Archive for August 2013

The Business of Being Henry VIII: A Case Study

Prepare to think about applying business principles to solve problems with worrisome wives and troublesome clergy, and suspend your disbelief as you listen to the 20th very thought provoking lecture in the Maldon Focus series of Quarterly Lectures on the theme ‘Thinking People Make a Difference’ to be presented by John Kent. The lecture will be held in the Maldon Community Centre in Francis Street, on Monday 2 September at 7.30 pm. If you are interested in history or finance, this lecture will intrigue, entertain and enhance your knowledge of high finance, politics and the machinations of people in high places. 

John Kent and his family emigrated in 1964 from the UK, after he had been recruited to join an actuarial consultancy firm in Melbourne, where shortly afterwards he became a partner.  He later joined National Mutual, a major life insurance company, and was its Chief Actuary for thirteen years until he took early retirement to become a potter, as you do. Since then John has had several exhibitions where his work usually involves figures – often tango or jazz dancers and musicians – carved in relief on the surface of stoneware or porcelain vessels. His other interests include jazz, art, film, history and physics.

John said “Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall ignited an interest – one might almost say obsession – with the Machiavellian Henry VIII and after reading various biographies, histories and documents I decided to produce a business plan for him, dealing with the most momentous challenges of his reign. I thought a novel approach would be to regard Henry as head of a corporation and produce his mission statement and action plan”.

Henry’s desire for a male heir was also an obsession; it was this which led to his divorce from Catherine of Aragon, the beheading of Ann Boleyn, his marriage to Jane Seymour, his break with Rome and the establishment of the Church of England.

This perspective on Henry includes: an examination of the political environment at home and abroad; an analysis of the great risks involved in such a plan, and the degree to which this was devised and handled by his powerful minister, Thomas Cromwell, who is fictionalized in Mantel’s novel which won the 2009 Booker prize.

John decided to call this ‘The Business of Being Henry: A Case Study,’ and hopes you will find it as interesting and entertaining to listen to, as it was to research.

For further information call 0459 093 452. No bookings required $5.00 per head.

Nancy Whittaker

Coordinator, Maldon Focus Quarterly Lectures