The Tudors

I am the first to admit that I am… Old School? A little stuck in my ways? Ah, baloney on it…I ADMIT IT, I AM GETTING OLDER AND AM JUST PLAIN SLOW !!!

Now that my true confession is out of the way, I began watching “The Tudors” on Showtime On Demand. I chose this venue, because I was forewarned about the salacious (not gratuitous) sex scenes & choose to fast forward through them. Indeed, there is a lot of sex in that series, but to its credit, that is where most of the artistic license takes place. It is, I find, overall balanced and historically accurate.

The portrayal of St. Thomas More was impressive. It was honest about his attempt to stamp out heresy & subsequent burning of heretics at the stake, while remaining devout and true to Mother Church. The excesses of Cardinal Woolsey were not glossed over, nor was the sometimes appearance of a mundane attitude in Rome. The Catholic Church retained her holiness and, especially with Queen Katherine of Aragon, remained, for the most part, on higher ground. As I said, I believe most of it is fair in its description of that period of European history. It also accurately outlines & shows the birth of many of the myths held as beliefs by so many non Catholics (idolatry, superstitions, corrupted Scripture).

What surprises me the most & what I never knew, was just how heinous the persecution of Catholics in England turned out to be. I knew that Henry VIII suppressed Catholicism and declared himself head of the Church of England. I realize his motives were less than pure, but I was unaware of just how brutal he was in his suppression. It never occurred to me just how deeply maniacal & narcissistic the man he was. It doesn’t surprise me in the least that with that foundation, that church finds itself open to amoral doctrines that include women priests and gay marriage. I am even more so taken aback when I read that reigning Queen Elizabeth is so eager to “preserve” the spirit of Anglican history!

Bottom line, each time I hear people blame the Catholic Church for all of the ills in the world and rants about her jaded history with the Inquisition, Crusades, etc., I wonder why this story is not so much a fleeting thought. These kinds of atrocities are never discussed. It reminds me of the recent “pedophile priests” scandal. There are millions of pedophiles who are committing crimes everyday, and not all of them are Catholic priests. A member of the family is more likely to commit heinous crimes against children than the parish priest, but still, the media acts as if they all are. “The Tudors” has inspired me to become more knowledgeable & a better defender of My Faith.

My wife and I have just recently watched the first 3 seasons. We borrowed them from the library. We were also encouraged in our faith and the fact that the Church came through that era despite the mighty efforts against it. One of the main things that struck us was the faithfulness of the lay people and the unfaithfulness of the clergy. And, we are of the opinion that it has been that way throughout the history of the Church. The body is composed of many parts; without the neck the head falls to the ground, etc.

The Tudors does not come down on one, and come up on another one. Although I have only seen it a few times, because of the --well, you know-- it seems to be pretty decent.

I've watched the first three seasons of The Tudors and love it in spite of the graphic sex scenes which, mercifully, have become fewer and fewer as the series goes on. The costumes and settings are about as historically accurate as it gets, and I love seeing minor historical figures, such as Thomas Tallis, brought to life onscreen (and have you noticed how *many *Thomases there were back then?).

The history itself, though...well, that's not always quite so accurate. I do think St Thomas More is portrayed pretty accurately, and the Catholic Church, on the whole, as well. But much, if not most, of the suppression of the Church in England was carried out not so much by Henry VIII, but by Thomas Cromwell. Henry himself remained a staunch Catholic til his dying day, albeit an excommunicated one. He wanted to be Catholic but not have to answer to the Pope. So he found a way around it. The suppression of the Church happened after that, when Cromwell was given the task to investigate abuses in the abbeys and monasteries. He took it way too far, of course, dissolving every religious house in the land and turning over all their lands and wealth to the Crown. I'm not sure why Henry allowed it to go so far, but knowing Henry, he was able to justify it in his mind, and I'm sure Cromwell persuaded him it was the righteous thing to do. He was very good at rationalising, was Henry VIII. :rolleyes:

One glaring example of historical inaccuracy in The Tudors really irked me. In real life, Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, married Henry's sister Mary, after her first husband, the King of France, had died. In the show, they called that sister Margaret. I don't know why they did that; Henry's *real *sister Margaret married the King of Scotland. In the show, that sister is nowhere to be seen; it's as if they combined the two sisters into one and *called *her Margaret but *made *her Mary. :confused:

So, bottom line, don't trust the accuracy of the show too much. I would say, just enjoy it for what it is, and make it a springboard for further study of that amazing era. :thumbsup:

Historically accurate? In terms of costume, sets, attitude and social behaviors-then yes, it is allirght. But please, don't think that the series is historically accurate. The personal storylines, and the fact that Henry VIII is STILL looking pretty good alone drive me up a wall.

*And actually, Steven Waddington (sp) that portayed Lord Buckingham in the first few episodes, should have been playing Henry VIII. At least, that was the consensus
on TWOP. Better actor, physically looked the part, and had the mannerisms. Unfortunately he is not as well known to American audiences as JRM.

Stephen Waddington would have made a great Henry VIII. And he’s not entirely unknown in the US–well, at least to movie buffs. He was wonderful as Major Duncan Heyward in Last of the Mohicans. Of course, that film was made 18 years ago, and he hasn’t been seen much on American TV since, but it’s a pity they didn’t go with him anyway.

the fact that Henry VIII is STILL looking pretty good alone drive me up a wall.

That irritates me to no end. :banghead: And why on earth does Charles Brandon never, ever age? :rolleyes:

I thoroughly enjoy reading about Tudor England and have seen some pretty good film representations of the period. What bothered me most about the Tudors was having Thomas Cardinal Wolsey commit suicide. He actually died of pulminary pneumonia while facing charges of high treason.

[quote="KayDeeNici, post:5, topic:185380"]
Historically accurate? In terms of costume, sets, attitude and social behaviors-then yes, it is allirght. But please, don't think that the series is historically accurate. The personal storylines, and the fact that Henry VIII is STILL looking pretty good alone drive me up a wall.

*And actually, Steven Waddington (sp) that portayed Lord Buckingham in the first few episodes, should have been playing Henry VIII. At least, that was the consensus
on TWOP. Better actor, physically looked the part, and had the mannerisms. Unfortunately he is not as well known to American audiences as JRM.

[/quote]

I will stick by my belief that it is historically accurate, based upon my knowledge of the period. No, Jonathan Rhys Meyers doesn't look the part, but he acted the part, because he was able to show the vulnerabilities, the narcissistic behavior, at times naivete & the desire for power that was embodied in King Henry VIII. Moreover, I have known of people meeting Rhys in person, declaring him a drunken, slovenly jerk, thus giving him tools to play such a role.;)

The death of his illegitimate son was mis timed, as was his meeting of Catherine Howard a piece of fiction. She was never a part of a bordello. The woman who played Anne of Cleves was absolutely adorable. I confess that there were several moments of artistic license, but I maintain it was mostly contained in the sex scenes.

As amazed as I was of the brutality brought to life, I found myself giving sympathy to Lord Thomas Cromwell as he faced execution. It portrayed the "villianized" Cromwell as a reformer, sincere in his motivations with respect to his "reforms" of the Church. When something like that happens, I know I've been hooked. And, every chronicle of the period I have referred to have supported the accuracy I find in "The Tudors" telling of the story.

[quote="Sonny1954, post:7, topic:185380"]
I thoroughly enjoy reading about Tudor England and have seen some pretty good film representations of the period. What bothered me most about the Tudors was having Thomas Cardinal Wolsey commit suicide. He actually died of pulminary pneumonia while facing charges of high treason.

[/quote]

Another moment of artistic license, I admit....

[quote="Loveday220, post:4, topic:185380"]

One glaring example of historical inaccuracy in The Tudors really irked me. In real life, Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, married Henry's sister Mary, after her first husband, the King of France, had died. In the show, they called that sister Margaret. I don't know why they did that; Henry's *real *sister Margaret married the King of Scotland. In the show, that sister is nowhere to be seen; it's as if they combined the two sisters into one and *called *her Margaret but *made *her Mary. :confused:

[/quote]

This is precisely what they did... combine both sisters into one. I read an interview about this, and it was done intentionally. The problem was that the producers felt that the cast was already pretty huge for an audience just getting to know the characters, and that having two Marys would be too confusing. Further, it would have limited the ability to deal with the plot line, since adding another character would require time to introduce them and set them up.

I believe that Anne of Cleves was played by the young, multi-talented British singer Joss Stone.

youtube.com/user/jossstoneofficial?blend=1&ob=4&rclk=cti

[quote="Rolltide, post:11, topic:185380"]
I believe that Anne of Cleves was played by the young, multi-talented British singer Joss Stone.

youtube.com/user/jossstoneofficial?blend=1&ob=4&rclk=cti

[/quote]

Yes, that was precisely who that actress is. She is beautiful. I loved when she talked about the King's leg STINKING!:D

[quote="Rolltide, post:10, topic:185380"]
This is precisely what they did... combine both sisters into one. I read an interview about this, and it was done intentionally. The problem was that the producers felt that the cast was already pretty huge for an audience just getting to know the characters, and that having two Marys would be too confusing. Further, it would have limited the ability to deal with the plot line, since adding another character would require time to introduce them and set them up.

[/quote]

So true, yet there are a number of Thomas characters running about! I admit alot of the dislike I have for the overall storytelling has to deal with people who believe this portrayal to the absolute truth. I studied and (loved) Tudor/Elizabethian history, and sometimes forget that not everyone has that same affinity. Even though they wrap in four seasons, I think if they had played it out fully there could have been even more to explore.

A king with absolute power can move people to think how ever he wants them to think. Do what ever he wants them to do. That was the power base he had .Absolute power even to put any one to death for any reason. Thousands did die.In fact Elizabeth I ,successor was King JamesI I belive he is the first protestant king who authored the king James version of the protestant bible.
In modern times Hitler had absolute power and we all know what that led to.

[quote="Rolltide, post:10, topic:185380"]
This is precisely what they did... combine both sisters into one. I read an interview about this, and it was done intentionally. The problem was that the producers felt that the cast was already pretty huge for an audience just getting to know the characters, and that having two Marys would be too confusing. Further, it would have limited the ability to deal with the plot line, since adding another character would require time to introduce them and set them up.

[/quote]

Well, I can understand not wanting to confuse the audience, but as KayDee and I both pointed out, the number of *Thomases *was certainly confusing! LOL One more Mary wouldn't have made much difference, as far as I can see. But then, I've studied the era so much that I don't really have any trouble keeping track of everyone. As KayDee also mentioned, not everyone has the same intense level of interest.

Me, reading or talking about Tudor/Elizabethan history: :extrahappy: Hee hee.

[quote="juliamca, post:14, topic:185380"]
A king with absolute power can move people to think how ever he wants them to think. Do what ever he wants them to do. That was the power base he had .Absolute power even to put any one to death for any reason. Thousands did die.In fact Elizabeth I ,successor was King JamesI **I belive he is the first protestant king who authored the king James version of the protestant bible. **In modern times Hitler had absolute power and we all know what that led to.

[/quote]

Yes, The KJV Bible was named for King James I of England, because he's the one who commissioned it. He didn't actually write it, though. ;)

[quote="KayDeeNici, post:5, topic:185380"]
Historically accurate? In terms of costume, sets, attitude and social behaviors-then yes, it is allirght. But please, don't think that the series is historically accurate. The personal storylines, and the fact that Henry VIII is STILL looking pretty good alone drive me up a wall.

*And actually, Steven Waddington (sp) that portayed Lord Buckingham in the first few episodes, should have been playing Henry VIII. At least, that was the consensus
on TWOP. Better actor, physically looked the part, and had the mannerisms. Unfortunately he is not as well known to American audiences as JRM.

[/quote]

Are the main events accurate at least?

[quote="irisfromohio, post:12, topic:185380"]
Yes, that was precisely who that actress is. She is beautiful. I loved when she talked about the King's leg STINKING!:D

[/quote]

Well of course it stank, he had an infected ulcer! While Anne of Cleves was pretty unanimously agreed not to have been a ravishing beauty by any means, she certainly wasn't the 'Flanders Mare' Henry condemned her as. And the allegedly 'prettified' portrait of her by Hans Holbein must have been accurate - otherwise why was HE not punished for misleading the King?

I think the problems between Henry and Anne must have been more to do with character - perhaps she wasn't as compliant, submissive and/or flattering as he wanted? Not good enough in bed? Who knows.

[quote="Loveday220, post:6, topic:185380"]
Stephen Waddington would have made a great Henry VIII. And he's not entirely unknown in the US--well, at least to movie buffs. He was wonderful as Major Duncan Heyward in Last of the Mohicans. Of course, that film was made 18 years ago, and he hasn't been seen much on American TV since, but it's a pity they didn't go with him anyway.

[/quote]

This never occurred to me while I was watching the series, but yes he would have. In addition to playing Duncan In Last of the Mohicans, he also was in the A&E miniseries of Ivanhoe which was brodcast about 12 years ago (yikes, where does the time go?), as the title character and he was Fabulous.

I thought that the series was visually stunning and I loved the very pretty costumes (but then, I am a costumer and Tudor is one of my favorites), but have to agree that historically, it has to be taken with a grain of salt. Still fun to watch, though.

I know everything in this show should be taken with a grain of salt but I feel that the show has been fairly reasonable in terms of its portrayals of both sides (Catholic and Protestant). There have been a lot of things in this show which have piqued my interest and I can only wonder if these are actually factual.

  1. Is it true that during those times, “Kings got divorced all the time and Popes always found an excuse”? The following was said by Cardinal Thomas Wosley in the series. The show has been interesting so far and It seems to have no anti-Catholic leanings whatsoever, however, I find it hard to believe that an (so far) impartial show could promote such a glaring historical lie. :eek:
  2. Historically speaking, was Cardinal Wolsey a worldly and ambitious man? (as he is portrayed in this show)?
  3. Did Henry VIII’s sister really kill that Portugal king (via suffocation)?

If there are any other important historical falsehoods that are presented in this show that I should know about please let me know!

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