Posts Tagged ‘Mary Boleyn’

The Other Tudors

The Other Tudors

I’ve seen “The Other Boleyn Girl” based on the book by Philippa Gregory. I don’t remember the details, so I rented it again.

Haven’t watched it yet – I’ve been too busy with a book I purchased at the same time, “The Other Tudors – Henry VIII’s Mistresses and Bastards” by Philippa Jones.  (See a link for purchase at the bottom of the page.)

It sounds steamy, but it’s not. Leave that to the romance novelists – I’m after facts. I don’t like seeing our ancestors portrayed inaccurately in books and movies. Philipa Jones’ book clarifies a lot of misconceptions while throwing more ladies (and bastards) into Henry’s mix. 

I quickly learned that Anne did not lure HenryVIII away from Mary as shown in the movie. In fact, the movie has Mary in seclusion in the late stages of her pregnancy as Anne and Henry begin their relationship.  I remember one scene where she’s holding her newborn baby – the king’s child – as he turns his back and walks away with Anne. It makes for good drama, but it couldn’t be further from the truth.

According to this book Mary’s affair had been over for three years before Anne caught his eye.  

“The affair between Henry and Mary Boleyn ended some time in 1525. It was not until 1528 that Mary’s sister, Anne, is mentioned as having taken the King’s fancy. He did not abandon one sister for another.” 

If Harry wanted a woman, he set up a suitable marriage and pretty much told the groom to stand back; which they were more than willing to do in return for generosity that included a beautiful wife.

The books talks about Mary falling out of favor with her own father. She had to maneuver behind the scenes to get Henry VIII to intercede on her behalf and guilt her father into giving her enough money to survive.  

And I don’t know if any movies have broached this aspect. “Despite the sisters being at odds, the closeness of the Boleyn family was noticed and utilised. When Anne miscarried in January 1536, Francis I was told the story, also reported by Chapuys to Charles V, that Anne was not really pregnant at all. She and her sister Mary had invented the story between them to keep Henry believing that Anne could give him the son he wanted.”

It’s also interesting to note that whereas Sir Thomas Boleyn is referred to in fiction as someone who used his daughters like pawns for personal gain, this book reminds us that his relationship with Henry VIII stood on it’s own merit. 

The book is well laid out, with reference trees preceding the chapters. Dates and details seems  a little convolulted, it’s hard work. It does seem that half of the people involved in intrigues at court are related to Sir Thomas Wyatt’s line or Elizabeth Brooke’s line in one way or the other; even Henry VIII.  In fact, Henry’s grandmother Margaret Beaufort … well, she got him laid. She personally chose the first woman he went to bed with before marriage. (The relation comes to us through Elizabeth Brooke.)

Understand that … “An affair with a royal prince was not disgraceful, and could lead to prosperity for a noble family. The lady might expect to receive favours, both financial and in property, an arranged marriage with a substantial dowry if she was single, and there could be positions at court for her family. If a royal mistress had a son, the child could expect an earldom and possibly a dukedom, with a chance that either he or his descendents woujld inherit the throne.”

Also, life expectancy was 35; these people lived faster and harder than we do today.

I do recommend the book:

The Other Tudors – Henry VIII’s Mistresses and Bastards”
by Philippa Jones.

<a href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1847734294?ie=UTF8&tag=wwwamericanwy-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1847734294″>The Other Tudors: Henry VIII’s Mistresses and Bastards</a><img src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wwwamericanwy-20&l=as2&o=1&a=1847734294” width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” />

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