Henry Viii Popular Books

Henry Viii Biography & Facts

Henry VIII (28 June 1491 – 28 January 1547) was King of England from 22 April 1509 until his death in 1547. Henry is best known for his six marriages, and his efforts to have his first marriage (to Catherine of Aragon) annulled. His disagreement with Pope Clement VII about such an annulment led Henry to initiate the English Reformation, separating the Church of England from papal authority. He appointed himself Supreme Head of the Church of England and dissolved convents and monasteries, for which he was excommunicated by the pope. Henry is known for his radical changes to the Constitution of England, expanding royal power and ushering in the theory of the divine right of kings in opposition to papal supremacy. He frequently used charges of treason and heresy to quell dissent, and those accused were often executed without a formal trial using bills of attainder. He achieved many of his political aims through the work of his chief ministers, some of whom were banished or executed when they fell out of his favour. Thomas Wolsey, Thomas More, Thomas Cromwell, and Thomas Cranmer all figured prominently in his administration. Henry was an extravagant spender, using the proceeds from the dissolution of the monasteries and acts of the Reformation Parliament. He converted the money that was formerly paid to Rome into royal revenue. Despite the money from these sources, he was often on the verge of financial ruin due to personal extravagance as well as costly and largely unproductive wars, particularly with King Francis I of France, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, King James V of Scotland and the Scottish regency under the Earl of Arran and Mary of Guise. He expanded the Royal Navy, oversaw the annexation of Wales to England with the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542 and was the first English monarch to rule as King of Ireland following the Crown of Ireland Act 1542. Henry's contemporaries considered him an attractive, educated and accomplished king. He has been described as "one of the most charismatic rulers to sit on the English throne" and his reign described as the "most important" in English history. He was an author and composer. As he aged, he became severely overweight and his health suffered. He is frequently characterised in his later life as a lustful, egotistical, paranoid and tyrannical monarch. He was succeeded by his son Edward VI. Early years Born on 28 June 1491 at the Palace of Placentia in Greenwich, Kent, Henry Tudor was the third child and second son of King Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. Of the young Henry's six (or seven) siblings, only three – his brother Arthur, Prince of Wales, and sisters Margaret and Mary – survived infancy. He was baptised by Richard Foxe, the Bishop of Exeter, at a church of the Observant Franciscans close to the palace. In 1493, at the age of two, Henry was appointed Constable of Dover Castle and Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports. He was subsequently appointed Earl Marshal of England and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland at age three and was made a Knight of the Bath soon after. The day after the ceremony, he was created Duke of York and a month or so later made Warden of the Scottish Marches. In May 1495, he was appointed to the Order of the Garter. The reason for giving such appointments to a small child was to enable his father to retain personal control of lucrative positions and not share them with established families. Not much is known about Henry's early life – save for his appointments – because he was not expected to become king, but it is known that he received a first-rate education from leading tutors. He became fluent in Latin and French and learned at least some Italian.In November 1501, Henry played a considerable part in the ceremonies surrounding his brother Arthur's marriage to Catherine, the youngest child of King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile. As Duke of York, Henry used the arms of his father as king, differenced by a label of three points ermine. He was further honoured on 9 February 1506 by Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, who made him a Knight of the Golden Fleece.In 1502, Arthur died at the age of 15, possibly of sweating sickness, just 20 weeks after his marriage to Catherine. Arthur's death thrust all his duties upon his younger brother. The 10-year-old Henry became the new Duke of Cornwall, and the new Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester in February 1504. Henry VII gave his second son few responsibilities even after the death of Arthur. Young Henry was strictly supervised and did not appear in public. As a result, he ascended the throne "untrained in the exacting art of kingship".Henry VII renewed his efforts to seal a marital alliance between England and Spain, by offering his son Henry in marriage to the widowed Catherine. Henry VII and Catherine's mother Queen Isabella were both keen on the idea, which had arisen very shortly after Arthur's death. On 23 June 1503, a treaty was signed for their marriage, and they were betrothed two days later. A papal dispensation was only needed for the "impediment of public honesty" if the marriage had not been consummated as Catherine and her duenna claimed, but Henry VII and the Spanish ambassador set out instead to obtain a dispensation for "affinity", which took account of the possibility of consummation. Cohabitation was not possible because Henry was too young. Isabella's death in 1504, and the ensuing problems of succession in Castile, complicated matters. Catherine's father Ferdinand preferred her to stay in England, but Henry VII's relations with Ferdinand had deteriorated. Catherine was therefore left in limbo for some time, culminating in Prince Henry's rejection of the marriage as soon he was able, at the age of 14. Ferdinand's solution was to make his daughter ambassador, allowing her to stay in England indefinitely. Devout, she began to believe that it was God's will that she marry the prince despite his opposition. Early reign Henry VII died on 21 April 1509, and the 17-year-old Henry succeeded him as king. Soon after his father's burial on 10 May, Henry suddenly declared that he would indeed marry Catherine, leaving unresolved several issues concerning the papal dispensation and a missing part of the marriage portion. The new King maintained that it had been his father's dying wish that he marry Catherine. Whether or not this was true, it was convenient. Emperor Maximilian I had been attempting to marry his granddaughter Eleanor, Catherine's niece, to Henry; she had now been jilted. Henry's wedding to Catherine was kept low-key and was held at the friar's church in Greenwich on 11 June 1509. Henry claimed descent from Constantine the Great and King Arthur and saw himself as their successor.On 23 June 1509, Henry led the now 23-year-old Catherine from the Tower of London to Westminster Abbey for their coronation, which took place the following day. It was a grand affair: the King's passage was lined with tapestries and laid .... Discover the Henry Viii popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Henry Viii books.

Best Seller Henry Viii Books of 2023

  • Henry and the Paper Route synopsis, comments

    Henry and the Paper Route

    Beverly Cleary

    Newbery Medal–winning author Beverly Cleary gives readers a hero they'll relate to, and root for, in this comical and inspiring novel about Henry Huggins's mission to prove himself...

  • The Other Queen synopsis, comments

    The Other Queen

    Philippa Gregory

    From #1 New York Times bestselling author and “queen of royal fiction” (USA TODAY) Philippa Gregorya dazzling new novel about the intriguing, romantic, and maddening Mary, Queen of...

  • The Last Tudor synopsis, comments

    The Last Tudor

    Philippa Gregory

    The final book of the Tudor series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Philippa Gregory features one of the most famous women in history, Lady Jane Grey, and her two sisters,...

  • Henry VIII. synopsis, comments

    Henry VIII.

    Albert Frederick Pollard

    It is perhaps a matter rather for regret than for surprise that so few attempts have been made to describe, as a whole, the life and character of Henry VIII. No ruler has left a de...

  • The White Queen synopsis, comments

    The White Queen

    Philippa Gregory

    The inspiration for the critically acclaimed Starz miniseries The White Queen, #1 New York Times bestselling author Philippa Gregory brings to life the extraordinary story of Eliza...

  • The Last Boleyn synopsis, comments

    The Last Boleyn

    Karen Harper

    She survived her own innocence, and the treachery of Europe’s royal courts; The Last Boleyn is the story of the rise and fall of the Boleyns, one of England’s most powerful fam...

  • Henry VIII synopsis, comments

    Henry VIII

    Alison Weir

    For fans of Wolf Hall, Alison Weir’s New York Times bestselling biography of Henry VIII brilliantly brings to life the king, the court, and the fascinating men and women who v...

  • Henry VIII synopsis, comments

    Henry VIII

    William Shakespeare

    The authoritative edition of Henry VIII from The Folger Shakespeare Library, the trusted and widely used Shakespeare series for students and general readers.In Henry VIII, Shakespe...

  • Henry VIII synopsis, comments

    Henry VIII

    Abigail Archer

    Henry VIII ruled England from 1509 to 1547. As a young man, he was fond of sports and hunting, and was said to be uncommonly handsome. Standing more than six feet tall, he loomed l...

  • The Boleyn King synopsis, comments

    The Boleyn King

    Laura Andersen

    NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY RT BOOK REVIEWSPerfect for fans of Philippa Gregory, Alison Weir, and Showtime’s The Tudors, The Boleyn King is the first book in an enth...

  • Henry VIII synopsis, comments

    Henry VIII

    David Loades

    ‘Means to be God, and do as pleases himself’ Martin Luther observed. It was a shrewd comment, not merely on the divorce in which the King was then embroiled, but upon his whole car...

  • The Last Wife of Henry VIII synopsis, comments

    The Last Wife of Henry VIII

    Carolly Erickson

    Author of The Hidden Diary of Marie AntoinetteCourageous, attractive, romantic, intelligent, Catherine Parr became the sixth wife of Henry VIII. Her story, as Carolly Erickson recr...

  • Henry and the Clubhouse synopsis, comments

    Henry and the Clubhouse

    Beverly Cleary

    Fiery Ramona Quimby and the wellmeaning Henry Huggins may clash, but in this delightful and hilarious novel by Newbery Medal–winning author Beverly Cleary, it's an unlikely comprom...

  • Henry and Ribsy synopsis, comments

    Henry and Ribsy

    Beverly Cleary

    In this humorous and heartfelt novel from Newbery Medalwinning author Beverly Cleary, the bond between a boy and his dog proves strong, as Henry vows to stick up for Ribsy…even if ...

  • Henry VIII synopsis, comments

    Henry VIII

    John Matusiak

    A compelling and groundbreaking study of Henry VIII as a deeply flawed individual, this book vigorously challenges old assumptions and new interpretations alike Tudor historian Joh...

  • Bring Up the Bodies synopsis, comments

    Bring Up the Bodies

    Hilary Mantel

    Winner of the 2012 Man Booker PrizeWinner of the 2012 Costa Book of the Year AwardThe sequel to Hilary Mantel's 2009 Man Booker Prize winner and New York Times bestseller, Wolf Hal...

  • Dissolution synopsis, comments


    C.J. Sansom

    Awarded the CWA Diamond Dagger – the highest honor in British crime writingFrom the bestselling author of Winter in Madrid and Dominion comes the exciting and elegantly written fir...

  • The 6 Wives of Henry VIII synopsis, comments

    The 6 Wives of Henry VIII

    Nikki Gotschall

    Do you like Kings and Queens? How about Princes and Princesses? If you answered yes to either of these questions, this is the book for you! This book is all about a King named Henr...

  • The Constant Princess synopsis, comments

    The Constant Princess

    Philippa Gregory

    From #1 New York Times bestselling author and “queen of royal fiction” (USA TODAY) Philippa Gregory comes the remarkable story of Katherine of Aragon, Princess of Spain, daughter o...

  • Julius Caesar synopsis, comments

    Julius Caesar

    William Shakespeare

    The authoritative edition of Julius Caesar from The Folger Shakespeare Library, the trusted and widely used Shakespeare series for students and general readers.Shakespeare may have...

  • Henry VIII synopsis, comments

    Henry VIII

    William Shakespeare

    One of the last plays written by Shakespeare, "Henry VIII" is one of his finest historical dramas. Focusing on the life and times of Henry VIII, one of England's most d...

  • The Lady of the Rivers synopsis, comments

    The Lady of the Rivers

    Philippa Gregory

    #1 New York Times bestselling author and “queen of royal fiction” (USA TODAY) Philippa Gregory brings to life the story of Jacquetta, Duchess of Bedford, a woman of passion and of ...

  • Three Sisters, Three Queens synopsis, comments

    Three Sisters, Three Queens

    Philippa Gregory

    From #1 New York Times bestselling author Philippa Gregory, the littleknown story of three Tudor women who are united in sisterhood and yet compelled to be rivals when they fulfill...

  • Henry VIII synopsis, comments

    Henry VIII

    William Shakespeare

    Shakespeare and John Fletcher collaborated on this retelling of the royal love triangle of Henry VIII, Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn and the machinations of Cardinal Wolsey.

  • The Boleyn Inheritance synopsis, comments

    The Boleyn Inheritance

    Philippa Gregory

    From “the queen of royal fiction” (USA TODAY) comes this New York Times bestseller featuring three very different women whose fates are each bound by a bloody curse: the legacy of ...

  • Safe People synopsis, comments

    Safe People

    Henry Cloud & John Townsend

    Safe People will help you discover why good people can get tangled in bad relationships, how to avoid repeating your own mistakes, and how to pick safe, healthy people for the frie...

  • Wolf Hall synopsis, comments

    Wolf Hall

    Hilary Mantel

    In the ruthless arena of King Henry VIII's court, only one man dares to gamble his life to win the king's favor and ascend to the heights of political powerEngland in the 1520s is ...

  • Macbeth synopsis, comments


    William Shakespeare

    The authoritative edition of Macbeth from The Folger Shakespeare Library, the trusted and widely used Shakespeare series for students and general readers.In 1603, James VI of Scotl...

  • The Other Boleyn Girl synopsis, comments

    The Other Boleyn Girl

    Philippa Gregory

    The #1 New York Times bestseller from “the queen of royal fiction” (USA TODAY) Philippa Gregory is a rich, compelling novel of love, sex, ambition, and intrigue surrounding the Tud...

  • The Wars of the Roses synopsis, comments

    The Wars of the Roses

    Dan Jones

    The author of the New York Times bestseller The Plantagenets and The Templars chronicles the next chapter in British historythe historical backdrop for Game of ThronesThe insp...

  • Katherine of Aragon, The True Queen synopsis, comments

    Katherine of Aragon, The True Queen

    Alison Weir

    Bestselling author and acclaimed historian Alison Weir takes on what no fiction writer has done before: creating a dramatic sixbook series in which each novel covers one of King He...

  • Henry VIII synopsis, comments

    Henry VIII

    Lacey Baldwin Smith

    The Henry VIII of popular legend and historical fiction is a bacchanalian figure of gargantuan proportions. Historical fact, however, is another matter. A deeply insecure man const...

  • The Love Letters of Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn synopsis, comments

    The Love Letters of Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn

    Henry VIII

    These letters are really a must read. They are short and really important to history. Henry VIII hated writing letters with a passion, and here he is writing to Anne, often signing...

  • Henry VIII and His Court synopsis, comments

    Henry VIII and His Court

    Luise Mühlbach

    It was in the year 1543, King Henry the Eighth of England that day once more pronounced himself the happiest and most enviable man in his kingdom, for today he was once more a brid...

  • The Taming of the Queen synopsis, comments

    The Taming of the Queen

    Philippa Gregory

    By the #1 New York Times bestselling author, a novel of passion and power at the court of a medieval killer, a riveting new Tudor tale featuring King Henry VIII’s sixth wife Katery...

  • The Children of Henry VIII synopsis, comments

    The Children of Henry VIII

    Alison Weir

    “Fascinating . . . Alison Weir does full justice to the subject.”The Philadelphia InquirerAt his death in 1547, King Henry VIII left four heirs to the English throne: his only son,...

  • Much Ado About Nothing synopsis, comments

    Much Ado About Nothing

    William Shakespeare

    The authoritative edition of Much Ado About Nothing from The Folger Shakespeare Library, the trusted and widely used Shakespeare series for students and general readers. One of Sha...

  • Henry VIII synopsis, comments

    Henry VIII

    Kathy Elgin

    This captivating biography of perhaps the most charismatic monarch of all time describes Henry's love affairs and life at the English Court together with his political wranglings, ...

  • Henry VIII and the Men Who Made Him synopsis, comments

    Henry VIII and the Men Who Made Him

    Tracy Borman

    The acclaimed historian presents a “beautifully perceptive and dynamic reassessment of Henry VIII…in this highly engrossing biography” (Booklist, starred review).   Henry VIII...