Online Class (Henry VIII)

Henry VIII by Wendy J. Dunn (suite 101)

This is a course written by author, Wendy J. Dunn on Henry VIII. The course is available on Suite 101 and sounds fabulous!

Here is the course description:


Henry VIII and his Wives have fascinated people down the centuries. An extraordinary royal soap opera – full of love, passion, lust, grief, and joy – it is indeed a subject that runs across the full gamut of human emotions – where figures seemingly larger than life strode upon the stage of English history.

In this course, students will explore the very ‘human’ lives of Henry and his wives by not only using the specified resource materials but also by putting their stories against the context of the times through the examination of primary material – when we listen to the voices from the period recount their hopes, bewilderments and despairs.

The course begins with a teenage king ‘coming into his own’ after his father’s death, and seeking to address a perceived wrong by marrying his brother’s widow. We follow this ‘royal’ youth into manhood – when he discovers grief, disappointment and disillusionment along the way. We see him fall out of love, and into love – not once, but at least three times, the first time of which he turns his kingdom down to achieve his heart’s desire.

Henry VIII came to the throne as a popular King – and he died a popular King. But, in the closing years of his reign, the sleeping lion that Sir Thomas More had perceived at the beginning of Henry’s reign, treading carefully not to awake it, had been long roused, and its jaws dripped blood – not only with More’s own blood, but also with blood coming from at least three of the six women Henry VIII had professed to love, and made his Queens. These women Henry wedded have gone down in history as ‘Divorced, Beheaded, Died, Divorced, Beheaded and Survived.’ Indeed, achieving the status of wife to Henry meant obtaining very little promise of any marital bliss.

The course will be divided into eight segments.

(1) Setting the Tudor stage.

General introduction to the Tudors and the resources we will use during the course.

(2) Loyal Heart


Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. A Spanish princess, brought up in one of the most powerful kingdoms in Christendom, Catherine had been readied almost from birth to be England’s Queen. Intelligent, pious, in love with Henry – who she never stopped thinking of as her husband – Catherine did her very best to provide Henry Tudor with a royal heir.

(3) Without Male Heir


Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Sexy, talented, quick witted, Anne Boleyn was no doubt the grand passion of Henry’s life, and Henry VIII turned his kingdom upside down to have her as his bedmate, and wife. But his bright passion soon flickered out after the birth of another daughter, with such tragic consequences for her mother.

(4)Entirely Beloved


Henry VIII and Jane Seymour. Plain Jane, and quiet like a mouse – or was she really? Who was this woman like that gave to Henry the only ‘royal’ son to live to succeed him – and the woman Henry wished to be buried next to after death.

(5) My Wife, My Sister


Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves. Bad body smell, long nose, flabby breasts – Henry’s soon divorced Flander’s mare. But did Henry and Anne just simply get off on the wrong foot? (Or is that hoof?)

(6) The Rose Without a Thorn


Henry VIII and Katheryn Howard. From the light relief of Henry and Anne of Cleves, we go to more Tudor tragedy – when an ‘old before his time’ King becomes besotted with a teenage girl with a shady past she wanted to forget.

(7) Surviving Henry


Henry VIII and Katherine Parr. Married for the third time, Katherine was wise enough to survive her marriage to this royal spouse – but that doesn’t mean all went smoothly in time as Queen, and before she could marry the man she really loved.

(8) The Legacy of Henry and his Wives.


Final conclusions about Henry and his six queens, and additional resources for further research.

Here are just a few of the questions we shall explore during this course:

  • How and why did Henry VIII become the ‘absolute tyrant’ King England so well remembers?
  • Was it the King’s belief that his marriage was ‘unclean’ through Catherine’s prior marriage to Henry’s own brother, and thus accursed in the eyes of God, the only reason the King sought to divorce Catherine of Aragon?
  • Or was the true reason this: Henry had fallen in love with another woman and now wished for a new wife?
  • Was Anne Boleyn indeed the main reason for English reformation?
  • What were the personalities of the women who became wives?
  • What was life like in Tudor times?

It is not necessary for students to possess previous knowledge of this subject; during the course detailed background information will be supplied.

Start Wendy’s free course now!

Published in: on July 1, 2011 at 7:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

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