There seems to be a lot about Henry VIII in the news at the moment. First of all the Royal Armouries has re-measured his suits of armour and debunked one of the 'facts' about Henry VIII as myth that I have clung to since I was about 5 years old... that Henry VIII was so fat that he had to be winced into bed by a crane. Reported in The Times, Graeme Rimer, academic director of the Royal Armouries, said.
“The armour tells us unequivocally that he was 6ft 1in and that he was pretty enormous but still vigorous at the end of his life.”
The popular idea of the ageing Henry having to be hoisted on to his horse with a crane is also “nonsense”. “There is no evidence that he was incapacitated in any way by his weight; the armour suggests that he was still riding and still active late in life.”
I've never liked Henry VIII for all his supposed forward-thinking ideas about Church and State, which were in reaction to his desire to have a male child rather than any real adherence to the new faith sweeping England as far as I can tell. Which is why I was interested to see in The Guardian today a kind of apology for the man who, in my opinion, is more like a tyrant than the 'moderniser and nationaliser' depicted in this short article. Have they not read their History? Perhaps the result of Henry's reign was what Guardian journalists might recognise as a modern nation however I do not think it was planned by Henry, nor was it entirely due to him as for the men who served him (most of them in fear of their heads at one time or another). Another example of how history is used to justify the present - it 'was meant to be this way.'
The Attic (a name which commemorates our first physical location) is, first and foremost, a site for the research students of the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester: a virtual community which aims to include all students, be they campus-based and full-time, or distance-learning and overseas. But we welcome contributions from students of museum studies - and allied subject areas - from outside the School and from around the world. Here you will find a lot of serious stuff, like exhibition and research seminar reviews, conference alerts and calls for papers, but there's also some 'fluff'; the things that inspire, distract and keep us going. After all, while we may be dead serious academic types, we're human too.