Mistresses of Henry VIII

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The Mistresses of Henry VIII allegedly included many notable women between 1509 and 1536. They have been the subject of biographies, novels and films.

Research[edit]

The first book published on this topic was Kelly Hart's The Mistresses of Henry VIII in 2009. After this and the publicity surrounding The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory and the film based on the novel, there were several books published on the topic. The Other Boleyn Girl was a fictionalised account of Henry VIII's relationship with Mary Boleyn. In 2010, Mary Boleyn: The True Story of Henry VIII's Favourite Mistress by Josephine Wilkinson was published, and in 2012, Alison Weir published Mary Boleyn: 'The Great and Infamous Whore. In 2013, this was followed by Bessie Blount: Mistress to Henry VIII by Elizabeth Norton.

Fictional portrayals[edit]

On Mary Boleyn:
  • The Other Boleyn Girl, book by Philippa Gregory, and film based on the book
  • The Last Boleyn, novel by Karen Harper (2006)
  • Mistress Boleyn - a Novel about Mary Boleyn by Charlotte St. George (2012)
On Jane Popincourt:
  • The Pleasure Palace (Secrets of the Tudor Court) by Kate Emerson
On Mary 'Madge' Shelton:
  • Major character in The Lady in the Tower by Jean Plaidy (2003)

Confirmed mistresses of Henry VIII[edit]

In addition, Henry VIII was involved in a romantic relationship with three of his future wives before he married them. It is unclear if these relationships became sexual before marriage. He was involved with his second wife, Anne Boleyn, from around 1526, around the time he ended his relationship with her sister, Mary; Anne was also, at the time, maid-of-honour to his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. Anne was referred to by some as "the king's whore" or a "naughty paike [prostitute]".[4] Henry and Anne's daughter, Elizabeth I, was born (7 September 1533) three months on from their marriage (28 May 1533).

From the beginning of 1536, while still married to Anne Boleyn, he was openly courting his wife's second cousin and maid-of-honour, Jane Seymour. In 1540, he began courting Catherine Howard, the maid-of-honour of his fourth spouse, Anne of Cleves. Catherine was a first cousin of Anne and Mary Boleyn.[5] It appears that his lust for mistresses did not abate as he reached middle age. During his marriage to Catherine Parr, his sixth wife, it was speculated that he would divorce her and look for a seventh wife.

Alleged mistresses[edit]

Other women he was linked to include:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Beverley Murphy, 2004, The bastard prince: Henry VIII’s lost son, 172–174
  2. ^ Hart, Kelly (June 1, 2009). The Mistresses of Henry VIII (First ed.). The History Press. ISBN 0752448358. 
  3. ^ Calendar of State Papers, Spanish, V, pt.2, p.126
  4. ^ Farquhar, Michael (2001). A Treasure of Royal Scandals, p.67. Penguin Books, New York. ISBN 0-7394-2025-9.
  5. ^ Hart, Kelly (June 1, 2009). The Mistresses of Henry VIII (First ed.). The History Press. ISBN 0752448358. 
  6. ^ Young Henry: The Rise of Henry VIII Robert Hutchinson
  7. ^ Hart, Kelly (June 1, 2009). The Mistresses of Henry VIII (First ed.). The History Press. ISBN 0752448358. 
  8. ^ Royal Marriage Secrets: Consorts & Concubines, Bigamists & Bastards, John Ashdown-Hill
  9. ^ Hart, Kelly (June 1, 2009). The Mistresses of Henry VIII (First ed.). The History Press. ISBN 0752448358.