Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Tudors: Historical Inaccuracies

While searching for information about one of the actresses in the series, I came across a Daily Mail article quoting various people as ranting about the historical inaccuracies. I clicked because I hoped that the article would tell us what some of those errors are; I've caught a few, but I'm hardly an expert on the Tudor period. Instead, it was just people venting their spleen that the errors exist. The only substantive comment was that Jonathan Rhys-Meyers does not resemble the historical Henry VIII, which is true, but his portrayal of a powerful and obsessed man is so excellent that I don't care. The same person complained that Mr. Rhys-Meyers has "black" hair instead of Henry's red, which reflects a bit badly on her other remarks, as the actor's hair is brown.

There were also a lot of complaints that there is too much sex in the series, which I agree with.

In any case, it inspired me to search out articles about the historical inaccuracies. Here are a couple of good ones:

The Tudors Historical Inaccuracies and Mysteries

Historical Discrepancies in the Showtime Television Series The Tudors

One point that is made repeatedly is that Katherine of Aragon was a blonde and was only six years older than Henry VIII. Maria Doyle Kennedy gave an excellent performance, but she was probably cast because she resembles the popular idea of what a Spaniard looks like, despite being Irish!

This reminded me of a silly remark I saw in a newspaper when the TV movie of the abysmal Gone With The Wind sequel Scarlett was being made. Someone or other was quoted as complaining that Scarlett O'Hara should not be played by a brunette actress, as she was Irish-American and therefore should be blonde or redheaded. This tells us several things about that someone: 1. She hadn't read the book. 2. She was unaware that, like many people, Scarlett O'Hara had not only a father but also a mother! And her mother was of French descent, a nationality that produces plenty of brunettes. 3. The someone got her ideas about Ireland from soap commercials.

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