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Was Jane Seymour Henry's True Love?
April 6, 2012
11:53 am
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Boleyn
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Maggyann said

I don’t know if it is the ‘done thing’ on the board but I have been working today on part of my story which includes Jane. I wondered if it is allowed to post something like that. I just thought a) some of you might like to see Jane through Henry’s eyes as I imagine it to have been and b) it wouldn’t hurt to get some constructive criticism on my writing. My writing is the thing which keeps me grounded at the moment after my stroke and what have you so though I am enjoying it that doesn’t mean it is any good. I can take criticism though no problem.Laugh
I don’t know if that is acceptable or not also come to think of it I don’t know how I would post it anyway as it is going to be a bit longer than a post as it were.
If anyone has any ideas let me know. Of course if it is not done as this is after all a discussion board then that is fine. I was just wondering.

It’s always good when writing anything to do with any topic, to get several different points of view. This in turn helps you to draw your own picture on how you feel about things. Your chosen topic is one that has been debated about from Henry’s side of things for a long time. Jane was seen as the calm after the storm, but seeing it from Jane’s side is a different thing altogether. I look forward to reading your story, and I’m glad to hear that you are doing something that will be of benefit not only to yourself but to others too. Good Luck Maggy, keep strong.

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

April 6, 2012
12:58 pm
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Maggyann
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I have used the contact link to ask Claire about posting some of the masses of writing I have been doing so if she says I may then I will work out how to do it. Thank you all for your encouragement it is really appreciated.Laugh

Let us show them that they are hares and foxes trying to rule over dogs and wolves - Boudica addressing the tribes Circa AD60

April 7, 2012
12:55 pm
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Maggyann
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I thought while I waited to hear from Claire if posting longish bits of writing would be acceptable that as I originally mentioned I would post just a small (ish) section which is Henry’s take on Jane from my imagination. The background to my story is basically ‘Henry’s Defence’ which he writes over time to be passed to Elizabeth on his death. In it he meanders in his writings remembering things, giving his point of view and ultimately explaining to Elizabeth why Anne had to die. This piece is near the beginning as he does not start his writings until the time of Jane’s death when he has shut himself away from the court. He has been explaining to Elizabeth why he is writing this ‘defence’ for her eyes only and twittering on about this and that when he comes to the point of telling Elizabeth his true feelings about Jane. It may change as I go along but this particular bit I just thought might be of interest in this thread about Henry and his ‘love’ for his ‘one true wife’ .

Poor Jane, no conversation that I wanted to hear, no looks to enchant, no spark at all. She did try which is to her credit, but I think at the instruction and proddings of her brothers and others, she had not the wits to play me else. I soon put her in her place, not with a roar as they say I do the men about me, a gentle growl was all it took.

Often I found she did bring me to a small anger which I in my most subtle way would keep from her. To give you a glimpse of the small annoyances Jane stirred in me let me here tell you of something which has come unbidden to my mind as I write.

It was in this way, ever she attempted to imitate the style and fashionable ideas of Anne who was the best dressed and most exciting woman to behold. I came upon Jane one afternoon in her rooms and in a fond gesture sought to straighten her veil which to my mind had become tangled, she stayed my hand explaining it was a new device she had been toying with to wear the veil so, one side hanging and one flapped up, called it the shell or somesuch other foolery. I quickly recovered myself and complimented her on her original thought while keeping I know not how, my face from showing the real feelings in my heart. Did she really imagine that this strange appearance was in any way comparable with Anne’s grace and flair? Anne who could wear a necklace as a headpiece and it look as though it had been made for the head not the neck. Anne who could wear a soft flowing gown when all around her were in stiffened fabric. Anne with her French style hoods so delicate compared to the ugly, wooden framed apparatus which many suffered great pains from. How silly Jane looked but she was Queen, the new trend setter and before long they were all matching her; it looked to our eyes as they promenaded in the gardens that they had been buffeted about by a strong wind. It may be cruel of me to speak such things but I want you to see things as I did, as I do still.

So no I did not like her over much, could not like her. She was not a woman to take a grip on a man, or was it that I did not want to be gripped by her or any woman in my heart? I think not, the problem was not with me it was hers being she was not young and her looks were naught but homely. I find it hard to imagine she ever did bloom as woman does in the early years of adulthood. She was unmarried and likely to remain so unless some old, widower with a liking for plain women should pluck her from her obscurity. It comes to my thoughts that she was indeed saved by me, the King, a far greater man than would have been her lot otherwise. Through me she did for a short time, have the life of a wife though I would say she was not unaware of men and their needs. An unmarried woman who is generous with her affection is usually greedy for jewels or, accepting of her own lack in those charms all men favour, she uses other means to gain attention. Let me say Jane was never grasping when it came to jewels.

I do not say she was overmuch loose or slatternly but she knew of some things to please a man which do not come as natural to a maidenly woman of my experiences. So a maid she was but only by a feather’s depth if I am any judge. How could they think I was taken with her in all honesty when I had enjoyed the excitement of your mother’s love and conversation, had known such a woman of grace and delight?

But it was easiest at that time and for my own purpose to let them continue their course as they put her in my way. I wed her, bed her and now I bury her. I was a good husband in the time we had together, tried to be kind to her and give her praise when she was uncertain but it was a trial at times. She had all honour shown with jewels, gowns, sleeves and furs more than any woman could ever need. Yes I am sure I was kind to her as needed and though I bore her no love I gave her the affection which is ever needed between a husband and wife. She did her duty no more than that. So no I do not sit here grieving for Jane.

Let us show them that they are hares and foxes trying to rule over dogs and wolves - Boudica addressing the tribes Circa AD60

April 7, 2012
3:15 pm
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Boleyn
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I’ve been thinking about this one since yesterday. and I rather think that Henry’s true love was actually KOA, although he was in love with Anne, Henry really loved KOA. Yeah I know, I know another off the latch idea from me.
After all he could have quite easily found a way of getting rid of KOA without any need to go through the divorce malarky. KOA was quite old by Tudor standards when she died, but he could have had her poisoned or something when Anne first appeared on the scene.
If KOA had died at that time her nephew would have perhaps kicked up a bit of a fuss, but not enough to give Henry any serious greif.
Although Henry became unhinged after his fall I believe the rot had already started to set in when KOA died. Henry dressing in bright yellow was I believe a genuine show of mourning from Henry for KOA (Yellow was an excepted colour for mourning a Princess of Royal Blood in Spain)
So to him it might have seemed that Anne was just extracting the urine by dressing in Yellow too. Of course it wasn’t from Anne’s point of view she was simply showing the level of respect that KOA deserved.
Anne’s failure to deliver her promise of a son was the final nail in Anne’s arrow box, but I don’t think Henry actually forgave Anne for making him toss KOA out of court and taking her crown. A term was used a few days back which I believe describes this whole scenerio between this 3 way love triangle. Henry was simply blinded by love or the love he thought he had for Anne, once KOA had died, the stars that were covering his eyes fell, and he saw Anne for what she really was. Basically too big for her boots, but that doesn’t mean I see her death as justified, because I don’t Anne was an innocent victim of Henry’s sadistic and petty spite. Henry took his anger and malice against KOA’s death out on Anne.
He knew that the charges against her were a fabrication of lies an invention of Cromwell’s making, but he simply didn’t care. Anne to him was a liar (No Son) a failure (No Son) and perhaps stupid as it sounds a murderer (KOA’s death) Henry just simply found it easier to blame someone else for whatever went wrong in his life. Henry blamed Cromwell for the debarkle of AOC, well Cromwell did in some ways deserve the blame, but Holbien was also responsible for not painting the whole picture. Cromwell saw the picture of AOC before Henry and took it to be sancrosanct. Henry’s people who went over to Cleves to fetch Anne didn’t tell Henry the truth about Anne, or more to the point tell her the truth about Henry. They said all the right words and basically said what Henry wanted to hear. It was perhaps easier for them to say she was this that and the other, rather than say she was ugly lumpen and stupid (I use the word stupid loosely). Although I do actually wonder what would have happened if someone with balls had actually told Henry that AOC was not as she had been described or as her picture was painted?
Perhaps the reason he turned to Jane so adamently after KOA’s death was because she reminded him of KOA in some ways. Jane was after all in KOA’s household and it must have left it’s mark on her, as she was by all accounts softly spoken, and gentille, and as her motto says “bound to obey and serve” Although Henry wasn’t always nice to her and told her more than once to shut her trap or she would go the same way as A.B
In that statement alone he kind of gives a clue that he had Anne murdered.
Spliting Anne and Henry up was no easy feat for Jane but by the same token if he hadn’t of started to hate Anne or at least fallen out of love with her, Jane would have perhaps been another conquest notch on his bed post. There were many of Anne’s ladies who were younger than Jane who could have serviced his needs so why did Henry choose Jane? as I said I think it was perhaps that he saw something of KOA in her demenour and I rather think that he mourned KOA and Jane for the rest of his life. Jane wasn’t his true love, but he did love her but only because she did what KOA and Anne failed to do. Give him a son.
It was sad that Jane died as she did but I think he would have perhaps got a little bored with her if she had lived and he perhaps would have ended up resenting her, as he would have had to stay married to her for the rest of his life, because getting rid of her by either poisoning or trumped up charges would have been severely questioned, and put Edward’s reign in doubt. So perhaps she did herself a favour by dying like she did.

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

April 8, 2012
12:45 am
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Elliemarianna
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I disagree, I feel that when Katherine came to England to marry Arthur, Henry became besotted with the pretty Spanish princess, as a young prince. Katherine was very beautiful, just like a princess should be. Arthur died, and she needed rescuing. Henry married her out of a sense of duty and pride, but also to feed his thirst for the perfect fairy tale, the same tales he had heard as a boy of knights in shinning armour rescuing the damsel in distress. They were sweethearts for a very long time, but Henry’s idea’s of love came crashing down around him as Katherine lost child after child, grew overweight and old. Henry took mistresses to quench his lust, and after Katherine became barren, he began discussing the idea of a divorce. Nothing came of these ‘discussions’, and Henry continued to be the ‘loving’ husband, but also continued long, intense relationships with other women (Bessie Blount and Mary Boleyn). As time went on Katherine and Henry lived pretty much separate lives, Katherine dedicated much of her time to God, only taking part in court business when absolutely necessary. The turning point was when Bessie gave birth to Henry’s bastard son, and he realised he could have an heir by another wife. Katherine must of been so hurt by Henry’s parading of his dirty laundry, but she continued to love her adulterous husband. I think its safe to say that Henry’s love for Katherine was already turning sour by this period, as Bessie was followed by Mary as his mistress in quick succession. By 1524 Henry and Katherine stopped having sex with one another, no doubt since he knew the chance of a child was pretty much nil. I feel if he still loved her in the romantic sense, he would of still continued to sleep with her out of love, but instead it appears he did so just to create heirs. There is no doubt in my mind that Henry loved Katherine for a long time, I feel that he respected her and that never ceased. But I think he fell out of love with her, just as he did with other wives so easily. His heart was fickle. In my opinion Katherine was ‘motherly’ towards Henry, and I imagine she took the place of his mother after her death. She looked after him, pampered him and created a safe haven for him when his business got too much. Katherine was Henry’s refuge. When Henry began to fall out of love, he no doubt began to try to justify it. Why was God doing this to HIM?! No heir, unhappily-ish married… He found his justification in the Bible, he had married his brothers widow and had committed sin with her.

He had found his reason, but Anne Boleyn was the catalyst! Anne was captivating, opinionated and strong. She was Henry’s perfect match, they had a meeting of minds, were partners in crime. But like Katherine was, Anne was also put on a pedestal of courtly love, and when reality reared its ugly head once more, Henry was once again searching for his ‘get out of jail free card’. Henry and Anne’s relationship was very passionate, their love was forever waxing and waning, but deep down they did love one another deeply. Henry was obsessed with Anne, and even towards the end I feel he felt that if he couldn’t have her no one could. We must remember that stalkers often kill their victims… Anne disappointed Henry deeply, she embarrassed him by not providing for the realm. She was too strong and he no doubt blamed her for his unsavoury actions, we all know Henry liked to pass the blame. Looking at Anne’s last few weeks it would seem Henry was in two minds about the whole thing. In some instances it would seem he did really believe the accusations, just as he made himself believe his marriage to Katherine was a sin. Anne did not provide the refuge Henry wanted, she meddled too much and I cant imagine her rubbing his feet after a hard day at court. I feel the reason he chose Jane as Anne’s successor is because she created that refuge for Henry once more. He didn’t want a moaning wife who told him how it was, he wanted a wife who would tell him what he wanted to hear and stroke his ego. The reason he treated Jane so terribly was because he no doubt passed the blame onto her for what HE did to Anne.

Henry loved all of his wives, but only when it suited him.

"It is however but Justice, & my Duty to declre that this amiable Woman was entirely innocent of the Crimes with which she was accused, of which her Beauty, her Elegance, & her Sprightliness were sufficient proofs..." Jane Austen.

April 8, 2012
8:37 am
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Janet
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Was Jane really that meek or was she just smart enough to know when to keep her mouth shut and her thoughts to herself? Was her motto how she really felt or was it what she and her brothers figured Henry would like. I guess in Henry’s mind, a ‘true wife’ was one that produced a male heir. That was in the job description and Jane fit the bill. Katherine and Anne didn’t. I would love to go back to Henry and tell him that it’s the sperm that decides the gender! Wouldn’t you just love to see the look on his face! Of course I’d probably be in the Tower in a blink! I often wonder how long Jane would have lasted had she lived and how Henry would have gotten rid of her.

April 8, 2012
12:21 pm
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Elliemarianna
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Janet said

Was Jane really that meek or was she just smart enough to know when to keep her mouth shut and her thoughts to herself? Was her motto how she really felt or was it what she and her brothers figured Henry would like. I guess in Henry’s mind, a ‘true wife’ was one that produced a male heir. That was in the job description and Jane fit the bill. Katherine and Anne didn’t. I would love to go back to Henry and tell him that it’s the sperm that decides the gender! Wouldn’t you just love to see the look on his face! Of course I’d probably be in the Tower in a blink! I often wonder how long Jane would have lasted had she lived and how Henry would have gotten rid of her.

Jane actively turned Henry against Anne, and she was happy to stop at nothing but Queen, Chapys said she was ‘Quite resolved’ on getting the crown upon her head. Jane stepped over Anne’s body without a care in the world, but she was soon to find out she had absolutely no power whatsoever over how the country was run. Jane is the only woman Henry rebuffed on a regular basis. I think Henry regretted marrying her immediately after the wedding. The grass was greener when he was with Anne, but with Anne gone he realised Jane was not the prettiest flower of the bunch. He did comment on two court beauties, saying he wished he had seen them before he married Jane, a mere two weeks after the wedding was announced. His bad treatment of her continued, until she became pregnant, and then he couldn’t do enough for her, she gave him his heir but died for it.

In my eyes Jane was ambitious and sly, a liar who pretended to be something she wasn’t to get rid of her predecessor. She thought as Queen she would bring England back to Rome and get Mary back into the succession, but she failed miserably. Henry never listened to her plea’s, he treated her badly until she provided him with his much needed heir, and then left him, leaving behind a very unremarkable legacy. It was with her death that Henry realised that God had rewarded his union with Jane with an heir, and this is when she became his true wife, but if the evidence is anything to go by, she was not his true love by any stretch of the imagination.

"It is however but Justice, & my Duty to declre that this amiable Woman was entirely innocent of the Crimes with which she was accused, of which her Beauty, her Elegance, & her Sprightliness were sufficient proofs..." Jane Austen.

April 8, 2012
1:05 pm
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Janet
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I’ve always had the impression from what I’ve read, that Jane was so sweet and innocent. That never made sense to me. If she was NOT a court beauty and did nothing to try to get Henry’s eye, why would he bother singling her out? She must have done something to get his attention. I obviously need to read more about her. Wink

April 8, 2012
1:46 pm
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DuchessofBrittany
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I find Jane Seymour to be an egnimatic and interesting historical figure. I wish we knew more about her, and that more books were avaliable to read about this woman. Despite some people’s general dislike of her, I rather respect her. She took on a difficult role. She knew what Henry was capable of, and she did what it took to survive.

In fact, I respect all the wives. ALL of them are amazing woman, and deserve their rightful place in history. They all found themselves being courted by a sociopathic and powerful man, who was more interested in his own self-interests than in the betterment of these woman’s lives.
I do not believe Jane was his true love, nor were any of these woman. They served Henry’s purposes for a time, and then he rid himself of them. Jane died before she could cross him. Regardless, these woman were pawns in their family’s game. I do not doubt Edward’s birth would have guaranteed Jane’s longevity as Queen, but she would find neither love nor affection for Henry. She was a baby maker and nothing else. It’s sad, really.

I also do not belive she was the shy and quiet woman she made herself to be, but I cannot fault her for it. She took on the characteristics necessary to survive in Henrician court politics. Like Anne, she did not have a choice when it came to Henry. She was in his crosshairs.

I also do not buy into the whole Jane Seymour caused Anne’s downfall. Simply my opinion! It is much too simplistic, ignores the complex nature of court life, and does not consider the extensive power of Cromwell. Jane may have whispered sweet nothings in Henry’s ear, but I hold Henry (and Henry only) responsible for Anne’s downfall. Given this thought pattern, I could easily blame Anne for KOA’s downfall, but I doubt few would agree.

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

April 8, 2012
2:59 pm
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Boleyn
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Anne’s downfall was nowt to do with Jane, although she was blamed. Henry simply wanted rid of Anne. Jane perhaps tickled his fancy and judging by the way she wooed (I use the term loosely) Henry, he obvisously got sucked in by her charms. I know what I’m trying to say.
By the same token however if Henry wasn’t bored with Anne, he wouldn’t have got sucked in, in the first place.
Jane was ambitious, as she must have been watching the Henry’s relationship with Anne slowly fall apart and picked her moment very carefully to put her self forward. The fact that she used more or less the same tactics that Anne herself used to snare Henry, just goes to prove that she was clever too. Once Henry had made up his mind about Jane he ordered Cromwell to do what it took to get rid of Anne.
I’m going to throw in another curve ball here, (Right folks get your Iron Maidens out) Is it just possible that some of the laughable evidence that was gathered by Cromwell was also the result of Jane’s ambitions. In short did she start the chinese whispers, and then helped to strenghten it, etc.
Once Anne was out of the way and Jane was married to Henry, He could stop playing the gallant and she could stop playing the modest virtuious woman. I know Henry did get short with her at times, but I don’t think Henry would have told her to shut her trap if she hadn’t have brought the 3 horses into court. Nag Nag Nag…
Jane was sweet in her own way and yes I think Henry did love her but not in the same way as he did Anne or KOA, I rather think that KOA was Henry’s first love, and you usually remember your first love and look back with affection.
Anne and Henry’s relationship I think was a bit like Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor type thing. They both loved each other but couldn’t live with each or without each other either. Their passion for each other destroyed them too.
Ding Ding round 2 The Rack, another off the latch idea.. Is it possible that Henry suffered some form of mental illness even before his fall? His behaviour was erractic, and I wonder if he was a manic depressive, and the fall just made things worse inside his head. Remember Henry was decended from Charles the Mad of France, and he often times had to hand of the reigns of throne to his wife or ministers.
In conclusion KOA was his first love but his true love was Anne, he moved heaven and hell, told the Pope to get stuffed and all for the love of one woman. Could he have gone back to Rome after Anne was beheaded, yes I think he could, but that would mean he would lose a lot of spending money, and he would also have to admit that his marriage to KOA was ok after all, making the whole big court room fiasco again look a complete joke, and that something he wouldn’t do.

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

April 8, 2012
3:11 pm
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Elliemarianna
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The evidence would suggest that Jane had an active role in the Seymour faction. Chapys says Jane was resolved on being Queen, so she was partly responsible for putting the crown on her head, and Anne loosing hers. Chapys refers to Jane as one of the leaders of the faction, one of the people in control. What did Jane think would happen to Anne if Henry left Anne for her? As we can see, Jane was not stupid.

"It is however but Justice, & my Duty to declre that this amiable Woman was entirely innocent of the Crimes with which she was accused, of which her Beauty, her Elegance, & her Sprightliness were sufficient proofs..." Jane Austen.

April 8, 2012
4:10 pm
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Mya Elise
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Jane wasn’t stupid, I think she knew full well what she was doing, but we can’t put the blame all on her shoulders. Everyone knew Henry probably wouldn’t wait another 6 years for a divorce like he had with Katherine and what other way could he divorce Anne and never have to deal with her again? Death. I don’t believe the BS that Henry was blindsided either. Jane had to of known that something was gonna happen to Anne, she knew what was gonna happen when she refused Henry’s gift and invitations to be with him – she saw how it all panned out for Anne and her refusal and decided to play the same game, but in a way, better. And I don’t understand how Jane stood out to Henry either, she wasn’t known what so ever as a beauty and she didn’t seem to be very popular and she was in attendence to Katherine & Anne both and Henry never noticed her so why did he notice her out of no where and decide SHE was the one worth killing his wife over? It makes absolutely no sense. Unless the Seymour family bribed Henry to no end with the whole ‘fertile family’ and how obeying Jane was….

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

April 8, 2012
6:56 pm
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Anyanka
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Once KoA died, Anne was in a easy to get rid of postion.

Anne had no powerful backers..she had alienated some of her own kinsmen Norfolk and Bryant had disowned her . The Catholic party was active in pushing a possible replacement in Jane…

Jane was niether young nor pretty..she was at best a minor distraction from finding H8 a new more popular queen….

Then KoA died and Anne miscarried ……and Jane was the frontrunner in the next queen stakes..Either she decided on her own or was pushed into a display of maiden modesty to reject Henry’s advances…

If Jane had any plans to be queen in Anne’s place, I really don’t think she expected Anne to suffer the way Anne did. t

It's always bunnies.

April 8, 2012
7:11 pm
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Bill1978
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I’m with you Anyanka, I don’t think Jane ever expected Anne to be beheaded. Divorced and sent to the nunnery or the countryside like KoA was, was probably all Jane thought was going to happen. Just cause Jane was trying on wedding dresses the day (or was it eve?) of Anne’s execution doesn’t make her cold hearted and a plotter of Anne’s final fate.

I definitely don’t think Jane was Henry’s True Love, that only came about in Henry’s viewing of his life afterwards and the fact that Jane gave him the one thing he desired the most – a male heir. Henry equated that achievement with the deifnition of true love. At the moment, I’d probably lean towards saying KoA was Henry’s real true love with 3 of his wives being various degrees of infatuation, one being political and the other one being companionship.

April 9, 2012
1:54 am
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Elliemarianna
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I didn’t say that Jane knew Anne would be beheaded, that was Cromwell and Henry’s doing. What was said was that Jane didn’t know that what she was doing would lead to Anne’s ‘downfall’… Jane knew what she was doing would lead to Anne’s downfall, since she would take her place as Queen. If we go by the evidence, the evidence suggests that Jane was not such a nice person.

"It is however but Justice, & my Duty to declre that this amiable Woman was entirely innocent of the Crimes with which she was accused, of which her Beauty, her Elegance, & her Sprightliness were sufficient proofs..." Jane Austen.

April 9, 2012
2:53 am
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juliane
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After Jane had done her duty and dutifully died, Henry got infatuated with one who looked like Anne.

April 9, 2012
3:37 am
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Elliemarianna
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juliane said

After Jane had done her duty and dutifully died, Henry got infatuated with one who looked like Anne.

Very true!

"It is however but Justice, & my Duty to declre that this amiable Woman was entirely innocent of the Crimes with which she was accused, of which her Beauty, her Elegance, & her Sprightliness were sufficient proofs..." Jane Austen.

April 9, 2012
7:30 am
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Mya Elise
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Anna of Cleves….?

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

April 9, 2012
8:02 am
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Elliemarianna
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I think Juliane means Katherine Howard.

"It is however but Justice, & my Duty to declre that this amiable Woman was entirely innocent of the Crimes with which she was accused, of which her Beauty, her Elegance, & her Sprightliness were sufficient proofs..." Jane Austen.

April 9, 2012
9:10 am
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Sharon
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MaggyAnn,
I love your story. Smile

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