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The Six Wives of Henry VIII: Womanhood

This is a guide to the six wives of King Henry VIII of England and is created for those in the Medieval and Renaissance Studies (MERS) minor at Brandeis University. It follows the learning objectives of the minor.

Queens in the 16th Century

Journal Article

Inventing Early Modern Women by Jane Stevenson

Jane Stevenson uses this article to compare what major differences there are between modern women (2018 when she published her article) and Renaissance women. She highlights that religion, now a private matter, was exceedingly a matter of public record and activity. Those at the very highest and lowest ends of Renaissance society were those afforded the least privacy. In France in particular, courtiers would clamor into the monarch's room to see him or her get dressed, a private event nowadays. Grief was more commonly expressed in the past, concludes Stevenson, simply because there was more death happening around women at the time whether it was their children or their husbands. This article is an interesting way to get into the mindset of a woman during the Renaissance and see where culture has diverged since the sixteenth century.