Monday, January 18, 2016

Question from KG - Henry VIII's "Litterarum quibus respondit ad quondam epistolam"

Does anyone know anything about a book Henry VIII is said to have written, "Litterarum quibus respondit ad quondam epistolam"? Has it been translated?

1 comment:

PhD Historian said...

I assume you mean the pamphlet having the full title "Litterarum, quibus invictissimus Princeps Henricus Octavus, Rex Angliae et Franciae, et Dominus Hiberniae, Fidei Defensor, respondit ad quondam Epistolam Martini Lutheri ad se missam; et ipsius Lutheranae quoque Eplistolae, Exemplum." (short English title: King Henry VIII's Epistolary Answer to Luther)

These were letters exchanged between Henry VIII and Martin Luther, the first letter having been sent by Luther in response to Henry VIII's "Assertio septem sacramentorium" (Defense of the Seven Sacraments).

Yes, it has been translated into English many times, all in the distant past and beginning with an edition of 1527 by Richard Pynson. That edition was titled "A Copy of the letters, wherein the most redoubted and mighty prince, our sovereign lord King Henry the eight, King of England and of France, defensor of the faith, and lord of Ireland, made answer unto a certain letter by Martin Luther, sent unto him by the same, and also a copy of the aforesaid Luther's letter ...."

If you have access to a university library that has a subscription to Early English Books Online (EEBO), you can find it there. Otherwise, you may have some difficulty finding it in full in English. It is an obscure text these days, and its use is pretty much limited to scholars of religion and the early years of the Reformation. So you would have to look for it as an inclusion in some other book, perhaps. But EEBO is by far your best bet. Or perhaps