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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Another One Bites the Dust

So, a new episode of "The Tudors" aired tonight and we saw the execution of Katherine Howard.  Poor ridiculous girl.  What can one really say except that?  She was practically fed the opportunity to save herself, Bishop Gardiner was almost begging her to say she was precontracted to Derham, and she would not say it.  (This really happened by the way.)  She didn't get it.  The execution of Derham and Culpepper was sad, if only because it had Katherine's voice behind it as narration.  The poor girl was practicing her dancing while they were being executed.  It was one of the only things she was good at, one of the only things she truly enjoyed.  It almost seemed like she didn't know what else to do.  Derham, horrid little man that he was, he didn't need his fingernails pulled out and his intestines ripped from his still breathing body, but such is the death of a traitor.

Lady Rochford was executed before Katherine, and she had little to say.  A law actually was passed in England allowing those who were insane to be executed just so that she could be put to death.  She is said to have gone mad in prison, and at some point saying she deserved death for bringing down her husband and his sister and unjustly accusing them of incest, thereby ensuring their deaths.  If you ask me, she got what she had coming.  Remember how I feel about karma?  Well, it came for her.  One woman brought down two queens.  Hardly seems possible, but jealousy twists the heart until it turns black from lack of blood or love. 

Katherine spends the night in the tower, one night it seems, but I am sure it was more than that.  Master Kingston is still there, I wonder how he felt about having to take charge of the executions of two of Henry's queens?  One a dignified and much maligned woman, and one, her cousin, a foolish and panicky young girl?  I think his heart broke for Anne and he could not let it do the same for Katherine.  Plus, Katherine does not inspire the same loyalty or love that Anne did.  Katherine repeated Anne's speech in her first words to the crowd "I am come here to die."  But she goes on to say that she dies a queen but would rather die the wife of Culpepper.

Katherine was never crowned queen and had no powerful faction standing behind her.  She was not afforded some of the dignities that Anne was, at least in this show.  No ladies to attend her, no cloak of ermine and crimson velvet, no swordsman from Calais.  Katherine was, however afforded justice in real life.  The whole affair of the queen's indiscretions was discovered in November but she was not executed until February 13, 1542.  Anne was arrested at the beginning of May and died on the 19th.  No justice there, her death was a foregone conclusion.  Katherine died a girl and Anne died a queen crowned, but neither deserved the death they were dealt.

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