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Messages - jehan

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The Tudors / Re: Susan Howatch
« on: September 26, 2005, 10:36:22 PM »
I have read a Wheel of Fortune, about Richard III but I don't think it was written by her.It was superb ;)

It wasn't about Richard 111, actually. (maybe you are thinking of  Sharon K Penman's "Sunne in Splendour", which is a marvellous book)

But the modern (well 18th/19th century)  family Howatch portays in Wheel of Fortune has parallels with the Plantagenets, Kester being Richard 11, Harry being Henry lV, Robert being the Black Prince,  Ginevra being Joan of Kent etc.  It's interesting to find the historical figures in her novels. (Even Katherine Swynford is there as Bronwyn).

I find her books original in their concept, and riveting in their plots- since they are taken from history and adapted to fit modern family sagas.  I think "Cashelmara" is the weakest of the 3, but even it is a good read.  There are also "The Sins of the Fathers" and its sequel, which retell the relationships of the Roman Caesars again as modern family saga.

The Tudors / Re: Rick II and 1381
« on: August 30, 2005, 05:18:02 PM »
And what was it the revolting peasants sang..."When Adam delved and Eva Span, who was then the gentleman" ..never understood that ???

But seriously, if you really don't get it- it's referring to "gentleman" in a class sense- i.e. when God created Adam and Eve, they both worked side by side - Adam in the fields, and Eve at spinning- there was no "gentry" to live off their labours.

The Tudors / Re: Rick II and 1381
« on: August 30, 2005, 05:04:10 PM »
And what was it the revolting peasants sang..."When Adam delved and Eva Span, who was then the gentleman"  

Adam ?   ;)

The Tudors / Re: The Virgin Queen?
« on: August 12, 2005, 09:05:46 AM »
GIRL-THINGY oh you mean "front bottom". Yes i have heard that one before. re the illegitimate son story.... have you read the novel The Queen's Bastard by Robin Maxwell. It is fiction but its actually quite a fascinatingly plausible bit of nonsense and quite readable. Another story that I have heard is this: Anne Boleyn delivered her baby but the baby (Elizabeth) died almost immediately. They were so desperate and terrified of Henry's wrath that they substituted the dead baby with another newborn that happened to be at hand. Unfortunately the substitute baby just happened to have some extra was a boy. So Good Queen Bess was actually Good Queen Bert.And that is why she/he didn't do the jiggy with men.There are some variations on this story, depending where you  are in England.

This is pretty silly, really, isn't it?   Had they found a baby boy- surely they would have said it was a boy, not a girl?  It would have saved Anne's life, wouldn't it?  And made Henry happy?  Besides, Elizabeth had a definite resemblance to both parents- her father's colouring and her mother's eyes.  And the Tudor temperament! ;)

The Tudors / Re: The Virgin Queen?
« on: August 12, 2005, 09:01:34 AM »
I think the answer is simple, and that Elizabeth probably WAS in fact the "Virgin Queen"  (If she wasn't- it was probably a youthful indiscretion, but even in youth she generally kept her wits about her- except with Seymour, but I doubt that went beyond inappropriate flirtation).

Even today women don't necessarily know if they are sterile until they can't have children (unless they never menstruate), which I have not heard is the case, so I doubt in Tudor times anyone could have been so sure it was the case for Elizabeth.  And as for any sexual ambiguity- surely if she were not a normally formed female there might have been doubts at birth about her sex- and there never were, as far as I can tell.

I think Elizabeth never married for several reasons- first her family life hardly led her to think well of the institution!
And next- once she was Queen  she didn't want to share power with a man who would surely try to usurp her authority.  Marrying an Englishman would create internal strife as one noble family was set above the rest, (And there was noone of sufficient rank) and marrying a foreigner would bring in external and possibly religious unrest.

While I think she truly loved Robert Dudley, and he was the one man she MIGHT have married, she couldn't do it- he was already married at the beginning, and his wife's suspicious death would always cast a shadow over any marriage with Elizabeth.

I also think that once Elizabeth was queen, she had a mighty high opinion of herself.  While she loved men and being admired and flirting and compliments (and who doesn't? :)  ), she would not have lowered herself to become any man's physical lover out of wedlock.  Remember all men (except other reigning monarchs) were her social inferiors - would she really have allowed a subject any "liberties"?  I don't think so.

The Tudors / Re: Edward II's daughter Eleanor
« on: August 07, 2005, 10:25:45 PM »
I don't know if you'll find much info on her.  Born 1318, died 22 apr 1355, married in 1332 Reynald Duke of Gueldres.  She had at least 2 sons.  Anything else, you will have to do the research yourself. ;)

Having Fun! / Re: Your Personal Top Ten Favorite Royal List
« on: August 07, 2005, 12:52:36 PM »
1) Queen Victoria (a complex, fascinating woman)

2) Eleanor of Aquitaine (ditto)

3) Regent Sofia (an uppity woman in an age and culture where women were usually invisible)

4)Victoria (Empress Frederick) (a highly intelligent woman in an impossible situation)

5) Peter the Great (dragged Russia kicking and screaming into the western world)

6) Queen Elizabeth 1 (a woman who survived despite all odds and became a great monarch)

7) Juan Carlos of Spain (a modern monarch for the modern age- pulled Spain out of dictatorship and has kept it there)

8 )Charlotte of Wales (came from an awful home situation with the war between her parents and grew into a relatively stable young woman, made a happy marriage- what might have been, one wonders?

9) GDss Olga Alexandrovna-(lived a life of simplicity and grace, survived an unhappy marriage and found happiness despite the odds)

10) Prince Leopold (intelligent young man who rebelled against the strictures placed upon him and made a life for himself)

The Imperial Family / Re: Cousin Marriage
« on: July 30, 2005, 10:34:25 AM »

I think QV was wrong to even suggest for the church to change their rules just to suit her own needs and I thought she didn't even want Beartice to get married anyway...I do think that an in-law should be able to get married to each other but only if the previous marriage was childless such as the case with Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon and I think marrying your own uncle/niece or aunt/nephew is a bit disgusting which is what the most of the Hapsburgs practiced

Well the church did change the rules eventually, didn't it?  And it had nothing to do with Queen Victoria.

It has happened several times in my distant family past (in rural Finland) that a man has married his deceased wife's sister, or a woman her husband's brother.  But why should childlessness of the first marriage be an issue?  Surely a biological uncle or aunt would usually (there are always exceptions!)  be a  very loving stepparent- moreso than a stranger in many cases- after all they would have a blood tie to the children.

I think that ONE of the impetuses for changing the law in England was after WW!, when so many men were killed in the war- there were many younger (presumably) brothers who wanted to marry their sisters-in-law and adopt their late brother's children.  One factor among many , I'm sure, but the law was changed in the early 1920s.

The Tudors / Re: Lady Jane Grey
« on: July 28, 2005, 05:09:35 PM »

In which bios have you read that in? there is no bio I've ever read mentioning that the marriage was ever consummated

Hester Chapman "Lady Jane Grey" Pan Books 1972 p76

Mary Luke "The Nine Days Queen" William Morrow 1986 pp244-245

I know of at least one other I read years ago, but I don't own it and don't remember the author, so I can't cite it here.

Edited- Also Alison Weir "Children  of England" Random House 1996 p 145

(In fact I haven't read a bio that states it was NOT consummated!)

The Tudors / Re: Lady Jane Grey
« on: July 28, 2005, 09:38:01 AM »
I found the film a bit rubbish and thats the first ever film I've seen of Helena Bonham-Carter act in... when I know she's in any film I don't bother watching it because it reminds me that its going to be another rubbish film

I'm a stickler for reasonable historical accuracy in film (don't get me started on "Braveheart! ;)), but I have to admit I liked "Lady Jane".

I know that the love story wasn't true- Jane and Guildford never did get along (although to answer another question on this thread, according to several bios about her, the marriage WAS consummated, although not until a few months after the wedding), and the whole reforming England idea didn't happen either.  But the underlying essentials ARE true- that in Tudor times children were essentially political pawns in the hands of their elders- to be used ruthlessly,with no choice as to their lives or fates, and that point was made very well.

Also the costumes and sets are bang-on accurate, as is the music.  The portrayals are good- Jane's parents, Jane herself, Cary Elwes as Guilford (and the thigh-high boots didn't hurt his performance either !!)  I thought that the portrayal of Queen Mary was excellent too- showing her as a woman in love with a portrait of her soon-to-be husband  and reluctant to condemn Jane, when a lesser movie would have made her a villain.  The portrayal of the kindly Dr Feckenham is really good (some of the dialogue between him and Jane is taken straight from historical records).

Do you really think that all of Helena B-C's film are rubbish?  She was really good in "A Room with a View", "Margaret's Museum", Howard's End- hardly bad films, any of them.  I even liked her portrayal of Ophelia in Mel Gibson's Hamlet- she put a spin on the character I had never seen before. (He "roses for remembrance" speech was rather chilling, rather than the usual feyness other actresses have brought to the role, I thought)

KentKim> I think everyone in this day and age should know that one. The reason I say she most likely would have had a son, is because she would talk about wanting to have a "big" family like hers, thus having lots of kids would increase the chance of a son. However, someone posted somewhere (I don't recall) that since her mother seemed to always have girls, that maybe that trait would have been passed on too

Yes, but it matters little about the trends for daughters/sons in HER family- it's the father who determines the gender of the child, not the mother.  

Because William was the next heir after Anne anyways. (His mother was the sister of Charles 11 and James 11)- so he was a cousin of his wife and  closely related to the British royal family.
It was also a political move to have Mary and William claim the crown jointly, and reinforce their claim.  William might not have gone along with it just to put his wife on the throne.

Anne's husband was just an ordinary consort- he had no claim to the throne in his own right.

Marie Feodorovna / Re: Marie Feodorovna -  Your Opinion
« on: May 04, 2005, 05:50:00 PM »
The Dowager Empress was consumate in her role as Empress.  She was a delightful and charming consort.  

Unfortunately, she did not see past that and realize that her role as Dowager was, in part, to help and ease Alexandra's sudden transition to Empress.

Marie Feodorvna was used to charming and controlling and the new Empress was not the kind of person to succumb to that.  

Having said that, I think that Marie Feodorovna could have used her experience and influence and even her charm to not take the precedence she was entitled to and to simply deal with Alexandra on Alexandra's own terms.  After all, she recognized the essential nature of her daughter-in-law, but did nothing to work within that framework.

It has always seemed to me that the Dowager Empress was not prepared, either personally, or psychologically, to help the new Empress.

That, I am afraid, was seeking personal gratification and issues over the good of the Empire.  

I don't know about that- Marie was simply following the longtime Russian tradition that the dowager Empress has precedence- it was the way that things worked in the culture of the court.  She really couldn't change that, even if she wanted to (which I doubt
;) ).  Nicholas couldn't or wouldn't change it either.  It may have been strange to Alix, and it does seem strange to most of us, but it was the way of the court for generations, and surely Alix understood this, or should have.  After all, it was her "job" to conform with Russian traditions and protocol.   Had Marie given precedence to Alix, it would probably not have made Alix more popular- it would have made her MORE unpopular IMHO-  for shoving aside the beloved dowager (in their eyes).

I agree that they were fundamentally different people, and it would have been difficult for them to get along even had Nicholas remained just the heir for 20 years or so after their wedding.  But things would certainly have been easier for both of them had that been the case- Marie would have had more years to shine, and Alix would have had a few years in the background to learn her role and raise her family.  Alexander's early death was a tragedy in so many ways!

Having Fun! / Re: Where would you have lived?
« on: February 05, 2005, 12:35:49 PM »
When I was in St Petersburg a couple of years back, the palace I fell in love with was Pavlovsk.  Not the grandest, or the largest, but the one that seemed  the most comfortable, with a more "homey" feeling (in a relative sense, of course!)  Lovely grounds too!

The Stuarts of Scotland / Re: Another branch of Stuarts vs the Windsors &
« on: December 31, 2004, 04:53:07 PM »
Here's a link to a website about the alleged Duke, and other "fantasy royalty"

Apparently he's a Belgian commoner named Michael Lafosse.

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