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Least favorite wife?
May 25, 2011
7:28 am
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MegC
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La Belle Creole said:

I also wonder how Jane would feel knowing her son signed the death warrant for two of her brothers.

This is an excellent question!


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

May 26, 2011
7:51 pm
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Impish_Impulse
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MegC said:

La Belle Creole said:

I also wonder how Jane would feel knowing her son signed the death warrant for two of her brothers.


  This is an excellent question!


I also have to wonder what Jane would have felt had she known that the son she died giving Henry would be raised to despise the Catholic faith she held so dear. She hoped he would be the son who would bring Henry and England back to Rome, and he turned out the exact opposite. Had she known that, would she be bitter? Heartbroken? Despairing? It would be horrifying enough to realize you were dying, so maybe it was best she died hopeful instead of disillusioned.

                        survivor ribbon                             

               "Don't knock at death's door. 

          Ring the bell and run. He hates that."    

May 29, 2011
10:14 pm
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The Seymour. Hands down the Seymour. What a cow. It soothes me when I am reminded of her two painful days of labour. And her death.

I feel so frustrated with Henry for not seeing what every one else was suspicious of- that there was a scorpion under the honey! How could he not know she was playing him?!

I feel sorry for little Catherine Howard, although her dalliances were so foolish!!

Anne of Cleves comes in as my second fav- good girl, smile and agree and you will live- just smile and agree!

Katherine Parr- I can never forgive her for holding Elizabeth down in the garden for her husband to slash her gown to shreds.

And Katheryn of Aragon. My heart goes out to her. She tried in every action to be the perfect, loyal, dignified wife- through every mistress and even Anne. Henry once told her “if my heart is proved disloyal, no mans was ever loyal..” Well.

Of course Anne is my fav wife. What an amazing woman. even her enemy Chapuys said of her: “She is braver than a lion.”

"A fresh young damsel, who could trip and go"

June 12, 2011
1:36 pm
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SG
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I have to say my least favourite wife would have to be Jane Seymour.  It has more to do with not really knowing anything about her than anything else though.  She's always portrayed as being a bit nothingy, but there has to have been more to her than that.  I wonder how she felt about Anne's fall.  It is generally supposed that she was glad to see the back of her predecessor and probably felt she had got what she deserved, but did she perhaps feel fearful about what had befallen Henry's two previous queens?  Did she fear that the same would happen to her, even then?

June 12, 2011
4:47 pm
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Anne fan
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Jane Seymour – it's very difficult to get a sense of what she thought or even if she thought anything very much. Was she so passive she was practically horizontal or was she conniving? Her character is almost as colourless as her face in Holbein's portrait.

 

Catherine of Aragon was very much her mother's daughter and as stubborn as Anne. Anne of Cleves made the best of a bad job and was the queen who finished up with the independent life most women of her time could barely imagine. Katheryn Howard doesn't seem to have had much time for the factional politics of Henry's court and – if Starkey's examination of the papers relating to Culpepper's examination is correct – didn't physically commit adultery, even though she probably intended to. Also, I know Alison Weir comes in for a lot of criticism on here but she does make a reasonable case for placing Katheryn's birth later than is usually supposed – 1524/5 instead of 1521. That makes her about 17 when she died and 15 when she married Henry. Given that Henry's grandmother gave birth at 14, being so young wouldn't have been seen as a problem. Finally Katherine Parr was a highly intelligent lady with strong religious convictions and, along with her step-children, was held hostage during the Pilgramage of Grace to ensure her husband's good behaviour towards the rebels. Henry, naturally, thought he was treasonous. She survived a factional attack on her thanks to luck and quick wits and managed to get on with all of Henry's children (as did Anne of Cleves). She was also the only wife other than Catherine of Aragon who acted as regent – and it appears that Elizabeth was at court during this time, which might have been inspirational.

June 12, 2011
6:06 pm
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Bill1978
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So after my initial post of saying Anne and beginning to absorb myself more fully into the Tudor world I have discovered that my least favourite wife would probably be Katherine Of Aragon, based purely on the fact that I have little interest in reading about her and discovering more about her. I'm sure she is an interesting character, but I feel I prefer to just know about the KoA involved with the Anne Boelyn saga than the KoA before all that happened. I guess I'm afraid of reading more about her to discover that this image of her I have will be destroyed.

June 13, 2011
4:13 am
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Claire-Louise
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Katherine of Aragon is probably my least favourite, though saying that I am still interested in her, and admire her in some ways. I think I just find her very difficult to understand-in school she was always portrayed as being matronly and kind, but I definitely think she was the most war-hungry of all the wives and although I completely understand her stubbornness and not wanting to give up her place as Queen- I cannot understand how she maintained this at the expense of her daughter…I think that however ambitious Anne was, I don't think she would ever have done this to Elizabeth.

June 13, 2011
9:23 am
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SG
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If Katherine of Aragon had agreed to go to a nunnery, Mary's legitimacy would never have been called into question, and she would never have been put into the position where she had to choose sides.  Of course, doing such would have gone against Katherine's beliefs, and so she refused.  I have to admire her strength there, but as a mother myself I could not imagine putting my daughter in a position like that.  Of course, I have the benefit of hindsight.  However, I still find it hard to support Katherine's decision, no matter how much I might admire her character.

June 13, 2011
10:24 am
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MegC
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SG said:

If Katherine of Aragon had agreed to go to a nunnery, Mary's legitimacy would never have been called into question, and she would never have been put into the position where she had to choose sides.  Of course, doing such would have gone against Katherine's beliefs, and so she refused.  I have to admire her strength there, but as a mother myself I could not imagine putting my daughter in a position like that.  Of course, I have the benefit of hindsight.  However, I still find it hard to support Katherine's decision, no matter how much I might admire her character.


I agree.  It's really the only aspect of KoA that I really just DON'T like.  I truly do understand that she was placed in an untenable situation.  She believed her immortal soul was at stake, as was Henry's.  In her mind, it was better to suffer in this world to preserve her soul, and Mary would have understood that being that she was also a devout Catholic.  As much as it would have hurt them to be separated from each other, I think they shared that common understanding, and, for them, it was probably something of a comfort.  

Even though I would never put myself in the same situation as KoA since I don't personally share the belief that divorce jeopardizes your immortal soul, I have asked myself before:  If I did believe that, would I have fought like Katherine did knowing that separation from my children in life meant the difference between spending eternity in the afterlife with them and spending eternity in hell?  It would be a difficult decision to make and keep.  So, on some level, I have to admire Katherine's religious conviction.

I don't think she had any desire to keep Henry because she felt like he was “hers”, so to speak.  If he had gone back to her, I would imagine things would have been very awkward for the remainder of their marriage.  How do you go back to a loving marriage to a man who did to her what Henry did?  For her, I think it was all about religious conviction and legitimate belief that it meant all the difference in the afterlife.

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

June 13, 2011
3:37 pm
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I think CoA underestimated both Anne and Henry's determination. Researching her I got the distinct impression that she felt it was her destiny to be Queen of England and that was that. Had Henry gone back to her it wouldn't have made much difference to her – by the time Anne came on the scene, with the exception of the big court festivities, CoA and Henry were pretty much leading separate lives. Once she could no longer have children she became increasingly religious and stuck to the queen's rooms which in many palaces don't appear to have been connected to the king's rooms.

 

It looks odd to us but as Henry was the only European king who believed in marrying for love it was probably perfectly normal at the time. There's still evidence that shows that the king and queen (including Anne and Katheryn Howard) communicated via messengers for some of the time rather than talking to each other.

 

One way of not putting up with each others' bad habits I guess!

June 13, 2011
5:40 pm
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MegC
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Anne fan said:

I think CoA underestimated both Anne and Henry's determination. Researching her I got the distinct impression that she felt it was her destiny to be Queen of England and that was that. Had Henry gone back to her it wouldn't have made much difference to her – by the time Anne came on the scene, with the exception of the big court festivities, CoA and Henry were pretty much leading separate lives. Once she could no longer have children she became increasingly religious and stuck to the queen's rooms which in many palaces don't appear to have been connected to the king's rooms.

 

It looks odd to us but as Henry was the only European king who believed in marrying for love it was probably perfectly normal at the time. There's still evidence that shows that the king and queen (including Anne and Katheryn Howard) communicated via messengers for some of the time rather than talking to each other.

 

One way of not putting up with each others' bad habits I guess!


True!  During that time, though, and perhaps even in modern times, destiny and religion tend to be tied together.  Even the King of England was supposedly King by divine right, so I'm sure KoA was raised to believe that her destiny WAS to be Queen of England and to bear the next monarch of said country.  So, in her mind the religious aspect and the entitlement aspect were all sort of meshed together.  And I would also imagine that, in her mind, this line of logic had some support.  She had married the older brother who had died, but the younger brother had been “delivered” to her (presumably by God) to enable her to fulfill her destiny of becoming Queen. 

I have very little in common with KoA, personally, so I have to try very hard to see things through the eyes of an older woman, past her child-bearing years (not me), with a husband who is hell-bent on divorce (again, not me) who had once loved her with all his heart (so he said, anyway).  A woman who is a devout Catholic (definitely not me) who has been raised to believe that this is her birth-right.  I think she truly believed that, since this was her divine right, God would find a way to make it all okay again.  I think she did everything that was within her power to help her cause along, but, yeah, we all know people who either don't or won't recognize defeat even when it's staring them right in the face.

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

June 14, 2011
8:38 pm
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Kelly
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I think to understand KOA, you have to know more about her upbringing at the court of Castile. It's no wonder she thought it was her right to rule. She was raised to be a queen at the court of Isabella I, the woman who ruled in her own right next to her husband Ferdinand I. If you think England had struggles at the court, the castile court was one of surviving too. And if there was one queen who had a powerfull will and learned how to survive, it was her mother. Isabella was a fearsome queen who had great powers in europe and who was not affraid of fighting her battles, Ferdinand had his affairs to, but Isabella stood above that, i guess she tought that to her daughters to (altough Juana did not handle her jealousy very well). So yes i can understand her, also the world that they were living in, in the sixteenth century was so different then ours. They believed things we would laugh at today (for example witches).

 

i am a mother too, i will not place my husband (as much as i love him, and i do) above my children, but i will not stand and watch as another woman takes my place. And my passion for Anne is big, but just because she was Anne Boleyn does not mean, that another should go silently to a nunnery and give up her man. For that to understand you have to know more about her upbringing and for a good look at that, you have to know more about Isabella. I am reading a bio about her, and as much as i do not think that everything she did was great, but from the moment that woman was born, she learned to fight. She has a great background and survived many intriges at the court of her halve brother.

 

Still my least favorite woman will be Jane Seymour, I am not getting into her. I must read some more about her, maybe i will have a change of heart. Still my favorites are Anne Boleyn and Catherina of Aragon.

June 15, 2011
1:05 pm
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I definitely agree that CoA was Isabella's daughter – when Henry was skirmishing in France and the English beat the Scots at Flodden, CoA sent Henry the shirt James V was wearing when he was killed. Can't quite see any of the other queens doing that!

 

It also explains why CoA didn't agree with Henry that a girl was no use – she'd seen her mother rule. I think the reason Henry and Anne thought she'd agree to step down was because Anne of Britainy, (mother of Queen Claude) had done so within living memory. Of course, from CoA's point of view there's a huge difference – the Salic law in France forbade women from inheriting the throne.

June 15, 2011
3:57 pm
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Sharon
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Didn't Katherine want to send James' head to Henry, and was talked into sending a piece of clothing that he was wearing instead by the councilors?  I have always wondered what Henry was thinking at this time.  His french campaign was not doing so well.  Then there is Katherine showing him up by winning her battle and killing a king no less.  Smile

 Katherine was definitely her Mother's daughter.  She was a fighter.  Her beliefs never waivered.  She stuck by her convictions to the end of her days.  That is the part of KOA that I admire.  I don't like the effect that had on Mary, but KOA felt she was doing right by her daughter.

  I've always thought that KOA believed since there was no such thing as Salic law in England, there would be no problem with her daughter one day being Queen.  It is unfortunate that Henry did not agree.

July 10, 2011
4:09 am
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You're right Sharon, and reading more about Henry's sisters (I think a book you recommended me- sisters to the king? I'm really enjoying it ta) I've come to dislike Katherine of Aragon. She was friends with Margaret, they were both princesses at Henry VII's & VIII's court. Margaret and James were happy and fertile. To gloat as Katherine did over the death of her sister in laws husband sickens me. Katherine did wish to send Henry his brother in laws head, but as she wrote “our Englishmens hearts won't suffer it”. She was then pretending friendship to Margaret, sending her dresses, messages of condolence… It's shown me a whole other side to KOA and made me believe she was not incapable of deceit. Perhaps she was no virgin after all….

"A fresh young damsel, who could trip and go"

July 16, 2011
4:00 pm
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Hmm, does anyone sense an actually *valid* reason to not like CoA here?? Okay, maybe it's just me, but I have to admit that I struggle to find one in order to champion Anne! It's wrong of me, I know, but it would be nice Wink And, actually, I've read secondary sources that claim to have proof against all her supposed kindness, gentleness, etc.

"Grumble all you like, this is how it's going to be"

July 16, 2011
8:04 pm
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Bella44
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^ Actually KOA is only my fourth favourite wife!  If I were to rank them, it'd be:

            Anne Boleyn

            Catherine Parr

            Anne of Cleves

            Katherine of Aragon

            Katherine Howard

            Jane Seymour

 

Does that help?!

July 17, 2011
12:55 am
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Catalina
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My least favourite wife is Katherine Parr. I just can't seem to get very interested in her.  And as someone has mentioned already, I don't understand what she was doing, holding Elizabeth down so Seymour could slash her gown. Bizarre.

My favourite wife is KOA hands down, I have long admired her strength and dignity,  the way she stood up for her beliefs and wouldn't just go quietly off to a nunnery.  Why should she have, she was an Infanta of Spain, she had been Queen of England for over 20 years, and held the position of regent for a time.  And yet she was expected to slope off to a nunnery just because the king had tired of her and her inability to give him a son.  I don't think I would have gone quietly either.  As Cromwell once said of her 'If not for her sex, she could have defied all the heroes of History'.

That doesn't mean I dislike Anne Boleyn though.  To be honest I don't 'dislike' any of the wives. I just find some of them not as interesting as others.

'If honour were profitable, everybody would be honourable'  Thomas More

July 17, 2011
12:55 am
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Catalina
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Ooops double posted

'If honour were profitable, everybody would be honourable'  Thomas More

August 5, 2011
8:17 pm
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My least favorite wife would definitely have to be Jane Seymour – she seems to be a popular one here, although that's not why she's my least favorite.Smile She was either a meek doormat or an ambitious women hiding under the mask of a domicile, meek, innocent, dim-witted twat! There is nothing about her that's intriguing to me besides two questions: “Was she really a sweet quiet mouse?” and “And, why would Henry choose a 'Plain Jane' over unconventionally beautiful, passionate, exciting, Anne Boleyn, with whom he could try again to get a son with?” And, although I somewhat understand her being referred to as a phoenix, I think she should be called a rat instead! I mean, honestly, doesn't anyone else get annoyed that Anne Boleyn is often portrayed as a home wrecker, when Jane Seymour did the exact same thing? And Jane did it worse then Anne! While Anne split up Katherine of Aragon and Henry VIII, KoA, although I admire her greatly for her strength and will power, should've backed down, and at least Mary would've had an easier life. And, also, if it wasn't Anne B, it would've been someone else – but I'm glad it was her, she's such a fascinating person! And, Katherine of Aragon was loved by the people after she died! Anne was disliked, and because of Henry's interest in Jane (and a male heir!) Anne was executed a traitor, and adulteress, a witch, etc. and little Elizabeth was branded illegitimate! It's honestly fascinating how Jane was a home wrecker too, but is never credited as one! I may be a little biased, but she {Jane} doesn't have that charisma behind her character like Katherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard, and Katherine Parr do, at least to me. And, as I am a rambler, she literally stepped over Anne Boleyn's dead body to marry Henry and become Queen Consort. And getting engaged and married the guy only 11 days after Anne was beheaded is just cruel. I'm sure that if she at least had the decorum to tell Henry to wait longer, “For the sake of the people's thought's..you wouldn't want to impugn my honor and make it hard for us to marry and have a legitimate sonWinkWink, *bats eyelashes* would you?” I could just lose a little bit of my dislike for her. And it might sound like I hate her, but since I haven't met her, I can't really say that. Also, she's only my least favorite for the Jane vs. Anne thing and I just don't like her compared to the other 5 wives. It's kind of hard to hate H8's wives because they all have “something” about them that it interesting.

But then again, this is only my humble opinion, and I'm sorry if I'm getting a little heated. I'm new here and I didn't mean for any of my statements to be hurtful to other members. 

"To be or not to be, that is the question."//////// "The Most Happy."

~ William Shakespeare, Hamlet./////             ~ Anne Boleyn's motto.

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