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The king and his wives-letters and documentsHistory is full of notable figures, but far fewer in number are those who have become iconic. An indisputably iconic figure, even among the many great kings of England, is the towering figure of the Tudor monarch, King Henry VIII. He was, of course, the father of Queen Elizabeth I, Gloriana, an equally renowned monarch of her own golden age. She sought always to be and be seen as her father's daughter, but posterity preserves what it will of a life in the public consciousness and so aside from Henry's unmistakable and imposing personal appearance what is most remembered of him by many is that he was married on six occasions and habitually terminated his relationships with an axe at the executioner's block-though this occurred only twice perhaps indicating more moderation in Henry's character as a husband than he is usually credited with. There has always been something seductively attractive about this powerful man, capable of great tenderness and romance, an artist, poet and musician-and yet a ruthless and unscrupulous tyrant capable of incredible insensitivity and cruelty. This volume contains an engrossing selection of correspondence, reports and other documents concerning Henry and his wives. The central part of the book is a famous collection of love letters sent by the king to his second wife Anne Boleyn, one of his spouses who lost her head to be superceded by another beauty of the court Jane Seymour, one of A...
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