Second week of the second semester of my second year and we are already having our dissertations thrown at us. They could have at least asked us how Christmas was first.
At this point in time I have two ideas for my dissertation. Both of which i think should be pretty interesting to do. The first one would be something like 'Henry VII, First Tudor or Last Yorkist?'. The second is a re-examining of the relationship between Henry VIII and his 'big three', Wolsey, More and Cromwell.
I'll say it early in this blogs life. I like Henry VII. I think the recent works done by Grummit, Gunn and Carpenter are really going to re-open H7 and help cast off this myth that the only thing we need to know about him is that he won the Battle of Bosworth and liked money. I mean come on. One of the most interesting things I find about him personally is the very strong Yorkist line that can be traced in his policy making. For some who label him as England's only applicant in the 'New Monarchy' this is something of an inconvenient truth. If historians are going to stop their little late medievalist/early modernist turf war over him, we could be in for some pretty exciting stuff over the next few years.
The relationship between H7 and his ministers is something that has come under a certain amount of scrutiny yet has always proved difficult to define in a manner that everybody likes. The problem comes from the huge powers that Wolsey, Cromwell and More wielded, yet the ease in which H8 got rid of them when they messed up. Some say that the advisers were more or less the monarch during their period of power (read anything Elton every wrote about Cromwell and you see true, pure, unadulterated hero worship) while Henry was busy getting married. Others are starting to say that actually, they could only sustain this power as long as they towed the Henrician line. Like H7, I think there is a lot of room here for discovery.
Bah. Curse you dissertation. You are proving to be annoying already.
Picture of the Week #311 - Entrance to Harlech Castle. Photo May 2000. … Continue reading →
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