Maligned Monarchs

Jo here

Which monarchs do you think get a bad rap? I’m talking English in particular, because that’s what I know best, but any and all. Anyone want to speak up for Vlad the Impaler or Ivan the Terrible, or even Ethelred the Unready?

R3
There’s always Richard III. I have no strong opinion on him, but I know a great many people do. I read Daughter of Time and thought it put a pretty good argument forward that he didn’t kill the princes and was generally a Good Thing. (Ref. 1066 And All That) There are some who reckon King John wasn’t all that bad really, administratively speaking and compared to Richard the Absent Lionheart.

Americans tend to think George III a Bad Thing, given that he annoyedGiii
them enough to cause the Revolution, but as everyone seems to think that was a Good Thing, I think they should applaud him, which might explain the American enthusiasm for British royalty. Or not. But if one cares, he was a determinedly faithful husband, even if an obsessive parent to his horde of offspring.

Hviii
But I’m really talking about Henry VIII, victim of the TV show The Tudors, but generally considered a Bloody Menace for zipping through wives with casual, brutal indifference. However, though I’d never say he was a saint, it wasn’t quite like that, was it?

Henry was born in 1491, son of Henry VII, who was definitely an upstart working very hard to found a dynasty. Therefore, we can assume Henry 8 was raised to think that important. He’s also not long removed from the Wars of the Roses, proof of the mess that comes about when the inheritance isn’t clear, and if he was educated, which he was, he’d know plenty of other examples from the past.

Henry VII, b 1457, died 1509, produced three sons, though one died young, but two is an heir and a spare — not bad. Arthur, b 1486, died at 16 in 1502, after having made an important marriage to Katherine of Aragon, a Spanish Princess. The solution was for Henry to marry her, which happened in 1509, when he was became king at aged 18. She was 24.

But here’s the main point. He married Anne Boleyn in 1533, when he was 42 and Katherine was  48, after 24 years of marriage. We can assume that she was then into menopause and she hadn’t been successful at childbearing over the past 2 decades. Right or wrong, this was not a hasty disposal of an unwanted wife.

Henry needed an heir, and a male heir. There was absolutely no precedence for a successful reigning queen. The last one had been Henry I’s daughter, Matilda, and that had led to a bloody civil war. It was expected that a queen would marry, and there was no good way to do that. If she married within the country it would raise someone high. If she married an equal abroad, she would be giving England into foreign control. (Only see Mary I, and later Mary II of William-and-Mary fame.)

Therefore one could say that it was the duty of middle-aged Henry to get rid of his older and now barren wife and try again. Anne Boleyn was a bad choice, but he learned by that one. Jane Seymour was  virtuous. If she hadn’t died giving birth to Prince Edward, Henry’s marital games would have stopped right there.(I’m making no claims about his extra-marital ones!)

I have one other point. Sometimes people make it seem that Henry shouldn’t have expected to get a divorce on the grounds that Katherine had consummated her marriage to Arthur, but in fact dissolution of marriage on the grounds of consanguinity or other similar arguments was quite common. Eleanor of Provence had done something similar to shake off the King of France to marry King Henry II of England.

The main reason Henry 8 didn’t get his divorce was that by great bad Chvluck, Katherine was "Charlie’s Aunt." Katherine was aunt to Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor, who had the pope firmly in his grasp. He didn’t want his niece’s marriage annulled and her daughter made a bastard, and that was that.

So that’s the case for the defense. Not a good man, no, but not quite the casual disposer of wives he was made out to be, especially when young.

Got any similar arguments about other monarchs?

Jo

205 thoughts on “Maligned Monarchs”

  1. There were 2000 people at the court of Henry VIIth and the only ladies were the Queen’s ladies in waiting. He married two of them and made some of the others his mistresses.
    With regard to Anne Bolyn, it’s possible that she was rhesus negaitve and that’s why she miscarried her second child which led to Henry having her executed.
    Rosemary Morris
    Author of Tangled Hearts set in the reign of Queen Anne the last Stuart monarch.
    Available from http://www.enspirenpress.com
    rosemarymorris@hotmail.co.uk

    Reply
  2. There were 2000 people at the court of Henry VIIth and the only ladies were the Queen’s ladies in waiting. He married two of them and made some of the others his mistresses.
    With regard to Anne Bolyn, it’s possible that she was rhesus negaitve and that’s why she miscarried her second child which led to Henry having her executed.
    Rosemary Morris
    Author of Tangled Hearts set in the reign of Queen Anne the last Stuart monarch.
    Available from http://www.enspirenpress.com
    rosemarymorris@hotmail.co.uk

    Reply
  3. There were 2000 people at the court of Henry VIIth and the only ladies were the Queen’s ladies in waiting. He married two of them and made some of the others his mistresses.
    With regard to Anne Bolyn, it’s possible that she was rhesus negaitve and that’s why she miscarried her second child which led to Henry having her executed.
    Rosemary Morris
    Author of Tangled Hearts set in the reign of Queen Anne the last Stuart monarch.
    Available from http://www.enspirenpress.com
    rosemarymorris@hotmail.co.uk

    Reply
  4. There were 2000 people at the court of Henry VIIth and the only ladies were the Queen’s ladies in waiting. He married two of them and made some of the others his mistresses.
    With regard to Anne Bolyn, it’s possible that she was rhesus negaitve and that’s why she miscarried her second child which led to Henry having her executed.
    Rosemary Morris
    Author of Tangled Hearts set in the reign of Queen Anne the last Stuart monarch.
    Available from http://www.enspirenpress.com
    rosemarymorris@hotmail.co.uk

    Reply
  5. There were 2000 people at the court of Henry VIIth and the only ladies were the Queen’s ladies in waiting. He married two of them and made some of the others his mistresses.
    With regard to Anne Bolyn, it’s possible that she was rhesus negaitve and that’s why she miscarried her second child which led to Henry having her executed.
    Rosemary Morris
    Author of Tangled Hearts set in the reign of Queen Anne the last Stuart monarch.
    Available from http://www.enspirenpress.com
    rosemarymorris@hotmail.co.uk

    Reply
  6. You’ve made me look at old Hank in a whole different light, not easy to do, since I’ve read up on his monarchy and that of Elizabeth’s for decades. I do know I’m very glad to be a commoner. *g*

    Reply
  7. You’ve made me look at old Hank in a whole different light, not easy to do, since I’ve read up on his monarchy and that of Elizabeth’s for decades. I do know I’m very glad to be a commoner. *g*

    Reply
  8. You’ve made me look at old Hank in a whole different light, not easy to do, since I’ve read up on his monarchy and that of Elizabeth’s for decades. I do know I’m very glad to be a commoner. *g*

    Reply
  9. You’ve made me look at old Hank in a whole different light, not easy to do, since I’ve read up on his monarchy and that of Elizabeth’s for decades. I do know I’m very glad to be a commoner. *g*

    Reply
  10. You’ve made me look at old Hank in a whole different light, not easy to do, since I’ve read up on his monarchy and that of Elizabeth’s for decades. I do know I’m very glad to be a commoner. *g*

    Reply
  11. I should like to speak up for George III. As you note, Jo, he was a loving husband and father, but more than that, he was a truly well-informed and cultured man, who was passionately interested in all the new ideas and scientific discoveries of the Enlightenment. He ensured that his enormous family of 10 sons and 6 daughters were all very well educated – girls as well as boys – and took a personal and benevolent interest in their lives. His practical interest in livestock and farming earned him the half-contemptuous nickname ‘Farmer George’, yet his concern for such matters shows a far better understanding of the changing times and the needs of his subjects than some of the loftier flights of international politics.
    Had he not been a monarch, he might well, I think, have been regarded as an important scholar of the 18thC Enlightenment. Sadly, we in Britain have tended to think of him only as the ‘Mad King’; in America, as you have pointed out, he was naturally disliked.
    In 1823, George IV transferred his father’s fantastic library to the British Museum, where a superb room was built to accommodate it. That beautiful room, the King’s Library, now contains a permanent exhibition about the growth of scholarship in the Enlightenment, though the books themselves are now cared for in the British Library. George III was a truly distinguished man of his time, and his personal reputation should be re-assessed – as should that of George IV, who was a great deal more than the gluttonous playboy of legend.
    🙂

    Reply
  12. I should like to speak up for George III. As you note, Jo, he was a loving husband and father, but more than that, he was a truly well-informed and cultured man, who was passionately interested in all the new ideas and scientific discoveries of the Enlightenment. He ensured that his enormous family of 10 sons and 6 daughters were all very well educated – girls as well as boys – and took a personal and benevolent interest in their lives. His practical interest in livestock and farming earned him the half-contemptuous nickname ‘Farmer George’, yet his concern for such matters shows a far better understanding of the changing times and the needs of his subjects than some of the loftier flights of international politics.
    Had he not been a monarch, he might well, I think, have been regarded as an important scholar of the 18thC Enlightenment. Sadly, we in Britain have tended to think of him only as the ‘Mad King’; in America, as you have pointed out, he was naturally disliked.
    In 1823, George IV transferred his father’s fantastic library to the British Museum, where a superb room was built to accommodate it. That beautiful room, the King’s Library, now contains a permanent exhibition about the growth of scholarship in the Enlightenment, though the books themselves are now cared for in the British Library. George III was a truly distinguished man of his time, and his personal reputation should be re-assessed – as should that of George IV, who was a great deal more than the gluttonous playboy of legend.
    🙂

    Reply
  13. I should like to speak up for George III. As you note, Jo, he was a loving husband and father, but more than that, he was a truly well-informed and cultured man, who was passionately interested in all the new ideas and scientific discoveries of the Enlightenment. He ensured that his enormous family of 10 sons and 6 daughters were all very well educated – girls as well as boys – and took a personal and benevolent interest in their lives. His practical interest in livestock and farming earned him the half-contemptuous nickname ‘Farmer George’, yet his concern for such matters shows a far better understanding of the changing times and the needs of his subjects than some of the loftier flights of international politics.
    Had he not been a monarch, he might well, I think, have been regarded as an important scholar of the 18thC Enlightenment. Sadly, we in Britain have tended to think of him only as the ‘Mad King’; in America, as you have pointed out, he was naturally disliked.
    In 1823, George IV transferred his father’s fantastic library to the British Museum, where a superb room was built to accommodate it. That beautiful room, the King’s Library, now contains a permanent exhibition about the growth of scholarship in the Enlightenment, though the books themselves are now cared for in the British Library. George III was a truly distinguished man of his time, and his personal reputation should be re-assessed – as should that of George IV, who was a great deal more than the gluttonous playboy of legend.
    🙂

    Reply
  14. I should like to speak up for George III. As you note, Jo, he was a loving husband and father, but more than that, he was a truly well-informed and cultured man, who was passionately interested in all the new ideas and scientific discoveries of the Enlightenment. He ensured that his enormous family of 10 sons and 6 daughters were all very well educated – girls as well as boys – and took a personal and benevolent interest in their lives. His practical interest in livestock and farming earned him the half-contemptuous nickname ‘Farmer George’, yet his concern for such matters shows a far better understanding of the changing times and the needs of his subjects than some of the loftier flights of international politics.
    Had he not been a monarch, he might well, I think, have been regarded as an important scholar of the 18thC Enlightenment. Sadly, we in Britain have tended to think of him only as the ‘Mad King’; in America, as you have pointed out, he was naturally disliked.
    In 1823, George IV transferred his father’s fantastic library to the British Museum, where a superb room was built to accommodate it. That beautiful room, the King’s Library, now contains a permanent exhibition about the growth of scholarship in the Enlightenment, though the books themselves are now cared for in the British Library. George III was a truly distinguished man of his time, and his personal reputation should be re-assessed – as should that of George IV, who was a great deal more than the gluttonous playboy of legend.
    🙂

    Reply
  15. I should like to speak up for George III. As you note, Jo, he was a loving husband and father, but more than that, he was a truly well-informed and cultured man, who was passionately interested in all the new ideas and scientific discoveries of the Enlightenment. He ensured that his enormous family of 10 sons and 6 daughters were all very well educated – girls as well as boys – and took a personal and benevolent interest in their lives. His practical interest in livestock and farming earned him the half-contemptuous nickname ‘Farmer George’, yet his concern for such matters shows a far better understanding of the changing times and the needs of his subjects than some of the loftier flights of international politics.
    Had he not been a monarch, he might well, I think, have been regarded as an important scholar of the 18thC Enlightenment. Sadly, we in Britain have tended to think of him only as the ‘Mad King’; in America, as you have pointed out, he was naturally disliked.
    In 1823, George IV transferred his father’s fantastic library to the British Museum, where a superb room was built to accommodate it. That beautiful room, the King’s Library, now contains a permanent exhibition about the growth of scholarship in the Enlightenment, though the books themselves are now cared for in the British Library. George III was a truly distinguished man of his time, and his personal reputation should be re-assessed – as should that of George IV, who was a great deal more than the gluttonous playboy of legend.
    🙂

    Reply
  16. I just read Sharon Kay Penman’s The Sunne in Splendour about Richard III, and it was a very symphathetic and interesting portrayal of him. You certainly never even considered that Richard III killed off the princes in the tower in that book.
    I do wonder if Elizabeth Woodville Grey was as nasty as Penman made her out to be – or if Ned was as careless.
    -Michelle

    Reply
  17. I just read Sharon Kay Penman’s The Sunne in Splendour about Richard III, and it was a very symphathetic and interesting portrayal of him. You certainly never even considered that Richard III killed off the princes in the tower in that book.
    I do wonder if Elizabeth Woodville Grey was as nasty as Penman made her out to be – or if Ned was as careless.
    -Michelle

    Reply
  18. I just read Sharon Kay Penman’s The Sunne in Splendour about Richard III, and it was a very symphathetic and interesting portrayal of him. You certainly never even considered that Richard III killed off the princes in the tower in that book.
    I do wonder if Elizabeth Woodville Grey was as nasty as Penman made her out to be – or if Ned was as careless.
    -Michelle

    Reply
  19. I just read Sharon Kay Penman’s The Sunne in Splendour about Richard III, and it was a very symphathetic and interesting portrayal of him. You certainly never even considered that Richard III killed off the princes in the tower in that book.
    I do wonder if Elizabeth Woodville Grey was as nasty as Penman made her out to be – or if Ned was as careless.
    -Michelle

    Reply
  20. I just read Sharon Kay Penman’s The Sunne in Splendour about Richard III, and it was a very symphathetic and interesting portrayal of him. You certainly never even considered that Richard III killed off the princes in the tower in that book.
    I do wonder if Elizabeth Woodville Grey was as nasty as Penman made her out to be – or if Ned was as careless.
    -Michelle

    Reply
  21. You make several valid points, Jo. I too believe that if Jane had lived, we would never have had wives 4-6, and pretty, silly Catherine Howard might have lived with her head still attached. I don’t know if Anne was such a bad choice. Again, if she had managed to give birth to a living son, things might have been different, but then we might not have the glorious reign of Elizabeth I. I’ve never thought that George III was a bad king. His only problem was being afflicted with porphyria. I also think that Wallis Simpson should have been given a thousand thanks for getting rid of Edward VIII.

    Reply
  22. You make several valid points, Jo. I too believe that if Jane had lived, we would never have had wives 4-6, and pretty, silly Catherine Howard might have lived with her head still attached. I don’t know if Anne was such a bad choice. Again, if she had managed to give birth to a living son, things might have been different, but then we might not have the glorious reign of Elizabeth I. I’ve never thought that George III was a bad king. His only problem was being afflicted with porphyria. I also think that Wallis Simpson should have been given a thousand thanks for getting rid of Edward VIII.

    Reply
  23. You make several valid points, Jo. I too believe that if Jane had lived, we would never have had wives 4-6, and pretty, silly Catherine Howard might have lived with her head still attached. I don’t know if Anne was such a bad choice. Again, if she had managed to give birth to a living son, things might have been different, but then we might not have the glorious reign of Elizabeth I. I’ve never thought that George III was a bad king. His only problem was being afflicted with porphyria. I also think that Wallis Simpson should have been given a thousand thanks for getting rid of Edward VIII.

    Reply
  24. You make several valid points, Jo. I too believe that if Jane had lived, we would never have had wives 4-6, and pretty, silly Catherine Howard might have lived with her head still attached. I don’t know if Anne was such a bad choice. Again, if she had managed to give birth to a living son, things might have been different, but then we might not have the glorious reign of Elizabeth I. I’ve never thought that George III was a bad king. His only problem was being afflicted with porphyria. I also think that Wallis Simpson should have been given a thousand thanks for getting rid of Edward VIII.

    Reply
  25. You make several valid points, Jo. I too believe that if Jane had lived, we would never have had wives 4-6, and pretty, silly Catherine Howard might have lived with her head still attached. I don’t know if Anne was such a bad choice. Again, if she had managed to give birth to a living son, things might have been different, but then we might not have the glorious reign of Elizabeth I. I’ve never thought that George III was a bad king. His only problem was being afflicted with porphyria. I also think that Wallis Simpson should have been given a thousand thanks for getting rid of Edward VIII.

    Reply
  26. Nice take on ‘enery the 8th, Jo.
    As to which king is worst, I think I’d need a definition of “worst.” (and want to include presidents and emperors) The bloodiest? The stupidest? The biggest wencher, tippler… Power does not sit well on the shoulders of many. Combine it with the ignorance and morality of the time… I’m not certain we’ve advanced greatly from the Romans.

    Reply
  27. Nice take on ‘enery the 8th, Jo.
    As to which king is worst, I think I’d need a definition of “worst.” (and want to include presidents and emperors) The bloodiest? The stupidest? The biggest wencher, tippler… Power does not sit well on the shoulders of many. Combine it with the ignorance and morality of the time… I’m not certain we’ve advanced greatly from the Romans.

    Reply
  28. Nice take on ‘enery the 8th, Jo.
    As to which king is worst, I think I’d need a definition of “worst.” (and want to include presidents and emperors) The bloodiest? The stupidest? The biggest wencher, tippler… Power does not sit well on the shoulders of many. Combine it with the ignorance and morality of the time… I’m not certain we’ve advanced greatly from the Romans.

    Reply
  29. Nice take on ‘enery the 8th, Jo.
    As to which king is worst, I think I’d need a definition of “worst.” (and want to include presidents and emperors) The bloodiest? The stupidest? The biggest wencher, tippler… Power does not sit well on the shoulders of many. Combine it with the ignorance and morality of the time… I’m not certain we’ve advanced greatly from the Romans.

    Reply
  30. Nice take on ‘enery the 8th, Jo.
    As to which king is worst, I think I’d need a definition of “worst.” (and want to include presidents and emperors) The bloodiest? The stupidest? The biggest wencher, tippler… Power does not sit well on the shoulders of many. Combine it with the ignorance and morality of the time… I’m not certain we’ve advanced greatly from the Romans.

    Reply
  31. Although, not a ruler, I’ve always had a fondness for Eleanor of Aquitaine. Some of my other favorite royals were: Marie Antoinette, Mary Stuart, Lady Jane Grey, Nicholas II, Queen Juana the Mad, Elizabeth of York and Arabella Stuart (didn’t really rule but what an interesting life.) I notice that all of my people are rather depressing, except for Elizabeth of York.

    Reply
  32. Although, not a ruler, I’ve always had a fondness for Eleanor of Aquitaine. Some of my other favorite royals were: Marie Antoinette, Mary Stuart, Lady Jane Grey, Nicholas II, Queen Juana the Mad, Elizabeth of York and Arabella Stuart (didn’t really rule but what an interesting life.) I notice that all of my people are rather depressing, except for Elizabeth of York.

    Reply
  33. Although, not a ruler, I’ve always had a fondness for Eleanor of Aquitaine. Some of my other favorite royals were: Marie Antoinette, Mary Stuart, Lady Jane Grey, Nicholas II, Queen Juana the Mad, Elizabeth of York and Arabella Stuart (didn’t really rule but what an interesting life.) I notice that all of my people are rather depressing, except for Elizabeth of York.

    Reply
  34. Although, not a ruler, I’ve always had a fondness for Eleanor of Aquitaine. Some of my other favorite royals were: Marie Antoinette, Mary Stuart, Lady Jane Grey, Nicholas II, Queen Juana the Mad, Elizabeth of York and Arabella Stuart (didn’t really rule but what an interesting life.) I notice that all of my people are rather depressing, except for Elizabeth of York.

    Reply
  35. Although, not a ruler, I’ve always had a fondness for Eleanor of Aquitaine. Some of my other favorite royals were: Marie Antoinette, Mary Stuart, Lady Jane Grey, Nicholas II, Queen Juana the Mad, Elizabeth of York and Arabella Stuart (didn’t really rule but what an interesting life.) I notice that all of my people are rather depressing, except for Elizabeth of York.

    Reply
  36. Jo here.
    “I’m not certain we’ve advanced greatly from the Romans.”
    LOL, Pat, how true. Human nature doesn’t change. One difference between inheritance and election is that only a certain sort of person seeks election, and for many that in itself is a character flaw. With inheritance it’s just a roll of the dice.
    Absolutely on George III, Ag Tigress. Long lived monarchs tend to be judged only on a certain part of their reign. People tend to forget Victoria’s flighty youth.
    If we tangle morality in with efficiency I think it mostly works out badly. Men and women can ignore the accepted moral rules of their time and still be very effective administrators with the good of their country as a top priority.
    Mary Tudor could be called both moral and pious, and she was a disaster.
    I also agree about about Wallis Simpson!
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  37. Jo here.
    “I’m not certain we’ve advanced greatly from the Romans.”
    LOL, Pat, how true. Human nature doesn’t change. One difference between inheritance and election is that only a certain sort of person seeks election, and for many that in itself is a character flaw. With inheritance it’s just a roll of the dice.
    Absolutely on George III, Ag Tigress. Long lived monarchs tend to be judged only on a certain part of their reign. People tend to forget Victoria’s flighty youth.
    If we tangle morality in with efficiency I think it mostly works out badly. Men and women can ignore the accepted moral rules of their time and still be very effective administrators with the good of their country as a top priority.
    Mary Tudor could be called both moral and pious, and she was a disaster.
    I also agree about about Wallis Simpson!
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  38. Jo here.
    “I’m not certain we’ve advanced greatly from the Romans.”
    LOL, Pat, how true. Human nature doesn’t change. One difference between inheritance and election is that only a certain sort of person seeks election, and for many that in itself is a character flaw. With inheritance it’s just a roll of the dice.
    Absolutely on George III, Ag Tigress. Long lived monarchs tend to be judged only on a certain part of their reign. People tend to forget Victoria’s flighty youth.
    If we tangle morality in with efficiency I think it mostly works out badly. Men and women can ignore the accepted moral rules of their time and still be very effective administrators with the good of their country as a top priority.
    Mary Tudor could be called both moral and pious, and she was a disaster.
    I also agree about about Wallis Simpson!
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  39. Jo here.
    “I’m not certain we’ve advanced greatly from the Romans.”
    LOL, Pat, how true. Human nature doesn’t change. One difference between inheritance and election is that only a certain sort of person seeks election, and for many that in itself is a character flaw. With inheritance it’s just a roll of the dice.
    Absolutely on George III, Ag Tigress. Long lived monarchs tend to be judged only on a certain part of their reign. People tend to forget Victoria’s flighty youth.
    If we tangle morality in with efficiency I think it mostly works out badly. Men and women can ignore the accepted moral rules of their time and still be very effective administrators with the good of their country as a top priority.
    Mary Tudor could be called both moral and pious, and she was a disaster.
    I also agree about about Wallis Simpson!
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  40. Jo here.
    “I’m not certain we’ve advanced greatly from the Romans.”
    LOL, Pat, how true. Human nature doesn’t change. One difference between inheritance and election is that only a certain sort of person seeks election, and for many that in itself is a character flaw. With inheritance it’s just a roll of the dice.
    Absolutely on George III, Ag Tigress. Long lived monarchs tend to be judged only on a certain part of their reign. People tend to forget Victoria’s flighty youth.
    If we tangle morality in with efficiency I think it mostly works out badly. Men and women can ignore the accepted moral rules of their time and still be very effective administrators with the good of their country as a top priority.
    Mary Tudor could be called both moral and pious, and she was a disaster.
    I also agree about about Wallis Simpson!
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  41. Great post…I’ve been interested in the Tudors for years, so it’s always nice to see the complexities talked about :).
    I must admit, I have never been a fan of Jane Seymour. To me, she is not virtuous so much as calculating. She set out to capture a king and she did, and she didn’t seem to care about the cost (six people’s lives). She was happily planning her marriage while her predecessor sat in the Tower awaiting execution on what Jane almost certainly knew were false charges. And she got engaged on the very day Anne Boleyn was executed (and was married ten days later). Blech.
    By the way, I think you meant Eleanor of Aquitaine, who got an annulment in the 12th century to marry Henry II (to whom she was related in the exact same degree as Louis, her soon-to-be-ex spouse!). Eleanor of Provence was the wife of Edward I, if I remember correctly.

    Reply
  42. Great post…I’ve been interested in the Tudors for years, so it’s always nice to see the complexities talked about :).
    I must admit, I have never been a fan of Jane Seymour. To me, she is not virtuous so much as calculating. She set out to capture a king and she did, and she didn’t seem to care about the cost (six people’s lives). She was happily planning her marriage while her predecessor sat in the Tower awaiting execution on what Jane almost certainly knew were false charges. And she got engaged on the very day Anne Boleyn was executed (and was married ten days later). Blech.
    By the way, I think you meant Eleanor of Aquitaine, who got an annulment in the 12th century to marry Henry II (to whom she was related in the exact same degree as Louis, her soon-to-be-ex spouse!). Eleanor of Provence was the wife of Edward I, if I remember correctly.

    Reply
  43. Great post…I’ve been interested in the Tudors for years, so it’s always nice to see the complexities talked about :).
    I must admit, I have never been a fan of Jane Seymour. To me, she is not virtuous so much as calculating. She set out to capture a king and she did, and she didn’t seem to care about the cost (six people’s lives). She was happily planning her marriage while her predecessor sat in the Tower awaiting execution on what Jane almost certainly knew were false charges. And she got engaged on the very day Anne Boleyn was executed (and was married ten days later). Blech.
    By the way, I think you meant Eleanor of Aquitaine, who got an annulment in the 12th century to marry Henry II (to whom she was related in the exact same degree as Louis, her soon-to-be-ex spouse!). Eleanor of Provence was the wife of Edward I, if I remember correctly.

    Reply
  44. Great post…I’ve been interested in the Tudors for years, so it’s always nice to see the complexities talked about :).
    I must admit, I have never been a fan of Jane Seymour. To me, she is not virtuous so much as calculating. She set out to capture a king and she did, and she didn’t seem to care about the cost (six people’s lives). She was happily planning her marriage while her predecessor sat in the Tower awaiting execution on what Jane almost certainly knew were false charges. And she got engaged on the very day Anne Boleyn was executed (and was married ten days later). Blech.
    By the way, I think you meant Eleanor of Aquitaine, who got an annulment in the 12th century to marry Henry II (to whom she was related in the exact same degree as Louis, her soon-to-be-ex spouse!). Eleanor of Provence was the wife of Edward I, if I remember correctly.

    Reply
  45. Great post…I’ve been interested in the Tudors for years, so it’s always nice to see the complexities talked about :).
    I must admit, I have never been a fan of Jane Seymour. To me, she is not virtuous so much as calculating. She set out to capture a king and she did, and she didn’t seem to care about the cost (six people’s lives). She was happily planning her marriage while her predecessor sat in the Tower awaiting execution on what Jane almost certainly knew were false charges. And she got engaged on the very day Anne Boleyn was executed (and was married ten days later). Blech.
    By the way, I think you meant Eleanor of Aquitaine, who got an annulment in the 12th century to marry Henry II (to whom she was related in the exact same degree as Louis, her soon-to-be-ex spouse!). Eleanor of Provence was the wife of Edward I, if I remember correctly.

    Reply
  46. I wrote a book a looong time ago, called “The Crimson Crown” – about Richard lll, Henry, and the Princes in the Tower. I was on Richard’s side due to “Daughter of Time” and the Richard lll Society – until I went researching. I traveled GB for weeks.
    I collected dozens of books.
    Guess what? Josephne Tey was a great writer, but RIchard was guilty. I’m convinced he done it.
    sigh.
    Edith, who, with the rest of the world, will never really know.

    Reply
  47. I wrote a book a looong time ago, called “The Crimson Crown” – about Richard lll, Henry, and the Princes in the Tower. I was on Richard’s side due to “Daughter of Time” and the Richard lll Society – until I went researching. I traveled GB for weeks.
    I collected dozens of books.
    Guess what? Josephne Tey was a great writer, but RIchard was guilty. I’m convinced he done it.
    sigh.
    Edith, who, with the rest of the world, will never really know.

    Reply
  48. I wrote a book a looong time ago, called “The Crimson Crown” – about Richard lll, Henry, and the Princes in the Tower. I was on Richard’s side due to “Daughter of Time” and the Richard lll Society – until I went researching. I traveled GB for weeks.
    I collected dozens of books.
    Guess what? Josephne Tey was a great writer, but RIchard was guilty. I’m convinced he done it.
    sigh.
    Edith, who, with the rest of the world, will never really know.

    Reply
  49. I wrote a book a looong time ago, called “The Crimson Crown” – about Richard lll, Henry, and the Princes in the Tower. I was on Richard’s side due to “Daughter of Time” and the Richard lll Society – until I went researching. I traveled GB for weeks.
    I collected dozens of books.
    Guess what? Josephne Tey was a great writer, but RIchard was guilty. I’m convinced he done it.
    sigh.
    Edith, who, with the rest of the world, will never really know.

    Reply
  50. I wrote a book a looong time ago, called “The Crimson Crown” – about Richard lll, Henry, and the Princes in the Tower. I was on Richard’s side due to “Daughter of Time” and the Richard lll Society – until I went researching. I traveled GB for weeks.
    I collected dozens of books.
    Guess what? Josephne Tey was a great writer, but RIchard was guilty. I’m convinced he done it.
    sigh.
    Edith, who, with the rest of the world, will never really know.

    Reply
  51. Jo here.
    Jessica, you’re right about Jane Seymour, but I think Anne Boleyn set herself up with wild behaviour and I don’t think Jane was that way inclined, but I haven’t looked at her story closely.
    Absolutely Eleanor of Aquitaine. Sorry.
    Jo

    Reply
  52. Jo here.
    Jessica, you’re right about Jane Seymour, but I think Anne Boleyn set herself up with wild behaviour and I don’t think Jane was that way inclined, but I haven’t looked at her story closely.
    Absolutely Eleanor of Aquitaine. Sorry.
    Jo

    Reply
  53. Jo here.
    Jessica, you’re right about Jane Seymour, but I think Anne Boleyn set herself up with wild behaviour and I don’t think Jane was that way inclined, but I haven’t looked at her story closely.
    Absolutely Eleanor of Aquitaine. Sorry.
    Jo

    Reply
  54. Jo here.
    Jessica, you’re right about Jane Seymour, but I think Anne Boleyn set herself up with wild behaviour and I don’t think Jane was that way inclined, but I haven’t looked at her story closely.
    Absolutely Eleanor of Aquitaine. Sorry.
    Jo

    Reply
  55. Jo here.
    Jessica, you’re right about Jane Seymour, but I think Anne Boleyn set herself up with wild behaviour and I don’t think Jane was that way inclined, but I haven’t looked at her story closely.
    Absolutely Eleanor of Aquitaine. Sorry.
    Jo

    Reply
  56. I remember seeing “ol” Henry’s suit of armor on our only trip to England. He must have been built like a tank as it was very wide.

    Reply
  57. I remember seeing “ol” Henry’s suit of armor on our only trip to England. He must have been built like a tank as it was very wide.

    Reply
  58. I remember seeing “ol” Henry’s suit of armor on our only trip to England. He must have been built like a tank as it was very wide.

    Reply
  59. I remember seeing “ol” Henry’s suit of armor on our only trip to England. He must have been built like a tank as it was very wide.

    Reply
  60. I remember seeing “ol” Henry’s suit of armor on our only trip to England. He must have been built like a tank as it was very wide.

    Reply
  61. “I also think that Wallis Simpson should have been given a thousand thanks for getting rid of Edward VIII.”
    I agree, too. And I do agree that George IV tends to be judged too harshly.

    Reply
  62. “I also think that Wallis Simpson should have been given a thousand thanks for getting rid of Edward VIII.”
    I agree, too. And I do agree that George IV tends to be judged too harshly.

    Reply
  63. “I also think that Wallis Simpson should have been given a thousand thanks for getting rid of Edward VIII.”
    I agree, too. And I do agree that George IV tends to be judged too harshly.

    Reply
  64. “I also think that Wallis Simpson should have been given a thousand thanks for getting rid of Edward VIII.”
    I agree, too. And I do agree that George IV tends to be judged too harshly.

    Reply
  65. “I also think that Wallis Simpson should have been given a thousand thanks for getting rid of Edward VIII.”
    I agree, too. And I do agree that George IV tends to be judged too harshly.

    Reply
  66. Jo, I loved this post!
    O historians, isn’t there some kind of trend in English history of first-born royal sons not turning out well, and second-born sons making better kings? (Edward VIII and George VI being just the most recent example). Henry VIII was a second son, wasn’t he? Are there others?
    And on the topic of Are We Rome, I endured listening to a sermon on that topic yesterday. (Hijacking the thread) AgTigress, if you’re out there, do you know the origin of the word “barbarian”? Is it really the “bar-bar” of foreign language speakers or (as I always meekly assumed) from “barba” meaning “beard”? (those barbarians being the grizzled type) It’s been gnawing at me.

    Reply
  67. Jo, I loved this post!
    O historians, isn’t there some kind of trend in English history of first-born royal sons not turning out well, and second-born sons making better kings? (Edward VIII and George VI being just the most recent example). Henry VIII was a second son, wasn’t he? Are there others?
    And on the topic of Are We Rome, I endured listening to a sermon on that topic yesterday. (Hijacking the thread) AgTigress, if you’re out there, do you know the origin of the word “barbarian”? Is it really the “bar-bar” of foreign language speakers or (as I always meekly assumed) from “barba” meaning “beard”? (those barbarians being the grizzled type) It’s been gnawing at me.

    Reply
  68. Jo, I loved this post!
    O historians, isn’t there some kind of trend in English history of first-born royal sons not turning out well, and second-born sons making better kings? (Edward VIII and George VI being just the most recent example). Henry VIII was a second son, wasn’t he? Are there others?
    And on the topic of Are We Rome, I endured listening to a sermon on that topic yesterday. (Hijacking the thread) AgTigress, if you’re out there, do you know the origin of the word “barbarian”? Is it really the “bar-bar” of foreign language speakers or (as I always meekly assumed) from “barba” meaning “beard”? (those barbarians being the grizzled type) It’s been gnawing at me.

    Reply
  69. Jo, I loved this post!
    O historians, isn’t there some kind of trend in English history of first-born royal sons not turning out well, and second-born sons making better kings? (Edward VIII and George VI being just the most recent example). Henry VIII was a second son, wasn’t he? Are there others?
    And on the topic of Are We Rome, I endured listening to a sermon on that topic yesterday. (Hijacking the thread) AgTigress, if you’re out there, do you know the origin of the word “barbarian”? Is it really the “bar-bar” of foreign language speakers or (as I always meekly assumed) from “barba” meaning “beard”? (those barbarians being the grizzled type) It’s been gnawing at me.

    Reply
  70. Jo, I loved this post!
    O historians, isn’t there some kind of trend in English history of first-born royal sons not turning out well, and second-born sons making better kings? (Edward VIII and George VI being just the most recent example). Henry VIII was a second son, wasn’t he? Are there others?
    And on the topic of Are We Rome, I endured listening to a sermon on that topic yesterday. (Hijacking the thread) AgTigress, if you’re out there, do you know the origin of the word “barbarian”? Is it really the “bar-bar” of foreign language speakers or (as I always meekly assumed) from “barba” meaning “beard”? (those barbarians being the grizzled type) It’s been gnawing at me.

    Reply
  71. RevMelinda: King Edward VII was also a second son as his older brother Victor (Clarence?) had died. There was a rumor that Victor was Jack The Ripper.

    Reply
  72. RevMelinda: King Edward VII was also a second son as his older brother Victor (Clarence?) had died. There was a rumor that Victor was Jack The Ripper.

    Reply
  73. RevMelinda: King Edward VII was also a second son as his older brother Victor (Clarence?) had died. There was a rumor that Victor was Jack The Ripper.

    Reply
  74. RevMelinda: King Edward VII was also a second son as his older brother Victor (Clarence?) had died. There was a rumor that Victor was Jack The Ripper.

    Reply
  75. RevMelinda: King Edward VII was also a second son as his older brother Victor (Clarence?) had died. There was a rumor that Victor was Jack The Ripper.

    Reply
  76. Second sons. Interesting one.
    Let’s see. Henry I was probably the best of William the Conk’s sons, and he was 3rd, I think? His only legit son died.
    To me, that’s the oddity — that so many virile men failed in the heir production biz. I don’t like to blame the women, but there have been a lot of queens who were poor childbearers. Later there’s a lot of inbreeding, but I’m not sure that’s a factor in the middle ages.
    Henry II had Richard, John and Arthur? I’m working from memory. A toss up there.
    John had Henry III, and his brother Richard of Cornwall would probably have been the better king.
    But I’m not sure why the second son should be better. One could speculate that heirs are spoiled, but it makes as much sense that they be better prepared. And in the above case Henry simply seems to have been dimmer and less practical than his brother.
    Henry’s first son Edward — Edward I — was very able. Plenty of character flaws, but clever and able.
    I find the peculiar paths of the English monarchy fascinating.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  77. Second sons. Interesting one.
    Let’s see. Henry I was probably the best of William the Conk’s sons, and he was 3rd, I think? His only legit son died.
    To me, that’s the oddity — that so many virile men failed in the heir production biz. I don’t like to blame the women, but there have been a lot of queens who were poor childbearers. Later there’s a lot of inbreeding, but I’m not sure that’s a factor in the middle ages.
    Henry II had Richard, John and Arthur? I’m working from memory. A toss up there.
    John had Henry III, and his brother Richard of Cornwall would probably have been the better king.
    But I’m not sure why the second son should be better. One could speculate that heirs are spoiled, but it makes as much sense that they be better prepared. And in the above case Henry simply seems to have been dimmer and less practical than his brother.
    Henry’s first son Edward — Edward I — was very able. Plenty of character flaws, but clever and able.
    I find the peculiar paths of the English monarchy fascinating.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  78. Second sons. Interesting one.
    Let’s see. Henry I was probably the best of William the Conk’s sons, and he was 3rd, I think? His only legit son died.
    To me, that’s the oddity — that so many virile men failed in the heir production biz. I don’t like to blame the women, but there have been a lot of queens who were poor childbearers. Later there’s a lot of inbreeding, but I’m not sure that’s a factor in the middle ages.
    Henry II had Richard, John and Arthur? I’m working from memory. A toss up there.
    John had Henry III, and his brother Richard of Cornwall would probably have been the better king.
    But I’m not sure why the second son should be better. One could speculate that heirs are spoiled, but it makes as much sense that they be better prepared. And in the above case Henry simply seems to have been dimmer and less practical than his brother.
    Henry’s first son Edward — Edward I — was very able. Plenty of character flaws, but clever and able.
    I find the peculiar paths of the English monarchy fascinating.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  79. Second sons. Interesting one.
    Let’s see. Henry I was probably the best of William the Conk’s sons, and he was 3rd, I think? His only legit son died.
    To me, that’s the oddity — that so many virile men failed in the heir production biz. I don’t like to blame the women, but there have been a lot of queens who were poor childbearers. Later there’s a lot of inbreeding, but I’m not sure that’s a factor in the middle ages.
    Henry II had Richard, John and Arthur? I’m working from memory. A toss up there.
    John had Henry III, and his brother Richard of Cornwall would probably have been the better king.
    But I’m not sure why the second son should be better. One could speculate that heirs are spoiled, but it makes as much sense that they be better prepared. And in the above case Henry simply seems to have been dimmer and less practical than his brother.
    Henry’s first son Edward — Edward I — was very able. Plenty of character flaws, but clever and able.
    I find the peculiar paths of the English monarchy fascinating.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  80. Second sons. Interesting one.
    Let’s see. Henry I was probably the best of William the Conk’s sons, and he was 3rd, I think? His only legit son died.
    To me, that’s the oddity — that so many virile men failed in the heir production biz. I don’t like to blame the women, but there have been a lot of queens who were poor childbearers. Later there’s a lot of inbreeding, but I’m not sure that’s a factor in the middle ages.
    Henry II had Richard, John and Arthur? I’m working from memory. A toss up there.
    John had Henry III, and his brother Richard of Cornwall would probably have been the better king.
    But I’m not sure why the second son should be better. One could speculate that heirs are spoiled, but it makes as much sense that they be better prepared. And in the above case Henry simply seems to have been dimmer and less practical than his brother.
    Henry’s first son Edward — Edward I — was very able. Plenty of character flaws, but clever and able.
    I find the peculiar paths of the English monarchy fascinating.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  81. Charles I was a second son, and he botched the job of being king royally. Everybody had high expectations of his older brother Henry, but he died at 18.

    Reply
  82. Charles I was a second son, and he botched the job of being king royally. Everybody had high expectations of his older brother Henry, but he died at 18.

    Reply
  83. Charles I was a second son, and he botched the job of being king royally. Everybody had high expectations of his older brother Henry, but he died at 18.

    Reply
  84. Charles I was a second son, and he botched the job of being king royally. Everybody had high expectations of his older brother Henry, but he died at 18.

    Reply
  85. Charles I was a second son, and he botched the job of being king royally. Everybody had high expectations of his older brother Henry, but he died at 18.

    Reply
  86. Part of the problem is that what makes a good king (or any other sort of ruler) is not necessarily what makes a decent human being. Charles I may have been a total incompetent as king, but he was a good father and husband. He would doubtless have been a much nicer person to know that Henry VIII.

    Reply
  87. Part of the problem is that what makes a good king (or any other sort of ruler) is not necessarily what makes a decent human being. Charles I may have been a total incompetent as king, but he was a good father and husband. He would doubtless have been a much nicer person to know that Henry VIII.

    Reply
  88. Part of the problem is that what makes a good king (or any other sort of ruler) is not necessarily what makes a decent human being. Charles I may have been a total incompetent as king, but he was a good father and husband. He would doubtless have been a much nicer person to know that Henry VIII.

    Reply
  89. Part of the problem is that what makes a good king (or any other sort of ruler) is not necessarily what makes a decent human being. Charles I may have been a total incompetent as king, but he was a good father and husband. He would doubtless have been a much nicer person to know that Henry VIII.

    Reply
  90. Part of the problem is that what makes a good king (or any other sort of ruler) is not necessarily what makes a decent human being. Charles I may have been a total incompetent as king, but he was a good father and husband. He would doubtless have been a much nicer person to know that Henry VIII.

    Reply
  91. Jo here.
    So what about the queens? I mean reigning, not consort.
    Matilda, Mary, Elizabeth, Mary II, Anne, Victoria. We won’t do the current monarch.
    Poor Anne. She spent most of her adult life pregnant with only one sickly child resulting, and then he died. There’s no sign she’d have been a dynamic monarch in other circumstances, but as it was, I can’t imagine how tough it all was. No wonder she leant so hard on Sarah and Abigail.
    Elizabeth I really was extraordinary. Anyone seen the new movie?
    Jo

    Reply
  92. Jo here.
    So what about the queens? I mean reigning, not consort.
    Matilda, Mary, Elizabeth, Mary II, Anne, Victoria. We won’t do the current monarch.
    Poor Anne. She spent most of her adult life pregnant with only one sickly child resulting, and then he died. There’s no sign she’d have been a dynamic monarch in other circumstances, but as it was, I can’t imagine how tough it all was. No wonder she leant so hard on Sarah and Abigail.
    Elizabeth I really was extraordinary. Anyone seen the new movie?
    Jo

    Reply
  93. Jo here.
    So what about the queens? I mean reigning, not consort.
    Matilda, Mary, Elizabeth, Mary II, Anne, Victoria. We won’t do the current monarch.
    Poor Anne. She spent most of her adult life pregnant with only one sickly child resulting, and then he died. There’s no sign she’d have been a dynamic monarch in other circumstances, but as it was, I can’t imagine how tough it all was. No wonder she leant so hard on Sarah and Abigail.
    Elizabeth I really was extraordinary. Anyone seen the new movie?
    Jo

    Reply
  94. Jo here.
    So what about the queens? I mean reigning, not consort.
    Matilda, Mary, Elizabeth, Mary II, Anne, Victoria. We won’t do the current monarch.
    Poor Anne. She spent most of her adult life pregnant with only one sickly child resulting, and then he died. There’s no sign she’d have been a dynamic monarch in other circumstances, but as it was, I can’t imagine how tough it all was. No wonder she leant so hard on Sarah and Abigail.
    Elizabeth I really was extraordinary. Anyone seen the new movie?
    Jo

    Reply
  95. Jo here.
    So what about the queens? I mean reigning, not consort.
    Matilda, Mary, Elizabeth, Mary II, Anne, Victoria. We won’t do the current monarch.
    Poor Anne. She spent most of her adult life pregnant with only one sickly child resulting, and then he died. There’s no sign she’d have been a dynamic monarch in other circumstances, but as it was, I can’t imagine how tough it all was. No wonder she leant so hard on Sarah and Abigail.
    Elizabeth I really was extraordinary. Anyone seen the new movie?
    Jo

    Reply
  96. Romans: well, we probably got back to approximately Roman standards in many areas by the 19th century, but it was a long, hard slog. Not that I would claim that Roman culture was without extreme inequalities, corruption, violence, and general wickedness. It was full of all those things. But that’s because it was a *human* culture: the problem is the species, I’m afraid. 😀
    ‘Barbarian’; ‘barbaros’ is a Greek word, and the only etymology I have ever seen is the one that links it to the allegedly incomprehensible utterances of non-Greeks, but I am not a linguist and maybe that is a myth. However, it would be hard to see it as connected to the idea of beards as a barbarian feature, since Greeks went in for beards, too. It was the late Republican and early Imperial Romans in particular who favoured the clean-shaven look, until Hadrian, a great admirer of things Greek, wore a beard in the 2nd century and changed the fashion again.
    I kept typing ‘bear’ instead of ‘beard’ in that paragraph, which led to some very odd visuals.

    Reply
  97. Romans: well, we probably got back to approximately Roman standards in many areas by the 19th century, but it was a long, hard slog. Not that I would claim that Roman culture was without extreme inequalities, corruption, violence, and general wickedness. It was full of all those things. But that’s because it was a *human* culture: the problem is the species, I’m afraid. 😀
    ‘Barbarian’; ‘barbaros’ is a Greek word, and the only etymology I have ever seen is the one that links it to the allegedly incomprehensible utterances of non-Greeks, but I am not a linguist and maybe that is a myth. However, it would be hard to see it as connected to the idea of beards as a barbarian feature, since Greeks went in for beards, too. It was the late Republican and early Imperial Romans in particular who favoured the clean-shaven look, until Hadrian, a great admirer of things Greek, wore a beard in the 2nd century and changed the fashion again.
    I kept typing ‘bear’ instead of ‘beard’ in that paragraph, which led to some very odd visuals.

    Reply
  98. Romans: well, we probably got back to approximately Roman standards in many areas by the 19th century, but it was a long, hard slog. Not that I would claim that Roman culture was without extreme inequalities, corruption, violence, and general wickedness. It was full of all those things. But that’s because it was a *human* culture: the problem is the species, I’m afraid. 😀
    ‘Barbarian’; ‘barbaros’ is a Greek word, and the only etymology I have ever seen is the one that links it to the allegedly incomprehensible utterances of non-Greeks, but I am not a linguist and maybe that is a myth. However, it would be hard to see it as connected to the idea of beards as a barbarian feature, since Greeks went in for beards, too. It was the late Republican and early Imperial Romans in particular who favoured the clean-shaven look, until Hadrian, a great admirer of things Greek, wore a beard in the 2nd century and changed the fashion again.
    I kept typing ‘bear’ instead of ‘beard’ in that paragraph, which led to some very odd visuals.

    Reply
  99. Romans: well, we probably got back to approximately Roman standards in many areas by the 19th century, but it was a long, hard slog. Not that I would claim that Roman culture was without extreme inequalities, corruption, violence, and general wickedness. It was full of all those things. But that’s because it was a *human* culture: the problem is the species, I’m afraid. 😀
    ‘Barbarian’; ‘barbaros’ is a Greek word, and the only etymology I have ever seen is the one that links it to the allegedly incomprehensible utterances of non-Greeks, but I am not a linguist and maybe that is a myth. However, it would be hard to see it as connected to the idea of beards as a barbarian feature, since Greeks went in for beards, too. It was the late Republican and early Imperial Romans in particular who favoured the clean-shaven look, until Hadrian, a great admirer of things Greek, wore a beard in the 2nd century and changed the fashion again.
    I kept typing ‘bear’ instead of ‘beard’ in that paragraph, which led to some very odd visuals.

    Reply
  100. Romans: well, we probably got back to approximately Roman standards in many areas by the 19th century, but it was a long, hard slog. Not that I would claim that Roman culture was without extreme inequalities, corruption, violence, and general wickedness. It was full of all those things. But that’s because it was a *human* culture: the problem is the species, I’m afraid. 😀
    ‘Barbarian’; ‘barbaros’ is a Greek word, and the only etymology I have ever seen is the one that links it to the allegedly incomprehensible utterances of non-Greeks, but I am not a linguist and maybe that is a myth. However, it would be hard to see it as connected to the idea of beards as a barbarian feature, since Greeks went in for beards, too. It was the late Republican and early Imperial Romans in particular who favoured the clean-shaven look, until Hadrian, a great admirer of things Greek, wore a beard in the 2nd century and changed the fashion again.
    I kept typing ‘bear’ instead of ‘beard’ in that paragraph, which led to some very odd visuals.

    Reply
  101. Henry II had an older son William, who he had crowned while he was still living, which turned out to be a big mistake. Needless to say William died young before he could fully inherit the thrown. Richard II was a grandson, overthrown by John of Gaunt’s son (who probably would have made a good king!).
    I did see the new movie Elizabeth. Not quite as good asa the first one. Hodge-podge of history, Mary Queen of Scots gets short shrift for the Armada, as does Sir Francis Drake for Sir Walter Raleigh but great costumes.

    Reply
  102. Henry II had an older son William, who he had crowned while he was still living, which turned out to be a big mistake. Needless to say William died young before he could fully inherit the thrown. Richard II was a grandson, overthrown by John of Gaunt’s son (who probably would have made a good king!).
    I did see the new movie Elizabeth. Not quite as good asa the first one. Hodge-podge of history, Mary Queen of Scots gets short shrift for the Armada, as does Sir Francis Drake for Sir Walter Raleigh but great costumes.

    Reply
  103. Henry II had an older son William, who he had crowned while he was still living, which turned out to be a big mistake. Needless to say William died young before he could fully inherit the thrown. Richard II was a grandson, overthrown by John of Gaunt’s son (who probably would have made a good king!).
    I did see the new movie Elizabeth. Not quite as good asa the first one. Hodge-podge of history, Mary Queen of Scots gets short shrift for the Armada, as does Sir Francis Drake for Sir Walter Raleigh but great costumes.

    Reply
  104. Henry II had an older son William, who he had crowned while he was still living, which turned out to be a big mistake. Needless to say William died young before he could fully inherit the thrown. Richard II was a grandson, overthrown by John of Gaunt’s son (who probably would have made a good king!).
    I did see the new movie Elizabeth. Not quite as good asa the first one. Hodge-podge of history, Mary Queen of Scots gets short shrift for the Armada, as does Sir Francis Drake for Sir Walter Raleigh but great costumes.

    Reply
  105. Henry II had an older son William, who he had crowned while he was still living, which turned out to be a big mistake. Needless to say William died young before he could fully inherit the thrown. Richard II was a grandson, overthrown by John of Gaunt’s son (who probably would have made a good king!).
    I did see the new movie Elizabeth. Not quite as good asa the first one. Hodge-podge of history, Mary Queen of Scots gets short shrift for the Armada, as does Sir Francis Drake for Sir Walter Raleigh but great costumes.

    Reply
  106. Hmm, well I think that though Richard III didn’t actually order the deaths of the princes, he was responsible in that he left them vulnerable to Buckingham, who was a conniving sort.
    Re: Jane Seymour – in Dinah Lampitt’s Pour the Dark Wine (a novel), she posits that it was Jane’s brothers who were the schemers and she their pawn. My guess would be the truth lies somewhere in the middle. And I’m also of the opinion that Anne was doomed, especially after Katherine died, whether or not it was Jane waiting in the wings.
    Re: Catherine Howard, she’s the wife who gets the least of my sympathy as she was just stupid to carry on the way she did. Yes, she was young, but seriously, she had seen what happened to her cousin so should have known Henry wouldn’t have tolerated her carrying on behind his back. He was old and ill and doted on her – she should’ve grinned and borne it for a few years, then lived the rest of her life.
    Re: the Queens – Matilda has always fascinated me. Certainly her father’s daughter, and someone who wasted a prime opportunity to rule. How could someone who at times seemed so intelligent also be so careless and arrogant when she’d finally achieved her dream?

    Reply
  107. Hmm, well I think that though Richard III didn’t actually order the deaths of the princes, he was responsible in that he left them vulnerable to Buckingham, who was a conniving sort.
    Re: Jane Seymour – in Dinah Lampitt’s Pour the Dark Wine (a novel), she posits that it was Jane’s brothers who were the schemers and she their pawn. My guess would be the truth lies somewhere in the middle. And I’m also of the opinion that Anne was doomed, especially after Katherine died, whether or not it was Jane waiting in the wings.
    Re: Catherine Howard, she’s the wife who gets the least of my sympathy as she was just stupid to carry on the way she did. Yes, she was young, but seriously, she had seen what happened to her cousin so should have known Henry wouldn’t have tolerated her carrying on behind his back. He was old and ill and doted on her – she should’ve grinned and borne it for a few years, then lived the rest of her life.
    Re: the Queens – Matilda has always fascinated me. Certainly her father’s daughter, and someone who wasted a prime opportunity to rule. How could someone who at times seemed so intelligent also be so careless and arrogant when she’d finally achieved her dream?

    Reply
  108. Hmm, well I think that though Richard III didn’t actually order the deaths of the princes, he was responsible in that he left them vulnerable to Buckingham, who was a conniving sort.
    Re: Jane Seymour – in Dinah Lampitt’s Pour the Dark Wine (a novel), she posits that it was Jane’s brothers who were the schemers and she their pawn. My guess would be the truth lies somewhere in the middle. And I’m also of the opinion that Anne was doomed, especially after Katherine died, whether or not it was Jane waiting in the wings.
    Re: Catherine Howard, she’s the wife who gets the least of my sympathy as she was just stupid to carry on the way she did. Yes, she was young, but seriously, she had seen what happened to her cousin so should have known Henry wouldn’t have tolerated her carrying on behind his back. He was old and ill and doted on her – she should’ve grinned and borne it for a few years, then lived the rest of her life.
    Re: the Queens – Matilda has always fascinated me. Certainly her father’s daughter, and someone who wasted a prime opportunity to rule. How could someone who at times seemed so intelligent also be so careless and arrogant when she’d finally achieved her dream?

    Reply
  109. Hmm, well I think that though Richard III didn’t actually order the deaths of the princes, he was responsible in that he left them vulnerable to Buckingham, who was a conniving sort.
    Re: Jane Seymour – in Dinah Lampitt’s Pour the Dark Wine (a novel), she posits that it was Jane’s brothers who were the schemers and she their pawn. My guess would be the truth lies somewhere in the middle. And I’m also of the opinion that Anne was doomed, especially after Katherine died, whether or not it was Jane waiting in the wings.
    Re: Catherine Howard, she’s the wife who gets the least of my sympathy as she was just stupid to carry on the way she did. Yes, she was young, but seriously, she had seen what happened to her cousin so should have known Henry wouldn’t have tolerated her carrying on behind his back. He was old and ill and doted on her – she should’ve grinned and borne it for a few years, then lived the rest of her life.
    Re: the Queens – Matilda has always fascinated me. Certainly her father’s daughter, and someone who wasted a prime opportunity to rule. How could someone who at times seemed so intelligent also be so careless and arrogant when she’d finally achieved her dream?

    Reply
  110. Hmm, well I think that though Richard III didn’t actually order the deaths of the princes, he was responsible in that he left them vulnerable to Buckingham, who was a conniving sort.
    Re: Jane Seymour – in Dinah Lampitt’s Pour the Dark Wine (a novel), she posits that it was Jane’s brothers who were the schemers and she their pawn. My guess would be the truth lies somewhere in the middle. And I’m also of the opinion that Anne was doomed, especially after Katherine died, whether or not it was Jane waiting in the wings.
    Re: Catherine Howard, she’s the wife who gets the least of my sympathy as she was just stupid to carry on the way she did. Yes, she was young, but seriously, she had seen what happened to her cousin so should have known Henry wouldn’t have tolerated her carrying on behind his back. He was old and ill and doted on her – she should’ve grinned and borne it for a few years, then lived the rest of her life.
    Re: the Queens – Matilda has always fascinated me. Certainly her father’s daughter, and someone who wasted a prime opportunity to rule. How could someone who at times seemed so intelligent also be so careless and arrogant when she’d finally achieved her dream?

    Reply
  111. Sharon K. Penman’s novels have put many monarchs in a new light for me, particularly Richard III. It is hard to reconcile Shakespeare’s R3 with Penman’s Dickon.
    I can certainly sympathize with H8’s anxiety, esp. given his father’s drive, but my soft heart regrets the brutalization of so many lives, including poor, stupid Catherine Howard.
    Has anyone else read “Katherine” by Anya Seton? Great look at John of Gaunt and the royal court of the time.

    Reply
  112. Sharon K. Penman’s novels have put many monarchs in a new light for me, particularly Richard III. It is hard to reconcile Shakespeare’s R3 with Penman’s Dickon.
    I can certainly sympathize with H8’s anxiety, esp. given his father’s drive, but my soft heart regrets the brutalization of so many lives, including poor, stupid Catherine Howard.
    Has anyone else read “Katherine” by Anya Seton? Great look at John of Gaunt and the royal court of the time.

    Reply
  113. Sharon K. Penman’s novels have put many monarchs in a new light for me, particularly Richard III. It is hard to reconcile Shakespeare’s R3 with Penman’s Dickon.
    I can certainly sympathize with H8’s anxiety, esp. given his father’s drive, but my soft heart regrets the brutalization of so many lives, including poor, stupid Catherine Howard.
    Has anyone else read “Katherine” by Anya Seton? Great look at John of Gaunt and the royal court of the time.

    Reply
  114. Sharon K. Penman’s novels have put many monarchs in a new light for me, particularly Richard III. It is hard to reconcile Shakespeare’s R3 with Penman’s Dickon.
    I can certainly sympathize with H8’s anxiety, esp. given his father’s drive, but my soft heart regrets the brutalization of so many lives, including poor, stupid Catherine Howard.
    Has anyone else read “Katherine” by Anya Seton? Great look at John of Gaunt and the royal court of the time.

    Reply
  115. Sharon K. Penman’s novels have put many monarchs in a new light for me, particularly Richard III. It is hard to reconcile Shakespeare’s R3 with Penman’s Dickon.
    I can certainly sympathize with H8’s anxiety, esp. given his father’s drive, but my soft heart regrets the brutalization of so many lives, including poor, stupid Catherine Howard.
    Has anyone else read “Katherine” by Anya Seton? Great look at John of Gaunt and the royal court of the time.

    Reply
  116. Edward I is one that my students always believe is horrible, but it completely depends on which side you take. As an English ruler, pretty impressive. If you weren’t English and under his reign, not so good. I blame Braveheart, even though it is one of my favorite movies. Henry V is another that I don’t think that enough people give credit, whereas Richard the Lionheart receives way too much.
    Just my opinion though,
    Heather

    Reply
  117. Edward I is one that my students always believe is horrible, but it completely depends on which side you take. As an English ruler, pretty impressive. If you weren’t English and under his reign, not so good. I blame Braveheart, even though it is one of my favorite movies. Henry V is another that I don’t think that enough people give credit, whereas Richard the Lionheart receives way too much.
    Just my opinion though,
    Heather

    Reply
  118. Edward I is one that my students always believe is horrible, but it completely depends on which side you take. As an English ruler, pretty impressive. If you weren’t English and under his reign, not so good. I blame Braveheart, even though it is one of my favorite movies. Henry V is another that I don’t think that enough people give credit, whereas Richard the Lionheart receives way too much.
    Just my opinion though,
    Heather

    Reply
  119. Edward I is one that my students always believe is horrible, but it completely depends on which side you take. As an English ruler, pretty impressive. If you weren’t English and under his reign, not so good. I blame Braveheart, even though it is one of my favorite movies. Henry V is another that I don’t think that enough people give credit, whereas Richard the Lionheart receives way too much.
    Just my opinion though,
    Heather

    Reply
  120. Edward I is one that my students always believe is horrible, but it completely depends on which side you take. As an English ruler, pretty impressive. If you weren’t English and under his reign, not so good. I blame Braveheart, even though it is one of my favorite movies. Henry V is another that I don’t think that enough people give credit, whereas Richard the Lionheart receives way too much.
    Just my opinion though,
    Heather

    Reply
  121. Heather, I agree. Richard the Lionheart was a man for his time because he was a jock, like football stars to Americans.
    Shame Henry V died young, and Edward I has a lot of good points. You can even see the point of trying to rope in Wales and Scotland. Both borders were in constant turmoil.
    As for Braveheart, have to agree to disagree. Way too many games played with the history, and Wallace was a young lowlander. He deserved better.
    Has anyone done a novel about Matilda?
    Jo

    Reply
  122. Heather, I agree. Richard the Lionheart was a man for his time because he was a jock, like football stars to Americans.
    Shame Henry V died young, and Edward I has a lot of good points. You can even see the point of trying to rope in Wales and Scotland. Both borders were in constant turmoil.
    As for Braveheart, have to agree to disagree. Way too many games played with the history, and Wallace was a young lowlander. He deserved better.
    Has anyone done a novel about Matilda?
    Jo

    Reply
  123. Heather, I agree. Richard the Lionheart was a man for his time because he was a jock, like football stars to Americans.
    Shame Henry V died young, and Edward I has a lot of good points. You can even see the point of trying to rope in Wales and Scotland. Both borders were in constant turmoil.
    As for Braveheart, have to agree to disagree. Way too many games played with the history, and Wallace was a young lowlander. He deserved better.
    Has anyone done a novel about Matilda?
    Jo

    Reply
  124. Heather, I agree. Richard the Lionheart was a man for his time because he was a jock, like football stars to Americans.
    Shame Henry V died young, and Edward I has a lot of good points. You can even see the point of trying to rope in Wales and Scotland. Both borders were in constant turmoil.
    As for Braveheart, have to agree to disagree. Way too many games played with the history, and Wallace was a young lowlander. He deserved better.
    Has anyone done a novel about Matilda?
    Jo

    Reply
  125. Heather, I agree. Richard the Lionheart was a man for his time because he was a jock, like football stars to Americans.
    Shame Henry V died young, and Edward I has a lot of good points. You can even see the point of trying to rope in Wales and Scotland. Both borders were in constant turmoil.
    As for Braveheart, have to agree to disagree. Way too many games played with the history, and Wallace was a young lowlander. He deserved better.
    Has anyone done a novel about Matilda?
    Jo

    Reply
  126. There are a number of non-fiction books on Empress Matilda. There is also The Forgotten Queen by Haley Elizabeth Garwood, which I believe is historical fiction. We are talking about the Matilda-Stephen? Also, I recall a book by Jean Plaidy from the 70’s called Passionate Enemies. It was the third book in a trilogy on the Plantagenets and I believe it built up a romance between Stephen and Matilda.

    Reply
  127. There are a number of non-fiction books on Empress Matilda. There is also The Forgotten Queen by Haley Elizabeth Garwood, which I believe is historical fiction. We are talking about the Matilda-Stephen? Also, I recall a book by Jean Plaidy from the 70’s called Passionate Enemies. It was the third book in a trilogy on the Plantagenets and I believe it built up a romance between Stephen and Matilda.

    Reply
  128. There are a number of non-fiction books on Empress Matilda. There is also The Forgotten Queen by Haley Elizabeth Garwood, which I believe is historical fiction. We are talking about the Matilda-Stephen? Also, I recall a book by Jean Plaidy from the 70’s called Passionate Enemies. It was the third book in a trilogy on the Plantagenets and I believe it built up a romance between Stephen and Matilda.

    Reply
  129. There are a number of non-fiction books on Empress Matilda. There is also The Forgotten Queen by Haley Elizabeth Garwood, which I believe is historical fiction. We are talking about the Matilda-Stephen? Also, I recall a book by Jean Plaidy from the 70’s called Passionate Enemies. It was the third book in a trilogy on the Plantagenets and I believe it built up a romance between Stephen and Matilda.

    Reply
  130. There are a number of non-fiction books on Empress Matilda. There is also The Forgotten Queen by Haley Elizabeth Garwood, which I believe is historical fiction. We are talking about the Matilda-Stephen? Also, I recall a book by Jean Plaidy from the 70’s called Passionate Enemies. It was the third book in a trilogy on the Plantagenets and I believe it built up a romance between Stephen and Matilda.

    Reply
  131. Jo — I agree with you on Anne, to an extent. She certainly didn’t help matters with her antics, especially as she got more high-strung and desperate. But I also agree with Teresa — Anne was doomed. She hadn’t borne a living son, and once Katherine died, Henry was free to look for other options. Enter Jane Seymour.
    Teresa — I haven’t read the book you mentioned. I’ll have to hunt it up. Her brothers may have pushed her, but at the very least, Jane didn’t seem to have any compunctions about her role. And I suspect she was more active in the whole scenario than she is generally given credit for. Her appeal to Henry was that she was radically different from Anne. Some of her public persona (which is of course all we know) was probably real, but some of it was definitely put on to attract Henry. The question is where was that split.
    And I second the recommendation of Sharon Kay Penman, especially When Christ and His Saints Slept. It’s fantastic.

    Reply
  132. Jo — I agree with you on Anne, to an extent. She certainly didn’t help matters with her antics, especially as she got more high-strung and desperate. But I also agree with Teresa — Anne was doomed. She hadn’t borne a living son, and once Katherine died, Henry was free to look for other options. Enter Jane Seymour.
    Teresa — I haven’t read the book you mentioned. I’ll have to hunt it up. Her brothers may have pushed her, but at the very least, Jane didn’t seem to have any compunctions about her role. And I suspect she was more active in the whole scenario than she is generally given credit for. Her appeal to Henry was that she was radically different from Anne. Some of her public persona (which is of course all we know) was probably real, but some of it was definitely put on to attract Henry. The question is where was that split.
    And I second the recommendation of Sharon Kay Penman, especially When Christ and His Saints Slept. It’s fantastic.

    Reply
  133. Jo — I agree with you on Anne, to an extent. She certainly didn’t help matters with her antics, especially as she got more high-strung and desperate. But I also agree with Teresa — Anne was doomed. She hadn’t borne a living son, and once Katherine died, Henry was free to look for other options. Enter Jane Seymour.
    Teresa — I haven’t read the book you mentioned. I’ll have to hunt it up. Her brothers may have pushed her, but at the very least, Jane didn’t seem to have any compunctions about her role. And I suspect she was more active in the whole scenario than she is generally given credit for. Her appeal to Henry was that she was radically different from Anne. Some of her public persona (which is of course all we know) was probably real, but some of it was definitely put on to attract Henry. The question is where was that split.
    And I second the recommendation of Sharon Kay Penman, especially When Christ and His Saints Slept. It’s fantastic.

    Reply
  134. Jo — I agree with you on Anne, to an extent. She certainly didn’t help matters with her antics, especially as she got more high-strung and desperate. But I also agree with Teresa — Anne was doomed. She hadn’t borne a living son, and once Katherine died, Henry was free to look for other options. Enter Jane Seymour.
    Teresa — I haven’t read the book you mentioned. I’ll have to hunt it up. Her brothers may have pushed her, but at the very least, Jane didn’t seem to have any compunctions about her role. And I suspect she was more active in the whole scenario than she is generally given credit for. Her appeal to Henry was that she was radically different from Anne. Some of her public persona (which is of course all we know) was probably real, but some of it was definitely put on to attract Henry. The question is where was that split.
    And I second the recommendation of Sharon Kay Penman, especially When Christ and His Saints Slept. It’s fantastic.

    Reply
  135. Jo — I agree with you on Anne, to an extent. She certainly didn’t help matters with her antics, especially as she got more high-strung and desperate. But I also agree with Teresa — Anne was doomed. She hadn’t borne a living son, and once Katherine died, Henry was free to look for other options. Enter Jane Seymour.
    Teresa — I haven’t read the book you mentioned. I’ll have to hunt it up. Her brothers may have pushed her, but at the very least, Jane didn’t seem to have any compunctions about her role. And I suspect she was more active in the whole scenario than she is generally given credit for. Her appeal to Henry was that she was radically different from Anne. Some of her public persona (which is of course all we know) was probably real, but some of it was definitely put on to attract Henry. The question is where was that split.
    And I second the recommendation of Sharon Kay Penman, especially When Christ and His Saints Slept. It’s fantastic.

    Reply
  136. Jo – I’m afraid you won’t get me to agree about Edward I and Wales. Our last prince died in 1282, and that’s all there is to it…
    😉

    Reply
  137. Jo – I’m afraid you won’t get me to agree about Edward I and Wales. Our last prince died in 1282, and that’s all there is to it…
    😉

    Reply
  138. Jo – I’m afraid you won’t get me to agree about Edward I and Wales. Our last prince died in 1282, and that’s all there is to it…
    😉

    Reply
  139. Jo – I’m afraid you won’t get me to agree about Edward I and Wales. Our last prince died in 1282, and that’s all there is to it…
    😉

    Reply
  140. Jo – I’m afraid you won’t get me to agree about Edward I and Wales. Our last prince died in 1282, and that’s all there is to it…
    😉

    Reply
  141. As an outsider (the US), I’m glad to hear the positives on “the Mad King” who is not well spoken of. All the talk of his son, the Regent, reminds me more of Henry VIII. Plus we read a lot about the Regent in our novels. Don’t think he was much of a ruler either. A book I found interesting is Phillipa Gregory’s book on Catherine of Aragon, Henry’s first wife, called the Forgotten Princess. It goes into her first and second marriage to Henry VII sons – H8 was a second son. I haven’t heard anything about VIII’s abilities to rule, only his wives. There is also a book about Mary Boleyn, Anne’s sister. Anne certainly didn’t get my symphathy, but Catherine did. Anne is mentioned in that book also. In fact, I think between both books, all the wives were mentioned. The third book I read by Ms. Gregory was about Elizabeth I’s first years. She did have her problems, but came out of it finally. The history of the English monarchs is fascinating, but as has been said, I’m glad I’m a commoner.

    Reply
  142. As an outsider (the US), I’m glad to hear the positives on “the Mad King” who is not well spoken of. All the talk of his son, the Regent, reminds me more of Henry VIII. Plus we read a lot about the Regent in our novels. Don’t think he was much of a ruler either. A book I found interesting is Phillipa Gregory’s book on Catherine of Aragon, Henry’s first wife, called the Forgotten Princess. It goes into her first and second marriage to Henry VII sons – H8 was a second son. I haven’t heard anything about VIII’s abilities to rule, only his wives. There is also a book about Mary Boleyn, Anne’s sister. Anne certainly didn’t get my symphathy, but Catherine did. Anne is mentioned in that book also. In fact, I think between both books, all the wives were mentioned. The third book I read by Ms. Gregory was about Elizabeth I’s first years. She did have her problems, but came out of it finally. The history of the English monarchs is fascinating, but as has been said, I’m glad I’m a commoner.

    Reply
  143. As an outsider (the US), I’m glad to hear the positives on “the Mad King” who is not well spoken of. All the talk of his son, the Regent, reminds me more of Henry VIII. Plus we read a lot about the Regent in our novels. Don’t think he was much of a ruler either. A book I found interesting is Phillipa Gregory’s book on Catherine of Aragon, Henry’s first wife, called the Forgotten Princess. It goes into her first and second marriage to Henry VII sons – H8 was a second son. I haven’t heard anything about VIII’s abilities to rule, only his wives. There is also a book about Mary Boleyn, Anne’s sister. Anne certainly didn’t get my symphathy, but Catherine did. Anne is mentioned in that book also. In fact, I think between both books, all the wives were mentioned. The third book I read by Ms. Gregory was about Elizabeth I’s first years. She did have her problems, but came out of it finally. The history of the English monarchs is fascinating, but as has been said, I’m glad I’m a commoner.

    Reply
  144. As an outsider (the US), I’m glad to hear the positives on “the Mad King” who is not well spoken of. All the talk of his son, the Regent, reminds me more of Henry VIII. Plus we read a lot about the Regent in our novels. Don’t think he was much of a ruler either. A book I found interesting is Phillipa Gregory’s book on Catherine of Aragon, Henry’s first wife, called the Forgotten Princess. It goes into her first and second marriage to Henry VII sons – H8 was a second son. I haven’t heard anything about VIII’s abilities to rule, only his wives. There is also a book about Mary Boleyn, Anne’s sister. Anne certainly didn’t get my symphathy, but Catherine did. Anne is mentioned in that book also. In fact, I think between both books, all the wives were mentioned. The third book I read by Ms. Gregory was about Elizabeth I’s first years. She did have her problems, but came out of it finally. The history of the English monarchs is fascinating, but as has been said, I’m glad I’m a commoner.

    Reply
  145. As an outsider (the US), I’m glad to hear the positives on “the Mad King” who is not well spoken of. All the talk of his son, the Regent, reminds me more of Henry VIII. Plus we read a lot about the Regent in our novels. Don’t think he was much of a ruler either. A book I found interesting is Phillipa Gregory’s book on Catherine of Aragon, Henry’s first wife, called the Forgotten Princess. It goes into her first and second marriage to Henry VII sons – H8 was a second son. I haven’t heard anything about VIII’s abilities to rule, only his wives. There is also a book about Mary Boleyn, Anne’s sister. Anne certainly didn’t get my symphathy, but Catherine did. Anne is mentioned in that book also. In fact, I think between both books, all the wives were mentioned. The third book I read by Ms. Gregory was about Elizabeth I’s first years. She did have her problems, but came out of it finally. The history of the English monarchs is fascinating, but as has been said, I’m glad I’m a commoner.

    Reply
  146. AgTigress, thank you for the etymology. My mind will now stop “worrying” at it although I do rather fancy my own imagined (“hair-brained’?) linguistic relationship between beards and barbarians.
    And regarding those virile kings who couldn’t sire living sons–perhaps it was a function of child mortality in general in those eras? Our comfortable world where we expect children to live beyond their first birthday is of pretty recent vintage.

    Reply
  147. AgTigress, thank you for the etymology. My mind will now stop “worrying” at it although I do rather fancy my own imagined (“hair-brained’?) linguistic relationship between beards and barbarians.
    And regarding those virile kings who couldn’t sire living sons–perhaps it was a function of child mortality in general in those eras? Our comfortable world where we expect children to live beyond their first birthday is of pretty recent vintage.

    Reply
  148. AgTigress, thank you for the etymology. My mind will now stop “worrying” at it although I do rather fancy my own imagined (“hair-brained’?) linguistic relationship between beards and barbarians.
    And regarding those virile kings who couldn’t sire living sons–perhaps it was a function of child mortality in general in those eras? Our comfortable world where we expect children to live beyond their first birthday is of pretty recent vintage.

    Reply
  149. AgTigress, thank you for the etymology. My mind will now stop “worrying” at it although I do rather fancy my own imagined (“hair-brained’?) linguistic relationship between beards and barbarians.
    And regarding those virile kings who couldn’t sire living sons–perhaps it was a function of child mortality in general in those eras? Our comfortable world where we expect children to live beyond their first birthday is of pretty recent vintage.

    Reply
  150. AgTigress, thank you for the etymology. My mind will now stop “worrying” at it although I do rather fancy my own imagined (“hair-brained’?) linguistic relationship between beards and barbarians.
    And regarding those virile kings who couldn’t sire living sons–perhaps it was a function of child mortality in general in those eras? Our comfortable world where we expect children to live beyond their first birthday is of pretty recent vintage.

    Reply
  151. I agree completely about George II and Richard III.
    George was undoubtedly a good man, who was very stubborn about the American colonies. But one mistake shouldn’t make him the bad guy of history.
    I never thought Richard III had anything to do with the death of the Princes in the Tower. Henry VII had much more to gain. “Daughter of Time” was a great book and thesis on the subject!

    Reply
  152. I agree completely about George II and Richard III.
    George was undoubtedly a good man, who was very stubborn about the American colonies. But one mistake shouldn’t make him the bad guy of history.
    I never thought Richard III had anything to do with the death of the Princes in the Tower. Henry VII had much more to gain. “Daughter of Time” was a great book and thesis on the subject!

    Reply
  153. I agree completely about George II and Richard III.
    George was undoubtedly a good man, who was very stubborn about the American colonies. But one mistake shouldn’t make him the bad guy of history.
    I never thought Richard III had anything to do with the death of the Princes in the Tower. Henry VII had much more to gain. “Daughter of Time” was a great book and thesis on the subject!

    Reply
  154. I agree completely about George II and Richard III.
    George was undoubtedly a good man, who was very stubborn about the American colonies. But one mistake shouldn’t make him the bad guy of history.
    I never thought Richard III had anything to do with the death of the Princes in the Tower. Henry VII had much more to gain. “Daughter of Time” was a great book and thesis on the subject!

    Reply
  155. I agree completely about George II and Richard III.
    George was undoubtedly a good man, who was very stubborn about the American colonies. But one mistake shouldn’t make him the bad guy of history.
    I never thought Richard III had anything to do with the death of the Princes in the Tower. Henry VII had much more to gain. “Daughter of Time” was a great book and thesis on the subject!

    Reply
  156. “And regarding those virile kings who couldn’t sire living sons–perhaps it was a function of child mortality in general in those eras? Our comfortable world where we expect children to live beyond their first birthday is of pretty recent vintage.”
    But some of them were producing a flourishing batch of bastards at the same time as they couldn’t get a legitimate heir. Catherine of Braganza, Charles II’s wife, was almost certainly barren, but all those wives?
    And while it’s true that child mortality was bad, some people were managing families of 5 or more surviving adults, so that’s not all of it, either.
    All very peculiar.
    Jo

    Reply
  157. “And regarding those virile kings who couldn’t sire living sons–perhaps it was a function of child mortality in general in those eras? Our comfortable world where we expect children to live beyond their first birthday is of pretty recent vintage.”
    But some of them were producing a flourishing batch of bastards at the same time as they couldn’t get a legitimate heir. Catherine of Braganza, Charles II’s wife, was almost certainly barren, but all those wives?
    And while it’s true that child mortality was bad, some people were managing families of 5 or more surviving adults, so that’s not all of it, either.
    All very peculiar.
    Jo

    Reply
  158. “And regarding those virile kings who couldn’t sire living sons–perhaps it was a function of child mortality in general in those eras? Our comfortable world where we expect children to live beyond their first birthday is of pretty recent vintage.”
    But some of them were producing a flourishing batch of bastards at the same time as they couldn’t get a legitimate heir. Catherine of Braganza, Charles II’s wife, was almost certainly barren, but all those wives?
    And while it’s true that child mortality was bad, some people were managing families of 5 or more surviving adults, so that’s not all of it, either.
    All very peculiar.
    Jo

    Reply
  159. “And regarding those virile kings who couldn’t sire living sons–perhaps it was a function of child mortality in general in those eras? Our comfortable world where we expect children to live beyond their first birthday is of pretty recent vintage.”
    But some of them were producing a flourishing batch of bastards at the same time as they couldn’t get a legitimate heir. Catherine of Braganza, Charles II’s wife, was almost certainly barren, but all those wives?
    And while it’s true that child mortality was bad, some people were managing families of 5 or more surviving adults, so that’s not all of it, either.
    All very peculiar.
    Jo

    Reply
  160. “And regarding those virile kings who couldn’t sire living sons–perhaps it was a function of child mortality in general in those eras? Our comfortable world where we expect children to live beyond their first birthday is of pretty recent vintage.”
    But some of them were producing a flourishing batch of bastards at the same time as they couldn’t get a legitimate heir. Catherine of Braganza, Charles II’s wife, was almost certainly barren, but all those wives?
    And while it’s true that child mortality was bad, some people were managing families of 5 or more surviving adults, so that’s not all of it, either.
    All very peculiar.
    Jo

    Reply
  161. I would agree re: H8 and his lack of significant heirs, and the health of those he did have. Likely a result of a weakness in his genetic make up – none of the Tudors had many children. And certainly you’d think Henry would have managed more illegitimate off spring than just Henry of Richmond, who was, like two of his three half-siblings, rather sickly. Of them all, only Elizabeth was really healthy.
    For a compelling portrait of Catherine of Braganza (she’s a major secondary character) try Karleen Koen’s novel Dark Angels (her long awaited prequel to Through a Glass Darkly).
    I too would put in a vote for SKP’s When Christ and his Saints Slept, as well as Jean Plaidy’s Passionate Enemies. Ellen Jones also wrote a novel about Maud – The Fatal Crown. It was quite good – I liked it far better than HEG’s book.

    Reply
  162. I would agree re: H8 and his lack of significant heirs, and the health of those he did have. Likely a result of a weakness in his genetic make up – none of the Tudors had many children. And certainly you’d think Henry would have managed more illegitimate off spring than just Henry of Richmond, who was, like two of his three half-siblings, rather sickly. Of them all, only Elizabeth was really healthy.
    For a compelling portrait of Catherine of Braganza (she’s a major secondary character) try Karleen Koen’s novel Dark Angels (her long awaited prequel to Through a Glass Darkly).
    I too would put in a vote for SKP’s When Christ and his Saints Slept, as well as Jean Plaidy’s Passionate Enemies. Ellen Jones also wrote a novel about Maud – The Fatal Crown. It was quite good – I liked it far better than HEG’s book.

    Reply
  163. I would agree re: H8 and his lack of significant heirs, and the health of those he did have. Likely a result of a weakness in his genetic make up – none of the Tudors had many children. And certainly you’d think Henry would have managed more illegitimate off spring than just Henry of Richmond, who was, like two of his three half-siblings, rather sickly. Of them all, only Elizabeth was really healthy.
    For a compelling portrait of Catherine of Braganza (she’s a major secondary character) try Karleen Koen’s novel Dark Angels (her long awaited prequel to Through a Glass Darkly).
    I too would put in a vote for SKP’s When Christ and his Saints Slept, as well as Jean Plaidy’s Passionate Enemies. Ellen Jones also wrote a novel about Maud – The Fatal Crown. It was quite good – I liked it far better than HEG’s book.

    Reply
  164. I would agree re: H8 and his lack of significant heirs, and the health of those he did have. Likely a result of a weakness in his genetic make up – none of the Tudors had many children. And certainly you’d think Henry would have managed more illegitimate off spring than just Henry of Richmond, who was, like two of his three half-siblings, rather sickly. Of them all, only Elizabeth was really healthy.
    For a compelling portrait of Catherine of Braganza (she’s a major secondary character) try Karleen Koen’s novel Dark Angels (her long awaited prequel to Through a Glass Darkly).
    I too would put in a vote for SKP’s When Christ and his Saints Slept, as well as Jean Plaidy’s Passionate Enemies. Ellen Jones also wrote a novel about Maud – The Fatal Crown. It was quite good – I liked it far better than HEG’s book.

    Reply
  165. I would agree re: H8 and his lack of significant heirs, and the health of those he did have. Likely a result of a weakness in his genetic make up – none of the Tudors had many children. And certainly you’d think Henry would have managed more illegitimate off spring than just Henry of Richmond, who was, like two of his three half-siblings, rather sickly. Of them all, only Elizabeth was really healthy.
    For a compelling portrait of Catherine of Braganza (she’s a major secondary character) try Karleen Koen’s novel Dark Angels (her long awaited prequel to Through a Glass Darkly).
    I too would put in a vote for SKP’s When Christ and his Saints Slept, as well as Jean Plaidy’s Passionate Enemies. Ellen Jones also wrote a novel about Maud – The Fatal Crown. It was quite good – I liked it far better than HEG’s book.

    Reply
  166. In regards to H8, isn’t it possible that he suffered from a venereal disease which might have attributed to his lack off offspring? Although I know that girls tend to be heartier anyway, it seems odd that he should have so few children that lived compared to Charles II and James II who seemed to litter England with their illegitmate offspring.

    Reply
  167. In regards to H8, isn’t it possible that he suffered from a venereal disease which might have attributed to his lack off offspring? Although I know that girls tend to be heartier anyway, it seems odd that he should have so few children that lived compared to Charles II and James II who seemed to litter England with their illegitmate offspring.

    Reply
  168. In regards to H8, isn’t it possible that he suffered from a venereal disease which might have attributed to his lack off offspring? Although I know that girls tend to be heartier anyway, it seems odd that he should have so few children that lived compared to Charles II and James II who seemed to litter England with their illegitmate offspring.

    Reply
  169. In regards to H8, isn’t it possible that he suffered from a venereal disease which might have attributed to his lack off offspring? Although I know that girls tend to be heartier anyway, it seems odd that he should have so few children that lived compared to Charles II and James II who seemed to litter England with their illegitmate offspring.

    Reply
  170. In regards to H8, isn’t it possible that he suffered from a venereal disease which might have attributed to his lack off offspring? Although I know that girls tend to be heartier anyway, it seems odd that he should have so few children that lived compared to Charles II and James II who seemed to litter England with their illegitmate offspring.

    Reply
  171. Elizabeth — Henry VIII did not receive any of the known treatments for venereal disease, so it probably wasn’t that. Most historians guess that it was something in the genes, maybe the male genes, as Teresa mentions. Without DNA, they’re, of course, only guessing. Wouldn’t it be fun to exhume bodies and see what DNA reveals?? Would never happen but it’s fun to imagine :).

    Reply
  172. Elizabeth — Henry VIII did not receive any of the known treatments for venereal disease, so it probably wasn’t that. Most historians guess that it was something in the genes, maybe the male genes, as Teresa mentions. Without DNA, they’re, of course, only guessing. Wouldn’t it be fun to exhume bodies and see what DNA reveals?? Would never happen but it’s fun to imagine :).

    Reply
  173. Elizabeth — Henry VIII did not receive any of the known treatments for venereal disease, so it probably wasn’t that. Most historians guess that it was something in the genes, maybe the male genes, as Teresa mentions. Without DNA, they’re, of course, only guessing. Wouldn’t it be fun to exhume bodies and see what DNA reveals?? Would never happen but it’s fun to imagine :).

    Reply
  174. Elizabeth — Henry VIII did not receive any of the known treatments for venereal disease, so it probably wasn’t that. Most historians guess that it was something in the genes, maybe the male genes, as Teresa mentions. Without DNA, they’re, of course, only guessing. Wouldn’t it be fun to exhume bodies and see what DNA reveals?? Would never happen but it’s fun to imagine :).

    Reply
  175. Elizabeth — Henry VIII did not receive any of the known treatments for venereal disease, so it probably wasn’t that. Most historians guess that it was something in the genes, maybe the male genes, as Teresa mentions. Without DNA, they’re, of course, only guessing. Wouldn’t it be fun to exhume bodies and see what DNA reveals?? Would never happen but it’s fun to imagine :).

    Reply
  176. With regards to H8 and syphilis, I was reading on another list earlier this week (serendipity indeed) that some doctors think his symptoms were more likely caused by late onset diabetes – which would explain his weight, general poor health (no insulin shots) and the sore on his leg that never seemed to heal. And considering his diet….

    Reply
  177. With regards to H8 and syphilis, I was reading on another list earlier this week (serendipity indeed) that some doctors think his symptoms were more likely caused by late onset diabetes – which would explain his weight, general poor health (no insulin shots) and the sore on his leg that never seemed to heal. And considering his diet….

    Reply
  178. With regards to H8 and syphilis, I was reading on another list earlier this week (serendipity indeed) that some doctors think his symptoms were more likely caused by late onset diabetes – which would explain his weight, general poor health (no insulin shots) and the sore on his leg that never seemed to heal. And considering his diet….

    Reply
  179. With regards to H8 and syphilis, I was reading on another list earlier this week (serendipity indeed) that some doctors think his symptoms were more likely caused by late onset diabetes – which would explain his weight, general poor health (no insulin shots) and the sore on his leg that never seemed to heal. And considering his diet….

    Reply
  180. With regards to H8 and syphilis, I was reading on another list earlier this week (serendipity indeed) that some doctors think his symptoms were more likely caused by late onset diabetes – which would explain his weight, general poor health (no insulin shots) and the sore on his leg that never seemed to heal. And considering his diet….

    Reply
  181. Hi, Jo,
    Fascinating topic! I’ve been reading “Constant Princess,” “The Other Boleyn girl” and “The Boleyn inheritance” – it seems Phillipa Gregory’s tilt is that Henry was spoiled, but may have been helped along in his later neuroses by Anne Boleyn.
    As to Geoerge III, it was my understanding that he relied on a few ill-advised advisors.
    Hey, everyone makes mistakes!
    Most likely all of them (kings – – possibly also presidents, etc.) would be more human and more understandable if we had fly-on-the-wall accounts.
    Thank you for another fun subject.
    Laura T

    Reply
  182. Hi, Jo,
    Fascinating topic! I’ve been reading “Constant Princess,” “The Other Boleyn girl” and “The Boleyn inheritance” – it seems Phillipa Gregory’s tilt is that Henry was spoiled, but may have been helped along in his later neuroses by Anne Boleyn.
    As to Geoerge III, it was my understanding that he relied on a few ill-advised advisors.
    Hey, everyone makes mistakes!
    Most likely all of them (kings – – possibly also presidents, etc.) would be more human and more understandable if we had fly-on-the-wall accounts.
    Thank you for another fun subject.
    Laura T

    Reply
  183. Hi, Jo,
    Fascinating topic! I’ve been reading “Constant Princess,” “The Other Boleyn girl” and “The Boleyn inheritance” – it seems Phillipa Gregory’s tilt is that Henry was spoiled, but may have been helped along in his later neuroses by Anne Boleyn.
    As to Geoerge III, it was my understanding that he relied on a few ill-advised advisors.
    Hey, everyone makes mistakes!
    Most likely all of them (kings – – possibly also presidents, etc.) would be more human and more understandable if we had fly-on-the-wall accounts.
    Thank you for another fun subject.
    Laura T

    Reply
  184. Hi, Jo,
    Fascinating topic! I’ve been reading “Constant Princess,” “The Other Boleyn girl” and “The Boleyn inheritance” – it seems Phillipa Gregory’s tilt is that Henry was spoiled, but may have been helped along in his later neuroses by Anne Boleyn.
    As to Geoerge III, it was my understanding that he relied on a few ill-advised advisors.
    Hey, everyone makes mistakes!
    Most likely all of them (kings – – possibly also presidents, etc.) would be more human and more understandable if we had fly-on-the-wall accounts.
    Thank you for another fun subject.
    Laura T

    Reply
  185. Hi, Jo,
    Fascinating topic! I’ve been reading “Constant Princess,” “The Other Boleyn girl” and “The Boleyn inheritance” – it seems Phillipa Gregory’s tilt is that Henry was spoiled, but may have been helped along in his later neuroses by Anne Boleyn.
    As to Geoerge III, it was my understanding that he relied on a few ill-advised advisors.
    Hey, everyone makes mistakes!
    Most likely all of them (kings – – possibly also presidents, etc.) would be more human and more understandable if we had fly-on-the-wall accounts.
    Thank you for another fun subject.
    Laura T

    Reply
  186. Jo:
    I haven’t seen the new “Elizabeth” yet, but I really want to. I loved the first movie. Its historical inaccuracies, however, did spoil it a little for me. I am not an Elizabethan scholar by any means, but just the part about Elizabeth refusing to see Dudley in private ever again was too much dramtic license. He was her loyal subject to his death.
    However, I did forgive the Duc d’Anjou plotline, because it was too funny not to love it.

    Reply
  187. Jo:
    I haven’t seen the new “Elizabeth” yet, but I really want to. I loved the first movie. Its historical inaccuracies, however, did spoil it a little for me. I am not an Elizabethan scholar by any means, but just the part about Elizabeth refusing to see Dudley in private ever again was too much dramtic license. He was her loyal subject to his death.
    However, I did forgive the Duc d’Anjou plotline, because it was too funny not to love it.

    Reply
  188. Jo:
    I haven’t seen the new “Elizabeth” yet, but I really want to. I loved the first movie. Its historical inaccuracies, however, did spoil it a little for me. I am not an Elizabethan scholar by any means, but just the part about Elizabeth refusing to see Dudley in private ever again was too much dramtic license. He was her loyal subject to his death.
    However, I did forgive the Duc d’Anjou plotline, because it was too funny not to love it.

    Reply
  189. Jo:
    I haven’t seen the new “Elizabeth” yet, but I really want to. I loved the first movie. Its historical inaccuracies, however, did spoil it a little for me. I am not an Elizabethan scholar by any means, but just the part about Elizabeth refusing to see Dudley in private ever again was too much dramtic license. He was her loyal subject to his death.
    However, I did forgive the Duc d’Anjou plotline, because it was too funny not to love it.

    Reply
  190. Jo:
    I haven’t seen the new “Elizabeth” yet, but I really want to. I loved the first movie. Its historical inaccuracies, however, did spoil it a little for me. I am not an Elizabethan scholar by any means, but just the part about Elizabeth refusing to see Dudley in private ever again was too much dramtic license. He was her loyal subject to his death.
    However, I did forgive the Duc d’Anjou plotline, because it was too funny not to love it.

    Reply

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