History Makers - Henry VIII And His Six Wives [DVD]
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Divorced, beheaded, died; Divorced, beheaded, survived - This children s rhyme accurately depicts the sometimes gruesome outcome of Henry VIII s six wives, and is a catchy reminder of how a king at the height of his power manipulated the law for his own gratification. The iconic figure of Henry VIII conjures images of opulence and excess but also of a man with a vicious cruel streak that would send two of his wives to the executioner. However, as this DVD shows, he was also a caring and loving husband desperate for a male heir...desperate enough to kill. Narrated by Terry Molloy
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There are unnecessary irritations for the viewer. For example, the narrative written by Kate Dunn states that Anne Boleyn was pregnant in the autumn of 1536, when in fact she had been executed on 19th May! Perhaps this was a slip of the tongue by the narrator but it should have been edited out! There is also an overuse of "school textbook illustrations" that were out-dated in the 1960s. Worse still are the anachronistic juxta-positioning of portraits of Henry VIII painted in the 1530s when the King was in his forties that are used to illustrate narrative about the period 1509 to 1521, when the King was in his late teens and twenties and very athletic.
Sadly, the DVD makes no reference to the work of Tudor historians, such as, (in no rank order) John Guy, Jennifer Loach, Eric Ives, G W Bernard, Antonia Fraser, David Starkey, Stephen Gunn, or the younger generation of researchers, currently writing on Henry VIII. Even the late Geoffrey Elton is ignored, although obliquely acknowledged by the high praise of Thomas Cromwell as an administrator and the dismissal of Henry VIII's personal rule.