A detailed study of the interaction between drama and politics in the reign of Henry VIII. The subject is addressed both in general terms and through a series of case-studies of individual early Tudor plays. Through its innovative use of dramatic texts as historical source material, the book provides illuminating insights into the political and cultural history of the Henrician period, and into the perceived character of the King himself. It focuses on the troubled religious and political history of the reign, the culture of the Court, and the personality and governmental style of its head. In doing so the book argues for a reassessment of the reign, which places the King once more at the centre of affairs, and acknowledges the determining effect which this egotistical, charismatic but, above all, pragmatic monarch exercised on the artistic culture, as much as on the politics, of the Court. The book also demonstrates the close and specific links between the drama and the politics of the reign, through a detailed study of a number of key works, links which have hitherto been viewed only as general or peripheral.