The Wives of Henry VIII Themes

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Need for a Male Heir

In England during the time in which Henry VIII lived, it was customary for a male child to follow his father to the throne. It was very important for a man to have at least one son but it was preferable to have more than one due to the high rate of infant mortality at the time. For this reason, each time Henry VIII's wife, Catherine of Aragon, became pregnant, the whole country prayed for a son. When a son was born, the entire country celebrated, including the king. Unfortunately, neither of the male children Catherine of Aragon bore survived the first few weeks of life. When it became clear that Catherine of Aragon would never have a surviving male child, Henry VIII turned to his one surviving child, Princess Mary. King Henry appeared content to make Mary and whatever man she should marry...

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This section contains 1,364 words
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Buy The Wives of Henry VIII Study Guide
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