Elizabethan Era

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Henry VIII Love Letters to Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour



Despite being remembered for wanting to rid himself of several wives and signing death warrants for more than 70,000 people throughout his reign, there was something of the romantic about King Henry. He is known to have written numerous love letters to women he was intending to make his bride, including Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour. The Love letters of Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn were sent while she was lady-in-waiting to Catherine of Aragon. Similarly Henry VIII love letters to Jane Seymour were delivered while she was lady-in-waiting to Anne Boleyn.

Henry VIII Letters and Papers

A number of documents still exist from the time of Henry VIII and the Tudor Court. There are 17 love letters to Anne Boleyn alone. Henry was a very intelligent and articulate man. He wrote well and is known to have penned love letters to most of the women he was hoping to seduce. There are also letters from Anne Boleyn to King Henry VIII which are still legible today. The wording of course is flowery and romantic, and written in the language of the time. However, it is noticeable that in all of the Anne Boleyn love letters there is an open desire for the king to make her his queen with all possible haste.

Henry VIII Love Letters to his wives

Henry's passion for writing letters of love started with the courtship of the widow of his elder brother, Arthur. Henry VIII love letters to Catherine of Aragon make his intentions towards her clear, reassuring her that she will become queen alongside him. It is possible to discern a number of things from the way that Henry writes. For example, many people ask was Anne Boleyn pretty? To the king she was incredibly beautiful, he states in one of his love letters that he has been "for more than a year now stuck by the dart of love."

Tudor Courtship

A lot of the courting that took place during the Tudor period was carried out with the use of love letters. The Anne Boleyn love letters are an excellent example of how men and women were constrained by the rules and etiquette of court. Not being able to approach someone directly and express an interest in them in terms of love and marriage, it was necessary to make a written record of feelings, hopes and desires and hope that the recipient felt the same way.

Henry VIII Love Letters to Jane Seymour

It can be difficult to image how Henry's love letters to one woman should be different from those to another. After all there are only so many ways for a king to declare his love and make his intentions clear. Certainly when Anne Boleyn was in receipt of her letters the thought of him having her executed for treason was the furthest thing from her mind. As for Jane, it has to be wondered if she had any thoughts of her own fate when the king started his courtship ritual with her.

   
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