Henry VIII begins with a diary being sent to a British woman, from an old man who was once the Great King Henry's Fool. He tells the woman she should read it, in order to understand her place in the world. She begins to read, and it turns out to be an account Of King Henry's life, beginning with earliest childhood, when his father, King Henry VII is still alive, and young Henry, not being the first-born son of the king, is destined for a life within the Church. It goes through the deaths of his father and brother, thus making Young Henry the heir to the throne. We see him crowned, and he begins his journey as Monarch, through 6 wives and the few offspring from them, through his trials with the Pope and the Church of Rome, and his conflicts with France and Spain. It ends with the death of the King.
Henry decided, in later life, as he was ailing, that he needed to write his story down, to perhaps explain to future generations the method to his "madness", to put voice to some of the things he knew that influenced his decisions. Perhaps he wanted to write it down to better rationalize his own actions; that would be perfectly understandable, until we see the notes added by Will Somers, the King's Fool, and perhaps his only true friend. His perspective is invaluable when trying to determine the truth about the King's madness, from the writer's perspective.
This report prepared by Karen