|Sarah Bolger as Princess Mary|
On the other hand, I have never seen or heard of such a magnificent dramatization of the Pilgrimage of Grace as was featured in Season 3 of The Tudors. The Catholic Pilgrims of Grace were simple people who had had their religion taken away from them; all they wanted was the opportunity to voice their complaints to the King. They marched under the sacred banner of the Five Wounds. It was one of the first times in history, if not the first, that the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was borne aloft in the name of a cause. They were brutally betrayed and executed. As I was watching the scene where their leader Robert Aske is bound in chains and preparing himself for a hideous death, I said to my mother, who was watching the show with me, "We don't know what faith is." Compared to people like Mr. Aske, I do not think most of us do. In reality, it was the Duke of Norfolk, not the Duke of Suffolk (Charles Brandon) who put down the Pilgrimage and oversaw the executions.
The character of Mary Tudor was again particularly well done, beautifully acted by Sarah Bolger with integrity and grace. We are presented with the portrait of an innocent young girl in an increasingly profligate court, who is alone and isolated because of her Catholic faith, kept from marrying because her father is too busy with his own matrimonial ups and downs. Yet she tries always to do the right thing. Whatever course of action she follows, it seems to lead to heartbreak, and more heartbreak. She clings to her faith nevertheless. We can see the future Queen regnant beginning to take shape. Mary is no less her father's daughter as she is her mother's, and the granddaughter of the great Isabel. It is easy to weep for her.
It is a big disappointment that the real Jane Seymour was not anywhere near as lovely as depicted in the miniseries. As Tracy Borman writes:
A portrait painted of her in around 1536 (when this episode is based) shows her to have had a large, plump face with a double chin. Her eyes were small and beady, her lips thin and closely compressed, and she wore a cold, detached expression. One onlooker at court dismissed her as being ‘of middle stature and no great beauty’. Even the Imperial Ambassador Chapuys, who was predisposed to favour Jane because of her traditional Catholic beliefs, was at a loss to explain what the King saw in her.As for Anne of Cleves, she is so fetchingly portrayed by Joss Stone that it is incomprehensible why Henry would put her aside for Tamzin Merchant's insipid Katherine Howard. I do not like how Katherine is portrayed; Joss Stone would have made a better Katherine. Katherine was not well-educated but that does mean she was an imbecilic waif. She was a nobleman's daughter, the niece of the Duke of Norfolk, the first cousin of Anne Boleyn, and must have possessed some of the basic qualities that Henry liked in his women, including poise and wit. Some of the casting in The Tudors is a bit puzzling.
Now, on to Season 4.... Share