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Henry VIII: Mind of a Tyrant 

Dr David Starkey examines the history and motives that shaped the most infamous king of England. This series is beautifully researched and offers some new insights into life and times of Henry VIII.
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2009  

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Roger Ashton-Griffiths ...  Cardinal Wolsey 3 episodes, 2009
Laurence Spellman ...  King Henry VIII 3 episodes, 2009
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Storyline

David Starkey explores Henry VIII's accession to the throne in 1509 and why he was originally greeted with great rejoicing but by his death 38 years later he had earned the reputation of a tyrannical and ruthless tyrant. Illuminating and well presented documentary of the abuse of power and how absolute power corrupts even the best of intentions.

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History

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UK

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English

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2009 (UK) See more »

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DOX Productions See more »
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Color
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Roger Ashton-Griffiths plays the role Cardinal Wolsey. He has also played Sir John Hutton in "The Tudors", a TV show that also centers on King Henry VIII. See more »

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Henry VIII: Mind Of A Tyrant
8 September 2014 | by a_baronSee all my reviews

Who would you commission to produce an in-depth documentary on England's most notorious king? Obviously the world's leading authority on Henry VIII. David Starkey has produced a slew of publications on the man, including "Six Wives: The Queens Of Henry VIII". Here, the first two get the lion's share of attention as Starkey focuses on the young Henry, in particular his transformation from a cultured, idealistic, even benevolent ruler into the man who swept away all the liberties wrested from the Crown by the signing of the "Magna Carta", set up his own church, tyrannised his subjects, and murdered two of his wives including the mother of his daughter and heir.

Starkey is the only academic to appear in this programme, but a host of thespians are recruited to bring Henry and his court to life. It is clear that his first wife Catherine of Aragon was more than his equal, and if she had been able to give him the son he craved the entire course of English indeed world history would have been very different.

The one thing missing from this programme is Henry's greatest gift, "Paſtyme wt good 9panye" as they say in Olde Englishe. One wonders what he would have made of the fact that 5 centuries after his death he is remembered first and foremost as an imposing tyrant and only en passant as a fine songwriter.


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