The 15 best art, design and archeology discoveries of 2023

The mercurial British monarch Henry VIII may have been a bit out of touch at times, reshaping the country’s religious trajectory to calamitous effect simply to get a divorce, but in other ways he was just like us, doodling in the margins of books. A Canadian professor spotted the royal marginalia unexpectedly while looking at an ancient prayer book owned by the Tudor king late in his life. His annotations — some 14 in total — were compared to other known markings to confirm their authenticity.

The book, a gift to Henry, “contains prayers for repentance, for wisdom, for the destruction of enemies, and for the King and his army,” according to the professor, Micheline White. “Towards the end of his reign he definitely had a lot to be worried about,” she noted.