Henry VIII and His Afterlives: Literature, Politics, and Art

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Henry VIII remains one of the most fascinating, notorious and recognizable monarchs in English history. In the five centuries since his accession to the throne, his iconic status has been shaped by different media. From Shakespeare to The Tudors, this book reassesses treatments of Henry VIII in literature, politics, and culture during the period spanned by the king's own reign (1509-47) and the twenty-first century. Historians and literary scholars investigate how representations of the king provoked varied responses from influential writers, artists, and political figures in the decades and centuries following his death. Individual chapters consider interrelated responses to Henry's character and policies during his lifetime; his literary and political afterlife; the king's impact on art and popular culture; and King Henry's debated place in historiography, from the Tudor period to the present.