Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Tudors Season 4: As Fat As Henry Gets...

Well, my friends, here it is...
a preview photo of Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Henry VIII circa 1543 when he marries Kateryn Parr, played by Joely Richardson.

Looks like this is as fat and old as Henry VIII will get for us in The Tudors.
I've stated many times that it doesn't bother me much that they went with a man who does not resemble (portraits of) Henry VIII in the least. It was easy for me to look past the lack of resemblance and imagine instead the spirit and attitude - especially in Henry's youth.

However, I'm struggling a little more with it as they try age him. I will reserve judgement until I see season 4 and experience JRM's portrayal, but going by this photo, I am not counting on sharing the producers' vision.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Tudors Replay

Some very exciting programming news (for American subscribers) from Showtime...

Just after the first of the year, Showtime plans to prepare for the new upcoming season of The Tudors as it has done every year, by replaying last season first. Since April will mark the fourth and final season of the series, Showtime plans to replay the entire series, beginning with Season 1 starting on January 3, 2010!!! We will be able to watch everything start to finish.

That's right, we get to watch Michael Hirst's intense portrayal of Henry's love affair with Anne Boleyn and Natalie Dormer's brilliant portrayal of the doomed queen of the thousand days, all over again.

(Okay, I own the DVDs and watch it all the time... but there's something about flipping through channels and stumbling upon it!)

And so it begins...

A Christmas Walk with Anne Boleyn

Fancy a walk after that big Christmas dinner? For the first time ever, the gardens at Hever Castle will be open for two days between Christmas and the New Year. You can take a winter walk at Hever - the Kentish childhood home of Anne Boleyn - on Bank Holiday Monday or Tuesday, December 29.

See the picturesque castle, grounds and 38-acre lake as it is in the winter time and place a New Year’s wish upon the Wishing Tree in the formal gardens.

The first part of the castle, the gatehouse and walled bailey, was built in 1270. In the early 1500s the Bullen family bought the castle and built a Tudor dwelling within its walls where Anne would spend her formative years before captivating King Henry VIII and setting England in a roar.

After enjoying the scenery, you can warm up in the Moat Restaurant, with a hot seasonal meal and homemade cakes.

Log on to for more details.

**Photo of Hever taken May 26, 2009 by Kristian Gamble - do NOT use without permission.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

On This Day in Tudor History:

On December 16, 1485
Katherine of Aragon was born in Madrid, Spain, the youngest surviving child of King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile.

Katherine was married by proxy to Arthur, Prince of Wales, (son of Henry VII) at the age of 13. By the age of 15, she was a widow in a foreign country where she didn't speak the language.

Not wanting to lose her dowry, Henry VII kept her captive in England for seven years until his death in 1509. By the age of 23, she was married to Arthur's brother, Henry VIII and crowned Queen of England.

Katherine was pregnant many times but she and Henry had only one surviving child: the future Queen Mary I. Not comfortable leaving his dynasty to a girl, after 24 years of marriage, Henry had their marriage annulled in order to marry Anne Boleyn. The drama of losing so many children and then the love of her husband, combined with the fight to hold onto Henry and the crown ruined Katherine's health and looks.

She would die at age 50, broken and alone at Kimbolton Castle, having been separated from her daughter for more than four years.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Tudor Art

Due to my schoolwork I have been neglecting my posts here at The Tudor Blog. I have tried to squeeze in as much reading on English history as possible -- mostly at night, in bed, after my studies.

But research and commentary has fallen by the wayside for now.

The only thing I have done is to sketch a few of the more recognizable portraits of the Tudor era (or just after). I will post a few of these sketches here and welcome your feedback!

My first sketch: Anne Boleyn.