Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Tudors

I was chatting with Eleanor over at Thatchwick Cottage about how
much I have been enjoying Showtime's new season of The Tudors
on Sunday evenings. There have been some complaints that the
series is not totally historically accurate. Henry is a little too young
(he was over 40 by the time he met Ann Boleyn) and Henry had two
sisters, not one, among other errors. But these are minor
inaccuracies, in my opinion. Okay, and they are glamorizing the
historical figures, just a tad, as you can see by the painting of
Henry VIII and Jonathan Rhys Meyers, who does a stellar job,
by the way, of portraying a “Henry to hate”. On the other hand,
would we really watch it if the actors were that realistic? Jeremy
Northam, one of my faves, is perfect as a tender and compassionate
Sir Thomas Moore. The great veteran Peter O'Toole has a cameo
role as Pope Paul III, among dozens of other very talented actors.
Did I mention that the acting is fabulous and the costumes and sets
are absolutely amazing? I have always been infatuated with the
British Monarchy, so this series is two thumbs way up in my little
book of manor favorites.


  1. The series has made an impact up here, but I haven't seen it, being as my current tv quota is being filmed by Rome.... but I will catch this next time around as I'm sure it will be repeated. I like Jeremy Northam - the man can wear a hat so well. :)

  2. I've not watched the show (yet) but your post has me thinking. How can anything that is being done today be truly "historically accurate"?? History shows (pun intended) that history is constantly being rewritten. It evolves, changes tone and color and mutates as time passes. I love how you ask if we would want to watch it if the characters were realistically portrayed. I think not. Their goal is to attract viewers. Nice post. It will have me thinking all day. Smile!!

  3. I have yet to see this series because we don't get cable but I think it's available on Netflix so I'm going to start watching after we watch The House of Elliot...I really like Jeremy Northam, too and Sir Peter? Well, it has to be good then...And about realistic portrayal of the characters? Probably not...

  4. Willow, what is this Netflix that everyone keeps talking about? IS it a channel or a video store?

    I feel out of it...


  5. Haven't seen it but have heard some good things. I don't mind some creative license either. Love the period costumes of this time. And I'm easy to hate Henry, huh! Do you remember watching an Ann Bolen/Henry movie in high school? I'd never seen you so moved my a movie. I think you watched it in a history class. You talked about it for weeks.

  6. Lavinia, Netflix is an online service where you pay a monthly fee to have movie discs mailed to you and after watching, you mail them back in the provided envelope. I just joined last week. I picked the cheapest plan...$4.99 per month. And I have been very impressed with the shipping speed and selection of films.

  7. Betsy, do I remember? I did talk about it for weeks, maybe even years. It was Anne of a Thousand Days with Richard Burton and Geneviève Bujold. We watched it in our British Literature class. The teacher was amazing and I absolutely loved that class. It was made in 1969, so when I was in high school, it was still a new movie. I haven't seen it in ages. Gotta que it up in my Netflix.

  8. Willow, this is one of those times when I would like to have Showtime.. I too have always been fascinated with the British is true we want glamourous good looking people to watch in these roles..

    Speaking of good looking people..I love your photo ...your such a beautiful and Betsy :)

  9. DeeDee your gracious comments always mean so much. Thank you for being you.

  10. I really like Jonathan Rhys-Meyers. I see the stretch here, though as far as casting. Still, he's definitely eye-catching. Funny, you have a pic of Peter Sellers from a movie I had never even heard of until just the other day when I caught the World of Henry Orient. I wondered how that one slipped past me all these years!

  11. I heard this was on, but we don't have cable....yet. Maybe at the new house.

  12. Willow, I am so out of the tv watching mode....unfortunately....but this is something that I know I would enjoy watching. And I love Jeremy Northam...he is fabulous in every movie he does...did you like him in The Statement? I thought he did a great job. He really is handsome in a most interesting way...his face is so unique.

  13. I enjoyed Jeremy Northam in Possession, The Golden Bowl and Gosford Park and An Ideal Husband, to name a few. I'm not familiar with The Statement...I'm going over to IMDB to look it up!

  14. Willow, I so admire your varied interests in the arts and history, and the merging of the two! It's a nice change to come to your blog and read about things that are quite different from my everyday, which includes Sesame Street, Richard Scarry, and Hot Wheels. I look forward to a stage in life when I'm more able to explore... For now I'm doing good to read a few pages in a book at night after collapsing on the couch! I think you must continue to blog for the next 20 years so that when I'm able you can guide me back into variety of interesting pursuits!

  15. Thank you Mod Girl, it's a deal...20 years...but you must promise to remain my faithful reader!

    Three years ago, it was the first time in 25 years that I didn't have someone to get up, pack a lunch for and make sure they got on the school bus, among a myriad of motherly duties. At first, I felt sad and strange and didn't know exactly what to do with myself. Now I am into the world of my own pursuits and it is a wonderful new adventure. Although, I do so miss Sesame Street, Richard Scarry and Hot Wheels!

  16. Oh I am a huge historian and adore the Henry VIII through Elizabethan times, but we don't have HBO! So I am waiting for someone near or dear to buy me the first series on DVD :-)

  17. Not exactly the boxing crowd according to Dee Dee. I did look up George Bellows and look at some of his work. You were right about his paintings. I could have used one to illustrate my poem. Thanks for expanding my artistic horizon. :)

  18. George Bellows would be a good post topic...I'll have to work something up soon. Glad you enjoyed him!

  19. JRM is a very good actor, isn't he?

    As I don't have cable it's another one of those shows to one day rent on DVD. I'm quite sure I'd like it. I love history and have a huge book on Brit Kings and Queens--it's fascinating! Occassionally I flip through it and try to figure out what led to what. In school I love history but hated having to figure out all the Edwards, Henry's, etc. Very confusing. We studied all of the monachy from 1066 on. It was gruuuuueling! Now I love to research this sort of thing. What a tangled web of events, each affecting the other. It's kind of like the '7 from Kevin Bacon' game!

    Oh, hey, I like your bigger picture. The 'cross eyed' affect you mentioned in earlier post comment is the result of sizing down an image using html instead of importing it at 100%. So, best way to avoid that is to edit image to size you need then importing at 100%.

    I also added an image to my profile but from the back. One day I can review this as a momento to my hair colour before the white already there showed up too much,,assuming I still ahve hair then! LOL.

  20. Mmm, nice hair! And thanks for giving me a remedy for the annoying "cross eyed effect". I'll give it a try.

    Help me out here...isn't there a little ditty that helps you remember the wives of Henry VIII? Something like "divorced, beheaded, died..." and I can't remember the rest.

  21. I wish I got Showtime because this is one series that I would not miss. Alas, I will have to catch it on DVD.

    Ahh, Rebecca, The House of Eliot was fabulous!

  22. What's this House of Eliot that everyone is talking about? I'm going over to IMDb to check it out...

  23. I wished I could remember my history better and am impressed by your knowledge. Lovely photos. Hope you have a lovely day, dear Willow.
    Hugs ~

  24. OMG Willow you would absolutely adore the House of Elliott. It was a wonderous BBC costume drama in the 90's about 2 young genteel sisters who fall on hard times and become famous dress designers to the rich and famous. Fictional but just fabulous, I know you would love it.

    There is another series we have been getting on Netflix too. All Creatures Great & Small from the BBC in the 80's. About James Herriot and Yorkshire vet and based on his real-life books.

  25. Brit Gal, thanks! I think I would enjoy The House of Eliott. Must que it up on Netflix. I have read James Harrott's All Creatures Great and Small and seen some of the film series...they're great.

  26. Sarah, the jaems Herriot series is perhaps teh best series ever made. I love "ALl Creatures Great and Small!" We've watched it many times on DVD.

    Willow, sorry, can't recall that ditty!

  27. Hi Willow,
    I also loved Anne of a Thousand Days. Burton and Bujold - ah!

    In order, Henry VIII’s six wives were: Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard and Catherine Parr. Hence the rhyme:
    Divorced, beheaded, died,
    Divorced, beheaded, survived.

    Here is another one I found while searching around. It's kind of fun. Once you get there scroll down to the comment by PhD historian:

  28. Hi Suza,

    Yes! That's the rhyme!

    And thanks for the Tudor History site. I'll go take a look...


Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)