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Sunday, May 2, 2010

Odd Little Tidbits from Tudor History

I' ve been doing a lot of nonfiction reading over the past few days, which is unusual for me to do in such long spurts but I have to say I am actually enjoying reading Alison Weir's book "The Children of Henry VIII."  There are some odd errors in it, don't know if it's a misprint or not but she said Henry married Jane Seymour in 1537, um no, I'm pretty sure he married her on May 29, 1536, 10 days after Anne's execution.  Strange little errors like that.  I decided to compile a list of some interesting facts I have picked up from this book and other books and put them up here.  Some are funny, some are disturbing, and some are just odd.  Enjoy!

*Anne Boleyn adopted a motto other than her well known one "The Most Happy" for several days.  It was "Ainsi sera, groigne qui groigne" which apparently translates to "Grumble all you like, but this is how it's going to be."  She had this sewn to her servant's livery and they walked around wearing this slogan for several days before she had it removed and replaced it with her other, more dignified motto.  When I read this I laughed out loud.  What a way to get her point across, somewhere a score board was showing "Anne Boleyn: 1, Courtiers: 0."

*Apparently Mary Tudor was quite the innocent, never having heard the word "whore" until she was already queen.  How that could be when the whole of England referred to Anne Boleyn as "the King's Great Whore" I don't know, but a story was told of her calling one of her ladies a "pretty whore" after overhearing a heated exchange between a lusty courtier and another lady.  She claims she meant no offense and did not know what the word meant, only that it appeared to be pleasing to the lady when she was called that.

*Remember my post on crazy breeding crazy?  Well, Edward VI was a disturbed little man, once, in a fit of rage he grabbed a falcon perched in his room, plucked out all of it's feathers, and then tore the thing into four pieces.  Can you say "sadist in the making?"

*Elisabeth I's menstrual cycle was well known to the court and those who tried to find her a husband as a young woman and it was of great concern.  While I know breeding an heir is important, I would hate to have the whole world knowing about my cycle, thanks.

*Mary I may have had seasonal affective disorder as she grew ill with a number of psychosomatic conditions every autumn of her adult life.

I also learned that I have a new reader this week, my friend Grace, who can be visited over at  Thanks for reading Grace!

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