The love of a king: Letters from Henry to Anne

The love of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn.
First discovered in the Vatican library, a compilation of 18 letters written by the English King Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn was published “in Oxford in 1720 by Hearne, in a volume entitled Roberti de Avesbury Historia de mirabilibus gestis Edwardi III and inserted in the third volume of the Harleian Miscellany, 1745″, according to J.O. Hallywell Phillips who wrote some notes for the English edition (some of the letters were originally written in French) that was launched under the title The Love letters of Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn, published in 1906 in Boston and London, by John W. Luce and Company and The Merrymount press.

In these letters the words of Henrry VIII are full of love and hope regarding his relationship with her “mistress and friend” as he refers to Anne.

The notes made by Hallywell say that these correspondance should have been written around 1525, some time after Anne Boleyn left the royal court.

In his writing, the king expresses great affection for Anne, reasuring her of his love and worries due to the time they have been appart from each other, wishing she keeps the same affection for him. Henry VIII also shows great concern when he learns that Anne has been sick and wishes they could be together again.

In his fourth letter he writes: “…my heart and I surrender ourselves into your hands, beseeching you to hold us commended to your favour, and that by absence your affection to us may not be lessened: for it were a great pity to increase our pain, of which absence produces enough and more than I could ever have thought could be felt, reminding us of a point in astronomy which is this: the longer the days are, the more distant is the sun, and nevertheless the hotter; so is it with our love, for by absence we are kept a distance from one another, and yet it retains its fervour, at least on my side; I hope the like on yours, assuring you that on my part the pain of absence is already too great for me; and when I think of the increase of that which I am forced to suffer, it would be almost intolerable, but for the firm hope I have of your unchangeable affection for me…”

The last letter of the series of 18 ends with these words: “Written with the hand which fain would be yours, and so is the heart.”

Unfortunately a very little is know about the letters that Anne sent to the King during this period, replies that are refered by the King in his own mail, however some missives written by Anne appear in books like The Life and Death of Anne Bullen, Queen Consort of England and Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic of the Reign of Henry VIII.

It’s in these XIX editions where the last letter written by Anne to Henry VIII can be found, asking her King to spare her from the death sentence, reminding him of the love he had for her which made him chose her for his wife. “You have chosen me, from a low Estate, to be your Queen and Companion, far beyond my Desert or Desire”, Anne says as a last attempt to save her life.

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Let’s food be our guide!

A feast of colors and aromas.
From the original recipes cooked in the ancient city of Petra (Jordan), to the modern fast food style find in places like Singapore and Los Angeles, hundreds of culinary trips are shown in the book Food Journeys of a Lifetime.

The collection of 500 places was prepare by the National Geographic team to give the readers a wonderful leisure time in which it’s really hard not to get hungry after finishing every chapter.

It’s just a matter of letting our hunger take us around the book to start traveling with our minds to famous street markets such as St. Lawrence in Toronto, Canada; the European caf├ęs and bistros from Paris to Prague; and the museums dedicated to Food, like the one in Vevey, Switzerland, called Alimentarium.

Time just flies while going through every one of the food-traveling stories shown here, encouraging the readers to start a culinary journery of their own.

Now, it’s just a matter of packing a knife and a fork, and getting ready to try new and traditional dishes in the well known places for their food such as Italy, or soon-to-be discovered towns, and let food and our appetite lead the way!

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Books in the times of love

Text and Photo by Nora Vasconcelos

Books in the time of love
Saint Valentine’s day is around the corner and the mood is set for romantic stories. When I’m feeling like reading something really sweet, my favorites books are P.S. I love you by Cecilia Ahern, The Choice and The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks and the Blossom street series by Debbie Macomber. All of them have taken my breath away, because they talk about that kind of love that goes beyond sickness and dead, showing how life may go on without the love ones, but the feeling toward them always remain deep inside us.
In the same romantic path, but much more oriented to everyday life, Love in the times of colera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez talks about the love of a man for a woman that remains alive through the years depite the distance between the two of them and new people coming along to their lives.
Another two romantic novels I like a lot are Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen because both of them have a good mix of suffering, reflection and happy endings.
Happy reading!