Author Topic: Which of Henry VIII's wives...  (Read 27346 times)

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Offline Jane

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Re: Which of Henry VIII's wives...
« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2005, 05:00:35 PM »
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Anne Boleyn gets my vote.

As some earlier posts mentioned, Henry's pursuit of her bordered on what, in modern terms, we would call sexual harassment.  I think Anne was pressured into a relationship she felt was unsafe to refuse.  And I think much of her subsequent demanding and self-aggrandizing behavior was anchored in her conviction that, if she was going to have to accept the importunities of a man she did not love, she at least had a right to get something from the bargain.

And what a foul bargain it turned out to be, after all.  Her survival came to depend on something over which she had no control -- having a male child.  And the cost she paid for failing was to go to her death, knowing her brother was suffering the same fate under the same false calumny of incest, and probably assuming her daughter had little chance of ultimately surviving.



Excellent points, tsarfan.  For all the reasons you've stated, I think Anne had it "the worst" and consequently I'd have not liked to endure the same level of what must have been the constant, unending, overwhelming stress of trying to outwit her enemies and placate the King at the same time.  Especially since, unlike Catherine Howard, Anne was innocent of the charges brought against her.

Catherine Howard was a knowing player in the game which brought her downfall.  I feel sorry for her because she was an immature little thing raised to dazzling heights by a lecherous old man, and lacked the wisdom and guidance allowing her conduct herself in accordance with her station.  But, at the risk of sounding brash, her time in the sun was short, her death quick.  She ranks second as the wife I'd have least like to have been.

Jane Seymour.  I think she's much more clever and calculating than generally given credit.  It takes a cold woman to wed a man a day after he's beheaded his previous wife.  Had she not given birth to a son before dying shortly after childbirth, I doubt Henry's memories of her would have been so "rose-colored."  Third in line only because the idea of dying as she did seems horrible, given the primtive state of medicine then.

Catherine of Aragon, although the wrongly maligned first wife, still maintained some shreds of her dignity and retained the affection of many (if not most) of the King's subjects.  Life with chilblains cannot have been plesant, though.  ;) Fourth.

Now to the last two....

Catherine Parr, a woman whose character I admire, certainly had the unfortunate luck to be the primary nurse for Henry's horrible oozing leg.  However, he seems to have been much more mellow with age, and they appeared to have been fairly companionable.  She was a bit of an old hand at dealing with older husbands, of course, before she married the King.  Her strong religious beliefs could easily have resulted in her own arrest.  Where I feel sorry for her is the whole scandal involving Elizabeth and Thomas Seymour years later.

Thus, by elimination, the wife I'd have most liked to be?  Anne of Cleves, obviously.  Marriage gets her out of her dull brother's pumpernickel court; she has the singular good fortune not to arouse the king's ardor and thereby gets a pass on having to perform her marital duty with the old lout.  By being smart enough to be acquiescent to his wish to divorce, Anne earns the King's friendship as a "sister", a couple of manor houses, a nice fat allowance, and lives contentedly as a woman of means in a country of which she has grown fond.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Jane »

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Which of Henry VIII's wives...
« Reply #16 on: August 10, 2005, 05:10:54 PM »
On the topic of Jane Seymour, I think she did not last long enough for Henry to get tired of her . . . she urged him to bring Mary back to court. If she had lasted longer she might have diagreed with him on other things.
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Re: Which of Henry VIII's wives...
« Reply #17 on: August 10, 2005, 06:23:32 PM »
After seeing a series of portraits of Henry from young man to old, I would DEFINATELY not want to have been any of the wives after Anne Boleyn.

What an awful, mean-looking, grossly obese man.  And from what I hear, the smell of his ulcerated leg was appalling.  

Offline Jane

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Re: Which of Henry VIII's wives...
« Reply #18 on: August 10, 2005, 07:14:06 PM »
Well, from a personal standpoint, I don't think he'd really have lit my fire either, if you understand my meaning.   ;)

As an old man he was, nevertheless, still the king, and an extraordinarily charismatic and powerful man.  That itself can be enough of a draw for some.  And apparently was.

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Re: Which of Henry VIII's wives...
« Reply #19 on: August 10, 2005, 07:19:04 PM »
True, true.

But.........ick. :o

Offline Kimberly

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Re: Which of Henry VIII's wives...
« Reply #20 on: August 11, 2005, 02:16:51 AM »
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On the topic of Jane Seymour, I think she did not last long enough for Henry to get tired of her . . . she urged him to bring Mary back to court. If she had lasted longer she might have diagreed with him on other things.

I truely believe that Henry "loved her the best" only because she pretty quickly gave him his longed for boy and promptly died. He didn't have chance to get fed up with her. He soon would have I am sure, he would have got bored with her and just gone back to her bed when it was time for her to churn out another Tudor. Harsh? yes but it is IMHO.
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Offline ilyala

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Re: Which of Henry VIII's wives...
« Reply #21 on: August 11, 2005, 12:12:49 PM »
i completely agree. she came, gave birth to a boy - long awaited boy too - and died. what's not to love? :P
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Offline umigon

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Re: Which of Henry VIII's wives...
« Reply #22 on: August 11, 2005, 12:18:54 PM »
I also agree... Just imagine if Jane had given birth to a baby girl... she probably would have been glad of dying of puerperal fever!!
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Offline ilyala

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Re: Which of Henry VIII's wives...
« Reply #23 on: August 11, 2005, 12:19:48 PM »
imagine henry's thrill ;D

(another girl...)
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PssMarieAmelie

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Re: Which of Henry VIII's wives...
« Reply #24 on: August 11, 2005, 08:22:03 PM »
Anne Boleyn.

Offline RussMan

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Re: Which of Henry VIII's wives...
« Reply #25 on: September 01, 2005, 04:29:14 PM »
I'm not sure, honestly. I definitely wouldn't want to be Catherine Howard. Eeek!!! She was good looking, true, but man, she was flirtacious, and Henry didn't have much patience with that at all, now, did he? ;)

Of course, i wouldn't want to be Anne Bloeyn either. :P
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Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Which of Henry VIII's wives...
« Reply #26 on: September 01, 2005, 04:30:39 PM »
Same old story with Big Hal - one rule for men, another for women.  >:(
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
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Offline ilyala

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Re: Which of Henry VIII's wives...
« Reply #27 on: September 05, 2005, 10:48:43 AM »
that's nice coming from a guy, prince :)
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Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Which of Henry VIII's wives...
« Reply #28 on: September 05, 2005, 11:08:13 AM »
 :) :) :) Thanks, I like to think I have a totally non-sexist attitude to women. How could I not, since I still live with my mother, my sister and have 4 aunts whom I see often!  ;D ;D
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Offline Zanthia

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Re: Which of Henry VIII's wives...
« Reply #29 on: March 09, 2006, 02:54:15 PM »
I surely wouldn't have been Catherine Howard either. (Or Anne Boleyn for that matter).

But Henry and Catherine Howard's relationship were also doomed from the start.
Catherine was very young, barely 16, when she dazzled Henry. And at that age you just want to have fun and enjoy life. I don't think she was thrilled, when her ambitious relatives almost forced her into Henry's arms.
He was over 50 years old when they meet, and the adonis he once had been, was long gone at that time. One can hardly blame Catherine for taking a young lover. But I also have sympathy for Henry. He mourned deeply over Jane's death, and was then married to a woman he knew he could never love. And then his "Rose without thorns" entered the stage. When a man of his age marrys for the fifth time, then it's because he believes in it. He really thought he had found love again, and I really feel with him, when he learned that she was cheating on him.
So all in all, I don't think you can blame any of them that it didn't worked out between them.
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