European Royalty discussion

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message 1: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (SaraWEsq) | 2153 comments 1485-1603

Henry VII, Henry VIII, Edward VI, Jane Grey, Mary I, Elizabeth I


message 2: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (SaraWEsq) | 2153 comments Which wife of Henry VIII is your favorite?

I really like Anne Boleyn (2nd wife) for some reason. She seemed smart and independent. I liked that she refused to be a king's mistress (although that helped lead to her demise). It's fascinating that Henry VIII chased after her for so long and was willing to go through so much to get her. It's equally fascinating (and sad) how quickly he tired of her once they married and she submitted. I've read quite a few non-fiction and fiction books about her (I'll have to list them later in my bookshelves).

I'd like to read more about Anne of Cleves (4th wife) and Katherine Howard (5th wife). They don't tend to get much focus.


message 3: by Sera (new)

Sera Sara, I think that Anne B. is the most compelling wife, but Katherine of Aragon is my favorite. I admired her ability to keep her head on (literally) when Henry began to fall apart. I also admired her faith in God through all of the bad things that had happened to her, including the separation from her only child, Mary.

Anne Boleyn was too smart for her own good, and like the saying goes, "if he did it to someone else, why wouldn't he do it to you, too?" I think though that she had too many people close to Henry who were against her for her to prevail. I don't believe that she ever really loved Henry either. She used him to gain power and then she never really figured out how to make that marriage work. That's why I think tht Katherine was much smarter than her in that regard.

An Innocent Traitor gets into Anne and Katherine H. more so than other books that I have read. Anne apparently had an odor problem and Katherine Howard seemed to be a good match for Henry, especially since he was in his later years. A Rose Without a Thorn by Jean Plaidy is about Howard. I have it, and I'm looking forward to reading it at some point.


message 4: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (SaraWEsq) | 2153 comments I have read A Rose Without a Thorn by Jean Plaidy, and it is very good (but very sad). Based on the little I have read about her, I agree that Katherine Howard seemed to be a good match for Henry as he got older. One of the big what-if's for me is what would have happened if Katherine was able to reach Henry at Hampton Court when she went running and screaming down the hallway? I don't think he would have allowed her to be killed (at least, not at that point). Like you pointed out with Anne Boleyn, I think Katherine Howard also had people working against her - not necessarily her personally, but her as a member of the Catholic Howard family. It's very sad how all of these women were used as pawns by the men around them.

Jean Plaidy's books dealing with Katherine of Aragon are excellent. Granted, I do tend to love all of Jean Plaidy's books, but I rated that ones on Katherine of Aragon five stars. You can buy all three of the books under one title (Katherine of Aragon). I have the older editions, so I read the books separately (Katharine, The Virgin Widow; The Shadow of the Pomegranate; The King's Secret Matter). What I especially love about these books is the focus Jean Plaidy gave to Katherine's early years with her family in Spain, Arthur and then Henry. Before I read these books, the only thing I really knew about Katherine was what I read in books about Anne Boleyn (which never covered Katherine's early years). Her early years with Henry were very romantic and loving, which does make it more shocking how he treated her in the end.

I read Jean Plaidy's trilogy about Isabella and Ferdinand prior to reading the Katherine of Aragon books. I really enjoyed them as well. I have read both sets of books twice actually. I don't believe they have been republished (at least I haven't seem them in the bookstores). The titles are Castile for Isabella, Spain for the Sovereigns, and Daughters of Spain. At one point, they may have been combined in one volume.


message 5: by Sera (new)

Sera I have the 3-volume Plaidy book on Katherine of Aragon. It was nice to read to all of the books in sequence and in one read. I read it after I read her story about Anne Boleyn, and you are right in that Katherine's story is much better. I also think that may be because there is quite a bit about AB in that book, which is why the second book is shorter. I like that Plaidy avoids being too repetitive.

The trilogy on Isabella and Ferdinand sounds great. I'm going to try and find it. I always wonder if Isabella had lived whether that would have had an impact on Katherine's fate. Ferdinand wasn't as strong as one would think, and again, his treatment of his daughter is very emblematic of men's treatment of women during those times.


message 6: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (SaraWEsq) | 2153 comments This is slightly off topic, but has anyone watched the showtime (i think) series called The Tudors? I'm planning on getting it through Netflix sometime. If you've seen it, what did you think?



message 7: by MBP (new)

MBP I saw it, and I really enjoyed it. I wasn't wild about Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, who plays Henry VIII - he's very good at being angry and pouty, and that's about it. Maria Doyle Kennedy, who plays Katherine of Aragon, is great - I think she really captures all the pain and passion and dignity of the queen. Natalie Dormer (Anne Boleyn) is good - portrays Anne as headstrong and manipulative, yet likeable. The actors portraying Cardinal Wolsey and Sir Thomas More are also excellent. And the costumes and settings are absolutely gorgeous.

Showtime is making a 2nd season, which is supposed to premiere on March 30. Peter O'Toole is joining the cast as Pope Paul III. I can't wait!



message 8: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (SaraWEsq) | 2153 comments Ooohh, that's great to hear! I've got the first season in my netflix queue. I'll have to move it up so I get it sooner.


message 9: by Sera (new)

Sera I went ahead and bought the series yesterday. It's on sale at Amazon for $29.99 and eligible for free shipping. I figured that I would own the set, because it is something that I would watch over again. I can't wait to see it!


message 10: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (SaraWEsq) | 2153 comments That's a great price. I may have to get on Amazon to check it out. Thanks for the info!


message 11: by Sera (new)

Sera I received the disk set earlier this week, Sara. Let me know whether you pick them up as well so that we can discuss them in this group.


message 12: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (SaraWEsq) | 2153 comments I moved it way up in my Netflix queue, so I should get the first disc sometime midweek. Some of the reviews scared me on Amazon, so I figured I'd rent the first disc or two and see how I like it before buying it. The guy who plays Henry VIII was in Bend It Like Beckham, and I really liked him in that (for some reason people on Amazon were complaining about him a lot).

I look forward to discussing it here!


message 13: by CmPete (new)

CmPete Tucker | 10 comments Has anyone read 'Jane Boylen'? I really liked the more favorable take on the much hated Jane. It was an intersting look at Katherine the stupid too.

As for wives, I'm rather partial to Katherine Parr. That's mostly because of Jan Wescott's 'The Queens Grace'. OOP, but ff you can afford a copy (or spy one at a yard sale) grab it! it is FABULOUS.
Her courageous remarriage to Jane Seymore's brother Tom and the romps between Tom and Elizabeth leave a lot of room for speculation.



message 14: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (SaraWEsq) | 2153 comments I have not read that book about Jane Boleyn, but I want to at some point. I've never read anything favorable about her, so it would be interesting to get her side of the story.

I always feel so sad for Katherine Parr. Thanks for the book recommendation because I would like to read more about her. To be married to three old men (one who almost gets her killed) and then to have the supposed love of her life having some sort of relationship with her step daughter is just tragic. I think David Starkey's Elizabeth gets into the relationship between Tom Seymour and Elizabeth. I read the book and know that I enjoyed it, but I just can't remember many details from it.


message 15: by MBP (new)

MBP I read Jane Boleyn - it was a very sympathetic portrayal, which was a bit surprising and refreshing. The author views Jane's behavior as that of a woman with very limited options, if any, who did what she had to do to survive.

What I didn't like was that the first half of the book was a reiteration of Henry VIII/Anne Boleyn history, with very little information about Jane (except for the "She must have felt...," "She could have been..." type of speculation.)


message 16: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (SaraWEsq) | 2153 comments Welcome to the group Jaire Ann! It is sad how some people considered Anne Boelyn a witch (I keep saying "sad" in regards to these queens, but their stories are all so tragic). She and Cardinal Wolsey were so vilified after they rose up the social ladder.


message 17: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (SaraWEsq) | 2153 comments Ok Sera, I should be getting the first Tudor disc in a couple of days (unless my husband knocked it down in our queue which he better not have). It took me longer than expected to watch the movie I had out, but I sent it back today. Have you started to watch it yet? I can't wait to start it!


message 18: by Sera (new)

Sera Sara, I've had my discs for about a week now. I haven't even unwrapped them yet. I'm savoring and waiting until I have a big block of time for a mini-marathon. My new job has also been keeping me very busy. Since my work days are longer, my evenings are shorter, so I don't have as much time to read either. I am, however, hoping to finish Jane Eyre tonight. It's an excellent book but it's soooo long. Who knows? I may start The Tudors on Sunday. But...I have another GG disc coming in the mail, too. Oh, some more leisure time would be very nice. There is so much that I want to do!

If you do start the Tudor series, let me know what you think.


message 19: by MBP (new)

MBP Today's the opening of the film version of The Other Boleyn Girl with Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johanssen. I hope to see it this weekend. Is anyone else planning to see it? I know the book is controversial to historical fiction lovers, so it'll be interesting to see how people respond to it.


message 20: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (SaraWEsq) | 2153 comments I'm definitely going to see it, I just don't know when. Maybe next weekend. I love watching period pieces for the costumes and sets and just the whole look of the movie. I'm excited to see Natalie Portman as Anne Boleyn. I still haven't read the book, but I figure that won't matter. Definitely let us know what you think! You can start a separate thread for it if you want. Now that I think of it, I may do that for The Tudors series as well (start a thread, that is, once I actually get around to watching it).


message 21: by Sera (new)

Sera I've watched 45 minutes of the first Tudor disc so far, and thank goodness I know what it going on. It jumps right into the story wihtout leading up to Henry's marriage to Katherine, which I found to be interesting. I'm curious to see how this one goes since it's too early for me to tell.


message 22: by Kim (new)

Kim i'm dying to see it. I am trying to get my 2 sisters in law to go with me. If not...I will go by myself...I have no problem with that! If anyone sees it...write in and tell us what you think!


message 23: by Smarti (new)

Smarti | 1 comments I just saw it yesterday - thought it was really good! you will all enjoy it, I think :-)


message 24: by Kim (last edited Mar 01, 2008 09:14PM) (new)

Kim Hi everyone....Saturday night... i rented a movie called the Jane Austen Book club...how funny... It is about 5 women and 1 man that form a book club because things are missing in their lives.... I am aoubt 20 minutes in. I also rented a movie called Lady Jane with Helena Bonhan carter about none other than Lady Jane Grey. My husband has left for Japan for a week and it is time for books and movies...
hope everyone has a good weeknd.


message 25: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (SaraWEsq) | 2153 comments Oh, I loved the movie Lady Jane! I haven't seen it in a really long time, so it may not be as good as I remembered though. How did you like it?


message 26: by Kim (new)

Kim i watched jane austen book club and silk first...so tonight after big brother I am going to watch Lady Jane...you are right it is really old,...1986.... but since I am reading innocent traitor...it fits right in.


message 27: by Lorie (new)

Lorie (MissLorieO) Huzzah! I just took delivery from Amazon of Elizabeth: the Golden Age and The Tudors: the Complete First Season. Can't wait to watch them. Of course, I'll have to watch the first Elizabeth, too, as it's been a while.
:)


message 28: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (SaraWEsq) | 2153 comments Yeah, as soon as I watch The Tudors disk that I have out from Netflix, I have the two Elizabeth movies ready to be sent. I saw the first one when it came out, but like you Lorie, it's been awhile, so I figure I should watch it again.


message 29: by Michelle (new)

Michelle | 3 comments I was so excited about the Tudors on Showtime, but I lost interest very quickly. I love the Tudors history, but (spoiler alert) I didn't like the fact the show change important history. Don't get me wrong, I am all about fictionalizing history but don't change history so much that later events won't happen.


message 30: by Marci (new)

Marci (xraygirl71) | 17 comments try the boleyn inheritance by philippa gregory it is about these 2 wives.... very good!


message 31: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (SaraWEsq) | 2153 comments Welcome to the group Marci! I have the Boleyn Inheritance, I just need to find the time to read it. I was really excited to see that it focused on Anne of Cleves and Katherine Howard. I borrowed an older book from my mom over the weekend that is all about Anne of Cleves as well (the name and author escape me at the moment - I'll have to add it later).

I have watched the first three episodes of The Tudors, but I'll have to make comments later. I'm enjoying it so far, but I'm starting to see where they are doing some crazy stuff with the historical accuracy.


message 32: by Marci (new)

Marci (xraygirl71) | 17 comments some differences on the show... ex. they have margaret tudor w brandon instead of mary..... some little details have been right on though in my opinion. im up to the 6th episode i think. they really can go a long way w this series if they want.. there is alot of tudor history!i have read some of robin maxwell's tudor books also. secret diary of anne boleyn and mademosele(?) boleyn, they were good... also virgin prelude to the throne. i am reading the queen's bastard currently. im bouncing back and forth btwn phillipa gregory and r maxwell...but looking for other GOOD tudor authors, any recommends???????


message 33: by Sara W (last edited Mar 11, 2008 07:47AM) (new)

Sara W (SaraWEsq) | 2153 comments Jean Plaidy has a ton of Tudor novels, and most, if not all, of her Tudor novels have been republished recently which makes them very easy to find. She covers Henry's queens and his sisters Margaret and Mary as well as his daughters Mary and Elizabeth. I absolutely love Jean Plaidy and highly recommend her books. For non-fiction, Alison Weir, Antonia Fraser and David Starkey have some great Tudor books. I think many of these have been added to this group's shelf.


SPOILERS - THE TUDORS SHOWTIME SERIES!


Yeah, Margaret with Charles Brandon instead of Mary was the first thing that really jumped out at me. All I can think of is they thought there were too many people named Mary so they decided to use the other sister's name. Also the fact that she's being married off to the King of Portugal instead of the King of France was an interesting twist. I guess they needed a different king since Frances is already on the throne in this series.

It's also a little strange how they have Anne Boleyn plotting with her dad and Norfolk to influence the king. From what I've read, I'm sure her dad and Norfolk certainly tried to use her to influence the king, but I never got the impression that Anne was ever involved with their plotting. Thomas Wyatt is a little disappointing - he's not the dashing figure I would have expected.

I do like some of the little touches they have though - Wolsey walking through the street with the orange, Henry asking about the calves of the King of France, Buckingham spilling the water on Wolsey - these were all things that I constantly read about, so it was neat to see them in the show. Regardless of how they mess around with certain historical facts, it does seem like the show is well researched overall.


message 34: by Marci (new)

Marci (xraygirl71) | 17 comments thanks i'll check those out


message 35: by Marci (new)

Marci (xraygirl71) | 17 comments i agree alot of the lil bits are from books i have read... it makes it interesting...we will see how it goes


message 36: by Cat (last edited Mar 31, 2008 08:02AM) (new)

Cat | 7 comments I loved the film Lady Jane! It was an incredible portrayal... and Cary Elwes was amazing as Guilford! It wasn't exactly accurate but I couldn't stop hoping that by some fluke all the historians were wrong and that Jane was happy in her marriage... but I must say that Innocent Traitor ruined that for me.

Lady Jane is one of my favorite films about one of the most fascinating British Monarchs.

Last weekend I went to see the film 'The Other Boleyn Girl' and it was incredibly good but sooooooo historically incorrect!


message 37: by Allie (new)

Allie (pearlrose95) Anne Boleyn annoys me. She just wanted to be queen more than anything else and played games with Henry, taunting him. I like his last wife- she seemed smart and helped him through his tempers and insisted Elizabeth came back to court, which is wonderful of course.


message 38: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (SaraWEsq) | 2153 comments Welcome to the group Allie! I think people either love or hate Anne Boleyn (well, maybe not as strong of emotions as love or hate, but people definitely either like her or dislike her for various reasons - I don't know many people who are indifferent about her). I really like Katherine Parr too, and you don't hear too much about her - I think she gets overshadowed by Henry's early years, but her story is really interesting.


message 39: by Allie (new)

Allie (pearlrose95) Yes, either people love or hate her, your right. and ya, Katherine Parr seems like a really intersting person, same with Anne of Cleves!!!
Has anyone read the Other Boleyn Girl? Is it appropriate for young readers?


message 40: by Leah (new)

Leah | 8 comments Anne Boleyn by far is my favorite Tudor. I really feel that she is misunderstood and that's mostly because fiction writers take alot of artistic liberty with her and often cast her as the villian. If you read the non-fiction accounts of her and her life you will realize that she was just the political pawn of her family. I feel that were she given the choice she would never have become Henry's queen nor even his mistress (which she never was). She clearly rejected his advances in the beginning preferring to marry Lord Henry Percy (which was thwarted by Henry Tudor) and only relented after years of him trying to woo her. I think he and her family wore her down and she was just tired of fighting off his advances. A really wonderful and detailed book on Anne Boleyn is "The Rise and Fall of Anne Boleyn" by Retha M. Warnicke- if anyone wants to read further.


message 41: by Allie (new)

Allie (pearlrose95) o well i thought it meant the wives! Elizabeth for sure!!!


message 42: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Morris (amanda384) | 7 comments My favorite wife is Anne Boleyn, my favorite Tudor is Elizabeth, but I loooove English royalty in general and I think my overall favorite is Katherine Swynford. Has anyone read Alison Weir's book about the Life of Katherine Swynford/John of Gaunt. (It is non-fiction.)


message 43: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (SaraWEsq) | 2153 comments I love Katherine of Valois and Owen Tudor's story. The Queen's Secret by Jean Plaidy is a great fictional account about them.

I like Katherine Swynford and John of Gaunt's story as well. I haven't read Alison Weir's book about them (yet), but I did read the novel about her by Anya Seton which was good. I'm not sure who I would consider my favorite English royal - I'll have to think about that!


message 44: by Jenna (new)

Jenna | 26 comments My favourite has always been Katherine Parr -- she was intelligent, well-read, an author, and managed to save herself when she almost got beheaded. I never understood how such a sensible woman like her lost her head (er, figuratively) over Thomas Seymour.


message 45: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (SaraWEsq) | 2153 comments All I can think of that attracted Katherine Parr to Thomas Seymour was how different he was from her prior husbands - he was young, handsome, full of energy and he romanced her which I imagine would have been a huge change compared to the old men she was married to previously. It's such a shame that he treated her so poorly - it seems like all she wanted was to love someone and be loved the same way in return, and Thomas Seymour just had other motives.


message 46: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth | 4 comments If anyone is interested in a really good book about Anne of Cleves, I highly recommend MY LADY OF CLEVES by Margaret Campbell Barnes (my great-grandmother again, also author of BRIEF GAUDY HOUR about Anne Bolyen; please pardon the nepotism). It is a fictional account, but extremely detailed and well-researched and she does an excellent job of giving life to this historical figure about whom so little is known. It's been out of print for a while, but you can still find copies of it at used book stores and the like. And it is being brought back into print later this year (September-ish) by Source Books Publishing, the same publishers that re-printed BRIEF GAUDY HOUR earlier this year.


message 47: by Jenna (new)

Jenna | 26 comments Elizabeth -- that's fascinating - -and I think she is an excellent writer and have read most of her things. Didn't she also write With All My Heart about Catherine of Braganza. I thought both her version and Jean Plaidy's The Pleasure of Love were both excellent and well-researched.


message 48: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth | 4 comments Hi Jenna,

Yes, With All My Heart is another one by Margaret Campbell Barnes. I've not read anything by Jean Plaidy, but I will check her out. MCB's books have been getting re-noticed lately, mostly due to the surge in interest in historical fiction. I generally find her books to be far more accurate and literary than most of what's been published recently (though I may be biased).


message 49: by Erin (new)

Erin (11eleven) | 3 comments The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory touches on Anne of Cleves and Katherine Howard (they are both narrators of the book).


message 50: by Tara (new)

Tara (Born_of_Frustration) I've never been utterly convinced the Tudors had more than a wisp of a claim to the throne, but they certainly changed things, didn't they?

My favorite Tudor (with Elizabeth a close second) is Henry VIII. What a marvelously complex individual! I think what strikes me the most is his transformation from this handsome, perfect musician, theologian, and athlete to (let's face it) a tyrant. It makes me sad that most people seem to skip the first almost 20 years of his reign and focus on how he was later in life.


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Books mentioned in this topic

Elizabeth: The Struggle for the Throne (other topics)
After Henry (other topics)
Little Women (other topics)
I, Elizabeth (other topics)
Threads: The Reincarnation of Anne Boleyn (other topics)
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