Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Those Bawdy and Randy Tudors!

I have a new guilty pleasure. I am addicted to the Showtime series, The Tudors. A few weekends ago, I was looking through my On Demand, and now I am able to watch the whole first season of The Tudors. Well, let me tell you, that King Henry VIII is one sexual deviant king! Talk about sex! How did the guy ever rule while humping away at most of the ladies in waiting at court? I wonder how freely the show has played with history and looked on-line for some fact about the horny king.

Henry was actually a good ruler who enjoyed sports and life in general. Of course his constant exercise and love making did him in the end. For most of his life, Henry was a svelte handsome man, but because of an injury he sustained from a jousting accident, he couldn’t be as active as he was and begun to put on the weight and thus the Henry we all know. And the reason for Henry’s death is that nasty well known STD- syphilis. So poor randy Henry died due to his love of the ladies.

What coincides with this show is a book I read by Margaret Campbell Barnes, an author of ten historical novels and died in 1962. She wrote a book called the Brief Gaudy Hour, a semi biographical novel about Henry’s second wife Anne Boleyn and the mother of one of the greatest queens that England ever had, Elizabeth I. Barnes has taken a moment in history and a woman who is infamous and has given her a voice. Brief Gaudy Hour begins when Anne is in her late teens and right to the moment of her death when she is beheaded. After I finished reading, I had a very different opinion of this poor young woman. She wasn’t a schemer or out to rule. She wanted the simple things in life, much like a woman of her station would desire, such as a good marriage to a man she could love, have children and remain close to her family. Anne was not destined for any of these things. Her father wanted King Henry’s favor in court and basically sold his daughters, first Mary and then Anne to Henry. Mary was Henry’s mistress first and was very lucky to come out alive and get married and have a life of motherhood and become a good wife. There are some rumors that Mary’s two children could have been Henry’s. Anne didn’t want anything to do with Henry because of the way he treated Mary. Anne actually came to court to be a lady in waiting to his first wife, Catherine. But Anne hates the court and wants to stay with her parents.

Anne does fall in love with a young man who feels the same for her, Harry Percy. But love matches hardly ever happened, especially in court, so these two young lovers are separated (even though Anne has the last laugh and is no longer a virgin) and that is when Henry begins to notice the dark, somber yet appealing Anne. But Anne is a sly woman. She makes Henry run in circles because she won’t go to his bed unless he weds her. That was my favorite part of this book watching the powerful and virile Henry become a pile of horny mush because Anne wouldn’t give up the goods. So Horny Henry divorces Catherine, and quickly marries Anne. You can imagine how they kept busy during the nights because Anne becomes pregnant with Elizabeth. Unfortunately a birth of a girl doesn’t matter and because Anne can’t deliver a boy, her days are numbered.

I wish I had more time to read biographies and I was very happy to have had the chance to read Brief Gaudy Hour even though it was written over forty years ago. The narrative is beautiful and the history of the court and the people are very intriguing. There are secrets, lies and people’s morals are quickly put to the side as Henry will sleep with any woman who looks his ways, regardless of the consequences.

If you like your history a bit like a soap opera, definitely pick up Brief Gaudy Hour and loose yourself into the world of Anne Boleyn and those bawdy Tudors.


Kati said...

Mmm, The Tudors. I loved this series last year when it was airing. It's just so...well, trashy. JRM is super sexy in that total dissipated rake kind of way. He totally captures that complete sense of entitlement that Henry must have felt about everything.

I can't wait for the premier of the new season. I still need to go see The Other Boleyn Girl.

Kristie (J) said...

I haven't seen this show yet although I've been very tempted to track it down. Are you planning on watching The Other Bolyen Girl?
I think it would be very interesting to compare the different takes on Anne.
And he was a randy guy wasn't he? I've heard he was considered very handsome in his youth.
But still - he sure treated women terrible!!!

Anonymous said...

I didn't watch this show when it first came on, but I have been watching the repeats of season one gearing up for season two and, like you, I am hooked! Its just wonderful, and I really do look forward to seeing the difference between it and the Other Bolyen Girl.

Kwana said...

Now this is an opposite review of some I heard earlier. I'm back to being convinced that I must check The Tudors out. I love sexy/ trashy. Thanks!

Misty G said...

I've been watching the repeats on TV too! I love this show. I think my favorite character is Sr Thomas More, just because I love Jeremy Northam.

Stacy~ said...

This is on my "must watch" list.

Marg said...

I watched one episode and meant to watch more but just haven't yet. I will though!

I just posted my review of this book as well - really enjoyed it!

Sarai said...

Have you ever read Allison Weir she is a fantastic author/historian of the Tudor time period and has done some wonderful research books on Henry and his court. She recently tried her hand at fiction with the last wife of Henry and did an Elizabeth one. Gawd it was good. if you interested.
PS I LOVE THE TUTORS rented it from Netflixs and refuse to send back!

KT Grant said...

The sleasy second season of The Tudors starts March 30th! Woo hoo, sex and more Henry and Anne sex.
Anyone going to see The Other Boyeln Girl? That Eric Bana is hot!

Unknown said...

I liked the Tudors but I didn't love it. I did love Queen Catherine, her character is so well done. I also love the soundtrak, it's one of my favorite CDs to play in the car.

Sarai said...

I am heading out this weekend Kaite to see The Other Boyeln Girl loved the book and when I heard Eric was in it I had to go see it!