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Henry VIII: Man and Monarch - British Library

Exhibition preview

A NEW exhibition celebrating the 500th anniversary of Henry VIII’s accession to the throne, Henry VIII: Man and Monarch, is on display at the British Library until Sunday, September 6, 2009.

Guest-curated by historian and broadcaster Dr David Starkey, it provides new insights into one of this country’s most memorable monarchs; a monarch who still casts a spell over the public imagination.

Highlights of the exhibition include Henry’s personal Prayer Book, containing his handwritten notes, his marriage contract with Katherine of Aragon, a list of people executed in his reign, including wives, favourites and ministers, and a love letter to Anne Boleyn, concealed in the Vatican for almost five centuries. Almost certainly stolen from Anne to serve as evidence against the King’s divorce, the letter is exhibited here for the first time and sheds light on Henry’s infamous infatuation.

Speaking about the exhibition, Dr David Starkey said: “This exhibition draws on the British Library’s rich collections – including the books that Henry himself chose, read and annotated – which outline the revolutionary change in ideas that took place during the reign of Henry VIII and take us, as nothing else can, into the King’s own mind.”

Tickets: Adults £9 (concessions £7 and £5).

The British Library, 96 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB