Biographies & Memoirs

Wolsey: The Life of King Henry VIII’s Cardinal

Wolsey: The Life of King Henry VIII’s Cardinal

Cardinal Wolsey is a controversial figure: a butcher's son, a man of letters and the Church, a divisive political expert, a man of principle - yet, to some, an arrogant upstart. As Lord Chancellor to the incorrigible Henry VIII he achieved much both at home and abroad, but his failure to achieve the mighty monarch's divorce from Catherine of Aragon saw him brought to his knees. John Matusiak explores the pragmatic cardinal's life and career to uncover a man of contradictions and extremes whose meteoric rise was marked by an equally inexorable descent into desperation, as he attempted in vain to satisfy the tempestuous master whose ambition ultimately broke him.Far from being another familiar portrait of an overweight and overweening spider or cautionary tale of pride preceding a fall, this is the gripping story of how consummate talent, noble intentions and an eagle eye for the main chance can contrive with the vagaries of power politics to raise an individual to unheard of heights before finally consuming him.

Chapter 1. ‘This Ipswich Fellow’

Chapter 2. The Wide Ocean of Opportunity

Chapter 3. ‘At Anchor in the Port of Promotion’

Chapter 4. The Threshold of All Things Great

Chapter 5. Service and High Favour

Chapter 6. Mars Ascendant

Chapter 7. To Tournay’s Towered Walls

Chapter 8. Author of Peace

Chapter 9. Thomas Cardinalis

Chapter 10. Pillar of Church and State

Chapter 11. ‘Glorious Peacock’

Chapter 12. ‘Arbiter of Christendom’

Chapter 13. ‘Butcher’s Cur’

Chapter 14. Neither Glory nor Gain

Chapter 15. ‘Violence and Puissance’

Chapter 16. The Cardinal’s ‘Great Matter’

Chapter 17. Bereft, Beleaguered and Bedevilled

Chapter 18. ‘Tyrants’ Sepulchre’


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