Sex and Love in Early Tudor England
Wednesday 6 October
Lord Leycester Hospital
At the dawn of his reign in 1509, Henry VIII – the man we think of today as a much-married monarch – was a suppressed, single (and perhaps virginal) teenager.
Like the subjects over whom he ruled, Henry’s ideas about sex and love were heavily influenced by the church, the law and the medical theory of the time. All had opinions about acceptable forms of romantic activity, but in an age when royal adultery was winked at, and prostitution considered a necessary outlet for male sexual urges, the difference between how people were ‘supposed’ to behave and the reality, could be stark.
So, how did Henry and other early Tudors find a path through these contradictions in pursuit of satisfying love lives? And what occurred in Henry’s first year as king to set him on the path to six weddings and two (queens’) funerals …?
Join historian Lauren Johnson as she explores this Tudor sexual minefield.