"Henry VIII" focuses on the fluctuating, often fraught relationship between the king and his court, his Church and his people - and with the other powers of continental Europe. It shows how Henry manipulated key players such as Wolsey, Cromwell, Fisher and More, and how his royal image was shaped over decades of change. It also probes the intriguing nature of the man behind the monarch - his passions, pleasure and complex religious beliefs. Leading Tudor historian David Loades explores the expectations that contemporaries had of the Renaissance prince who ascended the throne and the England that the young king inherited. He considers Henry's rich and varied reign in detail, revealing his role in court, in wars, law enforcement, rebellions and the problem of Ireland.