The Six Wives of Henry VIII (Ch4)

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History Documentary hosted by David Starkey, published by Channel 4 in 2001 - English narration

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Image: The-Six-Wives-of-Henry-VIII-Ch4-Cover.jpg

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"Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived". Six lives summed up in a school rhyme. The women who married Henry VIII have become defined not the way they lived but the way their lives ended. They are seen as victims of a bloated tyrant, deserving pity, but not respect. However, have we under-estimated them and are historians right to have merely portrayed them as bit-part players in Henry's story? In this series Dr DAVID STARKEY, the eminent historian and presenter, reveals them to be vibrant, powerful individuals who showed great dignity, when faced with exile from the King's favour, or even the executioner's axe in the Tower of London. Queen, lover, mother, outcast, victim and survivor -- this is how historian and series narrator David Starkey assigns the roles of the six wives of Britain's most famous monarch Henry VIII in the sexual intrigue and cut-throat power politics of his long reign from 1509 to 1547. The series THE SIX WIVES OF HENRY VIII takes a fresh approach and presents each wife's story from her perspective. Perhaps no one in history had a more eventful career in matrimony than Henry VIII. His marriages were tumultuous and complicated, and made instant legends of six very different women. Henry took his first bride, Catherine of Aragon, when he was 17. Their 24-year marriage was a relatively stable prelude to what followed. Anne Boleyn, a pretty, French-educated Protestant who was the mother of Elizabeth I, was eventually beheaded. Jane Seymour served as a demure contrast to the vampish Boleyn, and gave birth to Henry's longed-for son (Edward VI). After a brief marriage to the plain Anne of Cleves, Henry married a flirtatious teenager, Catherine Howard, who would be the second of his brides to lose her head along with the king’s favor. Finally, there was Catherine Parr, a shrewd Protestant bluestocking. Through the women's own words and powerful dramatizations, we learn that the wives were not pitiful victims or pawns but rather knowing players in a high-stakes game and remarkable individuals who managed to show great dignity even when facing exile and death. Using dramatic reconstruction and passionate narration, eminent historian and presenter Dr David Starkey focuses on the stories of the women themselves, revealing in intimate detail their experiences of sex, childbirth and the glamorous, dangerous life at court, including the deadly intrigues that dethroned them. Series Producer: Mark Fielder ; United Productions for Channel Four Television

[edit] Catherine Of Aragon

This is the story of Catherine of Aragon, a remarkable woman whose refusal to accept a divorce in defiance of Henry VIII's wishes changed the course of English history. The beautiful Spanish princess, Catherine of Aragon, was Henry's first wife and succeeded in giving him a child, Mary. Her fierce yet eventually futile resistance to his efforts to divorce her started the religious revolution that made England a Protestant country.
Spanish princess, Catherine of Aragon, marries Arthur, Prince of Wales in 1501. When he dies shortly after their marriage, she is left to fend for herself in the English court. Seven years later, Arthur's younger brother Henry (who has become king) marries Catherine, Making for Peace with Spain and France. In a war with France, Catherine is a helpful strategist to her husband, the King. But after several years of marriage with only one living daughter, Princess Mary, and no surviving sons, Henry turns his attention to Anne Boleyn, one of Catherine's ladies-in-waiting. After years of struggling against the Vatican and being denied an annulment, Henry breaks away from the Catholic Church. He creates the Church of England, in which he acts as Supreme Head on Earth, and divorces Catherine in order to marry Anne.

[edit] Anne Boleyn

The temptress Anne Boleyn, who charmed the King with her seductive French ways gave him his second daughter, Elizabeth. Henry soon tired of her though and had her beheaded.
Having spent time in the Netherlands in Archduchess Margaret's court, Anne Boleyn is knowledgeable of courtly ways. Her flirtatious nature and quick wit attract Henry, who initially seeks to make her his mistress. However, Anne refuses the role after seeing the outcome of what happened to her sister, Mary Boleyn, and makes it clear that she will not sleep with him until they are married and she is queen. During Henry's struggle with the Vatican to end his marriage to Catherine, the English people come to dislike Anne, as they love Catherine and believe Anne is heretical in her religious beliefs of reform. After Henry starts the Church of England and divorces Catherine, he is free to marry Anne. Shortly after their marriage, a coronation is held for Anne, at which she is made Henry's queen consort. A few months later, she gives birth to their daughter, Princess Elizabeth. Anne's fiery temper and her inability to produce a male heir to the throne cause Henry to grow tired of her. In order to pursue a new wife, Henry believes rumors and accusations of Anne's adultery, incest, and witchcraft. After her trial, she is judged by a jury of her peers, including her uncle Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, and is found guilty. After a few days imprisonment in the Tower of London, she is beheaded.

[edit] Jane Seymour and Anne of Cleves

Just a few days after Anne's execution, Henry marries Jane Seymour, a soft-spoken and obedient woman born from an aristocratic, political family. Jane had been one of Anne's ladies-in-waiting, and after her execution, she forbids anyone to wear revealing French dresses, which pleases Henry. Because of her strong Catholic beliefs, many hoped she would bring the king back to the Catholic faith. However, Henry remains strong on his religious stance and continues his position as Supreme Head of the Church of England. While Jane is submissive and obedient, she continues to be politically active, even going as far as to restore Henry's first daughter, Princess Mary, to the throne, which Henry greatly discourages. Still, his love for her stays strong, and when she gives birth to a son, Prince Edward, Henry is overjoyed. However, Jane dies from complications just twelve days after Edward's birth. Henry is devastated by the loss of his beloved wife. After a long period of mourning, Henry is encouraged to marry again in the hopes of producing another male heir. Thomas Cromwell, the king's advisor, feels the Catholic German princess Anne of Cleves would be a good match. Henry will not agree to marry without first seeing what his prospective bride looks like, so Cromwell sends artist Hans Holbein the Younger to Germany to create a portrait of the princess. When he presents the finished product to Henry, the king is very pleased and agrees to marry her. Unfortunately, when she arrives in England and Henry sees her in person, he is revolted by her appearance. Nevertheless, he marries her at Cromwell's convincing. The marriage only lasts six months, as Henry is unable to consummate their marriage because of Anne's looks. He divorces her and, as a favor, allows her to legally be made his sister.

[edit] Katherine Howard and Catherine Parr

Henry is once again encouraged to marry, as sets his eyes on Katherine Howard, an aristocratic sixteen-year-old girl who was a lady-in-waiting of Anne of Cleves. Katherine, who is the niece of the Duke of Norfolk and a cousin of the late Anne Boleyn, is flirtatious and promiscuous, and her energy makes the aging king feel lively. The early months of their marriage are happy, but Henry becomes upset when, after six months, she is still not pregnant. Katherine becomes involved with a handsome, young man named Thomas Culpeper. Rumors of her affair are brought to the king, who does not want to believe them but, after being given proof, has no choice. She is found guilty of presumptive treason and beheaded. Henry later becomes infatuated with the widowed Catherine Parr. However, she is in love with Thomas Seymour, 1st Baron Seymour of Sudeley, the late Jane Seymour's brother. Henry sends Thomas away to Brussels on a diplomatic mission, allowing him to propose to Catherine. Feeling a sense of duty to complete the king and country's conversion to Protestantism, Catherine agrees to marry Henry. Being an educated woman, Catherine publishes a book on her views of faith, which leads many to accuse her of heresy. However, she tells the king her opinions are only those of a woman and, therefore, mean nothing. Shortly after, King Henry dies, leaving her a widow once more. Now, however, she is free to marry Thomas Seymour. Sadly, she dies after giving birth to hers and Thomas's daughter. She is buried at Suderly castle.

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Video Codec: x264 CABAC High@L4.1
Video Bitrate: 3 000 Kbps
Video Resolution: 1920x1080
Display Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Frames Per Second: 25.000 fps
Audio Codec: AAC (LC)
Audio Bitrate: 132 kb/s VBR 48.0 kHz
Audio Streams: 2
Audio Languages: english
RunTime Per Part: 49 min
Number Of Parts: 4
Part Size: 1.07 GB
Source: WEB DL
Capper: DocFreak08

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