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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.

eye give Mouse Mats

Seven present-buying days to go...

Letter: Great British hemp

Sir: The point that many commentators and the Labour Party seem to have missed in the debate on the legalisation of marijuana (report, 14 October; letter, 17 October) is the history of good old hemp and why it was made illegal in the first place.

An assembly for Wales? It's the 'Whys' that have it on Why

News from Elsewhere

Letter: The right to defend the faith

The right to defend the faith

LETTER : Ludicrous legacy of Henry VIII

Sir: I am at a loss to understand why the Rev Peter Hawkins finds it curious that Tony Wright MP, should "ridicule the Church of England's position on remarriage after divorce" (Letters, 21 July). The stance taken by the Church of England is one which invites ridicule from those of us who look for just a little logic in an argument.

Henry VIII fishing basket turns up in the moat at the Tower of London

A wicker basket which could have been used to catch fish for Henry VIII has been discovered by archaeologists in the Tower of London moat.

16th-century gun unearthed

Archaeologists have uncovered one of the largest early guns to be found in Britain. It measures seven-and-a-half feet in length, weighs more than a ton and dates from the reign of Henry VIII (1509-1547).

Letter: Family tree of Prince William

Family tree of Prince William

Letter: British Empire begins at home

British Empire begins at home

Letter: Royal model?

Sir: It seems very odd of the Post Office to celebrate the Queen's Golden Wedding year with a set of stamps showing the six wives of Henry VIII.

Prayer and foodies win top literary awards

A new life of Thomas Cranmer, one of the architects of the Church of England and creator of the Book of Common Prayer, is the surprise winner among this year's Whitbread literary awards, announced today.

Theatre Curtain Calls: Henry VIII

Left out of the canon for years, Shakespeare's play is now generally acknowledged to have been co-written by Fletcher. Gregory Doran directs a rare revival for the RSC, with a cast headed by Paul Jesson, one of those actors who has never received his true due.

Where the RSC went wrong

THEATRE

THEATRE: Henry VIII RSC Swan Theatre

Henry VIII

Letter: The best way to handle a wife-beater

Sir: Soccer is something I don't understand, but will it be worth protesting should there be any future printing of books by H G Wells, not to mention the staging of plays by Dylan Thomas, as it is alleged they too were horrid to their wives? Perhaps we should also stay away from any further productions of Shakespeare's Henry VIII.
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