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article imageHenry VIII at the British Library

By Alexander Baron     Oct 27, 2013 in Odd News
London - Although he has been dead for over four hundred years, England's most ruthless king holds an endearing fascination for both academics and the public.
Henry VIII acceded to the throne on April 21, 1509. Four years ago, the British Library compiled a short bibliography to coincide with the 500th anniversary and with its own exhibition, Henry VIII: Man and Monarch.
In addition to its other digitisation projects, the Library has been bringing Henry to the wider world. He now has his very own video gallery on its website.
The leading authority on Henry VIII is probably David Starkey, who currently has no fewer than 19 entries in the British Library catalogue relating to Henry.
Although he is best known for his six wives - two of whom he murdered, his break with the Holy See and his trashing of the monasteries, Henry's greatest talent was as a musician. It remains to be seen if he did or did not write Greensleeves, but his acknowledged masterpiece Paſtyme wt good 9panye was popular in his day - and not simply because he wrote it. In modern English this renders as Pastime With Good Company, and is still performed to this day.
The British Library holds probably all Henry's extant music; an interesting publication that includes a number of his songs is Music At The Court of Henry VIII, Transcribed And Edited By John Stevens, Second, Revised Edition, published by Stainer And Bell, London, (1973). This was reprinted in 1978.
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