Thursday, March 27, 2008

It's Good To Be The King: Lust & Politics in Merry Old England

...and they say history is dull. (1)

Meanwhile, Tudor's star Jonathan Rhys Meyers attended the protest against the planned motorway on the Hill of Tara. The plan will destroy Lismullen Woods and Irish archaeological sites.


(For those using a reader, here is a video I've put up on my blog, made from the first season of this series).

Endnotes: Added on 3/29

(1) History buffs all over the net are noting where the The Tudors gets it wrong. The creators of this series (like the creators of some recent British films on Elizabeth I) won't let a little thing like historical fact get in the way of their drama. Some scholars are tolerantly amused by this and are pleased to see people taking an interest in our collective history. Others are not so amused.

Professor Robert Bucholz, professor of history at Loyola University of Chicago, gives his opinion on the series in an article titled Corsets and Codpieces:

“I think the Tudors are always in fashion because it is easy – if wrong – to boil down this story into one of raw sex and power,” he wrote via e-mail. “And who doesn’t find that interesting? In fact, the real Tudor story is far more complex AND interesting – involving the haunting memory of the Wars of the Roses, Reformation Era theology, foreign policy, even the price of bread – in ways that actually affected real people’s lives.

....Bucholz suggests the real problem with paying so much attention to the Tudors is that we ignore their royal successors, the Stuarts, who tried to rule England absolutely. That family’s political and cultural battles – the right of habeas corpus, the right against unreasonable search and seizure, parliamentary power of the purse, the religion of the ruler and, above all, whether said ruler is above the law – mirror struggles in U.S. history. In fact, he says, “I would argue that presidential signing statements are merely the Stuart claim to be able to dispense with the law in individual cases.”

“These are all debates that Englishmen and women argued, fought and settled under the Stuarts, culminating in the Glorious Revolution of 1688-89 and the English Bill of Rights, the foundation of our Bill of Rights,” Bucholz says. “But nobody seems to want to make a movie about that.”

Off The Shelf:
Need a good beach read or something for your next vacation? Try The Other Boleyn Girl

Links: (Additional links added on 3/29)

The Tudors mini-series website

The Tudors: Season Two (free Youtube viewing of 2nd season premier)

Nine Things To Know About the Tudors

Tudor History

Animated video with some gross & grisly Tudor facts (the kids will love it).

Tudors Making some unkind cuts

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