The Divorce of Henry VIII

The Divorce of Henry VIII

The Untold Story

Summary

‘An eye-opening book, an intricate and fascinating story’ Hilary Mantel

1527. Henry, desperate to marry Anne Boleyn and ensure the Tudor line asks Pope Clement VII to grant him a divorce. Enter Gregorio Casali, an Italian diplomat hired to represent Henry’s interests in the Vatican. Through six years of persuasion, threats and bribery Casali lives by his wits, playing off one powerful patron against another, negotiating with ambassadors from Spain, France and beyond, each crowding the Vatican to press their interests in the Tudor break up. Before it is done, Henry will decide to divorce not just Catherine, but the Church itself. Set against the backdrop of war-torn Renaissance Italy, The Divorce of Henry VIII combines a gripping family saga with a highly charged political battle between the Tudors and the Vatican to reveal the extraordinary true story behind history’s most infamous divorce.

(Originally published with the title Our Man in Rome)

Reviews

  • An eye-opening book, an intricate and fascinating story of an elusive man with an impossible job. A brilliant and impressive feat of original research, and necessary reading for anyone fascinated by the story of Henry’s divorce... Catherine Fletcher has allowed the story to tell itself, except that she’s been so clever in the telling of it, cutting through to what matters without over-simplifying
    Hilary Mantel, author of Wolf Hall

About the author

Catherine Fletcher

Catherine Fletcher is a historian of Renaissance and early modern Europe and the author of three previous books, including most recently The Beauty and the Terror: An Alternative History of the Italian Renaissance, which was a Book of the Year (2020) in The Times. Catherine is Professor of History at Manchester Metropolitan University and broadcasts regularly for the BBC.
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