Henry VIII and His Desperate Dynasty

Sarah Hoyt addresses the elephant in in the doublet:

Is that a fat joke?

Anyway, so every author agrees Henry VIII as a young man was a true renaissance man, good at everything and so very good looking.  And every author wonders what dread disease caused him to turn not just into a murderous tyrant, but a stupid murderous tyrant in old age.

Except if you dig in you find that when his dumbest moves were made was after he’d killed his two ministers, first the great one and then his apprentice.  (Wolsey and Cromwell.)  Which brings us to… was he really that brilliant or were they great at manipulating him.

She goes on to question his authorship of his books and music, the quality of his poetry, and the wisdom of his policy, given that despite helping himself to the centuries-old wealth of monastic England, he still left the kingdom in debt.

Which is nice to see, because I’m plumb tired of Henry VIII and really, all his dynasty. The Tudors (1485-1603) are a vastly overrated family, as a ruling group, and as people. Their accomplishments are dwarfed by the attention afforded them. Continue reading “Henry VIII and His Desperate Dynasty”