Not such a “Merry Monarch”.
Posted by Big John on October 8, 2008
I must say that I do enjoy watching a good historical drama on TV, and over the years there have been many; one of which was .. ‘The Six Wives of Henry VIII’ .. made in 1970 and starring Keith Michell who played a very believable King Henry; as did Richard Burton in ‘Anne of a Thousand Days’.
With this in mind I tuned in to ‘The Tudors’, which I quickly re-named .. ‘Royal Rumpy-Pumpy’.. Blimey ! I’ve heard of ‘History-Lite’, but this series takes ‘Ye Olde Pisse’ !
“OK !”, (as Henry exclaimed in one episode) so I found the programme entertaining and unintentionally funny in places, but why ‘sex-up’ history when the facts and characters are dramatic enough in themselves.
I’m sure that even as a young man Henry had ginger hair, a beard and was probably of a ‘stocky’ build. When Catherine of Aragon died during the time of his marriage to Anne Boleyn he was fortyfive years old, and yet he was depicted in the movie as a slim, black haired, clean-shaven twenty-something !
Among the many historical errors the most obvious are that Henry had two sisters (not one), Margaret and Mary. Margaret married the King of Scotland and Mary married the King of France, but as far as I know, there is no evidence that Mary ever killed her husband, and Henry Fitzroy (the king’s illegitimate son) was about eighteen when he died, not three. Cardinal Wolsey did not commit suicide, and the whole story line involving various Popes was confused to say the least.
In one episode I did notice that Anne Boleyn was riding in a carriage which did not exist at the time, but failed to spot the ‘tarmac’ and radiator covers that appeared in other scenes.
I have to confess that I am a bit puzzled by the title .. ‘The Tudors’ .. as there were quite a few of them, including six monarchs. We’ve already missed out on Henry VII and after two series we have only got as far as Henry VIII’s third wife.
I wonder if we will ever …
… get to meet the rest of the family ?