I just found this series of books about the wives of Henry VIII, and I have to say I ADORE the covers.
Henry gets progressively older in each one, which is fantastic since most show him as old fat Henry all the time.
The wives all look quite decently accurate too, and are based on portraits done of them. I like that they each have their successors lurking in the background of their covers, like a reminder that they’re not going to be Queen for very long.
I wish more books would do illustrations like this nowadays, instead of using portraits or stock photos.
Closeup of the grave marker of Anne Boleyn in the Chapel of St. Peter ad Vincula, with flowers resting on it. To the right, obscured by the altar and someone’s feet, is the marker for her cousin, Katherine Howard.
♔ “Henry’s six wives were each expected to be Queen, lover, companion, and mother to a Tudor dynasty. Most failed, and for them, there was rejection or execution. But their story has become one of the great historical myths, and one of their children, Elizabeth, England’s greatest ruler.”
“Think about it. You find the perfect wife. She’s sweet, pliable, she even has good tits.
On top of that she gives you the son you’ve always wanted and you let her die! And she’s not the only one, poor abandoned Catherine. And that other one, whose name escapes me as her head escape her. All lost! All lost!”
♔ “Dancing was a popular pastime at court, if only because it afforded one of the few opportunities for men and women to enjoy physical contact in a social setting. Dancing was an essential accomplishment for both men and women of gentle birth, and the dances favoured at the court were many and varied; they included the basse, pavance, passamezzo, saltarello and galliard. Sixteenth-century dance had room for improvisation, though many were energetic, with much running and leaping, and in some, the dancers sang. All court dances began and ended formally with a reverence, with all the dancers bowing or curtseying to the King and Queen. Henry VIII was an expert and enthusiastic dancer, acquitting himself divinely on the dance floor, and his wives all enjoyed dancing with their ladies in the privacy of their chambers.“
♔ “On the frosty morning of February 13th 1542, Kathryn was led to execution on Tower Green. She was so weak, that she had to be helped up the steps of the scaffold; but her nerves steadied, and she made a short speech, confessing her sins against God and the King, and admitting the justice of her conviction. Then, she prostrated herself at the block, and the axe took off her head with a single stroke. Kathryn had died with more dignity than she had ever displayed as Queen.”