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Henry VIII: a select bibliography

2009 is the 500th anniversary of the accession of King Henry VIII to the throne. We have compiled a short list of printed books about the life of Henry VIII and various aspects of his reign.

Explore the British Library contains details of over 500 printed books, pamphlets and music scores directly relating to Henry VIII.  Further titles, including journal articles, can be identified using databases such as Historical Abstracts  and theBibliography of British and Irish History.

Digital facsimile page images of contemporary printed works can be consulted via Early English Books Online (EEBO) and a digital facsimile version of the State Papers Domestic, 1509-1603, including the  Lansdowne Collection of the papers of Lord Burghley, is available in State Papers Online.  


Details of the British Library’s extensive manuscript collections can be found in the Index of Manuscripts in the British Library [HLR 011.31; MSS 017.21] and – for post-1753 acquisitions - the online Manuscripts Catalogue


Images from many of these manuscripts, including Henry VIII’s Psalter, can be viewed in our Online Gallery


More information about the books below can be found on the British Library catalogue




Primary sources


Letters and papers, foreign and domestic, of the reign of Henry VIII : preserved in the Public Record Office, the British Museum, and elsewhere in England.  22 vols.

London : Longman, Green, Longman, & Roberts, 1862-1932.

HLR 941 (RS 120); MSX 941 (PR 21); 9507.a.33


Hughes, P.L. (ed.)  Tudor royal proclamations.  3 vols.

New Haven : Yale University Press, 1964-1969.

HLR 344.202; X.0709/22


Calendar of letters, despatches, and state papers relating to the negotiations between England and Spain, preserved in the archives at Simancas and elsewhere.  15 vols. 

London : Longman, Green, Longman, & Roberts, 1862-1954.

HLR 941 (RS 147); MSX 941 (PR 42); B.S.33/33(1)


Calendar of state papers and manuscripts relating to English affairs, existing in the archives and collections of Venice, and in other libraries of northern Italy.  38 vols. 

London : Stationery Office, 1864-1947.

HLR 941 (RS 181); MSX 941 (PR 44); B.S.33/36


Calendar of state papers and manuscripts, existing in the archives and collections of Milan.  Vol. 1.

London : Stationery Office, 1912.

HLR 941 (RS 158); MSX 941 (PR 45); B.S.33/49


Byrne, M. St. C. (ed.)  The letters of King Henry VIII : a selection, with a few other documents.

London : Cassell, 1936.

010920.f.55; W46/7134 DSC; X.709/6954 [1968 reprint]


Starkey, D. (ed.)  The inventory of King Henry VIII : Society of Antiquaries MS 129 and British Library MS Harley 1419 : the transcript.

London : Harvey Miller, 1998.

Ac.5665/11(56); 7589.850000 no 56 DSC

Biographies, general works and collections of essays


Wooding, L. E. C.  Henry VIII.  

London : Routledge, 2009.

YC.2009.a.1162; m08/29652 DSC


Starkey, D.  Henry : virtuous prince.  

London : HarperPress, 2008.

YC. 2009.a.2369; m09/18289 DSC


Loades, D. M.  Henry VIII : court, church and conflict.  

Kew : National Archives, 2007.

YC.2007.a.13016; m08/26801 DSC


Scarisbrick, J. J.  Henry VIII.  New ed.  

New Haven : Yale University Press, 1997.

YC.1997.b.2597; X.700/3231 [1968 edition]


Baumann, U. (ed.)  Henry VIII in history, historiography, and literature.

Frankfurt am Main : Lang, 1993

YA.1993.a.26547; 93/06235 DSC



Books and libraries


Carley, J. P.  The books of King Henry VIII and his wives.  

London : British Library, 2004.

RAR 002.092 HEN; YC.2005.a.7799; m07/15376 DSC


Carley, J. P. (ed.)  The libraries of King Henry VIII.  

London : British Library, 2000.

RAR 002.092 HEN; 2719.k.2879; m01/14615 DSC



Other aspects of culture and the royal court


String, T. C.  Art and communication in the reign of Henry VIII.  

Aldershot : Ashgate, 2008.

YC.2008.a.11809; m08/28728 DSC


Campbell, T. C.  Henry VIII and the art of majesty : tapestries at the Tudor court.

New Haven : Yale University Press, 2007

YC.2008.b.130; m07/36222 DSC


Hayward, M. (ed.)  Dress at the court of King Henry VIII.  [The wardrobe book of the Wardrobe of the Robes prepared by James Worsley in December 1516, edited from Harley MS 2284, and his Inventory prepared on 17 January 1521, edited from Harley MS 4217].

Leeds : Maney, 2007.

LC.31.b.5626; fm07/1484 DSC


Walker, G.  Writing under tyranny : English literature and the Henrician Reformation.

Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2005.

YC.2007.a.3423; m05/38076 DSC


Foister, S.  Holbein and England.  

New Haven : Yale University Press, 2004.

LC.31.b.2421; m05/18945 DSC


Starkey, D. (ed.)  Henry VIII : a European court in England.  

London : Collins & Brown, 1991.

YC.1992.b.1744; q91/14539 DSC


Colvin, H. (ed.)  The history of the King’s works.  Vols. 3-4, 1485-1660.  2 vols.

London : H.M.S.O., 1975-1982.

HLR 720; B.S.46/105


Stevens, J. E. (ed.)  Music at the court of Henry VIII.  [Transcription into modern notation of British Museum Additional MS. 31922, which contains part-songs and instrumental pieces by Henry VIII and other composers.]  2nd rev. ed.  

London : Stainer and Bell, 1969.

N.10.b./18; H.3660.b./18 [1978 reprint]

The six wives of Henry VIII


Starkey, D.  Six wives : the queens of Henry VIII.  

London : Chatto & Windus, 2003.

YC.2003.a.5846; m03/20727 DSC


Fraser, A.  The six wives of Henry VIII.  

London : Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1992.

YC.1992.b.4383; YC.2003.a.8951 [2003 reprint]



Politics and religion


Marshall, P.  Religious identities in Henry VIII’s England.  

Aldershot : Ashgate, 2006.

YC.2006.a.6446; m06/11454 DSC


Rex, R.  Henry VIII and the English Reformation.  2nd ed.

Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.

YC.2007.a.10529; m06/20904 DSC


Bernard, G. W.  The King’s Reformation : Henry VIII and the remaking of the English church.

New Haven : Yale University Press, 2005.

YC.2007.a.3497; m06/16230 DSC


Ryrie, A.  The Gospel and Henry VIII ; evangelicals in the early English Reformation.

Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2003.

YC.2003.a.21936; m04/29837 DSC


McEntegart, R.  Henry VIII, the League of Schmalkalden and the English Reformation.

Woodbridge : Boydell, 2002.

YC.2002.a.12334; m04/22024 DSC


Walker, G.  Persuasive fictions : faction, faith, and political culture in the reign of Henry VIII.

Aldershot : Scolar, 1996.

YC.1996.b.3607; 96/12106 DSC


MacCulloch, D. (ed.)  The reign of Henry VIII : politics, policy and piety.

Basingstoke : Macmillan, 1995.

YC.1997.a.1143; 97/07247 DSC


Starkey, D.  The reign of Henry VIII : personalities and politics.  

London : George Philip, 1985.

X.809/66775; 85/38351 DSC; YC.2002.a.20525 [2002 reprint]


Lehmberg, S. E.  The later parliaments of Henry VIII, 1536-1547.

Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1977.

X.809/41936; 77/13094 DSC


Lehmberg, S. E.  The Reformation Parliament, 1529-1536.

Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1970.

X.809/7412; X4/4876 DSC; W49/1881 DSC



Henry VIII and the military


Raymond, J.  Henry VIII’s military revolution : the armies of sixteenth-century Britain and Europe.  

London : Tauris, 2007.

4542.926000 v. 43 DSC


Moorhouse, G.  Great Harry’s navy : how Henry VIII gave England sea power.

London : Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2005.


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