Tuesday, June 17, 2008


The past two weeks, I've been catching up on Season 2 of 'The Tudors' on Showtime's Video on Demand. I missed it while it was in current runs, since I don't have Showtime at the Florida house. So while I've been in Dallas, I've made it a point to watch one every other night to catch up and get ready for Season 3.

I have one word for The Tudors (both the show and the real historical figures): Brutal.

I have seen more beheadings this week than I can count! Not that I didn't know this stuff happened -- I've read history and been to the Tower of London several times -- but I guess seeing it on my TV happening to characters I've been following really brings it home.

Curious as to how closely the show mirrors actual historical accounts, I did some reading up on the lives of Henry VIII and his six wives. Indeed, they seem to have done a pretty good job of capturing it in the show. I suppose when history gives one a story like that, no concocted script is required. It's pretty darn good stuff as far as drama goes.

But it also led me to wonder a bit about the lives of women (both royal and not) in Medieval times, so I also did a bit of reading on that. If you haven't, I suggest doing so. It will so make you appreciate being born now, rather than then. The same word came to mind as I read about the typical female's life in the 1500s: Brutal.

They were married off at 14 or 15, generally only lived to be about 30 and pretty much spent every year in between pregnant. It was not atypical for a woman of that time to give birth to 10 or 12 children...with only a few surviving infancy and the plagues. Many, many women died during childbirth itself or shortly thereafter. It's amazing that anyone lived through those ages, given the lack of knowledge of basic medicine or even hygiene. It truly, truly was the Dark Ages, especially for women. The myths about women's bodies, menstruation, sex and childbirth were astonishing. It was not a good time in history to be a female (nor anytime before that, I suspect).

So, if you have an hour to spare, I suggest reading up a bit on all that. You'll get a whole new perspective. If you think your life as a woman is difficult now....it's nothing compared to what women put up with then.

And as for Season 3 of 'The Tudors'.....up next? Wife #3....Lady Jane Seymour. I've cheated and read ahead (a perc of following a historically-based show), so I know what happens...but I'll watch it anyway. Henry Cavill alone is worth the watch.

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