Was Henry VIII a “family man” so to speak? The notion seems vaguely ridiculous; by 1547, the philandering English monarch had laid claim to six wives, two of which he had executed, including the infamously-beheaded Anne Boleyn. However, King Henry’s children were perhaps among his most prized possessions, comprising the centerpiece of his direct succession program, through which he sought to preserve his dynasty. Here, John Guy, author of The Children of Henry VIII, revisits the unique relationship between this sixteenth century ruler and Mary I, Henry FitzRoy, Elizabeth I, and Edward VI, all of whom were envisioned to play a critical role in protecting their father’s legacy.
John Guy is a historian who has lectured extensively on Early Modern British History and Renaissance Political Thought in both Britain and the United States. He is the author of The Children of Henry VIII, and has published 16 books in total, in addition to numerous academic articles.