From Princes to Pages
In From Princes to Pages, Gavin Schwartz-Leeper provides a wide-ranging assessment of early modern literary characterizations of Thomas Cardinal Wolsey, Henry VIII’s chief minister from 1515-1529. Called the ‘other king’, Wolsey became a contested symbol of the English Reformation through diverse literary depictions that demonstrate the transformative pressures of this complex period.
The author traces the development of these characterizations from the satires of John Skelton to Shakespeare and Fletcher’s Henry VIII, and offers new considerations of canonical and lesser-known texts by George Cavendish, John Foxe, and Raphael Holinshed. This study brings together multidisciplinary analyses to demonstrate how Wolsey’s literary lives reveal much about the contemporary shaping of this period, and argues for new ways to understand uses of the past in early modern England.