Learn about Henry VIII and the ‘divorce that changed the world’ at MCC Speaker Series

We’ve all heard the story of King Henry VIII and his six wives — but do you know about the far-reaching impacts his divorce had on history itself? Uncover details of this surprising story at McHenry County College’s next Experts and Insights speaker series at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 18, in the college’s Luecht Auditorium, 8900 Route 14, Crystal Lake.

“Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon: The Divorce that Changed the World” will be presented by MCC history instructor Sarah Sullivan.

“Once I started researching this topic, I couldn’t stop,” said Sullivan. “This is a fascinating rabbit hole to explore. Learning about this divorce helps to explain so many historical events in this period. The truth of this story really is stranger than fiction.”

The session will discuss how Henry’s efforts to divorce his first wife were made more complicated by the simultaneous turmoil in the Catholic Church and political upheavals across Europe. The story of his seven-year fight to secure a divorce is a hard-to-believe story that contains intrigue, sex, manipulation, and betrayal.

Sarah Sullivan is an instructor of history and business and the department chair for History, Political Science, and Economics at McHenry County College where she has taught since 1997. She teaches U.S. history and women's history and loves sharing important historical stories that have been forgotten.

The session is free and open to the public. Registration is requested but walk-ins are welcome.

The next Experts and Insights session will be “Insects: A Farmer’s Friend or Foe?” on May 16.

Interested participants can register and learn more at If you need an accommodation or a sign language interpreter, contact MCC’s Access and Disability Services department at (815) 455-8766 or

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