joy magnetism: Learning history

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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Learning history

Magnet#877 - Mary I (r. 1553 - 1558)

Sometimes I feel like half the knowledge I have in my head is either from a romance novel, or from television.

For example, for about three seasons of The Tudors, I thought ole Mary I here was Mary, Queen of Scots, and I spent a lot of time trying to fill in her story about how she got to Scotland.

But, then on the show, when the actual baby Mary, Queen of Scots was born in Scotland, I was like, oh, so this Catholic Mary's not that Mary. And, by the time I read in the afterword that this Mary was actually "Bloody Mary," I was feeling pretty stupid. I mean, you wouldn't think I actually took two semesters of Ye Olde English History at Carolina. Or, maybe you would.

That's why I'm using Mary as today's magnet - I finally finished all of The Tudors this afternoon. I honestly can't tell if I liked the show or not (besides absolutely loving Charles Brandon).

Some of the things I learned, included:

- The correct succession of wives and kids. Which I kinda already knew, but it was fun to see how by the end, Kate was like, nu-uh, I don't want to marry the King!
- That there are several ways to spell Katherine and Catherine - and no one seems to agree on the ways to spell it.
- That Henry VIII's the one who added back in the doxology of "For thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory now and forever" to the Lord's Prayer. (Something I didn't grow up with at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in NC, and I didn't even know it existed until much later in life.)
- That I'll never see Thomas More as anyone else but Jeremy Northam. And that little tricorny hat suited him.
- That it was hot under all those clothes, that they didn't wear anything under those clothes, that the boys rarely took off their clothes to do their business.
- That their clothes were amazing.
- It's hard being Catholic, with all our superstitions and idols. Hmph. Thanks for that, Henry. (Though, I was pretty done with the religious aspect of the whole show, pretty early. And mad when they were raiding and defacing the monasteries and abbeys.)
- That I need some sort of title or lands settled upon me. Those country houses were lovely. And if I could have a couple of the King's posse, I'd have been a happy camper.
- That no matter how lovely the place, everywhere was just dark, dark, dark. It's no wonder they weren't all blind.
- That Nonsuch Palace would have been supercool if it were still standing today.
- That when a child prince or princess does their duty, everyone claps. And that stops once they get older.
- That sometimes it takes more than one swipe of an executioner's axe to get the job done.
- That bodies still shake and shiver when separated from the head.
- That Charles Brandon can make a pigtail hot. Oh, and that he was totally a character from a romance novel - two of them. With Henry's sister and with Brigitte, his French captive.
- That though Wolsey used to carry an orange around with him to walk through the unwashed and theoretically smelly masses, no one blinked an eye when kissing someone in the Tower of London or severely infirm.
- Never trust a treaty.
- Never trust a court musician or poet. Or a lady in waiting. Or a Lord Privy guy.
- Or, really never trust anyone at court.

Hmmm, except Brandon. Cuz he was awesome, and stuck with ole Henry to the end. Loved their relationship.
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