Historians, particularly early modernists, have developed a weakness for alliterative book titles. However, the subtitle of this collection of essays, ‘Politics, policy and piety’, does have a practical purpose: it expresses the structure of the collection. The first three essayists deal with the way politics worked in the England of Henry VIII, the second three discuss the way in which politics was applied in the making of policy, and the third trio deals with one vital aspect of Henrician policy, the transformation in the kingdom’s practice of the Christian religion. Naturally, the distinction of topics is not rigid; throughout the book these themes will appear in different guises, and the essayists will discuss the same events and phenomena from different points of view.
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