Arts and Entertainment

I hadn't realised – until I read this book – how much work Henry VIII's marital problems caused the stonemasons of Hampton Court. After years of carving the letters H&C all over the place, Henry got rid of Catherine of Aragon, so the Cs had to be reworked as As. But, no sooner was the last A in place than Anne Boleyn was executed on Tower Hill and the As had to become Js to suit Jane Seymour, who promptly died in childbirth. And there were still three more queens to go, so, lots more chiseling, presumably.

Letter: Establishment

Sir: The Rev Peter Mullen (Religious notes, 16 February) claims that "Establishment is a pearl of great price." He seems to have forgotten that the Church of England was only "established" because Henry VIII wanted to get rid of one of his many wives. It was then several hundred years before discrimination against Roman Catholics and nonconformists ceased. Now that the C of E is attended by only a minority of the population, "establishment" has no meaning except that there are loads of bishops in the House of Lords and Charles is not supposed to marry a Roman Catholic.

Tuesday Book: The rot began with Henry VIII


Obituary: Janet Arnold

SPEAK THE name of Janet Arnold to any costume specialist or enthusiast, and the reaction would be one of appreciative recognition. Her publications, especially the Patterns of Fashion series, published in three volumes between 1964 and 1985, A Handbook of Costume (1973), and her monumental Queen Elizabeth's Wardrobe Unlock'd (1988) made her known world-wide. Her advice was sought, and lectures eagerly commissioned, from Stockholm to Tokyo, from Ankara to Washington DC.

Film: The Big Picture - All too black and white


Letter: Constitutional reform

Sir: I was sorry to read that Tony Blair intends to put constitutional reform on hold (report, 11 September). We are told he is to delay freedom of information and to postpone a decision on electoral reform. This reminds me of a contemporary judgement on Henry VIII's Reformation: "He is like one that would throw a man from the top of a high tower and bid him stay where he was half way down".

Letter: Blaming Clinton

Sir: If Kenneth Starr had investigated some of our past monarchs or prime ministers, one wonders how many boxes of evidence he would have produced. Hundreds, I suspect. His evidence on Henry VIII would have required a whole fleet of vans to carry it.

Classical cds: A rousing round from a right royal lad

Sirinu: All Goodly Sports, the Complete Music of Henry VIII (Chandos Records, CD)

I'm writing about the first ever muzak

Work in Progress; Rose Tremain, novelist

Give me an inch and I'll make it a mile

It's all very well having summer schools to improve children's numeracy, but parents need help with their sums, too, says Diana Appleyard

Politics: Blunkett rapped on `Henry VIII' power

SWEEPING "Henry VIII" powers which will allow David Blunkett to change rules on how schools are governed without consultation have gone too far, a House of Lords Committee has ruled. Mr Blunkett has 250 new powers under a Bill now in the Lords, three of them "Henry VIII" measures which will allow him to change the law without further consultation.

Books: Keeping your head in the marriage stakes

Marrying a Tudor was a risky pastime. Amanda Foreman on a family that took the art of spouse disposal to new heights; Sisters to the King by Maria Perry Andre Deutsch, pounds 15.99

Tudors go to our heads

The history of Henry VIII and his heirs, like that of the Windsors, was a soap opera with the quality of Greek myth. And we can't get enough of it. By Jack O'Sullivan

Letter: Henry the Forgotten

YOU SAY that if the succession had gone to the eldest child, irrespective of gender, Mary Tudor would have succeeded Henry VIII (born in 1491) ("Equality at last for royal daughters", 28 February).

John Mitchell London SE13

Sir: Twentieth-century presidents are not the first to need spin- doctors to try to guard them against rumours of dalliance or their own imprecision when denying it.

Politics: Irvine's pounds 70,000 PR

Britain's most powerful lawyer, Lord Irvine of Lairg, is to appoint a senior communications adviser to his department at a likely salary of around pounds 70,000.
Latest stories from i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific