Lunch Time Love Letters

Being nearly finished with The Children of Henry VIII by Alison Weir, my mind wandered about last night, wondering what book I would read next. Henry's love letters to Anne seem like a rather interesting topic and possibly great beach-reading since they stand as such a strong testament to their passionate beginnings, especially considering his dislike for penning a note. This led me to wonder whether Henry wrote any letters to Jane.

Would you believe that the Tudor fates were on my side? Having just worked on my "On My Bookshelf" list to the right, I had a stack of books to my side, opened The Six Wives of Henry VIII, flipped through a few pages, and voila! I found my answer! It was almost too easy.

Weir writes that only one letter to Jane survives:

My dear friend and mistress,
The bearer of these few lines from thy entirely devoted servant will deliver into thy fair hands a token of my true affection for thee, hoping you will keep it for ever in your sincere love for me. There is a ballad made lately of great derision against us; I pray you pay no manner of regard to it. I am not at present informed who is the setter forth of this malignant writing, but if he is found out, he shall be straitly punished for it. Hoping shortly to receive you into these arms, I end for the present
Your own loving servant and sovereign,

Not exactly blush worthy. Perhaps Anne had more public support at the time of her death than some historians would like us to believe. At least, Jane may not have been the breath of fresh air Henry believed. Interesting. I'll have to look into this more and believe I will pick myself up Love Letters of Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn as an early birthday present to myself.

Weir, Alison. The Six Wives of Henry VIII. New York, NY: Grove Press, 1991.


Coronation Day

Like many, when Tudor-mania exploded on the scene from one side of the pond to another, I was instantaneously hooked. The intrigue! The drama! The rumors! From movies and television to endless pages in books, web searches, and Henry VIII documentaries on youtube, I've spent an ungodly number of hours trying to figure it all out. It began, of course, with the enigmatic Anne Boleyn (doesn't it always?), continued to all six highly-individualized wives, and now the unlucky heirs. I recently found myself at a party curiously eyeing a professor-friend's bookshelf that contained several volumes on the Reformation. Social skills be damned!

After bearing the polite smiles of those I hold dear while enthusiastically delving into a Tudor rant of one sort or another, I've decided to take my questions, inquiries, and learning to the web. I'm a novice, wanna-be historian at most, but there must be those out there on the same curious path. If you have ever downloaded an English royal family tree and proceeded to color-code the generations with your ten pack of highlighters or harbored a deep seated desire to spread butcher paper across your living floor to make your personal timeline of Henry's reign, then I am so glad to have met you.