Henry VIII and Charles V
Rival Monarchs, Uneasy Allies
Imprint: Pen and Sword History
232 Pages, 6.1 x 9.2 in, 25 mono illustrations
- February 2023
- In Stock
Although always rivals for status, Henry and Charles, despite their very different temperaments, had much in common. Both had been brought up as devout Christians and in the chivalric tradition. Ties between their lands (by 1520 Charles was Holy Roman Emperor as well as ruling Spain, the Low Countries and much of Italy) were close. There were alliances against a common enemy, France, valuable trading links and a personal connection – Henry was married to Charles’ aunt, Catherine of Aragon.
The book provides a clear account of their complex and ever-changing relationship, both personal and political. It reveals the goodwill that existed between them, particularly during Emperor Charles’ lengthy state visit to England in 1522. It also shows how this proved impossible to maintain once Henry decided to end his marriage to Catherine and his subsequent rejection of papal authority. On the occasions when they planned military action together their alliance collapsed in mutual recriminations. Yet they were officially at war for only a few months and their armies never faced each other.
The duplicitous world of international diplomacy, with dynastic marriages, fine words and broken promises, provides the backdrop to this fascinating story. In their search for honor and dynastic security, so important to both monarchs, the decisions of one could rarely be ignored by the other.