Wednesday, May 31, 2023

New Series about James I and Buckingham

George Villiers (Nicholas Galitzine)

Earl Somerset (Laurie Davidson), King James (Tony Curran) & Queen Anne (Trine Dyrholm)

It is a show about how a mother schemes to have her son accepted as the favorite of James I, known for his proclivity for handsome young men. The term "homosexuality" was unknown in the seventeenth century; men who gave in to such desires were accused of committing the sin of Sodom. James I is such a complex character to depict in that he was sincerely religious, oversaw a translation of the Bible, and was married with several children. He persecuted women accused of witchcraft with an unholy fury. He also loved to drink and carouse, enjoyed off-color humor, and became almost obsessively attached to a series of young male courtiers. People seem to assume that George Villiers was "gay" but there is no evidence that he sought such interaction other than whatever he had to do with King James. In fact, George was known to be a ladies' man and is the suitor of the Queen of France in The Three Musketeers

The new drama covers the years immediately before my novel My Queen, My Love. Many of the same characters appear in both, including the Countess of Buckingham, George Villiers aka "Steenie" Buckingham and Susan Villiers, who becomes Susan Denbigh. From Tatler:

Love. Power. Politics. A dazzling new period drama promises to bring a ravishing real-life royal saga that shaped King James I’s court to life on screen. Mary & George, due to air on Sky Atlantic in the UK and AMC in the US later this year, will chart the rise to power of George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, a favourite and reported lover of King James I, son of Mary Queen of Scots. Aided by his formidable mother Mary Villiers, Countess of Buckingham, George Villiers became one of the most highly regarded, influential men in early 17th century England.

Hollywood doyenne Julianne Moore takes on the role of the ambitious, power-hungry Mary Villiers, while Nicholas Galitzine plays the Duke of Buckingham. James I, who has been described by historian Michael B. Young as ‘the most prominent homosexual figure in the early modern period’, will be portrayed by Tony Curran. The release date for the hotly-anticipated series but the first official images promise it will be a sumptuous dramatisation of history.

Here, Tatler brings you the true story behind the man who grew to be titled Duke of Buckingham, and his extraordinary rise to power. (Read more.)


As readers of My Queen, My Love know, George's rise to power continued under James' son, Charles I.


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