29 August 5-7pm: The NBM Presents Turning Tides: Young Adult speaker series in the Hall of Great Whales featuring Laura Oland
Abstract for the talk: A Competition Between Two Kings: A Comparison in Dress Between Henry VIII and Francis I
Henry VIII of England and Francis I of France, were two monarchs from the sixteenth century who ruled alongside each other for the majority of their reigns. The two men were extremely similar, which sparked an obsession that would remain until the kings died in 1547. The centre of their fixation on one another was on their appearance, specifically on the clothing they wore. Henry, in particular, was intrigued because he wanted to dress the part of the most powerful monarch in Europe, as he dreamed of conquering France. Analysing the two kings’ side by side it is possible to see that both men were patrons of the arts, and passionate about their clothing, which led to England and France moving out of the Medieval Period into the Early Modern Period. From records, paintings, and letters, it is possible to compare the similarities in appearance between these two kings and to see that Henry did incorporate aspects of French dress into his court, despite trying to create his own appearance for England to mark his reign.