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Source Exercise 5: The Henrician Reformation 2

A Glasse of the Truthe was a propaganda pamphlet in support of Henry VIII’s case for a divorce, published in September 1532, around the time that Henry and his Council finally decided to set in motion the proceedings that would lead to Henry’s marriage to Anne Boleyn and to the annulment in May 1533 of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. It meets the common objection that, as Henry had an heir already, there was no urgent need to take further steps to secure the succession.

A French translation was specially printed in October 1532 to be distributed among French councillors and courtiers when Henry and Anne crossed the Channel to meet King Francis I of France at Boulogne that autumn and secure French political support for their marriage.


2. Which of these statements best reflects the argument of the text?

  1. Men must rule kingdoms: it is the law of God and it is a grave error to think otherwise. Those who argue against it will suffer terrible punishment. It is dangerous and beyond all comprehension to let women be superior to men. It is also against God’s law for a queen to marry a subject.
  2. We have a perfectly good female heir, but a male would be better because men should govern. Not only is incest wrong and rigorously punished, but it is also wrong to let women claim superiority over men. It is impossible to conceive of a queen marrying a foreigner, and a long search has not found any eligible English husband for the Lady Mary.
  3. A male heir would be better, because a woman must marry, and she will either have to marry a close relative, a foreigner, or a subject, each of whom, for different reasons, is unacceptable.

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