“Divorced, beheaded died, divorced beheaded, survived.” With this little mnemonic, English school children learn to differentiate between the 6 wives of this notorious monarch – but these descriptions are hardly comprehensive. In this class we will take “a wife a week” and explore who these women were, who the real Henry VIII was, and how each of them altered the course of English history. Each in her own way was a tragic figure; some pursued their fates with open eyes, some fell into the history books against their wills. From the Spanish matrimonial pawn Catherine of Aragon to the worldly-wise Katherine Parr, these women are the focus of the royal Tudor saga which has intrigued the world for centuries. Was there truth behind the adultery claims that doomed Anne Boleyn? Why was Anne of Cleves such a critical tool for the security of the realm? Was the seemingly innocent Katherine Howard truly so inexperienced? How did Katherine Parr almost end up on the block? What killed Jane Seymour? Why was Catherine of Aragon so beloved by the people? Did Henry actually love any of these women – and did any of them love him? Untangling the truth behind these 500-year-old dramas will be the focus of this 6-week course. We will also sample the fashion, music and literature of this colorful and compelling era.
Course Cost: $55.00
Maryland Senior Course Cost: $45.00