Chapter One: The Young King

Listen to the audio and read the text below
Henry VIII Tudor

Chapter One: The Young King

Story of Henry VIII

Henry VIII became king in 1509, just before his eighteenth birthday. Young Henry was not prepared to be king. He became king only because his elder brother, Arthur, died at the age of fifteen. Soon after the coronation① Henry married his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, who was his brother Arthur’s widow②.

Catherine was the only child of King Ferdinand of Spain. Spain was then a very powerful country. This marriage created a strong alliance③ between the two countries. Catherine was beautiful and intelligent, and Henry loved her. For almost twenty years they were the perfect royal couple and were happy together.

The new King looked like a hero. Henry was handsome and robust④. He was six foot (1.83 meters) tall. At that time most men were about five foot four inches (1.60 meters) tall. He had bright blue eyes and red hair. He also had a strong personality. The people of England liked King Henry. Young Henry was strong and full of energy. He loved playing tennis, riding horses and hunting. He hunted in the forests with hawks. He was a very skilled swordsman and loved mock⑤ fights called jousts. Henry was also a great scholar. He spoke English, French, Latin and Spanish. He studied ancient Greek, religious writings, mathematics and astronomy. He was an avid⑥ reader and encouraged others to read too,

① coronation: 加冕。
② widow: 寡妇。
③ alliance: 联盟。
④ robust: 壮健的。
⑤ mock: 模拟。
⑥ avid: 非常热衷的。

He loved music and played several instruments very well: the harp, the organ, the lute① and the virginals②. He was a good singer and dancer, and also composed beautiful songs. We can still listen to some of his compositions.

During this time the Renaissance developed in England. King Henry was a patron③ of the arts. Writers, poets, painters and musicians were all welcome at his court. The famous Dutch scholar, Erasmus, was Henry’s friend. The young King was very busy with banquets, dancing, hunting and sports. He decorated his castles and palaces with beautiful furniture and paintings.

He wore expensive clothes and jewellery, and was generous with his friends. Henry did not have much time to govern his country. One of his advisers④ began to govern England. His name was Thomas Wolsey, a clever man of humble origins⑤. He was a cardinals⑥ of the Church. Henry desperately⑦ wanted an heir to the Tudor throne. Early in 1511 Catherine gave birth to a son. There were great celebrations, but the little Prince died after two months. King Henry was very disappointed.

① lute: 诗琴。
② virginals: 16-17世纪的键盘乐器。
③ patron: 赞助人。
④ advisers: 参谋。
⑤ of humble origins: 出身寒微。
⑥ cardinal: 枢机主教。
⑦ desperately: 极度地。

Leave a Comment

Notice: ob_end_flush(): failed to send buffer of zlib output compression (0) in /home/seotal5/public_html/ on line 5279

Notice: ob_end_flush(): failed to send buffer of zlib output compression (0) in /home/seotal5/public_html/ on line 107