My current interest in all things Tudor hasn't abated. After finishing four Tudor books by Philippa Gregory, I moved on to Netflix. My latest feasts included:
The Madness of Henry VIII
This documentary from National Geographic was interesting to watch, despite how repetitive it was in places. Because of the other shows and books I've read and the articles I've pulled up in my World Book software, I knew a lot of what it told me, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I gave the documentary a 3 star rating.
This movie wasn't nearly as good as the book. Some reviews I read said that Ms. Gregory's books are inaccurate in many ways. I cannot comment on that. All if know is, they are enjoyable reads. This movie changed many things from the books, and not for reasons of accuracy. Some of those changes made no sense, and many of the things they left out weakened the movie a great deal. Although I gave the movie a 3 star rating, I wouldn't tell anyone it is a must see movie. Update (6/12/08) : There may have been some brief nudity in this film, but to tell you the truth, I cannot be sure. I've forgotten a lot about it already — which is rather telling.
Now here was a piece of history I was completely clueless about until I began all this Tudor fascination. Lady Jane Grey was the great-granddaughter of King Henry VII. When her cousin King Edward VI knew he was dying at the age of 17, he left a will to put Jane Grey, a protestant like the king, on the throne rather than it going to his half-sister Mary, a devout Catholic. Jane ruled with her husband for nine days. This movie was made in the 80's and it stars a very young Helen Bonham Carter and Cary Elwes as her husband, Guilford Dudley. It garnered a 4 star rating from me. I liked it a lot. Update (6/12/08): Please note that there was some brief nudity in this film.
Oh, this movie also helped me understand how the Dudley family fell into so much trouble. Some years later Guilford Dudley's brother, Robert, was the lover of Elizabeth I. There were very different portrayals of Robert Dudley in Gregory's The Virgin's Lover and the movie Elizabeth starring Cate Blanchett as well as the HBO mini-series Elizabeth I starring Helen Mirren.
In case any of you are wondering, no, I do not plan to write a novel about the Tudors. I am content to watch these movies and read the books of others and be entertained by them. I did write a medieval novel early in my general market writing career. The research was interesting but exhausting. I could use up hours and hours trying to figure out if they used forks yet during the time of my novel.
Ah, there are advantages to writing contemporary stories. On the other hand, when one writes an historical, you don't have to worry that something catastrophic will happen before your book is released that will alter the accuracy of your story.