#1 - Preface
Wives of Henry the Eighth and the Parts They Played in History
King Henry VIII is so often depicted as a far-seeing statesman, pressing forward through a lifetime with his eyes firmly fixed upon the goal of England’s religious freedom. Similarly, the lives of each of Henry’s six wives are often described as isolated phenomenon that had by chance attracted the desire of a lascivious despot, and in her turn had been deposed when his eye had fallen, equally fortuitously, upon another woman who pleased his errant fancy better. In this book the author regards Henry as a weak, vain, boastful man, the plaything of his passions, which were artfully made use of by rival parties to forward religious and political ends that ended in the Reformation. The author shows how each of Henry’s wives, in turn, was an instrument of politicians, intended to sway the King on one side or the other. As such, the lives of these six Queens assume an importance in England’s national history which cannot be accorded to them if they are considered in the usual light as the victims of a strong, lustful tyrant. This wider aspect in which the public and political significance of Henry’s wives is presented will provide a clearer understanding of the tortuous process by which the Reformation in England was effected. (Summary by Warren Kati paraphrasing the Preface)
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Middle Ages/Middle History free audiobooks
Ernest Lavisse,Alfred Nicolas Rambaud