Sunday, 26 October 2014

Six Wives fly on the Wall: Six Key Moments from Tudor History.


To conclude my blog tour for my new book, “The Six Wives and Many Mistresses of Henry VIII,” I have been thinking about the key moments in the life of each of the six wives. If I were somehow able to travel through time and witness just one moment from the lives of each, these are the events I would choose. All you have to do to be in with a final chance to win a copy of the book is tell me which of these six you would like to have seen, as a fly on the wall. Enter your comment at the bottom of the blog and I’ll announce a winner on Monday November 3. Good Luck.


1. Catherine of Aragon. The Blackfriars Trial, 1529


I would have loved to see Catherine’s performance in 1529, when Henry summoned her to defend her marriage. She knelt on the floor before him, argued her case, then swept out of the hall, refusing to return. I think she would have mustered all her strength and experience as a Queen that day and it would have been almost her finest hour, although not her happiest one. It would have been wonderful to have seen the expression on Henry’s face as she spoke.

 

2. Anne Boleyn. The King’s Hall, Tower of London, 15 May 1536.


With all the different moments I could have selected for Anne, again I’ve gone for a sad one, but it is one that would allow me to listen to the evidence that was presented against her and witness her response. I wouldn’t just be watching her though, I’d be looking at all the faces in the room that day, as this process of condemning a Queen was unprecedented and it would be fascinating to see the reactions as her peers and friends lined up against her. We know that her former lover Henry Percy had to leave through “illness”; how many of those men were troubled by their consciences?


3. Jane Seymour. Greenwich, 4 June 1537.


Jane made her public debut as Queen less than a week after her marriage, which took place on May 30, 1536. Accompanied by a great train of ladies, she heard mass and dined in public at Greenwich Palace. It was on this occasion that Chapuys reported that she had to be “rescued” by Henry, whilst in discussion with the Ambassador, implying that she was overwhelmed or out of her depth. I would find it interesting to see just how Jane carried herself on this occasion, when she had the standards of Henry’s previous Queens to follow, and what stuff she was really made of.

 

4. Anne of Cleves. Rochester, 1 January 1540.


For Anne of Cleves, it would have to be that fateful moment when she was staying at Rochester overnight on the way to London. Henry arrived in her room unannounced, in disguise, and proceeded to embrace and kiss her. For Anne, it was a breach of dignity, from a large, uncouth man she did not know. Her reaction set Henry against her; it would be amusing to see exactly how she brushed him off, and the resulting embarrassment of the court. This was one dent to Henry’s ego he didn’t recover from.


5. Catherine Howard. Bishop’s Palace, Lincoln, August 1541.


At the risk of sounding like a peeping Tom, I would like to have witnessed the illicit meeting between Catherine Howard and Thomas Culpeper that took place on the royal progress of 1541. At the Bishop’s Palace, Lincoln, Lady Rochford helped smuggle Culpeper into Catherine’s chambers late at night via a set of stairs that led to an outside door. They both later claimed that they just talked for hours, and although they desired to consummate their love, had not actually done so. I would really like to know the truth of this secretive relationship.


6. Catherine Parr. The Proposal, 1543.


We don’t know exactly where or when Henry proposed to his sixth wife, but it certainly took place in the late spring or early summer of 1543. Catherine, recently widowed, had fallen in love with Thomas Seymour and was hoping to become his wife, when the King intervened, sent Seymour abroad and made his intentions plain. It would have been an incredible moment to witness, as Catherine struggled to reconcile her duty to the loss of her personal happiness. I wonder if she ever really considered the possibility of refusing the King. What exactly did she say to him? I would love to know.

Which of these six moments would you most like to have witnessed? Tell me below.

47 comments:

  1. I think I would choose to witness the Anne Boleyn moment. Although I don't really have an opinion on Anne I to would love to hear the evidence and see the reactions first hand. It would be one of those moments most people present would never forget.

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  2. I would definately choose Anne Boleyn, especially in her moments of triumph, such as her coronation and when she became Marquis of Pemproke. Glorious moments for a glorious lady! Her execution and trial would also be really interesting to watch.

    elizapol AT hotmail DOT com

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  3. Number 3, Jane Seymour

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  4. I find it fascinating that, as much as I was drawn to Tudor history through the story of Boleyn, I find myself compelled to witness the Catherine of Aragon moment - for exactly the reasons you state!

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  5. The Anne Boleyn moment - I think it would have been incredible to have witnessed how she carried herself in the course of the most momentous day of her life thus far.

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  6. Wow, it looks like I have a lot of company in wishing to witness Anne Boleyn's trial. In my own opinion the charges were totally bogus, and like you, I would have been observing all the men sitting in judgement on her. Especially the head, her Uncle of Norfolk. Really, how could they live with themselves. Then again, they knew if the outcome did not suit the King's purpose they wouldn't have a chance to live with themselves.

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  7. I think my choice would have to be Catherine Howard, because there is so little known about her, her personality, her demeanour, her level of education etc. to see her as a whole, to witness her in this precarious situation would be fascinating, also to get a glimpse of the 'infamous' Lady Rochford, just to get a measure of her too, and try to calculate just how much of her so called reputation is true. It was a difficult choice though.

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  8. I'll pick Anne of Cleves. We have much evidence of Henry's reaction to meeting her face to face, but nowhere do we get HER side of the meeting. To be in a strange country, where you do not understand the language; to have this fat old man burst into your private rooms after you've had a long, trying day of travel...I'm sure that I'd be calling the guard to have him removed, at least.

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  9. Oh my, so many, but I guess I'd have to go with Anne of Cleves. This woman got away the most untouched and with the most freedom in a sense than any of his other wives. She didn't have to deal with his moods or his health or his pressures for an heir, and she got to, in a way, be her own person.

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  10. Despite my fascination with Anne Boleyn, I think I would have to choose the Katherine of Aragon scene. I think that this moment sums up Katherine's passion and commitment to her marriage and her role as Queen of England- the latter being a role she deemed herself born to fill. It is a moment that sticks with more than most from Katherine's reign.

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  11. Difficult one, but would have to go with the Anne of Cleves moment, to see Henry put I his place for once and be rebuffed by a woman! His face would be priceless!!

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  12. Hard to choose but I'm thinking Anne of Cleves because it would be entertaining to watch the entire scenario and the confusion that ensued. I would have chosen Anne Boleyn but it would be so frustrating to watch that travesty of a trial and not be able to speak up in her defense.

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  13. 4. Anne of Cleves. Rochester, 1 January 1540. Now that had to be entertaining in the least.

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  14. Catherine of Aragon to see her fighting like a lioness for her rights, for making Henry look small in public and for metaphorically sticking two fingers up at him by saying you might have replaced me with a younger woman but I am still a queen and your wife in law. I would have loved to have have seen the strength that ran through her like Toledo steel even in the face of real suffering and adversity.

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  15. All of the moments seem like they would be fascinating to witness, but being a big Anne Boleyn fan I have to say that I would love to witness her trial and see the dignity with which she answered to the lies being told about her. It would be difficult to witness an innocent woman being condemned, though

    Nancy Smith

    nlsmith2@nscorp.com

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  16. For me I would have loved to be a fly on the wall as Catherine Parr received her proposal...... What a crushing blow she must have felt, a woman so in love with Seymour to then have the portly, elderly King Henry's attentions thrust on her. She might well feel there is no real way out of this "predicament"! Lady B

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  17. It would have been very gripping to witness Queen Katherine of Aragon defending her marriage in front of everyone, I agree. Also the moment with Queen Catherine Parr when she was asked for her hand in marriage. I too would want to see the look on her face and climb inside of her head to hear her thoughts! - Would enjoy very much a chance at having this book.

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  18. Hi Amy!,
    I Think that of all the moments, I would choose to witness as you said the illicit meeting between Catherine Howard and Thomas Culpeper!
    Thank you so much for this chance to win your last book!
    My e-mail: claudia_mi@outlook.com

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  19. All of the moments seem like they would be fascinating to witness, It´s difficult just to pick one, but.....The Anne Boleyn moment !!!!!
    ( daniel.gomez44@outlook.com )

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  20. Of all the moments I would choose that late spring or early summer of 1543, when Henry proposed to his sixth wife. As you said, What exactly did she say to him? I would love to know!!! ;)

    --> sinatradaniela@hotmail.com

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  21. For me I would have loved to be a fly on the wall as Henry arrived in Anne´s room unannounced, in disguise, and proceeded to embrace and kiss her.


    E mail: celi.guzman87@outlook.com

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  22. andres.deniz89@outlook.com28 October 2014 at 07:54

    Oh my... so many, but I guess I'd have to go with Anne of Cleves moments, it would be amusing to see exactly how she brushed him off. I would pay to see Henry´s face in that moment.

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  23. It would have been very gripping to witness Queen Katherine of Aragon Moment.
    I totally agree with you it would have been wonderful to have seen the expression on Henry’s face as she spoke.
    Thank you so much for this chance! I´m Crossing my fingers! :)

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  24. oopps....My e-mail is: foerstnerbery@gmail.com

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    1. ohhh... wrong again.... i´m so sorry.... foerstnerberty@gmail.com.....

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  25. Hi Amy!!!!!,
    I would definitely choose Katherine of Aragon Moment....just to see the faces of the people involved in that moment. I think it would have been awesome be with anne boleyn in that moment! what have she felt?....
    ( bicha.escalante@outlook.com )

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  26. I think it would be fascinating to witnessed the Jane Seymour Moment, her debut as queen.... was she afraid?, was she thinking in Anne Boleyn?, would the same happened to her?... oh my.... better not to think of it! :)

    Hernan Schinemann --> herny.schi@gmail.com

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  27. For me I would have loved to witness Catherine Parr´s proposal...... What a crushing blow she must have felt, a woman so in love with Seymour....

    gastonaznar@gmail.com

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  28. emicare@outlook.es30 October 2014 at 06:23

    Hi!!! I would have loved to witness Anne in The Tower of London, 15 May 1536. Even though it's a sad moment, but a most important one for history.
    Thanks for this chance!
    PS: I loved you book In bed with the Tudors! ;) Hope I could read this one too!

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  29. Despite my fascination with Anne Boleyn, I think I would have to choose the Katherine of Aragon Moment, for exactly the reasons you state!

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    1. I´m really sorry I forget to leave a contact email: caroestivil@hotmail.com

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  30. I think my choice would have to be the Catherine Howard moment. Because it would be great to know what really happened, did they really talked for hours?... As you, I would love to know the truth of this prohibited love.

    My E-Mail is: tomeoari@gmail.com

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  31. I would have to pick anne Boleyn. She had such a interesting life and compelling story, even after she met henry. Even with her tragic end, she was very ambitious for a women of her time. Can totally see why elizabeth I was so successful.

    My contact info: medievalfreak@gmail.com

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  32. I think it would have to be The Anne of Cleaves, to have rebuffed Henry, how i'd loved to have seen this, and to still keep her head, she must have had something....... although not sure what, to keep her head intact!!

    Libby

    email libbymillard@googlemail.com

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  33. Anne Boleyn most definitely!That romance and marriage had to be the most passionate and fiery one. Then followed by the two Catherines, especially Catherine of Aragon to see how she dealt with the marriage and death of Arthur.
    denannduvall(at)gmail(dot)com

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  34. The Anne Boleyn moment, also. I would love to know how Lady Rochford actually fit into the evidence, if at all.

    Esther (esorkin@ecologyfund.net)

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  35. I would like to see Jane Seymour's three-day labor. As a mother of two, the last one was the most horribly painful and almost a c-section, I would like to see how the Tudor women can handle the pain of a difficult birth.

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  36. I think it would have to be Anne Boleyn most definitely! I’d be looking at all the faces in the room that day....as you said, how many of those men were troubled by their consciences?..... oh, if just we could build up a time machine... how many mysteries could we resolve?! :)

    chuchi_rodri@outlook.com

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  37. Ludmila Gonzalez1 November 2014 at 08:51

    I would definitely choose Anne Boleyn moment. I´m a big fan of her!
    I´m from Argentina and I would love to win a copy of this book. Nowadays it is really difficult to find this kind of good books to read here. I´m a Pharmacist. but since I was a child my Mother encourage me to read, She is a History teacher, and we both love the Tudor period.
    Thanks for giving us the chance!

    gonzalez_ludmila@yahoo.com

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  38. Anne Boleyn trial most definitely, I think it would have been incredible to have witnessed how she carried herself in that moment. She had such an interesting life and mysterious story, that it would be great to witness any moment in her life.

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    1. ines_eusebi@hotmail.com

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  39. I would like to have witnessed the illicit meeting between Catherine Howard and Thomas Culpeper!
    Thanks for the chance to win your last book Amy! If I win I will share it with my best friend! ;)

    guille_espinola@hotmail.com

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  40. Thank you so much for all your comments and interest in this book. I wish I could send you all a copy, but there can only be one winner. Congratulations Claudia Minnig, I am about to email you.

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  41. Hello Amy, I'm really torn here as I would have loved to be a witness to both number 2 and number 4. As a Kentish lass though, I think I'm going to have to choose Anne of Cleves at Rochester. Would also love to know her thoughts on being given Hever - her ex husbands' dead wife's childhood home - as part of her annulment settlement. Wishing you all the best with the book.

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  42. Thanks for the FANTASTIC post! This information is really good and thanks a ton for sharing it :-) I m looking forward desperately for the next post of yours..

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  43. I know this post is two years old, so it doesn't matter that my answer isn't one of the choices. Katherine and Arthur's wedding night.

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