540 sported some kind of facial hair. Texts of the period corroborate the association of a beard with manliness. Again and again, treatises reiterate that a beard is ‘a sign of manhood’, ‘the natural ensign of manhood’, or as explained by Johan Valerian in 1533, ‘nature hath made women with smooth faces, and men rough and full of hair’, therefore ‘it beseemeth men to have long beards, for [it is] chiefly by that token…[that] the 63 56 vigorous strength of manhood is discerned from the tenderness of women’.
It was also apparent in his dedication to the notion of the royal supremacy and to his divine-right kingship, under God, which committed him to the righting of religious abuses in the church, and the ‘cure’ of his people. With Anne Boleyn at his side, Henry had been exposed to evangelical thought, especially that which gave primacy to princes over prelates, and had, perhaps inadvertently, opened the door to the reformed ideas of continental Europe. For Anne Boleyn deserves a little more mention in this story.
1536: The Year that Changed Henry VIII by Suzannah Lipscomb