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Group Reads > [Aug & Sept 2009] Edward VI The Lost King of England by Chris Skidmore

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message 1: by Thalia (last edited Aug 02, 2009 08:43AM) (new)

Thalia | 99 comments The book chosen for Tudor Lovers first Group read is a non-fiction by young historian Chris Skidmore called "Edward VI: the Lost King of England" starting August 01, 2009.


message 2: by Thalia (new)

Thalia | 99 comments I hope I'm not being presumptuous in starting this thread but I didn't really know where it should go. I'm leaving on holiday for a bit tomorrow and really wanted to spell out some of my thoughts before I go. The cover. I think that both the Hardcover and the trade paperback (which I have) picture the same. A close up of Edward VI that dominates and a small portion of a painting depicting the attack and capture of Regensburg. Does anyone else think this is an unusual choice? Why is a scene from 1809 shown? It is over 250 years after Eddy dies.... I know usually have little say in the covers but seriously....
I did like all the information packed into the introduction of the book - a list of "characters", the family trees, the chronology, etc although the actual introduction seemed a bit long.
The first chapter contained a few surprises. There were mistakes that I'm sure should have been caught before the book made it to paperback at least - Mary and Elizabeth are refered to as Princess when they were no longer called that (even after the Act of Succession when they were restored to their places) and Mary is said to be a "step" sister to Edward. Thankfully, I haven't come across any more errors (that I've noticed) I was also interested in the bit about discipline. I had always understood Barnaby to be the whiping boy and Skidmore disagrees. I do find it hard to believe that one correction of "Captain Will" was enough to banish him. I wish it were that easy with my own kids, lol! I'm really liking the book so far.


message 3: by Marie Z (new)

Marie Z Johansen (mzjohansen) | 52 comments I definitely thought it odd to have the photo from 1810 along with Eddy's portrait. Made no sense to me.

I wondered about the use of"princesses" but thought I might be incorrect myself! Great post Thalia! Happy vacation!


message 4: by Jennifer, Mod #5 (last edited Aug 04, 2009 09:40AM) (new)

Jennifer (jennifertudor) | 951 comments So far I've only gotten through the introduction and the first chapter but I'm enjoying it. It's an easy and informative read and the author provides a good narrative.

I had no idea what that painting was actually of although I did feel it didn't fit with Edward's time. That's fantastic that you both knew what it was and ridiculous that whoever created the cover obviously didn't.

I also loved the information at the front of the book. With a lot of the Tudor books, I find myself making cheat notes for characters and places so this is great.

Thalia, I read your post before I got to the step-sister reference and laughed out loud when I did. How did someone miss that? I was also looking for the Princess thing before I got there and I hope I would have caught that but I might have, like Marie, questioned myself instead.

The bit about "Captain Will" was an interesting take but I'm not sure either. Kids push boundaries, heirs to the throne or not, and I'm sure Edward was no exception. Maybe it would have reflected well on Cox though to have been the one to tame the Prince. I don't know... I just have a hard time believing that they were allowed to lay a hand on him. And if he beat him that badly, wouldn't Henry have gone crazy as he was obviously very protective of his only son?

I also really liked the description of Edward's rooms and the inventory of his things and those of Jane Seymour.

Looking forward to the next chapter and learning more about Edward's reign, as opposed to the events leading up to his father's death.

Thanks for starting the post Thalia and hope you're having a great vacation!



message 5: by Wen (new)

Wen (thespoilingone) | 140 comments Well I am on chapter 4. I am really liking it. This is not as dry as some history books I have previously read.
I too thought the battle scene on the cover was odd. I did not readliy know what it was a painting of but it states it on the back dust jacket.
The references of step sister and princesses I caught but did not think a great deal of this. They in essence Were his step sisters and princesses even if not acknowledged legally per Henry VIIIs decrees. Seems things went back and forth so often according to Henrys whims, no telling what to think on some of that. Of course that is just my personal view on the whole what to call siblings/not siblings? I am not a historian and only going off things I have read so far over the past months of diving into Tudor books.

One thing in the book I thought was amusing was when Henry passes there are statement/quotes from that time and they are contradictory. One passage states the when he died, something about he barely had any bllod left in his body. Then a later passage about how the 'coffin' was dropped and blood seeped out all over and something about a dog licking at it. How could he have more blood Later? I know that it was just different peoples accounts but found it interesting.
I was surprised at how Much control Sommerset actually had over Edward. I knew he was sorta the king in all but name but I remembered the councel and thought they must have had more to do with things that it is stated in the book. He was certainly a crafty guy.


message 6: by Jennifer, Mod #5 (new)

Jennifer (jennifertudor) | 951 comments I'm just finishing up the 3rd chapter and I'm also really liking it. It seems to take forever to get through a chapter but maybe that's just because it's one of 3 books I have currently on the go. First time I ever really tried to read more than 1 book at a time and I think I'm starting to get the hang of it. LOL.

Two points of interest for me that I thought I'd mention here -

Henry's Last Will & Testament
Do you think it was a forgery? I think that last bit must have been. I honestly can't see Henry just giving a 'carte blanche' to his councillors to have whatever land, title, etc. that they desired. Why in the world would he do that? He liked to know what was going on and be in control of it. He would be powerless in this aspect, as would Edward, and I just can't believe he would allow that. He would have left things, IMO, in a very precise order. Henry was many things, good and bad; stupid wasn't one of his traits and to me, that just seems stupid. That being said, he did seem to leave quite a loophole by saying that all of the councillors were to rule as one but that basically anything would go so long as they all agreed on it, which ended up allowing Seymour/Somerset to become Lord Protector. I'm hoping all of that made sense, it seemed to come more easily in my head than through typing. Really looking forward to thoughts on this one. I can't believe that somehow I never really knew anything about Henry's will, except for the line of succession, of course :)

Edward's Coronation Processional
I loved reading this part, every little bit of it. I got out a street map of London and attempted to follow the actual route that they took but there wasn't enough detail in the book to really be clear so I'm now trying to find something more precise. When I finally make it to London (a life-long dream), I want to be able to do a bit of everything and I think following a route like this one would be fantastic. To walk where they walked sort of thing, you know? Anyway, I think my favorite part of the processional was the allegorical play put on with the lion, the phoenix and the lion cub wearing the crown. I know we don't know much about Edward's emotions but that must have been an emotional moment for him on a very emotional day. He was, after all, still really just a boy who lost both of his parents and that seemed like a stark, although beautiful, reminder.

Happy reading, ladies :)
I hope everyone is enjoying lots of beautiful summer weather!



message 7: by Jennifer, Mod #5 (new)

Jennifer (jennifertudor) | 951 comments Wen wrote: "The references of step sister and princesses I caught but did not think a great deal of this. They in essence Were his step sisters and princesses even if not acknowledged legally per Henry VIIIs decrees.

They definitely were still princesses, whether Henry liked it or not or chose to acknowledge it. But they weren't really his step-sisters but his half-sisters. Step-sibling are of two different parents and half-siblings are of only one different parent.

Oh and the dog licking the blood thing... gross. lol. Not the first time I'd heard that but still pretty gross imagery. Because of your last post, when I got to that part I read both sentences to Mom to show how contradictory it was. She didn't understand how one author could write two such differnt statements until I explained that they were actual 'witness' accounts. I tend to believe that that didn't happen but who knows. I imagine his arteries were ridiculously clogged!


message 8: by Marie Z (new)

Marie Z Johansen (mzjohansen) | 52 comments I am continung slowly with my reading - Chapter 4 now. I am finding that this book is really very enjoyable and I love some of the minutiae that Skidmore includes. I find that it's really the details that end up giving us the best portrait of what life would have been like during the Tudor reign.

I too have to agree that it appears that Henry's will was tampered with when he was, if not yet already dead, then not likely to regain consciousness. I can;t imagine him ever agreeing to such an amorphous document.


message 9: by Thalia (new)

Thalia | 99 comments It sure would appear some monkey business went on with the will. If it wasn't outright altered then they certainly took advantage of a weakened King Henry. I was amazed at the power that Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset had, becoming a de facto king. It's unfortunate, I think, that Katherine Parr was not appointed regent like she obviously mistakingly beleived she was at first. Mind you, with her shortly occuring death I suppose it would not have helped much. Somerset seems to come across as so greedy. I read somewhere, although I notice it's not mentioned here (so perhaps it isn't actually true), that the Duchess actually had the audacity to wear the Queens jewels!


message 10: by Jennifer, Mod #5 (new)

Jennifer (jennifertudor) | 951 comments I read that too about the Duchess. I've heard she was a terrible bitch of a woman! I think this book did say something about the jewels. Was it only that Somerset demanded that she (Katherine) was not allowed to have them? I know Alison Weir mentioned the jewels in a book I read by her but I'll have to look up what she said about it.

Marie, I'm slowly getting through it as well, also being on chapter 4. It's really well-written and an enjoyable read but the chapters seem so long. I'm trying to fit in a chapter a day but it's not working out that way.


message 11: by Wen (new)

Wen (thespoilingone) | 140 comments I am in chapter 4 as well. There is lots of talk about how Thomas Seymour pretty much pursued any lady of worth to try and gain a higher level of authority.
It talks about his marrying Katherine Parr and getting Edwards consent to get around doing it in secret and so soon after Henrys death.
It also has touched on Thomas Seymours behavior with Elizabeth while she lived under Katherines care.
So So far this chapter is covering ground I knew more about from several other books I had read. It just goes into more detail.
I am also finding that I am reading this one slower than some. Not because it is dull but because it is so packed with stuff I dont want to miss something and that the chapters are much longer than many other books I have read.


message 12: by Jennifer, Mod #5 (new)

Jennifer (jennifertudor) | 951 comments Wen - I know what you mean about the chapter size. They seem to be taking forever to just get through one. I also feel a lot of it is a reiteration of things I already knew but am enjoying the extra detail that Skidmore has gone in to regarding the people, the letters and the time.

I finished Chapter 5 (The Fall of the Lord Admiral) last night and must say that for me it's been the best chapter so far. I couldn't put that one down, something that hasn't really happened yet for me with this book. It's about Seymour's further struggle for power and the lengths he went to in attempt to achieve it. It's now getting more into Somerset and the stability, or lack thereof, of his position as Lord Protector.


message 13: by Wen (new)

Wen (thespoilingone) | 140 comments Jennifer wrote: "Wen - I know what you mean about the chapter size. They seem to be taking forever to just get through one. I also feel a lot of it is a reiteration of things I already knew but am enjoying the extr..."

I read chapter 5 last night too and even at one point hopped up to grab some sticky notes to mark spots to go back to for posting on here.
The first part was the descriptions of Thomas Seymours setting up to 'kidnap' Edward. I had known that was his last and biggest misstep but never say so much detail on it. He truly went all out to make sure Edward would have been pampered BUT all his preperations were evidence when he was arrested.
The second was Elizabeths reaction to the rumors that she was pregnant by Thomas Seymour. She contacted Sommerset to ask to show personally what her condition was or was not. She denied there even being an affair. Despite this there seemed to be witnesses that were in her household/caretakers that confessed to something said to be 'promised never to confess it to death'. But there are no details as to What was confessed.
The last I sticky noted made me laugh. Was on how Thomas did not stop plotting and scheming even when under arrest in the tower. The bit about him fashioning a pen out of metal from his jacket to write to both Elizabeth and Mary about revolting...and that he had hidden the letters in his shoes to be delivered by his servant after his death. This was Truly a man that had No clue when to give up.



message 14: by Thalia (last edited Aug 11, 2009 07:42AM) (new)

Thalia | 99 comments I've been sticky noting too and it sure helps. I'm about to start chapter 8 and I don't want to post stuff ahead of the majority too much but I'll forget my own thoughts otherwise without the posties.

Wen, I too was amazed at just how obsessed Thomas Seymour was with his schemimg, lol. I think he must have been a little unstable!

I remember hearing somewhere, the suggestion that Cranmer was an Lutheran and that was why he was so hell bent on destroying the catholic church in England. Even if that isn't true the attack on all things catholic sure comes on strong during Edwards reign. Henry, with the exception of using English and deneying the supremacy of the papacy, kept his new church quite catholic like. The reforms under Edward were so drastic and confusing. Images destroyed, relics burned and soon there were human casulties. All of it quickly spirialing out of control and leading to a rebellion that amounts to civil war it sounded like. Somersets ill handling of this situation seems to have finally givin the council the reason to lose their faith in him. His enemies gaining strength, his friends jumping ship. But back to the religion part. I did not realize the "reforms" had gone quite that far as I was always under the impression that the Anglican church is similar to the Catholic church with having saints and images etc. That must have come back again under Elizabeth. No wonder rhe people revolted. It was quite an extreme change!


message 15: by Jennifer, Mod #5 (last edited Aug 12, 2009 04:15AM) (new)

Jennifer (jennifertudor) | 951 comments LOL I got out of bed last night and ran for my sticky notes too! Great minds think alike?

I've been amazed by both Seymour and Somerset. What an interesting set of brothers. Both were so power hungry. It makes me wonder about the sweet and innocent Jane Seymour, and whether she really was sweet and innocent or if greed ran in the family?

I've been wondering too Thalia about the differences in the religions. Can anyone list the actual major differences for me. I'm finding it a bit confusing to keep straight :S

Also, Edward seems a little excitable about the deaths of his people for such a 'young boy'. I asked before we started this read in the other Edward thread what kind of king people thought Edward would have lived to be. I'm thinking he might have ended up being like Mary in the ways of ridding England of heretics.


message 16: by Jennifer, Mod #5 (new)

Jennifer (jennifertudor) | 951 comments A couple of other points I took note of that stood out for me last night are:

1. I think one of the major religious differences between the Catholics and the Protestants were the priest being the only person taking part in the mass vs. the congretation taking part as a whole.

2. I think Somerset would have been a hell of a lot better off had he listened to Paget's advice. Has anyone else noticed the number of times that Skidmore has described Somerset of being oblivious yet again? It seems to be on every page! And everyone was against him, from the rebels up to the nobility. He must have been one of the most hated men in England at that time.

3. The massive contradictions when dealing with the rebels (pardoning them and then severely threatening them).

4. Edward admired the slaughter of over 200 rebels by Lord Grey of Witton.

5. Prisoner's were provided with a "diet of horseflesh". What?!?

6. The hanging of Robert Welsh (I think he was a priest) with symbols of his religion hanging all around him. What a blatant smack in the face to the Catholics! Not to mention cruel. And his body wasn't taken down until the years of Mary's reign. Wow.

Anyways, just thought those were some things we could talk about if anyone else found them interesting :)


message 17: by Wen (new)

Wen (thespoilingone) | 140 comments Jennifer wrote:
1. I think one of the major religious differences between the Catholics and the Protestants were the priest being th..."


Well my understanding of the religious difference was that Catholics have the pope their cardinals and priests. It is only these ordained that are allowed (actually thought as Able since chosen to serve God) to read and teach about the word of God. They were a direct conduit from the people to the divine. People could not even pray without it being lead by one of the holy ordained. Relic items were believed to be divine because the ordained would bless on behalf of God. (is why they are rejected by die hard protestants)
The first of the Protestants had versions of the bible translated that they could read themselves and they could pray for themselves and others. They no longer believed that the Priest giving Mass was a direct link to God.
During this time it was all still a very muddy area in that many were somewhere in between. Even those making the rules. Even Henry was Really still catholic in most of his beliefs and actions. Edward took it way more away from catholism but how much was him and how much was Sommerset or some other leading him that direction.

All the other points are stand outs that you pointed too as well. Especially #6 I have that tid bit marked too. That is so gross no matter what the poor man did or most likely did not really do.




message 18: by Thalia (new)

Thalia | 99 comments Reading about the new reformed religion versus the Catholic faith there are some conclusions I have come to. First, I should point out that I am a practicing Catholic so forgive any prejudices I might inadvertantly display (plus I'm not an expert, simply a catholic parishioner). The Catholic Church was different back then from what it is now in many ways although many practices were still in form even in the last century. The primary function of a Cathoic priest is to administer the sacraments. I mean things like consecrating the bread and wine during the Holy Eucharist (also known as Communion), to absolve sins, and to marry couples or annoint the sick, etc. These are things which a layman cannot do. In the new reformed faith (which is VERY different from the current Anglican faith) a priest was not required to do these things because sins were not frogiven through priests and the bread and wine were no longer consecrated (no actual changing into body and blood). Catholic Mass has been said in Latin until very recently (Vatican II council 1960 allowed for mass in the vernacular). The priest would have faced away from the congregation going through the very ritualized program of faith. Parishioners were probably little more than spectators. The Reformed faith would have not allowed intersessions of Saints, the adoration of Mary, the "buying" of indulgences (having done away with that concept completely). No icons and gold vessels. No relics. No statues. I think that the church would have been closer to Calvinist or Lutheran principles. Quite an extreme opposite.


message 19: by Thalia (new)

Thalia | 99 comments It is interesting how dedicated both Mary and Edward were to their God. Both adament in their practice of faith. Hard to come to a compromise when you're that far apart. Mary expected Edward to be understanding and tolerant of her beliefs. When she became queen I think, although she moved England back towards officially catholic, she tried to be tolerant at first but it didn't work, hence "Bloody Mary"...


message 20: by Thalia (new)

Thalia | 99 comments I thought it was interesting that after a peace treaty with France, the two courts exchanged "hostages". How novel. It was odd how happy Edward was to be included in Frances "Order of Saint-Michel" when he had just railed against his own Order of the Garter venerating Saint George....

And I didn't know that Edward was betrothed to Princess Elisabeth of Valois, daughter of Henry II. The portrait sent to the french princess is the one in the book on the same page as Edwards signature. It by Scrots. He painted two very similar ones (you can find them in colour on the internet easily enough). But anyways, back to Elisabeth. Did you know that Mary's future husband, Phillip II of Spain marries Elisabeth after Mary's death. I found that interesting. After Edwards death she was intended for Phillips son but then Phillip married her instead.


message 21: by Thalia (new)

Thalia | 99 comments I was also very interested to learn that Mary had made an attempt at escaping England. It was seemingly foolish of her to delay though. She probably could have gotten away with it and come back if and when she was called apon to take the crown...

She sure begged for intervention from Charles alot to no avail....


message 22: by Thalia (new)

Thalia | 99 comments Sorry, everyone, for the multiple posts but I've finished the book and I've got a back log of comments. I shall save the rest for later. Cheers! Happy reading!


message 23: by Wen (new)

Wen (thespoilingone) | 140 comments Thalia wrote: "Sorry, everyone, for the multiple posts but I've finished the book and I've got a back log of comments. I shall save the rest for later. Cheers! Happy reading!"

You have been busy. I am on chapter 7 only and need to read a bit more before I add to some you have posted. I am just getting to some of it now where I am at.



message 24: by Jennifer, Mod #5 (new)

Jennifer (jennifertudor) | 951 comments Wen wrote: "Thalia wrote: "Sorry, everyone, for the multiple posts but I've finished the book and I've got a back log of comments. I shall save the rest for later. Cheers! Happy reading!"

You have been bu..."


Wen and I seem to be pretty consistent with our progress. I also have to read a bit more and will post soon :)

You've made some interesting points Thalia, thanks!


message 25: by Wen (new)

Wen (thespoilingone) | 140 comments Ok I am down to the last couple chapters now so will try and catch up to Thalia a little. It does indeed seem as if Edward was to start tolerant at least of his sister retaining the 'old religion'. It had always seemed to me that Edward was more of a pawn but in the book it shows that he did have definite views on the 'new religion' he was establishing. I guess my question would be would he have formed such Strong views if his tutors and others surrounding him were not for the most part Protestant? It could have been that he might have remained more tolerant without all the influence to have a complete reform for all.
Edward apparently allowed Mary to hear mass in her home with a small group of her household.Some of the reason was fear of Spain becoming involved to aid Mary. After Sommerset was replaced with Dudley this right was taken back later on despite any fear of war.

By Chapter 9 when Mary is begging to be able to retain her right to practice her religious beliefs, she again talked about how Henry wanted Edward to reach adulthood before making decisions on religious matters and how Henry was why she believed as she did. The counter to this I found interesting. It was said had Henry lived he would have in essence completed the reform he started. What I find interesting is that in a way Henry Only broke from Rome to attain his divorce...prob not the ONLY reason but he continued to hear mass and behave as a Catholic in many ways. Really all Henry truly did was break from Rome and make himself the 'quasi' pope of England. What Truly would have happened had Henry lived longer?

One thing that stood out to me is how at some parts Edward seems very aware and involved at least on the outskirts of those 'helping' him rule, but then others seems to be in the dark. Like After Sommerset was under arrest and the Duchess of Sommerset came to see Edward to plead for her husbands life. Edward asked Where he was. He apparently did not know his uncle was in the Tower. If the Duchess had not paid Edward a visit would the 'councel' have executed Sommerset without Edwards approval or knowledge? They could have told him anything to explain his death after the fact.




message 26: by Wen (new)

Wen (thespoilingone) | 140 comments Ok here are just some odd things that stood out to me. Not really important things just odd.
On page 159 Mason is talking about Sommerset getting to return to the councel and how there was no one else to take his place. Then it states Mason was right 'as the ONLY ADULT duke, Sommerset was effectively the most important member and leader of the peerage' <----Only adult duke? How could that have been? Werent there other dukes that were of age at that time? Or just How Old did one have to be to be an adult then?
Another that was kinda funny to me was on page 160 talking about boosting Edwards guard and it talked about his 'servicing the closet' how the cushions he would sit on had to be Tested in convenient time. POOR Edward. Seems he had to announce when he needed to relieve himself far enough in advance to have his 'Closet' inspected and tested Before he used it each time. How could that Ever be Comvenient?



message 27: by Thalia (new)

Thalia | 99 comments There wouldn't have been many Dukedom's and many of those had been executed in recent times (leaving children to inherit - if the lands and title weren't seized too). I believe an adult is similar to present times - 18.


Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) WOW - So, I finally feel like I have read enough to post, and you all are almost finished. Actually, I am just starting Chapter 7. Sorry for refering back to old topics, but here goes -

1. I too laughed when Mary was referred to as a step sister. Was Skidmore making a comment on Mary's parentage?? (JK, LOL). You would think if anyone was likely to actually be a step instead of half sibling, it would have been Anne Bolyen's daugher, not Catherine of Aragon's.

2. Henry's last will and testament - definitely tampered with. Why would he want to undermine Edward by letting others reward themselves as they saw fit?

3. Seymore/Somerset - Boy, jealousy and greed certainly seemed to run in that family. I have gotten the impression from other books that Henry's marriage to their sister gave them delusions of granduer, then when she actually gave birth to a son, the greed really started to take hold. Too bad neither uncle had their nephew's well being in mind. As for Somerset's mismanaging of the realm during his stint as Lord Protector, I think he was just in over his head. Although he wanted and felt he deserved the power, he had neither the personality or the courage to be a ruler. I actually think Seymour would have done a better job than his brother.

4. It was interesting how many times Paget tried to reign Somerset in. Was he so egotistical (Somerset, that is) that he thought he had all the answers? Or was he so overwhelmed, that he didn't grasp what Paget was trying to tell him?

OK - I am only starting Chapter 7, but does anyone else feel sorry for Edward? I'm not sure he could ever have been an effective king. He seems to have been to ready to allow others to rule him. Of course, he was quite young at the beginning, but I did not see any indication of a "Hey, I'm the King, what are you doing to my realm" type attitude. Did I miss that, or did I just not get to it yet. I'm sure Edward was brought up from Day 1 being told that he was England's future, but he seems to have let Somerset in particular, and the council in general, do things without even consulting him, or letting him know after the fact?

As for The Duchess of Somerset. I too have read in other book that the Duchess wore Katherine's jewels and considered Katherine, as the wife of the Lord Admiral, to be beneath her.

SO - any ideas on why Henry did not make Katherine regent, when he had in the past when he was in France fighting? I kind of thought it might have been because he didn't really trust her after her enemies tried to get her beheaded when he first came back from France. Or did he know she had been in love with Seymour and was afraid that he would get power through her? What do you guys think?




message 29: by Wen (new)

Wen (thespoilingone) | 140 comments Thalia wrote: "There wouldn't have been many Dukedom's and many of those had been executed in recent times (leaving children to inherit - if the lands and title weren't seized too). I believe an adult is similar..."

Well I knew there had been many executions, I just never realized or considered it would have been to the extent that Sommerset of all people would be the elder of his peers. It is a sad and scary thing to think about as a reality.




message 30: by Wen (new)

Wen (thespoilingone) | 140 comments Lyn wrote: "WOW - So, I finally feel like I have read enough to post, and you all are almost finished. Actually, I am just starting Chapter 7. Sorry for refering back to old topics, but here goes -

1. I ..."

Well I am not done with the book yet either. I am starting chaper 10. Edward does seem to try to assert himself some here and there. I am not sure was a lack of Want to rule but more of his being so young and influenced by his tutors and the councel and so on.

On why Henry did not name Katherine as regent...am not really sure. Could have been more of the idea that while he was in France she was regent for a short period of time, making her regent in his will when he knew death was not too aweful long off would make her regent for a much longer period of time. His quest for a male heir over thinking it great to have daughters to someday maybe rule was evidence that he did not feel a woman could effectively rule the kingdom, at least not on a long term.
I think Henry meant well in creating the councel in his will. He seemed to have been trying to make it where there was a good group of men to collectively help Edward to rule (or rule for him) until he was of age. It was Sommersets greed that went above and beyond what Henry had intended. I dont think Henry included Katherine in the councel because he probably knew or could guess how well that would be recieved by the other appointed members and wanted the councel to be as cohesive from the get go as possible.




message 31: by Jennifer, Mod #5 (new)

Jennifer (jennifertudor) | 951 comments I've also read that Henry was on the verge of divorcing Katherine but as I've never really read much on the 6th wife, maybe someone else can comment more on that? Katherine got lucky that she only lost her position and not her head, or at least that's my understanding? He certainly wouldn't have allowed her to reign if he (once again...) didn't consider her to be his true wife.

I also agree though that he obviously didn't feel women to be up to the job of ruling a country.


Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) Ya - Jennifer, I heard that too about the divorce, which is what I was trying to allude to. Katherine certainly had her enemies at court. I think that once they had planted the seed of doubt in Henry's mind it was all over for her, but then he died.

Wen - I hadn't thought about the fact that a woman wouldn't be thought to be up to the job of running the country, but certainly agree that the status of women being what it was at the time, there would certainly be a difference between letting her be regent for a short period of time while he was alive, and letting her run things on her own for a longer period of time. I loved your comment about not putting Katherine on the council and had a good time imagining the reactions that the other memebers would have had to that!


message 33: by Thalia (new)

Thalia | 99 comments There was certainly precedent of women as regents but they tended to be actual mothers of the child king so a bit different. It is still curious though and I think it had alot to do with manipulation on the part of those men close to Henry. The book stated that Katherine was quite expecting to be regent, I'm sure most of the country probably expected that too.


message 34: by Thalia (new)

Thalia | 99 comments I think a very confident Edward was developing and I think he would have been a strong King. Very learned and quite convinced in his convictions. When he came of age (...almost, just not quite, poor Eddy...) I think he would have thrown off the yoke of his "handlers" immediately.


message 35: by Thalia (new)

Thalia | 99 comments The last Chapter (13) is quite exciting. Mary on the run and the crowning Lady Jane Dudley (nee Grey) queen. One thing that's bothered me about that is those who supported Jane's claim to the throne, traced it through Henry's younger sister, Mary, and so to through her daughter Frances, to her grandaughter Jane. Now my question is why Frances would have chosen to not accept the crown herself rather than pass it to Jane? Anyone know that one?
I'm off camping for a bit, curious to hear your thoughts. Cheers!


message 36: by Wen (new)

Wen (thespoilingone) | 140 comments Thalia wrote: "There was certainly precedent of women as regents but they tended to be actual mothers of the child king so a bit different. It is still curious though and I think it had alot to do with manipulat..."

Yes I have seen other instances where a woman was allowed to be a regent for longer period and I too have seen it was mainly when the would be king was the child of that woman. I really dont know what differences that really made. She was still a woman. Maybe it mattered what throne was in question? I really dont know an answer to that.
In the case with Katherine it did seem odd that everyone was expecting her to be the regent and most likely did have something to do with the men on the councel being set up.




Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) Wen wrote: "Thalia wrote: "There was certainly precedent of women as regents but they tended to be actual mothers of the child king so a bit different. It is still curious though and I think it had alot to do..."

Maybe the thought was that if the Regent was the mother of the child she would naturally have their best interest at heart, whereas with Edward only being Katherine's step child, her interest may not have been percieved to be his?


message 38: by Colleen, Mod #3 (new)

Colleen (nightoleander) | 1106 comments I must say when I first picked up the book I was annoyed at it's size. But now I am having no trouble reading a chapter or more a day. I am really learning a lot of things I didn't know about Edward and the surrounding drama in his life. It's slowly becoming a hard to put down book which is good because I got such a late start on reading it.

Good choice!


message 39: by Jennifer, Mod #5 (new)

Jennifer (jennifertudor) | 951 comments Colleen wrote: "I must say when I first picked up the book I was annoyed at it's size. But now I am having no trouble reading a chapter or more a day. I am really learning a lot of things I didn't know about Edwar..."

Definitely a good choice!
Thanks again Patricia for the recommendation!


message 40: by Colleen, Mod #3 (new)

Colleen (nightoleander) | 1106 comments Jennifer wrote: "I've also read that Henry was on the verge of divorcing Katherine but as I've never really read much on the 6th wife, maybe someone else can comment more on that? Katherine got lucky that she only ..."

Nay, I read elsewhere Henry was fixing to have his henchmen put together evidence to have Katherine (Parr) executed.

She was a religious woman and in fact to my knowledge one of the first women to write books/pamphlets on religious subject. Her educated ways, staunch debates, and spoken opinions were starting to incure aggrivation from Henry. (perhaps reminding him of AB in a way?) She caught wind of this and asked for audience with the King where she wisely dropped to her knees and asked him something to the effect of "kindly forgive me, I am but your loyal subject and fall prey to the trappings of my weaker sex...". As we all know flattery gets you everywhere with Henry, he smiled down on her and said "Ah Kate, then we can be friends again..."

I wish I could give you the exact quotes but nearly six months after my move and my books are STILL not here.

At this point in his life especially after having his cholesteral clogged heart broken by Katherine Howard, his last wife was taken for companionship unlike desire for sons (wives 1-4) or lust and refusal to accept being old and gross (wife 5).


message 41: by Jennifer, Mod #5 (new)

Jennifer (jennifertudor) | 951 comments Colleen wrote: "or lust and refusal to accept being old and gross (wife 5) "

Haha Colleen. He must have been so gross! Poor KH.

Now that you mention it, I do remember reading something about her potentially immenent execution. I did know she was very religious and bright. Thanks for refreshing my memory!

Keep breathing... your books aren't too far away now...



Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) OK - I have to ask, Colleen - Where are your books?

As for Henry, I love the way you describe him, Colleen, and I have also read the part you quote. In fact, Alison Weir uses it in Innocent Traitor A Novel of Lady Jane Grey as one of her scenes. In her book she alludes that some of the people around Henry did not like Katherine's opinions and the fact that she was not reticent about them, so they "planted the seed" in Henry's mind, so to speak, that something had to be done. The rest is exactly the way you described.


message 43: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Hi Folks - You may be wondering why I haven't weighed in yet since I suggested this book! I went on a short vacation and then went into an historical reading coma and had to take a break and read a current thriller. But I'm getting back on track now....I too am enjoying this and learning a lot. I think the main impression I'm getting so far is that Edward really set the stage for Mary becoming "Bloody Mary"; if he hadn't been so intolerant of her religious views the reaction would probably not have been so strong. His views are understandable in that he was, although very bright, just a teenager and we all know "black and white" everything appears in youth. The older I get, the more shades of gray I see - and I'm not just talking about my hair! More when I have read further.....


Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) So - as for my earlier post about feeling sorry for Edward, now that I have gotten farther in the book I see that Edward was able to stand on his own against the council and others. I agree with Thalia's answer to my earlier post regarding her assessment that a strong personality was developing. It would have been interesting to see where his convictions lead both him and England if he had lived longer.


message 45: by Wen (new)

Wen (thespoilingone) | 140 comments OK I have a question. Could be I am still not getting how the noble classes worked. In chapter 10 pg 208 there is a bit on how Dudley makes himself Duke of Nothumberland. It was said one source thought it could be due to his wanting to be on Equal ground with Sommerset which would make sense.
My question is why didnt More of the councel make themselves Dukes as well during Edwards term? I know before I questioned how Sommerset could have been 'the' elder in terms of his Dukedom. Thalia brought up it was prob due to so many Dukes being executed and the lands and titles being lost or claimed by much younger kin.
Well if the title of Northumberland was there just waiting for Dudley to take it, am just curious why none of the others seized a Dukedom of their own?? Were the rest of the councel 'lesser rank' than Dudley to start with in some way?


message 46: by Colleen, Mod #3 (new)

Colleen (nightoleander) | 1106 comments Jennifer wrote: "Colleen wrote: "or lust and refusal to accept being old and gross (wife 5) "

Haha Colleen. He must have been so gross! Poor KH.

Now that you mention it, I do remember reading something about her potentially immenent execution. I did know she was very religious and bright. Thanks for refreshing my memory!

Keep breathing... your books aren't too far away now..."


But they are Jennifer! (wails) They are still in stupid TX and wont be here until late September at the earliest.

You're welcome!

Lyn- I moved back in May across an ocean and we still have yet to recieve our house hold goods. We told the packers not to put our stuff in storage, we told the movers not to put our stuff in storage, guess where our stuff is?
Thanks for the compliment about how I describe Henry.

Well put Patricia, I was thinking the same thing. People make a big to do about execution in the name of religion during Marys' short reign but there seems to an awful lot of religious murder that went on during Edwards'... uh... time in throne. Indeed it would have been interesting to see what would have happened if Edward had lived longer and gotten out from under the thumbs of the greedy vultures surrounding him.

Now for the comment I came here to post LOL: What in the heck was wrong with Thomas Seymour? He must have had a death wish and a couple of screws loose. Why would KP marry the likes of him, and why did no one punish him for harassing Elizabeth so much?






message 47: by Lyn (Readinghearts) (last edited Aug 21, 2009 11:23AM) (new)

Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) Wen - I believe Northumberland could make himself a duke at this point because he now had the job that Somerset had had before him, therefore he was the de facto king. Only the king, or someone with the king's power, could grant such titles. In addition, it states otherwise that he had put his people around Edward, and one of them was the Lord Privy Seal, which means he would sign Edward's name for him. It was only supposed to be on Edward's sayso, but he if he actually looked to Dudley "as if a father" than I doubt he would have complained.

Colleen - supposedly Thomas Seymour was a "prince charming" that no women could refuse!! Katherine Parr was actually in love with him when she married Henry. I would love to see a picture of Thomas Seymour, I'll bet he wasn't that charming! I think he is another case of someone who is so in love with himself that he can't fathom he could do anything wrong. Besides, he was Edward's uncle, so who would mess with him?? (Sarcasm, sarcasm).


message 48: by Thalia (new)

Thalia | 99 comments Wen wrote: "OK I have a question. Could be I am still not getting how the noble classes worked. In chapter 10 pg 208 there is a bit on how Dudley makes himself Duke of Nothumberland. My question is why didnt More of the councel make themselves Dukes as well during Edwards term?"

http://www.britishhistoryclub.com/bhc...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_...

You'll see that many of the current Dukedoms are relativly new as they would have been changed around over history. Primarily they are members of the royal family or very closely related as would have been the case back in Edwards day. It would have been quite impossible for the council to all be made Dukes however, you see that many were granted various other, lesser, titles of nobility and positions (i.e. Marquess, Earl, Vicount, and Baron).



message 49: by Wen (new)

Wen (thespoilingone) | 140 comments Thalia wrote: "Wen wrote: "OK I have a question. Could be I am still not getting how the noble classes worked. In chapter 10 pg 208 there is a bit on how Dudley makes himself Duke of Nothumberland. My question is..."

Thanks that helped. To me when it was talking about how per Henrys will /Or rather per his Tampered with wishes, the councel was sorta given the right to appoint themselve where they wanted. Looks like they Did pretty much all elivate themselves where possible.



message 50: by Jennifer, Mod #5 (new)

Jennifer (jennifertudor) | 951 comments Lyn wrote: "Katherine Parr was actually in love with him when she married Henry.

It's my understanding that KP fell in love with Thomas before marrying Henry and would have married him if not for the Kings wishes. Neither Thomas or Henry sound like that great of a catch... I thought KP was a smart woman? :)


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