H

enry is rewarded by Rome with the hereditary honorary title Fidei Defensor (Defender of the Faith) for his denunciation of Martin Luther in a writing by his own hand, helped by Thomas More, arousing great anger with Luther and his followers. Poor mister Pace has gone mad in the Tower before the innocent secretary is released; cardinal Wolsey nominates his successor: Thomas Cromwell, equally low-born and ruthlessly ambitious. A victory at Pavia by Henry's Habsburg ally, emperor Charles, who even captured the French king Francis I, is celebrated in a joust, where Henry personally fights, and failing to close his helmet gets wounded, almost losing an eye, but gets back in the saddle, as if he were invulnerable; a reckless jump over a bog with a pole which breaks and miserable medical care -bleeding- remind Henry of his mortality, which makes the king focus on the Tudor dynasty's lack of a male heir. Princess Margaret marries the old decrepit king of Portugal only when promised she may choose her next husband, but jumps her studly minder Charles Brandon's bones on the ship to Lisbon; the king's ugliness and intention to have many children make her faint, but after a nightmare wedding night, 'taken in use' with half the court attending behind a thin cloth, she makes sure the union is short-lived. Henry's desire for Anne Boleyn is only intensified when she returns his extravagant jewelry and retires to the family estate; her father intends to sit on damaging proof against Wolsey's greedy crimes till the time is ripe to make the chancellor fall out of the king's still unshakable grace.

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