Since my day so far has been pretty boring and I just feel I am waiting to go on holiday now… I thought I would share with you one of my interests. I am a little bit obsessed by Henry VIII and his six wives… no it’s not boring! I, for one, hated history at school. But now that I have matured (a little!) and the learning of the subject is not forced upon me, I actually quite like certain eras quite a lot. It fits it quite nicely with English and Literature you see… and the Tudor period is the same time as Shakespeare. But that isn’t why I am fascinated by good old Hezza… it’s the fact that he seemed to be so attractively challenged yet managed to get six women to marry him. Six!
I started thinking about the old womaniser last night when the Olympic closing ceremony was on. Not because he was such a budding athlete… even though I do believe he was pretty good at jousting and hunting and even tennis…. it was because they called our current Prince Harry, Henry. The Facebook updates were quite funny as they cried out that the BBC had made such a mistake and called our young prince by the wrong name! It’s like everyone was looking for something to go wrong or be said wrong! It is of course, his actual name. It then made me think of the Tudor king because people often referred to him as ‘Harry’ in his younger years at least. And I started thinking why? Why are Henrys called Harry and vice versa? There must be an actual reason out there, which I’ve not bothered to go out and research just yet… I’ll save it for a quiet evening when I have nothing better to do. It doesn’t make sense though does it? The name doesn’t even shorten by doing that? Hezza is much better… haha even though that doesn’t shorten either to be fair.. but definitely a more modern name for our current prince.
Back to Henry the VIII…. I was thinking that if he was a man living in today’s society then he would surely be on Jeremy Kyle. I can see the headline of the show now; ‘Man married six women… killed two, ditched two and one died having his baby!’ (His current beau.. good old Katherine Parr would be a guest on the show also!) I guess we have a lot to thank Henry for. There would be no D.I.V.O.R.CE song, would there? Would are population be dire? Think about it… if people were stuck with one person and never there was an option to get divorced then maybe they wouldn’t want to procreate? Then again there is always affairs… and that’s something else we learned from the saucy Tudors!
My main fascination with his wives, lies with Anne Boleyn. She seemed such a rebel for the time and is painted in such a horrible light. Beheaded for many reasons.. one being incest… but what’s a bit of brotherly and sisterly love between family? I guess that’s the point! But the thing is, women were under so much pressure in those times to marry someone in order to support their family.. especially if they were poor. She was told to ‘seduce’ lucky Henry by her father and uncle and would have had no choice in the matter. Women were pawns in the market of marriage and wealth. She then had to produce a son to keep Henry’s love and interest. So even if she did succumb to her brother then it would have been to double her chances of falling pregnant and with a son. Very weird and slightly disgusting but if it is true then it shows how desperate she felt. Witch craft was another apparent offence…. because she had some miscarriages and they thought she was cursed. I tell ya, us women need to breathe sighs of relief that we don’t live in that era. She was also accused of having affairs.. yet Henry had them openly. Men were allowed to though *sarcastic eyebrow raised look*. It seemed six women in a lifetime wasn’t enough.
I won’t go into all the wives but what I find so amusing about the whole story…. is that Henry’s one goal in life (apart from abolishing the catholic church)seemed to be to obtain a son to take over the throne. Yet who reigned for 45 years after his death? Elizabeth. A woman. His daughter. And Anne Boleyn’s daughter at that. His son? Edward VI managed a sickly six years. I’m not on my feminist high horse or anything here… poor Eddy can’t help the fact that he died so soon but I’m just saying that Henry had nothing to worry about because the one thing he wanted he didn’t need. A queen filled that gap just fine.
(Not bad for the daughter of an ‘incestuous witch’ eh??)
Anyway, I want to share a poem with you that I have written….see what you think…
Spain in my bed every night,
Such passion, such morals,
Loved by all.
But no boy. No boy. No son.
Out with the old, in with Boleyn,
Hated by all.
And no boy, no boy, so no head.
See more, I need a new love,
A not so plain Jane,
Gentle, kind and loving,
And a boy! A boy!
But exchanged for death.
Tears make a river to the next,
Yet I like her not! I like her not!
Picture tells a different tale,
I judge the book by the cover.
Don’t read the full story.
How… I move for….ward,
Light and easy. Young.
Lots of boys.
But in her bed.
So off with her head!
Finally, last chance at love.
As I near the end.
Someone to care,
Like a daughter.
I can die now, it’s done.
I have a son.
(I did have this in six separate stanzas but couldn’t get it to stay like that on the post.. I was also wondering if it worked better like this though, as in, it doesnt stop; like Henry’s search for a wife doesn’t stop. What do you think?)
So remember ladies…. make sure you get knickerless or you could end up headless 😉
If any of you are interested in reading about the Tudor period; Alison Weir’s Six Wives is a good read. Also for you fiction lovers… Phillipa Gregory’s The Constant Princess, The Other Boleyn Girl and The Boleyn Inheritance are a good historical-fiction trilogy.
See you tomorrow,