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The White Queen

(1000 Posts)
ShadeofViolet Sun 16-Jun-13 17:06:32

Anyone else ridiculously excited?

I know Philippa Gregory's books tend to be a bit Barbara Cartland in places, and I hope the BBC havent increased it, but I still cannot wait to watch it.

Colyngbourne Mon 15-Jul-13 20:12:11

Henry was disbarred from the throne because although the Beauforts (his mother's family) were legitimised, they were specifically disbarred from the throne by Henry IV. Henry's father was also likely illegitimate since if Edmund Tudor was the son of Owen Tudor and Katherine of Valois, there was a law against married a dowager queen without permission from the King (permission which Owen did not request and he and Katherine supposedly married secretly, something which also sets the legality of the marriage in doubt). Katherine had around the same time wished to marry Edmund Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, and very possibly had a liaison with him, and it is possible that Edmund "Tudor" is actually Beaufort's son, therefore not actually a Tudor at all. If so this should have necessitated a dispensation from the Pope in order to marry Margaret Beaufort, who might have actually been his first cousin.

The main problem with the drama (besides trashing the real history of the WotR, and besides some very bad acting, poor scripting, squeaky-clean sets and anachronisms all over the place) - is that it's from the point of view of the three women - none of whom were present during most of the politicking, battles, events, dramas etc of the times. So we have the ridiculous scene of Eliz tiptoing around the Tower in her nightie to see what happens to Henry VI, or Marg Beau visiting the battlefield. The drama has missed out entirely the exile in Burgundy, the horrors of Tewkesbury (Somerset splitting Clifford's head in two with an axe), the terrible battle at Barnet (Warwick actually trying to escape on a horse, and soldiers killing him against Edw's orders; Oxford and Exeter's lines attacking each other because of the fog; John Neville wearing York colours under his armour...) What a waste of real history, just to see Margaret Beaufort wring her hands over her boy for the 30th time, or Eliz Woodville being desperate to bed her Edw again. Tedious anti-history.

alemci Mon 15-Jul-13 20:36:31

yes marg loves hand wringing and being the ultimate pushy parent.

so who could Catherine ask for permission tomarry. wasnt h
the king her baby son as henry v had died. isnt her son henry vi who was killed last night

titzup Mon 15-Jul-13 20:43:30

ah, you're right colyngbourne, I've read the books and I think the woman's-POV-only works better in that somehow?

Trills Mon 15-Jul-13 20:53:31

I have been reading the books and I rather like how they address the same story from 3 different points of view. Still none of them spent much time on the battlefield though.

courgetteDOTcom Tue 16-Jul-13 23:03:23

I think it would have been better done as separate stories than merging them. I don't think there's enough time and you can't gain sympathy for any particular "heroine". it's also mixing the narration, would be fine if it was JUST from the three female perspectives, but we're also getting random scenes from the men. It's just very confused.

titzup Wed 17-Jul-13 10:54:40

Yes I think you're right courgette, and that's how it is in the books, so when you read them you're right on the side of whoever's being featured, but then it all gets reversed when you get on to the next lot so you don't know who to root for in the end! (which I like, because it's kind of the reality of the situation, badguy goodguy not being clearcut like in the movies). The way they've done it here is just like a whirlwind and I end up not sympathising with anyone, so I don't really care, hence the latest episode being left largely unwatched til wednesday which never happened with the tudors hahaha!

alemci Wed 17-Jul-13 11:20:13

i've started reading the first one - the lady of the rivers and it is good to give you the background and I am enjoying it.

FairPhyllis Wed 17-Jul-13 17:57:03

I've been catching up on this. Not super impressed with it as a piece of drama but it is helping me to sort out my Plantagenet history in my head.

One thing I would like to know more about: if Henry Tudor's claim to the throne was in part based on his Plantagenet descent through his mother, why was Margaret Beaufort herself never considered a potential claimant? Or was she at the time and we're just not hearing about it? AIUI Henry's claim to the throne was part descent, part right of conquest - was it the case that male bits + ability to raise an army trumped the fact that the succession would be skipping a generation? Did MB not have a serious prospect of being able to raise a Lancastrian army in her own right?

It just seems to me that seeing as MB was alive all through her son's reign, would it not have been rather awkward for Henry that the person he claimed his right through was still hanging around and very conspicuously hadn't been queen (or even royal)?

courgetteDOTcom Wed 17-Jul-13 18:18:17

titzup, reading the books I got the impression PG was Yorkist, even in RQ she I didn't feel she was very sympathetic to Margaret. She did say she found it difficult to swap to being Lancastrian after writing WQ. Whilst I wasn't feeling very sympathetic to her (don't tell anyone, my wedding was based on Neville's Lancastrian days and our Yorkist best man got a lot of stick) I did get behind the story much more than I can with the series. Tudors was definitely all done from one side so however trashed it got you still knew who you were supposed to be rooting for.

alemci, LR finishes right at the tree scene so it's a good introduction to the series or the rest of the books. It was written third so some of it you read and it makes sense to something that happens later, but you just get it the other way around if you read it first grin

I think no one took her seriously if the book is anything to go by and she was a woman - other women raise armies in the name of a husband or son. She did in the end have two armies that were pivotal to final battle. I think she wanted the quiet life but she wanted the best for her son if she wasn't going to get that.

TunipTheVegedude Wed 17-Jul-13 18:26:40

I don't think queens regnant were considered a serious option at that point. I think the view would have been 'look what happened with Matilda'.

Mama1980 Wed 17-Jul-13 18:31:33

Phyllis- as I understand it Margaret Beaufort was the heir. She was the great granddaughter of john of gaunt and her father Edmund duke of Somerset was the leading Lancastrian noble but he and his four sons died leaving just Margaret.
But She was so young 12 when she was married off to Edmund Tudor to produce a child who would in addition to all this have royal blood through their grandmother Catherine of Valois. Edmund and jasper Tudor were half brothers to Henry vi. As she was too young then to act in her own right, upon the birth of her child he inherited her birthright, and his fathers and became the focus of the Lancastrian cause after the death of Henry vi.

FairPhyllis Wed 17-Jul-13 21:24:12

So being a queen regnant in this period is probably just a non-starter then. Interesting though that that changes relatively quickly - less than a hundred years after Bosworth Field Jane Grey could be named successor by Edward VI. And then Mary had enough personal power and support to be able to claim in her own right.

Perhaps what made the difference by then was the fact that the options for a successor were a bit more constrained? All of the lines of succession from H VIII and H VII led to female successors; and by that point avoiding civil war again or undue influence from overseas had become the most important issue, so perhaps having a queen regnant was the least of everyone's worries as long as she was English.

Whereas in this period, being male, having some (any!) Plantagenet blood and being able to wallop all comers is good enough for pretty much anybody to have a crack at the throne.

Mama1980 Wed 17-Jul-13 21:59:15

Pretty much smile I think in Margaret's case though it was more her age that was the issue, rather than her sex she never had a chance to act for herself she was a mother and widow by 13 her choices were pretty much snatched away from her. Had she been in her 20's unmarried and a presence at court as Mary Tudor was then it may have been different.
The idea of a queen regnant wasn't unheard of Matilda/maud had had enough men willing to fight for her to cause a civil war, and Isabella along with Mortimer had held a good deal of power. I don't think a queen would ever have Been the preferred outcome here though not with so many men willing to claim the throne either for themselves or their kinsmen and fight for either (or both!) sides.

Mama1980 Wed 17-Jul-13 22:00:47

I think your right by the time of Henry viii there were literally no other options, and people wanted a legitimate successor if it had to be a woman then so be it.

courgetteDOTcom Thu 18-Jul-13 02:14:02

anyone watch the documentary tonight? they said, if I followed, because she was underage when Henry was born it passed to him.

they also said breech is fatal, so I'm hoping their history is better.

MadameDefarge Thu 18-Jul-13 02:36:15

So margaret B in WQ is actually about 21 or 22? clearly the handwringing hasn't helped her keep her youthful bloom.

Trills Thu 18-Jul-13 08:16:15

Age of Margaret Beaufort:

Amanda Hale was born in 1982, so was 31 or 32 when the filmed the series.

According to Wikipedia Elizabeth/Edward's marriage happened in 1464 - Henry Tudor was born in 1457, so he should have been 7 and Margaret Beaufort was born in 1443 so she would have been 21.

(no idea why he was played by such a little boy at the beginning, unless they were showing scenes non-chronologically)

Obviously a number of years are passing and will continue to pass, and by the end of the series the character will be older than the actor.

For contrast - Dawson's Creek started in 1998, at which point Dawson was 15 but James van Der Beek was 21. The character aged with the actor so he was always 6 years older.

In Buffy the Vampire Slayer Sarah Michelle Gellar was a practically-realistic 19 when playing 15 year old Buffy, but Cordelia was 27 playing a 15 year old and therefore hit 30 before they left high school.

titzup Thu 18-Jul-13 10:38:11

I like amanda as MB, she has that little touch of crazy to her (and she often seems to get cast in these roles as a result!).

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Thu 18-Jul-13 10:45:16

Mama Henry VII had vet little actual claim to the throne. Catherine of Valois had no claim to the English throne and her Tudor sons were not royal. Margaret Beauforts claim was not really valid because her royal line was through the Beauforts who had been legitimised but banned from inheriting the throne. There were closer heirs, Henry was the only one who had a pushy mother, and was actually in the country.
Also, when Henry VIII died there were plenty of other heirs. Margaret Tudor his sister had a son, and her daughter had 2 sons, Darnley and the earl of Lennox. There were technically other Beaufort heirs and the legitimate heirs of John of Gaunt through his first marriage.
Henry did murder plenty of people who had a claim to his throne, but there were male heirs.

deepfriedsage Thu 18-Jul-13 10:53:30

So why was Henry VII living with Jasper Tudor and not his Mum?

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Thu 18-Jul-13 11:47:56

Because Jasper was his nearest male relative and his mother was underage.

Trills Thu 18-Jul-13 11:50:53

Because he was told to.

courgetteDOTcom Thu 18-Jul-13 11:57:26

I think they've combined a few scenes. I shouldn't have given my books out before the seriessad

Mama1980 Thu 18-Jul-13 12:53:22

Because Jasper was his nearest male relative, and Margaret was underage she was also going to be married Again anyway and they needed to be sure that Henry wasnt influenced by the other side in any way. Jasper was the logical choice.

Elena82 Thu 18-Jul-13 17:09:16

I love The White Queen! Haven't read the books yet, but definitely will now.

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