Henry the Eighth

Henry the Eighth

Henry the Eighth

Henry the Eighth

Excerpt

In case the state of Europe at the opening of the sixteenth century is not fresh or clear in the reader's mind, I have provided a short summary, a kind of historical backdrop, which will be found at the end of the book.

A word as to conversations. I have invented no dialogue. Thanks to the astonishingly full diplomatic correspondence, I could stick to the record and yet quote direct speech.

Most of the records are indicated to the psycho-historian in the twenty-one volumes of "The Letters and Papers of the Reign of Henry VIII," prepared under the direction of the Master of the Rolls—a stupendous wealth of material filling over twenty thousand packed pages. This is by no means the only material easily accessible. A bibliography prepared for me in Paris runs to 67 typewritten pages. The sources are so rich as to be almost inexhaustible —there are few episodes that do not invite further research.

To be then-minded, to use imagination and intuition, to suggest life—this is the task of the psycho-historian. But no vividness excuses infidelity to the facts, and I have sought to base this history entirely on the material provided by the unselfish labor of a host of scholars, who, in matters of fact, must have the last word.

F. H.

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