Sunday, April 27, 2008

oh Madge, Madge, Madge

I am thoroughly enjoying the second season of The Tudors. I admit that I love anything British. I actually think corn belongs in Tuna and I get positively giddy at the sight of a red telephone booth. I have not enjoyed a mini series this much since Patrick Swayze wore tight britches in North & South. It’s easy to get hooked on the combination of romance and British history.

Faithful historians get a little peevish when TV mucks up history’s facts. To that I say, “booooooooooo!” I guess that makes me a history tramp. I actually think the series helps create interest in a very explosive period in British history. Most people who enjoy The Tudors, but know little of the time period enjoy discovering which parts really happened. Sure, the decision to combine Henry’s sister, Mary and Margaret into one person was a bit lazy. And I admit that every time a horse drawn carriage goes by, I get a little distracted (horse drawn carriages were not in vogue yet. Royalty was carried around in liters). And yes, I too would like nothing better than to see Jonathan Reese Myers sporting a cod piece. (come on….you know you have looked for it!)

With that said, one thing has me confused. What’s with all these random booty calls for Henry VIII? I know this is just to instill a little soap opera drama into the series, but because the show uses so many real life facts… I am constantly left wondering if some of these women really existed. Who was Eleanor Luke? I did a google search on her and found nothing.

For the record, I agree with the producer’s decision to spice up Henry’s love life. If they gave an accurate portrayal of Henry’s palace romps then the show would resemble more of a campy Viagra commercial then a dramatic soap opera. Henry was extremely discreet about his love affairs and was, the for the most part, your typical serial monogamist. He wasn't half as naughty as his contemporary, the syphilitic King of France, Francis I . Ironically, if we are to believe the accounts of George Boleyn, he actually had trouble rising to the royal occasion.

I just want to know if there is any truth to some of these sexual escapades? I know the affair with Madge Shelton (shown above) really happened, but did Henry abduct a pretty maiden from the woods?

And did anyone else roll on the floor laughing with the Madge seduction scene when Myers kept repeating, “Madge, Madge, Madge?” That scene might have been a good time to break for a Viagra commercial.


Daphne said...

I found your blog last week and love it! I also love The Tudors and agree with you about the history part. It is so much fun to watch - even my husband likes it and is interested in finding out more information. I read a lot of historical fiction, mostly about British Royalty from the Conquest through the Tudors, with a few other countries thrown in once in a while for variety.

Elizabeth Kerri Mahon said...

Oh, Bearded Lady, I only watched three episodes of the first season of The Tudors before I had to stop. It was making my eyes bleed. In fact, I wrote two posts on Henry's sisters because of The Tudors, so I guess I owe the show a thank you note. I just can't get into Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Henry. He's pretty and that's about it.

roz said...

I LOVE your blog and the fun historical factoids.
I'm a huge fan of The Tudors and haven't missed an episode.

Zoe Choodor said...

You asked:-
". . . but did Henry abduct a pretty maiden from the woods?"
The best answer I could find for this is on page 385 of Alison Weir's "Henry VIII, King and Court"
There is no specific date (or even year) for this event, although in the book it states "In the late 1530s" so it is very unlikely that it occurred during Anne Boleyn's time ~ as shown on T.V. !
The "pretty maiden's" name isn't mentioned but her husband(?) is named as William Webbe.
Hope this helps.

Bearded Lady said...

Thanks for looking that up Zoe. I knew it had to be "loosely" based on something. I have that book and I am looking for that passage now...

sinead said...

Yes!! The "Madge" scene was hilarious, as was the bit in a later episode where Henry Norris asks to marry "Lady Margaret Sheldon" and Henry says "You mean Madge!". It's my favourite bit.