Book Tour: Fascinating characters in the story of ‘I am Henry’

Fascinating characters in the story of ‘I am Henry’

Part of a blog series about ‘I am Henry,’ the new novel and award-winning short film of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, by Jan Hendrik Verstaten & Massimo Barbato.

Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn are the two main characters in the book. Catherine of Aragon and her first living son Henry, the Duke of Cornwall, who tragically died within two months of his birth, also contribute to the story in an important way. These four characters each tell part of the story in their own voice and from their perspective, with Henry and Anne being the most consequential and frequent ones.

There are a lot of other characters that appear in the book. Who are they?

The other wives of Henry VIII

From the four other wives of Henry VIII Catherine Parr and Anne of Cleves are only mentioned briefly in the book. Jane Seymour and Catherine Howard both make a short but memorable appearance and share their opinion on their former husband and king. Jane Seymour, Henry’s third wife who gave him a son and an heir, does this in a soft spoken but unmistakable way.

Catherine Howard does not hide her passionate temperament and just like Henry’s other ex-wives, does not shy away from handing out the truth as she sees it.

Other family members from Henry VIII

Henry’s parents, Elizabeth of York and Henry VII, appear early in the book. Together they were the founders of the Tudor dynasty and both were equally zealous and dedicated to the Tudor cause. Henry’s father speaks in an earnest and loving way to his son.

A more surprising encounter takes place with Henry’s brother Arthur, the Prince of Wales who was destined to be the king. Henry VIII was always thought of as the spare, but due to Arthur’s untimely death Henry’s fate changes dramatically.
From Henry’s children it is Elizabeth I who in the end, just as in history itself, concludes the story.

Two remarkable visitors for Anne

George Boleyn, Anne’s bright elder brother visits her. His fate was very much dependent on his sister’s. Early on, when she had to decide what kind of relationship to have with the king, his advice played a deciding factor. Later, he was accused of incest with Anne and of conspiracy to kill the king.
Anne’s first love, Henry Percy, 6th Earl of Northumberland, also comes to see Anne. They kept their love a secret. When it became public knowledge, their love was forbidden, and the two were separated.

Other figures of importance from Henry’s life

Several religious figures, but also friends and members of his privy chamber, show up in the book. Their identities are occasionally disguised at first only to be revealed later,as the plot unfolds. With them, historical events are brought back to life. Like the Carthusian monks who were publicly executed during the dissolution of the monasteries.

The Vice-Admiral of the warship Mary Rose George Carew shares with Henry and re-lives the fateful sinking of the ship.

Others like Henry’s closest friend and ally Charles Brandon who later became his brother-in-law after he married Henry’s sister Mary Tudor, are briefly present, as is his chief minister Thomas Cromwell.

‘I am Henry’ is an innovative retelling of the story of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Due for release in paperback and e-book format by MadeGlobal Publishing, in April 2023.

Click on the cover for ordering information:

For more information about the novel and the short film go to

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