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Henry VIII is known stereotypically as a corpulent, covetous, and cunning king whose appetite for worldly goods met few parallels, whose wives met infamously premature ends, and whose religion was largely political in intent. By focusing on a pivotal year in the life of Henry, this study moves beyond the caricature to reveal a fuller portrait of this complex monarch. In 1536, Henry met many failures-physical, personal, and political-and emerged from them a different man and a revolutionary new king who proceeded to transform a nation and a religion.

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