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Jane Seymour?
June 12, 2011
7:08 pm
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Mya Elise
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Okay so this has been really nagging away at me for the past few weeks and i can't get myself around to a truth.

I am wondering whether Jane and her family planned to throw Anne over. Like, when they saw that Henry was interested in Jane…did they think about how Anne got to her position and planned to do the exact same thing but (in a way) better? Better as in Jane got Henry to literally hate Anne to a point that he had to have her dead not in a nunnery but dead. He wanted Jane as his new wife and Anne gone that bad. Did Jane and her family plan all of it or was Jane innocent and Henry just fell in love with her on his own? Honestly if you think about it Jane was like Anne, Jane protested her viginity like Anne, Jane refused gifts like Anne, and Henry had to get rid of a wife in order to marry like with Anne. And we all hate Jane because she had something to do with Anne's fall, but are we being hypocrits? Because Anne had something to do with Katherine's downfall. Although Anne's my hero and i love her to death, i just feel like i judge Jane way too much. Any thoughts? (On Jane being calculating and on us Anne Lovers being hypocrits towards Jane)?

• Grumble all you like, this is how it’s going to be.

June 12, 2011
9:03 pm
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Anyanka
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Not all of us hate Jane. She was put in an odious position by Henry and her brothers amongst others.

 

My personal opinion is that , like in the case of Anne,when Henry decided to go for  a mistress, it was all or nothing.

 

The Seymour brothers were as ambisous as the Boleyns. Jane  would have been a footnote had the jousting accident not happened and Anne miscarrying.

Since KoA was dead, Henry`s poor  tender concoince started to act up regarding his current marriage. Henry then decided he needed a proper wife….Jane was an excuse. Any other suitable  woman could have ended up as H8`s next queen. After all, Henry did mention that he could have done bettter a few days after he had married Jane.

It's always bunnies.

June 12, 2011
11:43 pm
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Sophie1536
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I don't hate Jane Seymour Smile

We can never know all the facts and ins and outs of what happened all those years ago so I have no reason to hate her, all Henry's wives fascinate me as they were all so unique and different in everyway. Anne will always be my favourite because I find her completely fascinating and interesting.

Personally I don't think the Seymours plotted against Anne I think what happened “Just happened”, but this is MY PERSONAL view only.

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June 13, 2011
12:52 am
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Bill1978
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I definitely don't hate Jane or The Seymours. In fact, I'm almost the opposite and would say I am fascintaed by her. I personally don't think they were activily working against Anne. I think The Seymours took advantage of an opportunity and ran with it, just like The Boleyns did. I imagine The Seymours were initially just hoping for Jane to be an official mistress and receive all the honours that bewstowed upon the family.

In simplistic terms, Henry became infatuated with another woman while being married. And like any family at court during the Tudor Period, the family of the other woman used Henry's lust to their advatange to improve their standing in society.

The only difference between the Seymours and Boleyns is that The Seymours had the benefit of hindsight. They knew how Anne managed to 'capture' the King and most likely advised Jane on those tactics, but they also knew exactly what aspects of Anne's personality drove Henry away. So I imagine, The Seymours advised Jane to hide those aspects of her personality. And considering she knew fully well the consequence of such actions, I imagine she had no problems in 'lying' IF she had those traits, to maintain her life. So it is no wonder that Jane often comes across as boring, but it is thoughts like that make her an interesting character for me.

If anybody needs to be hated for what happened to Anne, I imagine the best person to hate would be Cromwell. I imagine that once he saw Henry's attention turn from Anne to Jane, he rubbed his hands with glee and gave his best Mr. Burns expression and said 'Excellent!' And it was him who decided that Henry needed a new wife not a new mistress. And since Jane was the current favoured non-wife woman of court, she was chosen as the catalyst to rid the court of The Boleyn faction. And let's be honest, what family at that time, is going to complain and object to the decision to make their daughter the Queen of England.

June 13, 2011
4:54 am
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DuchessofBrittany
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I don't hate Jane Seymour. I am intrigued by her, since there had to be more to her than the demure, quiet woman. From reading about her, I've come to accept she had a steely determination, was not faint-at-heart, and was being sucked into a situation in which she had no control. A woman to be reckoned with, and slowly earning my respect.

If one is going to criticise Jane, then Anne must be given the same treatment. Anne and Jane were both (at some point) playing for keeps. I don't believe either of these women pursued Henry. Rather, they became the object of Henry's affection and, because he was King, they had to concede to him.

The Boleyns and Seymours were cut from the same cloth: ambitious, power-hungry, intelligent, and urged on the attention of the King on their female relatives. In the end, they both lost it all. They played a high stakes game, where they were not in control of the endgame, no matter how much they wanted to win.

It is not fair to blame or attack Jane for what happened to Anne. Anne Boleyn supporters are the first to defend Anne's honour whenever someone accuses her of forcing Henry to annul his marriage to KOA, that she pursued Henry, Princess Mary's treatment, etc. So, why should Jane be treated differently? Fair is fair, and Jane should be shown the same respect. I do not attempt to change people's perceptions of Jane. I know many hate her, but I cannot.

All of Henry's wives lost their agency the second they fell under Henry's spell. If there is anyone to disliked, then dislike Henry. He's the puppet master, the King, God, whatever. He's the showman, judge, jury, and executioner. Cromwell was the King's man: doing what he was told. No better than every other syncophant at court: feed the ego and reap the benefits.

Simply, Henry tired of Anne, wanted rid of her, and got his way. In the midst Jane came along and solidified Henry's desire for a new wife and a prospect for a son. Anne's star was falling and Jane had no control in that. She found herself where Anne was a decade before: the other woman in a failed marriage, being pursued by a King, urged on by her families, and caught up in the moment.

"By daily proof you shall find me to be to you both loving and kind" Anne Boleyn

June 13, 2011
8:52 am
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MegC
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I don't hate Jane, either.  She's not my favorite wife, but I far from hate her.

And I don't think she had anything to do with making H8 hate Anne so much that he wanted her dead.   I truly believe that Henry fell in “love” with Jane, realized he had spent 7 years trying to rid himself of KoA so he could marry Anne, and he was not going to go through all that again.  It was easier for him if Anne was dead.  If she was dead, no one would challenge Jane's position as his true wife and if the longed-for heir did happen to emerge no one would question the child's legitimacy.  Divorce had complicated Henry's life in ways I don't think he had anticipated, and it was further complicated by the birth of Elizabeth.  Part of the reason divorce was so easy for AoC was because no heir existed and one wasn't going to spontaneously appear because their marriage was never consummated.

Anyway, Anne's death was a means to an end.  It wouldn't surprise me if he looked at Cromwell and straight-up said, “I want her dead, find a way to make it happen and I don't care how many people have to go down with her”.

I completely agree that if it hadn't been Jane, it would have been a Margaret or Elizabeth or another Catherine or a different Jane or Mary–some other woman who caught his eye with another last name.  

"We mustn't let our passions destroy our dreams…"

June 13, 2011
9:39 am
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Mya Elise
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I didn't mean to say everyone literally hated Jane, i just meant everyone constantly blames Jane and says it's her fault just like with Anne and Katherine. I didn't think it was fair especially when Anne & Jane both got to where they did almost the same way. Jane isn't my favorite like Anne is but i don't think Jane should be judged harsher than Anne.

• Grumble all you like, this is how it’s going to be.

June 13, 2011
12:29 pm
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Sharon
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DuchessofBrittany said:

It is not fair to blame or attack Jane for what happened to Anne. Anne Boleyn supporters are the first to defend Anne's honour whenever someone accuses her of forcing Henry to annul his marriage to KOA, that she pursued Henry, Princess Mary's treatment, etc. So, why should Jane be treated differently? Fair is fair, and Jane should be shown the same respect. I do not attempt to change people's perceptions of Jane. I know many hate her, but I cannot.

All of Henry's wives lost their agency the second they fell under Henry's spell. If there is anyone to disliked, then dislike Henry. He's the puppet master, the King, God, whatever. He's the showman, judge, jury, and executioner. Cromwell was the King's man: doing what he was told. No better than every other syncophant at court: feed the ego and reap the benefits.

Simply, Henry tired of Anne, wanted rid of her, and got his way. In the midst Jane came along and solidified Henry's desire for a new wife and a prospect for a son. Anne's star was falling and Jane had no control in that. She found herself where Anne was a decade before: the other woman in a failed marriage, being pursued by a King, urged on by her families, and caught up in the moment.


 

Duchess, I could not agree more! The blame is directly on Henry's shoulders.  Not Anne's, not Jane's, not Cromwell's shoulders. I'm sure he would love for us to believe that he was innocent in all matters, and that people used and abused him.  Nobody hoodwinked this King. 

June 13, 2011
6:30 pm
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Mya Elise
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I blame Cromwell also, back then all people cared about was being liked by the right person and not falling from favor.

• Grumble all you like, this is how it’s going to be.

June 25, 2011
4:12 pm
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Bella44
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^ That was true right across the board – women had very little power and control over their own lives whether they be the Queen of England or a kitchen maid.  The Boleyn and Seymour men weren't doing anything that wasn't considered completely normal by the standards of the time.  Makes me so glad that I wasn't around in those days  Laugh    

The Seymours (including Jane) saw that Henry's eye was beginning to wander, grabbed the oppurtunity and made the most of it.  The Boleyns had pretty much done the same thing a few years earlier, so I don't blame Jane any more than I blame Anne.  In a way Jane must've been made of pretty strong stuff, she knew far more of what Henry was capable of than Anne did.  After all, Henry had only divorced Katherine but he EXECUTED Anne.  If I was Jane, I would've been quaking in my boots! 

June 26, 2011
10:54 am
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Sharon
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Jane and Anne were in the same boat. Unfortunately, for both of them Henry had the rudder.

There is a scene in one of the many movies I've seen where Jane is sitting on a bench by herself.  Henry comes in and touches her arm and she gives an involutary cringe.  Then she turns to him with a half-hearted smile.  In my book it was the perfect interpretation of what Jane really may have felt about this guy.  She must have feared she would make a mistake.  She had all those people telling her what she should do to please him.  Then there was Henry telling her she should stay out of his business or she would end up like Anne.  It must have been a scary time for her.  She knew better than the former wives did what he was capable of doing to an undesirable wife.

June 26, 2011
11:27 am
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Anyanka
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I'm sure she never realised exactly how Henry would get rid of Anne until it happened.  Jane must have worried every month she didn't concieve, knowing her whole life and that of her family depended on a healthy son.

It's always bunnies.

June 26, 2011
12:11 pm
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DuchessofBrittany
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Sharon said:

Jane and Anne were in the same boat. Unfortunately, for both of them Henry had the rudder.

There is a scene in one of the many movies I've seen where Jane is sitting on a bench by herself.  Henry comes in and touches her arm and she gives an involutary cringe.  Then she turns to him with a half-hearted smile.  In my book it was the perfect interpretation of what Jane really may have felt about this guy.  She must have feared she would make a mistake.  She had all those people telling her what she should do to please him.  Then there was Henry telling her she should stay out of his business or she would end up like Anne.  It must have been a scary time for her.  She knew better than the former wives did what he was capable of doing to an undesirable wife.


Sharon, I could not agree more. Jane must have been conflicted about her relationship with Henry (as Anne had been). I wonder how she really felt about him. He certainly was not the catch he once was. She must have realised how precarious her situation was as two wives had been put aside for not providing a male heir.

Do you remember which movie the scene between Jane and Henry? It does seem a spot on interpretation of Jane duality. The face of sweet, subvervient wife which only masked the strong and intelligent woman beneath.

I can only imagine the fear Jane must have felt when Henry warns her not to take Anne's path and become a politican. I would take that as a clear indication to shut up and endure.

To wreckmasterjay's point: the Boleyns and Seymours were cut from the same cloth. They would do anything to keep their power, even sacrificing their sister's in the name of court favours. It is fitting that many go their comeuppance. Just a shame that Anne and Jane had to lose their lives for their family's gain.

"By daily proof you shall find me to be to you both loving and kind" Anne Boleyn

June 27, 2011
9:34 am
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Sharon
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DuchessofBrittany said:

Sharon said:

Jane and Anne were in the same boat. Unfortunately, for both of them Henry had the rudder.

There is a scene in one of the many movies I've seen where Jane is sitting on a bench by herself.  Henry comes in and touches her arm and she gives an involutary cringe.  Then she turns to him with a half-hearted smile.  In my book it was the perfect interpretation of what Jane really may have felt about this guy.  She must have feared she would make a mistake.  She had all those people telling her what she should do to please him.  Then there was Henry telling her she should stay out of his business or she would end up like Anne.  It must have been a scary time for her.  She knew better than the former wives did what he was capable of doing to an undesirable wife.


Sharon, I could not agree more. Jane must have been conflicted about her relationship with Henry (as Anne had been). I wonder how she really felt about him. He certainly was not the catch he once was. She must have realised how precarious her situation was as two wives had been put aside for not providing a male heir.
Do you remember which movie the scene between Jane and Henry? It does seem a spot on interpretation of Jane duality. The face of sweet, subvervient wife which only masked the strong and intelligent woman beneath.

I can only imagine the fear Jane must have felt when Henry warns her not to take Anne's path and become a politican. I would take that as a clear indication to shut up and endure.

To wreckmasterjay's point: the Boleyns and Seymours were cut from the same cloth. They would do anything to keep their power, even sacrificing their sister's in the name of court favours. It is fitting that many go their comeuppance. Just a shame that Anne and Jane had to lose their lives for their family's gain.


Duchess,

I remembered last night where I think I had seen the scene with Jane and Henry.  I recently watched a BBC documentary on Netflix called, “The Madness of Henry VIII.”  I'm pretty sure that's where I saw it.  The guy was talking in the background and the scene was playing out on the screen.  No words were necessary.

To Anyanka's point-I cannot imagine how frightened Jane must have been during those first months to have to tell Henry, as well as her family, that she was still not pregnant. That's a whole lot of pressure to put on any woman.

Jane had to have had her doubts about marrying Henry. Okay, she never liked Anne, but her new fiance had just beheaded his previous wife, and the first wife had been banished as though she never existed. No matter who Jane blamed for that banishment, she must have thought the same thing could happen to her.  Even if she felt something for Henry, which I doubt, she must have questioned the idea of marrying this man.  He did not have a very good scorecard.  She probably decided to keep her council and do what everyone expected of her.

June 27, 2011
9:50 am
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Neil Kemp
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Sharon and Duchess,

 I've still got that docu-drama on my DVD (from nearly 3 years ago – how sad does that make me, on second thoughts, don't answer that!) so I'll have a scan through it and let you know for sure. How very true though, that sometimes a picture does indeed paint a thousand words.

June 27, 2011
3:52 pm
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Neil Kemp
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Sorry, It seems my brain was playing tricks on me, I had in fact 4 hours of David Starkey's “Mind Of A Tyrant”, but then again tyrant and madness are easy to mix up regarding Henry, don't you think? Still, it was good to view again and note that Starkey remains rather sympathetic to Henry and his legacy, a viewpoint which seems somewhat generous. I like the little fact at the end, where Starkey talks about Henry's tomb. As this was not finished at the time of his death, his body had a rather more modest resting place, however his sarcophagus survived and does so to this day in the crypt beneath St. Pauls. It does not however contain the remains of Henry, but that of Lord Nelson, which seems rather fitting in an odd sort of way.

June 27, 2011
4:42 pm
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DuchessofBrittany
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Neil,

I can forgive your slip in memory. My days are usually filled with these. Laugh I always think of Henry where madness and tryant are concerned!

To your point about Starkey and his sympathetic view of Henry. I agree totally. As much as I respect Starkey, I do not agree with some of his assertions about Henry's legacy. I understand Henry was an important historical figure, but one must also be willing to criticise Henry's decisions and behaviours.

I too like the end. It is fitting and ironic that Lord Nelson lies in Henry's sarcophagus. Henry lies under a simple slab, and Nelson takes the glory of an opulent tomb. Henry's comuppance? Perhaps.

It is also ironic that it's Anne's daughter, Elizabeth has (next to Henry VII) the great memorial, buried in the coronation Abbey, and who people flock to see. It is also ironic (and satisfyling so) that it is Anne's simple headstone where people lay flowers, shed a tear, and say a pray. It is Anne's tomb that people go on pilgrimage (okay, a little too maudlin). Not Henry but the woman's memory he tried to desecrate, and the unwanted female child. Even in death, these two powerful and intelligent women triumphed over Henry, even if Starkey wants us to believe otherwise.

Putting the soap box away….for now!

"By daily proof you shall find me to be to you both loving and kind" Anne Boleyn

June 28, 2011
4:06 pm
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Neil Kemp
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Duchess,

I believe that Starkey is a fine historian, however he does view a lot of Henry's actions in a sympathetic manner, whilst his stance on women in general seems to come from the viewpoint of another century. Just my opinion, but I think a lot of Starkey's opinions and interpretations of the facts are biased in favour of a male perspective.

Any room on your soapbox, please.Wink

June 28, 2011
4:23 pm
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DuchessofBrittany
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Neil,

There is always room on my soapbox for you.

 I agree that Starkey is a fine historian, but some of his views and perceptions are questionable, and have been argued against by other historians. For instance, he and Ives clearly have different interpretations of Anne Boleyn's fall. I find it interesting that Starkey argued against what he called “the feminization of history,” yet his fame is predicated upon the success of his book about the six wives.

"By daily proof you shall find me to be to you both loving and kind" Anne Boleyn

June 28, 2011
8:24 pm
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Anyanka
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Neil Kemp said:

Duchess,

I believe that Starkey is a fine historian, however he does view a lot of Henry's actions in a sympathetic manner, whilst his stance on women in general seems to come from the viewpoint of another century. Just my opinion, but I think a lot of Starkey's opinions and interpretations of the facts are biased in favour of a male perspective.

Any room on your soapbox, please.Wink


A fact I find annoying since Starkey, being gay, suffers some of the same discrimination that women have done in the past.

It's always bunnies.

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