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Henry the eighth, he is.

My friends, last week’s snow-induced sporadic work schedule set the perfect scene for me to be caught up in Showtime’s series about Henry VIII, his wives, and intrigues: The Tudors.   I’m telling you, it’s burning up my Netflix queue.

I’m a big Anglophile anyway, who’s been known to watch some less than stellar shows (mini-series, movies, made-for-TV movies. . .) only because they feature some semblance of a British accent and period costumes.  The clothes in The Tudors could warrant a treatise in themselves. . . but it’s the drama, history, and earthiness that have me captured.

Henry VIII, remembered for his six wives (two beheaded, but who’s counting?), had to start somewhere.  In season one, the young king dreams of how he will achieve greatness; alliances are formed and just as quickly broken; lovers love and betray; letters written on parchment contain words of promise, hate, adoration, idealism, longing. . .  all sealed with red wax.

The seeds of the Reformation have been planted in Germany; church and state vie for power.  Dukes, knights, ladies, cardinals, and priests—not to mention the king and queen—maneuver to heighten or preserve their positions, each one with humanness portrayed in such a way that you aren’t loyal to a particular character at the expense of the others. . . at times I felt like rooting for them all (and many want to kill each other!).  As you might suspect, there’s quite a bit of bodice-ripping action as well, so don’t watch with your kids. [hey oh!]

The indulgent feeling of watching the sometimes soap-like drama (as when Henry desires to marry his erstwhile mistress’s younger sister, Anne Boleyn) isn’t accompanied by your usual too-much-Real-Housewives induced guilt.  Because it’s history, man!

It’s got me eating up Henry VIII’s wikipedia entry to see what’s not accurate (Henry’s sisters Mary and Margaret become a composite in the show), and what actually is (the stirring scene where the Queen, Catherine of Aragon, throws herself at Henry’s feet in front of the ecclesiastical court and places herself at his mercy).

As I mentioned, I’ve finished season one of four.  Still on wife number one.  Oh, number two is around, but not yet official.  And I can’t wait to see how this:

turns into this:

Portrait of Henry VIII by Hans Holbein

Check out the show. . . and pray for my husband.

Me?  I’m praying for more snow this week!


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