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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Small Moments Make up a Life

Yesterday I found this and I thought it was beautiful.

Absolutely, totally beautiful.  A beautiful tribute to "The Tudors" but more than that an amazing compilation of "small hours" from Henry's life.  I wonder if that's really the sort of thing that went through his head towards the end of his life when he was ill and knew he was going to die.  Did he dream of the wives and friends he had lost?  When he closed his eyes did he see Katherine in all of her quiet dignity?  Did he see the beautiful young princess he had married or the old woman she became?  I'd like to think that he remembered the best of her, when she was young and sweet, and he was in love with her.  Did he see Anne, standing regally on the scaffold?  Did he see Catherine Howard smiling and dancing?  Was he haunted by the quiet martyrdom of Thomas More, the pleading of Cromwell or the tears of Wolsey?  God I hope so.

I think what gets me so much about this video is that when you watch it you see how odd Henry's life really was.  He had so many different "lives" and "families."  Who does that?  Generally, when you look at the course of a person's life, even a king's life, they have one person who was their mate for life, maybe two or three, but not six.  If you take the time to think about it, how strange must it have been for him to go from being married for twenty years and being sure of your wife and who your child is to a new wife and a new daughter, and then another wife and another child?  I was talking to someone a few years ago and at some point they said to me that something they had done "was with another wife and another family."  I remember thinking at the time how odd it was, you have one life that you are used to and one set of children, and then, 20 years later, you have another?  Something about seeing Henry's whole life strung together like that made me so very sad.  You can really see how he made some people truly happy, and how he was so viciously cruel to those same people in the end.  It has always broken my heart how he turned on his closest friends and most loyal servants, More, Wolsey, and Cromwell.  I don't know that I would have liked these men in life, but their sadness when he turned on them is painful.

I hope, after Henry became the evil man that he was when he died that every time he slept he dreamt of someone he had wronged.  I hope his last memories caused him to feel regret.  I love that the last thing he dreams of in this video is three of his wives begging him for mercy, for that must be a truly horrible thing to remember, especially little Catherine Howard screaming his name while running towards the chapel in a desperate bid to gain his forgiveness.  Since her ghost is said to repeat this scene almost daily it obviously left an emotional impression somewhere in time, either in the minds of those who recorded the scene or on the veil between this world and the next.  Somehow though, I think those he rid himself of got the last laugh, as they watched his spirit moving in a decidedly downward direction!


  1. Thank you for pointing me in the direction of this video. It was great to watch and your take on it was wonderful to read!

    Best wishes!

  2. You are welcome, I loved it. I thought it was beautiful and it broke my heart at the same time. Glad you enjoyed it!