Saturday, April 18, 2009

Question from Katlyn - Suggestions for sources on the Reformation Parliament

Next year, I am undertaking a year-long independent study on Henry VIII which will commence in a thesis-style paper (I am not a history major and thus cannot write a thesis in this area, but plan to attend graduate school in this field of study and want to supplement my application / qualification / knowledge by doing this, so all my personal research will come to produce something tangible).

Anyway, the professor who will be overseeing me (the only one knowledgeable at all on Henry in my area) is only familiar with the time period of the Reformation Parliament, and I must restrict my topic of focus to this. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions of books use in research, for this time in general, especially primary sources, or where I could search for this information. I have a book of Tudor Royal Proclamations and those sorts of things, but I would like to pull from a plethora of legitimate sources to create "the big picture."

Thank you all so much. :)


PhD Historian said...

You've set an ambitious project for yourself, Katlyn, and I think that is admirable.

However, there is really no such thing as "the Reformation Parliament of Henry VIII." That is, there was no single Parliament that was entirely and solely responsible for all of the legislation that transformed the English church from Roman Catholicism to Protestant Anglicanism.

The term was formerly applied to the Parliament that sat from about 1529 until about 1536, but the use of that term is now largely outdated and inappropriate. That is largely because the Parliament of 1529-36 did not, in actuality, "reform" the English church as much as it simply changed the governorship of it from pope to king. The real doctrinal and liturgical changes that transformed the English church from Roman Catholic beliefs and observances were achieved in the Parliaments of the reigns of Edward and Elizabeth. Those Parliaments have a greater claim to the moniker "Reformation Parliament" that do any of Henry VIII's Parliaments.

If anything the real "English Reformation" was accomplished by multiple different Parliaments sitting in the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI, and Elizabeth I.

If you want, Lara will give you my direct email address and I can perhaps offer you a reading list and guidance on some primary sources for focusing on the Parliament of 1529-36 ... what I would call "the Supremacy Parliament."

Katlyn R. said...

I'll have to tell my prof. He recently released a book entitled "Henry VIII and the Reformation Parliament." I am not sure what my specific focus will be, but I would definitely appreciate any guidance for sources. Thank you :)

kb said...

It seems a bit strange that your prof released a book with this title but has not provided guidance on sources. (Carnes or Coby, I presume)

Perhaps start with the bibliography for his book? At least that way, if he has restricted your research to an area he is familiar with, you will be working with sources he is also familiar with.

The most widely used is the Letters & Papers of Henry VIII. This is a calendared printed version of state papers from the time period. It runs to several volumes. If your library does not own a copy, consider getting access through Full access may require a subscription fee of around 30GBP for a year.

Bearded Lady said...

Katlyn, I really enjoyed Diarmaid MacCulloch's: The Reformation, A History. Although the book focuses very little on Henry VIII, I personally think it is a good place to start to get a broader perspective on what was happening throughout Europe. good luck with your paper!